Here’s a more analytical look at Pats, Brady, NFL
To continue our recent Saturday theme, here are a few observations on the current state of the Patriots (including the Brady Watch), the NFL, and what we may see in the days ahead with the free agency tampering period just 9 days away:
First, the silly Brady-Jimmy Garoppolo-49ers circus you may have heard or read about is the height of the absurd. It certainly seems that somehow it got started when some member of the Brady camp wanted to make a splash and it picked up such steam well-respected media members pounced on it. People, Garoppolo has a 21-5 record as the 49ers starter, took them to a Super Bowl, and is signed to a fairly reasonable contract.
His sin? He overthrew Emmanuel Sanders in the Super Bowl. The Niners are going to ditch a 28-year old with a QB rating over 100 for a 43-year-old for maybe two seasons? This is just getting really embarrassing. Really.
—- Expect a vote from the NFL players to be tallied by a week from now. The ballots on the owner’s proposal have been sent out and votes need to be in by one minute before midnight on March 12. The question is, how many players are realy going to sift through a document of 439 pages? The owners are trying to railroad through a proposal, know the membership isn’t unified enough with so many opposite ends of the salary spectrum, and have the edge. Consider this, players: The owners want you to approve an 11-year deal a year before the current one expires. Why? The players had better read the fine print; they should really get much more back for that 17th game. Also,the owners want a deal done so they can get moving on lucrative TV deals. Uh, players, that’s called leverage. You should try using it.
—- Ah, the Patriots have picked up Jason McCourty’s option. A couple of things here: He comes relatively cheap, but don’t think this guarantees he’d make it through camp. The Patriots need to get younger and faster. They buy themselves some veteran insurance. But to say this means Devin McCourty is automatically in the fold is a dot that may be foolish to connect. NFL free agents, in most cases, will take the most money. McCourty will almost certainly do just that if he does indeed take things to the open signing period.
—- Speaking of TV deals, the NFL and networks must be going absolutely crazy trying to put together the NFL prime times television schedule as they really have to wait to see where Brady ends up. If it’s an AFC team, Patriots or otherwise, you’d have to guess that team will get the nod to open up against the Kansas City Chiefs in that Thursday night NBC opener for the Super Bowl champion. And it will get more prime time games too. Of course, if it’s the Patriots, well, that’s old hat and you’ll probably see them on prime time for the five time max. If it’s not the Patriots, don’t expect New England to have too many prime time games.
—– Don’t forget that dead cap hit the Patriots face of $13.5 million if they don’t extend Brady before his contract expires March 18. Should they sign him before that date – basically seen as an extension — they can spread that money over a few years. If not, they would have to take the hit, and then of course would add to it with a new Brady free agent contract. That is unlikely. Look at March 17 or all the way up to 3:59 p.m. on March 18. The contract officially expires that day at 4.
—- Give us a few minutes and we’d be able to come up with a few people, mainly fellow scribes, who have had phone conversations with Bill Belichick that weren’t very “productive.”
Don’t forget, clocks spring ahead overnight tonight.
Tom King may be reached at 594-1251, or@Telegraph_TomK, or email@example.com