Chat with Mike Reiss
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPN NFL Nation New England Patriots reporter Mike Reiss drops by to chat and answer all of your Patriots questions.
Reiss joined ESPNBoston.com in September 2009 and is a native New Englander. He first started covering the Patriots in 1997 with the team's official newspaper, Patriots Football Weekly, before moving on to the MetroWest Daily News in his hometown of Framingham. From 2005 to 2009, he covered the Patriots for The Boston Globe, while also writing on the NFL. He started his popular Patriots blog in 2004.
Send your questions now and join Reiss Thursday at 11 a.m. ET!
Mike (10:57 AM)
Good morning and welcome to today's chat. We'll get started in a few.
Mike (11:03 AM)
Hope everyone is doing well out there today. I am continuing a project which reviews each NFL team, its depth chart and season-ending news conference to get a better feel for team needs, power structure etc. It helps me provide better context to some of the issues facing the Patriots as well. That will transition to more of a pure free-agent and draft focus in the coming weeks.
Mike (11:03 AM)
What's on your mind today?
Mike, its clear that the Patriots need a 3rd DE to add in a rotation with Ninkovich and Jones. The pass rush seemed anemic at times and if they were fresher, I think it would be extremely beneficial. While I think Michael Buchanan is good, I dont think he is quite there yet. I think a veteran addition is the way to go. With that in mind, who would you see as a fit?
Mike (11:05 AM)
I agree, Nick. I'd put nickel rusher right up there among the top team needs. If Chandler Jones or Rob Ninkovich went down in 2013, that would have been a problem. Buchanan definitely isn't there yet, but shows potential. So echoing what Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome said -- "You get better by getting yourself better" -- I'd start with Buchanan. You try to develop the heck out of him and see if he can rise into that role, a la Tully Banta-Cain. If not, you need a backup plan. Once I'm more informed on the potential options in free agency and the draft, hopefully I can give you a better answer as to possible options. Still not there yet.
Mike, I'm really worried about the cap, if its at the highest projection that Pats only have about $4 million to re-sign guys and get a draft class in. I know some players will be cut and they might get Hernandez money back, but is that enough esp considering the $10mill or so a year Talib will likley command? How much does a draft class cost? Does the need to re-sign Talib mean we'll see some costs defreed by trading into next years draft?
Mike (11:08 AM)
Mike, this is not a great salary cap situation. It's not the worst, but the Patriots are tighter than they'd like to be, and expect some moves to create space, such as the obvious releases/reductions for veteran safety Adrian Wilson, veteran defensive lineman Isaac Sopoaga etc. So they aren't handcuffed, but it's not like they have a huge cushion to play with here. On Talib, I think $10m is high. Probably in the $6-7m per year range unless I'm badly misjudging the market.
Mike (11:08 AM)
They have enough space to make the moves they need to make, but I wouldn't expect much more than that in 2014. That $7.5 million charge for Aaron Hernandez obviously hurts.
Have you started work on the draft yet? do you think there is a C/G out there worth the #29 pick?
Mike (11:10 AM)
Mike, this is said to be a strong class along the offensive line. Someone like Notre Dame's Zach Martin could fit the bill as a guard. Ideally, I think you'd like to find that type of player in the second round and beyond, but as we saw in 2005, if all else fails and you come away with someone like Logan Mankins, that's not bad either.
Mike, what is the Pats argument for reducing the cap hit of the Hernandez contract? When will this get clarified?
Mike (11:11 AM)
I don't think we're close to any resolution, but I'm not sure on a specific timeline. I think you have to proceed as if you won't have the space. Will try to check up on this in the coming days.
SC (Hartford )
Mike- why didn't we sign Abraham last year? 11.5 sacks last year and only getting $1.5 million- This seems like a terrible decision. Thoughts?
Mike (11:14 AM)
SC, if I had to connect the dots, my guess would be that the intel the Patriots received from the Falcons (some strong ties there) wasn't very good in terms of how he might fit into the locker-room culture. From a pure production standpoint, it looks like Abraham could have helped. But does he go along with the program? Does he pay attention in meetings? Is he a good teammate? The answer to all those questions might be yes, but it makes me wonder why Atlanta was so quick to move away from him and sign Osi Umenyiora instead. I'm sure there's more to the story there than just on-field production.
Mike (11:14 AM)
Because like you say, the cost wasn't prohibitive.
Hi Mike, We obviously need some help on the offense, now that Fitzgerald would be out of the market (at least that's what it looks like), Do you see the Patriots considering Jimmy Graham or Decker?
Mike (11:14 AM)
Charles, I think they'll both be out of market range.
Ryan (bloomington) [via mobile]
Hey mike, everyone has been asking for the patriots to bring in a bunch of people in free agency. I don't believe that's necessary. With a lot of key pieces coming back from injury next season there is good mix of depth, vets, and young potential. However, would the pats ever look at bringing in someone like anquan bolden? He's a free agent and doesn't really request top dollar. He would be a great redzone threat and a bailout target for Brady.
Mike (11:15 AM)
Boldin would be terrific and probably wouldn't break the bank. Hard to argue with the idea of pursuing him, but it sounded like, based on one report I read, he was probably heading back to San Francisco. The Ravens never found a way to replace him. That was a tough loss for them.
Chris (NE CT)
Hi, Mike. I like the idea of the Pats signing Scott Chandler to complement Gronk. He would be great covering for Gronk if he's out at the beginning of the season and they could go back to the 2 TE set when Gronk is healthy. What do you think of the idea and do the Pats have a chance of making it happen?
Mike (11:16 AM)
Good call on Chandler. He's on my list, too.
Mike, How crazy would be to try to get a quality passrusher like Greg Hardy or Michael Johnson?
Mike (11:17 AM)
Would be great, Alessandra, but unless they want to blow up their team-builing model/salary-cap structure, I don't see it happening based on the cost.
Can Asante still play?
Mike (11:18 AM)
Phil, my sense is that situation might be similar to the Abraham one from last offseason. Good production still possible, but probably more to the picture than just that. If I was a coach, specific to Samuel, I'd have to think twice about inserting him into my locker-room culture.
Stefan (Delft, Netherlands)
The post about the back-up quarterback and the potential of acquiring another back-up quarterback in the upcoming draft, kept me wondering when the Patriots will start looking for the replacement of Tom Brady? Will they address this the coming years, or do we have to wait until the last (two) year(s) of Brady's contract?
Mike (11:18 AM)
Stefan, for those didn't see the post, let's link it up here: http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4758654/cassel-mallett-quarterback-salaries?ex_cid=espnapi_public
Mike (11:19 AM)
I would just echo what was written in the post. This year is a good one to start thinking about a developmental option if Mallett departs in 2015, which seems likely. Just as Mallett could be a potential replacement if this was the end of the road for Brady (it isn't), the player picked/signed this year could be as well.
Who do see as a real and affordable help for Brady? Because, Gronk is an excellent player but unfortunately he is made of glass, Amendola is prone to injuries as well, and 85 and 17 were a little on and off..
Mike (11:21 AM)
We mentioned Bills TE Scott Chandler. Also, Steelers WR Emmanuel Sanders could potentially thrive in this system. Without having gotten too far into free agency, those are two players who I figure will wind up high on my list of potential reasonable options.
Mike, the Pats don't pressure the QB well enough to get off the field on third down. The cast of QB's we'll be seeing next year is challenging to say the least. Manning, Rodgers, Luck, Rivers, Stafford, Cutler etc.. given the time they'll pick you apart. The Pats desperately need pass rush up the middle. Would you be surprised to see Vince and Tommy Kelly cut and that 13 million spent on some high powered disruptive younger defensive lineman?
Mike (11:23 AM)
Derek, need to get more pass rush up the middle, and similar to the thoughts on Michael Buchanan at DE earlier in this chat, the same applies to the young DTs they have in Armond Armstead, Chris Jones, Joe Vellano, Sealver Siliga etc. You try to develop the heck out of them ("you get better by getting yourself better" -- Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome) but create insurance for yourself in the event it doesn't go as hoped. I would expect the Patriots and Wilfork to talk about a possible extension to create more salary cap space/extend his time here that works for both sides. Kelly is a wild-card. Not sure how they view him.
max (home office)
Mike,Who, in your view, made the big jump from rookie to 2nd year this season? My impression was that there was steady improvement but nothing that caught the eye. Also, who, among this group, still has room to improve? For e.g. could Chandler Jones grow into a game changer? Or is he another Jerod Mayo - solid player but not truly elite?
Mike (11:25 AM)
Max, I'd put Chandler Jones atop the list in terms of year 1 to year 2 improvement. Still room to grow there. As for the those who could improve, the obvious choices are Tavon Wilson (2nd round) and Jake Bequette (3rd round). Little impact based on the expectations of their draft position.
Ken (Rhode Island)
It seems that the Gregory is a poor safety - too small, doesn't hit hard and lacks instinct. Most great defenses have had great free safeties, Whitner, Chancellor, Reed, Polamalu etc. The Pats backups at the position will never be upper echelon safeties. Any chance the Pats get an all pro safety who is not over the hill? Also isn't it time to great an experienced defensive coordinator who is creative on defense ?
Mike (11:29 AM)
Ken, Gregory is a lightning rod of sorts. I sense a low approval rating among fans, but I think he's a solid 2b/3a type safety. He can help a team win, but if you can upgrade, you take a shot at doing so. Cost is also a consideration with Gregory as well ($2.25m and $3.5m salary cap charge are significant). I understand the viewpoint on wanting to upgrade that spot -- maybe 2013 third-round pick Duron Harmon figures into that - but my only counter is that it's unusual to see a team with two 1a safeties. ...
Mike (11:29 AM)
... As for the defensive coordinator, unless you want to move on from Bill Belichick as head coach, there is no change there. This is his defense, and I say that with all due respect to Matt Patricia. I think Patricia would acknowledge the same thing -- he's coaching BB's defense.
When you talk OL you have to start at center. Don't you think the Pats must first stop the middle rush?
Mike (11:31 AM)
Mike, that really showed up to me in the AFC title game. Ryan Wendell struggled against Terrance Knighton and it made me ask this question, "Do the Patriots need to get bigger in there?" It was just one game, of course, and I think similar to Gregory, you can win with Wendell but if you can upgrade, you take a shot at doing so. You look at the d-lines in this division, specifically those players who line up over center, and it's a tough spot to be in if you don't have a good center. I concur, Mike.
Mike, no way Pats should resign Edelman if he is asking for Amendola money. 2 wrongs don't make a right! Slot WR is always productive in pats offense (Brown, Welker, Edlemen, Amendola week #1)...i"m fine with depth at the Slot positionvia Amendola, Boyce and a bringing in a pass catching TE. Your thoughts?
Mike (11:32 AM)
Pete, I feel like Edelman deserves whatever is coming to him and if it's Amendola-type money, you wish him well and thank him for five years of dedicated service.
Mike, I'd like to see the 2014 D be more aggressive. The current "read and react" D is a good but not great scheme and if feels a bit old. I look at the aggressive way Seattle plays and most teams for that matter and I see teams that force offenses to make mistakes with pressure and press coverage. Did you know that Seattle was the most penalized defense for offsides, PI, holding and UR. Now, it's not great to be penalize on D but it really shows the agressive nature that I feel the Pats lack. The lines gets off on the ball, the corners and safeties get their hands on the receivers, and let's not forget that this prepares teams for the playoffs to which are more physical, etc. Please don't take this comment as a plea to be more penalized but if you investigate further into the numbers, I believe that some penalties are worth while (with in reason)
Mike (11:34 AM)
Eric, I've had similar thoughts but from more of a "dip the toe in the water" perspective because it's a little bit outside my X's and O's box. It seems like the ability to disrupt and pressure opposiing QBs is more important than ever before, and I don't think the Patriots' scheme -- from my limited knowledge of the inner-workings of it -- puts as much of an emphasis on it as others I see.
Theo (Brooklyn, NY)
Hi Mike - Sort it out for us, at the conclusion of every SB, it seems like Pats fans want to emulate the winner but the Steelers, Saints, Packers, Giants and Ravens are no closer to the SB than the Pats.
Mike (11:36 AM)
That's right, Theo, and I think it's easy for reporters/analysts to fall into a similar trap. In the end, there are different ways to win in this league. And, as we've seen, a team needs some breaks too. Sometimes I think to myself, "If a guy didn't catch a ball on his helmet, would we even be having this discussion?"
Mike (11:36 AM)
Know what I mean?
Will Amendola have surgery in the off-season or just rest and heal naturally?
Mike (11:37 AM)
Haven't heard about any surgery. Not sure it's the type of situation that surgery can correct because of the nature of the injury (ripped completely off bone, if that terminology is correct). So it was more of a pain-management issue than anything in 2013.
Casey (Plymouth, MA)
Hey Mike, in Field's health report snapshot earlier, he reminded everyone that Armond Armstead was still part of this team. I guess I have a multi-part question about him...did we ever find out what part of his body was infected to begin with? If it was as simple as a staph infection, I assume he would have been back much sooner than he was. That leads me to worry it was an infection to an internal organ that was a bit more serious in nature. Also...was he around the team, soaking up the gameplans during the season? I just hope a raw, talented guy like him can help this team in the D-line rotation
Mike (11:38 AM)
Casey, I was told the infection was infection was related, in some form, to his previous heart condition. Not sure the specifics and didn't feel comfortable enough with the details to report it as such. As for the second part of the question, yes, Armstead was around the team this year. I saw him in that final week, in fact, hanging out in the locker room.
We're talking about C, is Braxston Cave anywhere near contributing next year? the Pats tend to have a practice squad OL make the team the next season every other year or so...
Mike (11:39 AM)
Tough to tell at this point, Mike. But a full year on the practice squad, enrolled in the "Dante Scarnecchia School of Offensive Linemen", often means good things for the future.
Mike, what are the chances the Patriots might look at T.J. Ward to start alongside McCourty next season? He's probably the best Safety on the market... but he is also ended Gronk's season with a questionable hit, and it looked like Belichick took exception to it. Do you think this would impact any potential interest in a player in the future?
Mike (11:40 AM)
T, don't think the hit would have any impact on potential Patriots interest. Ward is a very good player. I think he's going to get paid and I have a hard time seeing the Patriots doing that before they address Devin McCourty's deal (expires after 2014 season).
Mike...since the NFL is a 12 month a year business, what are the coaches up to right now? Looking at players in the draft? Free agency? The teams own free agents? Taking a break? All of the above?
Mike (11:40 AM)
Dan, coaches are off this week. BB is on the golf course at Pebble Beach. When they get back, they wrap up internal evaluations and get into the draft and free agency.
Why was Bernard Pollard not on this team last year, and why won't T.J. Ward be on this team next year? What is it with this type of player that they don't like?
Mike (11:42 AM)
Pollard has been on four teams in the last six years. Makes you wonder why he's bouncing around so much. Something else there, perhaps. Locker-room fit? As for why he's not on the team, given the history in which his presence has resulted in Patriots injuries, maybe they're concerned he'd wipe out the locker room with illness. LOL.
Mike (11:42 AM)
On a serious note, you know they tried to bring in a player like that in veteran Adrian Wilson last year. Just didn't work out.
Mike...if you had the opportunity to cover a different team in the NFL for just 1 season, who would you pick and why?
Mike (11:43 AM)
Jim, after shoveling about a foot of wet and heavy snow yesterday, San Diego sounds good about now.
Mike (11:44 AM)
On a serious note, what I appreciate about covering the Patriots is football played at a high level. So I want to watch good football. Put me with any of the top teams and a coach/personnel man who will challenge me in terms of learning the game and being better at my craft, and that works for me.
Dewayne (Columbus, Ohio)
Mike you keep talking about chipping the TE in the AFC championship, but you won't acknowledge that wasn't working. Denver punted once
Mike (11:47 AM)
Dewayne, if you would have told me before the AFC title game that the Patriots would have held Denver to 26 points and 2 of 6 success (really 2 of 5) in the red zone, I would have thought it would be good enough. If they make 1-2 more plays on third down, and the offense shows up more in the first three quarters, maybe it's a different story ... Now, that said, there is obviously significant room for improvement on defense. Very little interior pressure from the Patriots (injuries hurt at DT) was a factor. Scheme part of it too, I believe.
MIKE D (Sydney, Australia) [via mobile]
Hi Mike. Thanks for the great reporting this past season, as usual. You and Field are keeping the Pats Blog chugging along nicely so far this offseason, so thanks for the good work. My question is in regards to the Patriots' philosophy on defense. The Seahawks have a relentless, hard-nosed, swarming and aggressive defense. I'm trying to figure out why we can't have one of those with our own players. Is it simply a difference in personnel? Is it coaching, or scheme differences? Or is it more intrinsic, like individual player attitude/mentality? The Pats' D certainly played with a bit of an edge, but it can certainly be a bit more intimidating - and I'm not one of those that thinks signing a so-called hard-hitting safety is necessarily the answer. Thanks again, Mike.
Mike (11:48 AM)
Mike, big difference in scheme. I think the Patriots have solid personnel on defense, but that personnel is utilized differently.
Jay (Revere, MA)
Hey Mike, After seeing Larry Fitzgerald restructure his contract so that the Cardinals could get an extra 10 million in cap space this year, I am wondering if Vince Wilfork could be a Patriots candidate to do this or if there is another Patriot whom you see doing a similar move soon? Thanks, Jay
Mike (11:49 AM)
Jay, the one thing about Wilfork is that he is in the last year of his contract, so there isn't room for a simple restructure. You'd have to extend the contract unless Wilfork was taking a pay cut.
Alex (New Jersey)
Mike... It drives me nuts that analysts and fans say that they need to bring in WRs for Tom Brady. The way to improve these receivers is through development, because Boyce and Dobson in particular have a ton of talent. However, that being said, TE is a spot they have to upgrade because without Gronk, they have nothing there. If the Pats drafted a TE this year, would it be a similar player to Gronk or one that complements him? Thanks
Mike (11:51 AM)
Alex, let's say you sign Scott Chandler in free agency (I think he's a little bit of a both -- blocker/receiver), then the TE you might draft is more of a "move" type. Ideally, it's a guy who can do it all, but those players are rare.
Mike G (Alexandria, VA)
Why is everyone complaining about the AFC Championship? Am I the only one that understands the team on the field was basically Tom Brady with rookies and street FAs? And they only lost by 10 on the road (could've been a 1 possession game with 3:10 left with a converted 2pt). All the pats need to do is bring everyone back, make some smart low cost FA signings and get some better injury luck and they'll be back in the super bowl.
Mike (11:53 AM)
Mike, my one counter is that we shouldn't assume those low-cost FA signings. The results the last few years have been spotty in my opinion -- Jonathan Fanene, Adrian Wilson, Leon Washington etc. They've had some hits, but I don't think the bang for the buck has been there as much as it has in past years.
Jeremy (Providence, RI)
Pats had 48 sacks. Seattle had 44. More offsides penalties! You're absolutely right Mike (Felger)!
Mike (11:54 AM)
Jeremy, I'm not sure what you're getting at here, but the Super Bowl was a good example of the overrated nature of sacks. I don't believe Seattle sacked Peyton Manning once in the game. But, man, did they disrupt him on almost every snap with relentless pressure/pursuit. Are we saying the same thing?
Was Jaime Collins' emergence at the end of the year just a flash, or can we expect him to become consistent and make the fabled '2nd year leap' ?
Mike (11:54 AM)
Zack, if Collins doesn't build off what we saw, it would be a big disappointment. Fair to expect another leap to a three-down player.
Ed (Queens Village)
What percent would you give on Patriots hosting a Super Bowl? What obstacles would they have to overcome in getting a Super Bowl?
Mike (11:55 AM)
Ed, there would have to be significant upgrades to the infrastructure around the stadium and in the stadium. I think it's a real longshot.
Mark (Newton, MA)
Assuming Spikes is gone (a safe assumption), does Hightower take over that hard-hitting, run-stopping, enforcer role? Or do the Pats need to look in FA?
Mike (11:56 AM)
Mark, I think you open next year with a Mayo-Hightower-Collins starting trio at linebacker. Real solid.
Shawn (Athol, MA) [via mobile]
Mike, did Ridley fumble his way out of New England? And if so do you see the pats making a multiyear offer to blount, he did express his desire to stay here and was one of the hottest rb's in the league the last couple weeks of the season.
Mike (11:58 AM)
Shawn, Ridley is under contract for $777,000, with a cap charge less than $1 million. I think he sticks at those numbers and, spitballing, Blount on a 2-year, $4 million deal seems like a fair deal based on the marketplace.
Dominic (Broomfield, CO)
Any update on getting $ back from Fanene signing? That would be nice. $3M Fanene, $3-7M Hernandez, $3M Soap, $3M Gregory, (Wilfork, Mankins?). Money to play with.
Mike (11:58 AM)
They got the Fanene money back during the '13 season, Dominic.
John (Central NY)
Mike, Jeremy (RI) was referring to the comments about fans wanting the Patriots to be molded just like the Seahawks and the comment that aggressiveness (seattle was one of the most penalized teams) shows up in their style of play. I'd take the pressure/aggressiveness any day over bottom line sack numbers. Couple notes: Really would love to see their FA picks pan out this year. It's so critical, especially with such a young roster. They need a hard hitting safety to compliment (since you like him so much) Greggory and McCourty back there, and a solid TE. Chandler + draft would be a great route. Thanks for all of your hard work Mike!
Jeremy (Providence, RI)
Not a dig at you. Eric D was parroting one of Mike Felger's talking points from yesterday..a particularly absurd one, even for him
Mike (12:01 PM)
Thanks John and Jeremy. So the idea is you're more willing to accept penalties if you're an aggressive defense?
John (Central NY)
No, not at all...I'd love to have a more aggressive defense, defense wins championships, but not at the expense of penalties, or an entire team of PED users (kidding).
Mike (12:05 PM)
Mike (12:06 PM)
I think the main thing to take away from it all is that Seattle has its defensive approach and it's unique to them. The Jets have their approach and it's unique to them. The Patriots have their approach and it's unique to them. There are different ways to do things in this league. I'll be honest, I'm more of a fan of the pressure defenses like Seattle and the N.Y. Jets. But those units aren't perfect either and every team is built in different ways based on a variety of factors (e.g. when the Seahawks pay their QB at such a low level, it creates opportunities elsewhere). I wouldn't mind seeing the Patriots change their ways a bit because it seems like the ability to pressure/disrupt opposing QBs is more and more important, but I'm hesitant to dive in feet-first because I don't have a 100 percent understanding of the X's and O's behind it all. Until I do, it's more of a "dip the toe in the water" type deal and we'll leave it to sports talk radio to drive the discussion as that is a forum where there doesn't have to be as much accountability. I want to understand it more before going there, and it takes time to do that.
Scott (Westminster, CO)
If you had your choice, would you rather sign Talib or Rodgers-Cromartie?
Mike (12:06 PM)
Talib, hands down.
Mike, regarding your thoughts on Edelman. You said if he wants Amendola money than they should part ways. Who then will pick up his production? Amendola? He can't stay on the field for 16 games. I don't know if Boyce can fill in. Seems to me that with an offense based so heavily on the slot receiver letting Edelman walk is a huge gamble.
Mike (12:07 PM)
Brian, it would have to be Amendola, who faces the same injury-based questions Edelman did at this time last year after four injury-filled seasons.
Mike (12:07 PM)
Let's take a few more...
max (home office)
Do you foresee franchise tag on Talib?
Mike (12:08 PM)
Max, I'd lean toward no. Too high of a number at $11m
Parroting - love the term! I've harped on the D being more agressive for the past couple of years howver, Felger's points yesterday supported the points I wanted to make. I've hated the read and react D for a while more termed as bend but don't break...
Mike (12:08 PM)
Thanks for bringing the debate into the chat. ... You get the final word Eric.
Nemanja, Serbia [via mobile]
Mike, what's your opinion on playoffs with more teams?
Mike (12:09 PM)
Like it the way it is. 14 of 32 teams making the playoffs means 43.75 percent of the teams are in. Too high? That's my first thought.
Mike, so the talk radio guys don't know what the heck they're talking about? Is that what you're saying?
Mike (12:10 PM)
I think it's a good topic to debate and get in to. Fair discussion.
Mike, you just want to go to San Diego to cover Woodhead again...
Mike (12:10 PM)
LOL. You blew my cover, T!
Mike just want to throw this name out there as a possible reason for letting Edelman walk - TJ Moe. Moe fo sho! Seriously, they stacked up at slot (Edelman, Boyce, Moe, Amendola) they could survive it easily. Also, do you think Collie might come back? When he played he played well.
Mike (12:11 PM)
I thought Collie was solid, Shaun. I could see him back in training camp, although he's not signed at this time. Looking forward to watching T.J. Moe, who had several teams interested in him after the draft.
Mike since you are nothing but a Pats fanboy, I am assuming you believe the Pats would have won the SB if they had made it over DEN.
Mike (12:12 PM)
They would have had a tough time beating Seattle the way the Seahawks played, Tron. But I do think they would have been much more competitive than that stinker we saw from the Broncos.
Jeff (Arlington, VA)
Mike: You've noted that Wilfork and Mankins have big salary cap hits in 2014. How do you see things playing out with them? Since they are both key leaders on the team, and their past contract extensions were pretty painful (especially Mankins?), I would think the Pats would be leery of approaching them to re-do their deals, if it involved pay cuts.
Mike (12:15 PM)
Let's end on this one, Jeff. When you're in a salary cap situation like the team is now, I do think they approach both of those players about working out some type of resolution that can be beneficial to both sides. I think it's something we're going to have to watch closely in the weeks to come. I don't think the past will have much impact on what is to come.
Can I just make a point? Why is it being a fanboy when you're positive?! People have been calling for their demise for years now, yet they're the real fans and us 'fanyboys' who accurately call the 12-4 and 14-2 seasons year after year and repeated AFCC appearances, we're just fanboys and homers right. Get a life
Mike (12:16 PM)
I think Tron is just kidding, Shaun. And if he isn't, it's all taken in stride. Fun stuff. I love the football, studying it agenda-free, and trying to understand it better. We're all linked here because of our interest in the game and the team. So let's carry on.
Mike (12:16 PM)
Have a great day everyone. We'll chat again next week.