Here are some bonus NFL

Here are some bonus NFL Links from Len as the NFL period of free agency kicks off this Wednesday.

Ralph Vacchiano has a probable Giants wish list. It includes:

RT Todd Wade, Dolphins: The best tackles aren’t available, but Wade is still an upgrade over last year’s RT mess.

C Damien Woody, Patriots: More expensive than Chris Bober, but better. Can also fill in for Rich Seubert at guard.

DT Ted Washington, Patriots: Big, old run-stuffer could bridge the gap until William Joseph proves he’s not a bust.

Adam Schefter of the Denver Post is one of the best football writers around. He sees more teams following the Belichick model in building teams. This is not good news for agents seeking to get huges signing bonuses for their clients. Schefter also lists all of the top free agents by position.

Armando Salguero tells us that the reports of Jay Fiedler’s demise in Miami may have been premature. The Dolphins have rescinded their request that he take a pay cut and will let him compete for the starting job. Maybe Miami is concerned that AJ Feeley, with his five games of NFL experience, may not be the answer.

Alan Wilson has a look at the Bills needs. They also might be interested in Damien Woody. Of course the Bills need help at the quarterback position and may pull the trigger on Drew Henson or look at Bily Volek.

Steve Serby reports that the Jets are desperate for a shutdown cornerback, a good tight end, and many other positional players.

Jeff Legwold of The Tennessean also sees more teams learning from the Patriots way of doing things. Legwold believes the Patriots do well in making the tough choices when building their team. He also lists his top ten free agents and free agents by position.

Michael Ollove, Ryan Davis and Stephanie Hanes of the Baltimore Sun have a must-read feature on Jamal Lewis who has known about that the federal inquiry into cocaine trafficking charges since he first put on a Ravens uniform. This was no small deal either. It involved cocaine with a street value of $1 million.


Sunday Links from Len

Sunday Links from Len

Glen Murray scored the game winner in overtime as the Bruins beat the Flyers 3-2 at the Fleet Center. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell and Steve Conroy have game stories. Kevin Paul Dupont tells us that the Bruins need the Thronton line to step up.

Bob Hohler reports that Curt Schilling is throwing hard and that Francona believes that some in the media have mischaracterized Manny Ramirez. Is that possible? Hohler also has a feature on Pokey Reese, who has seen his own share of tragedies through the years. Steve Buckley reports on the versatility of many of the Red Sox players including Ellis Burks, who could see some time at first base. Speaking of versatility, Michael Silverman, in his Red Sox Notebook, reports that Sox outfielder David McCarty is coming along well in his efforts to be a pitcher. Silverman also tells us that Keith Foulke is recovering from his calf injury.

Michael Smith has a very big NFL Notebook and shares his sentiments that the Patriots and Ty Law should part ways before the situation gets really ugly. He also reports that Richard Seymour is considering hiring the Postons as his agents. The Postons, of course, are Milloy’s and Law’s agents. Smith also believes that Damien Woody may land in Miami. Kevin Mannix says the Pats should live with the current contract the next couple of years and be the beneficiaries of Law’s talents while he still has his “A” game in his early thrities. Tom Curran has some suggestions for the Patriots which include Charlie Garner, Chris Gardocki, and drafting a tall wide receiver like Rashaun Woods in the second round of the draft.

Peter May discusses the increasing time on the bench that Marcus has had since the arrival of Chucky Atkins. May also has his NBA Notebook and explains that the NBA East is as bad as ever. It’s terrible. Mark Murphy reports that Danny Ainge and Paul Pierce are happy that Brandon Hunter finally got a chance to play. The Celtics are at Toronto. FSN has the game at 1 pm.

Bill Griffith explains the success of Gary Tanguay and Greg Dickerson on FSN.

Providence is at St John’s. NESN has the game at Noon. Kevin McNamara reports that PC coach Tim Welsh has no interest in the St John’s HC position.

Well, we won’t have Don

Well, we won’t have Don Skwar to kick around anymore. He is leaving his position as Sports editor of the Boston Globe to become a Senior News Editor at ESPN.

Another item of interest, Manny does speak to the media, just not the Boston media. From the Fort Myers News-Press, here are some quote from the Sox slugger:

Saturday Links from Len Michael

Saturday Links from Len

Michael Felger has quotes from Ty Law saying he still wants to be a Patriot and help out the team with salary cap problems. While Law seems to be backtracking, he still wants a mega-deal and did not exactly take back his words that were in yesterday

Looks like Grady Little’s media

Looks like Grady Little’s media nemesis Bob Rodgers could be in a bit of hot water with his bosses at NESN. From the Inside Track gals:

We hear Rodgers, a 17-year NESN veteran, may be on some kind of in-house suspension after he went AWOL from training camp to return home and coach a high school basketball game.

Word is, Bob pre-taped a bunch of reports about the Tuesday arrival of Nomar Garciaparra and Pedro Martinez - covering all the bases (one if both showed up, one if only Nomar showed, one if Petey showed solo, well, you get the drift) - then flew back to Hanson for the game.

Shame, shame.

Dave Scott reports from Red

Dave Scott reports from Red Sox camp in Ft Myers for today’s edition of Scott’s Shots Spring Training Caravan. Some good stuff in there today, including an indirect run-in with our old pal Shaughnessy.

Another day of spring training and another mass topic for the writers to descend on. Today it’s AL batting champ Bill Mueller. Tony Massarotti says Mueller is the Anti-Rod. Gordon Edes says that Mueller’s life hasn’t changed much since winning the batting title last year. Steven Krasner says that the Sox third baseman will not be resting of his success of last year. David Heuschkel writes that Mueller isn’t afraid to get down and dirty. Hey, did you know that Derek Lowe is in the last year of his contract? Michael Holley tells us about it. Jeff Horrigan has the story of Nick Bierbrodt, who was nearly killed when he was shot a couple years ago, (he still has the bullets in him to prove it) and is now working on a comeback with the Sox. Lenny Megliola ponders the mystery of Manny. Massarotti has a look at Lowell Spinners manager Luis Alicea. Gerry Callahan has a pay column that says if the Sox can keep only one of their free agents, Pedro is the man to stick around. He reasons that:

Pedro, 32, is the one guy who can make the Sox look silly if they let him play out his deal. All seven are good players, Pedro is a unique talent. Great starting pitchers are special, and Pedro, when healthy, is the best. He can be higher maintenance than a tropical fish tank, but as he proves year in and year out, he's worth it.

Steve Buckley, on the other hand, writes in his pay column that Jason Varitek is the guy that the Sox absolutely have to keep. Edes’ notebook looks at minor leaguer Jon Lester, whose name was also being thrown around in the ARod trade talks. Horrigan’s notebook has Johnny Damon talking about former teammate Carlos Febles who is camp on a minor league contract. Krasner’s notebook says that Pedro will remain the #1 in the Sox rotation.

Michael Smith says that the Patriots could be in for difficulty in their negotiations with Ty Law. I just wish players would shy away from using terms like “insulted” and a “slap in the face” when talking about the offers presented to them. It just doesn’t win them any sympathy in the court of public opinion. Michael Felger says that the Patriots two SuperBowl titles allows them to operate as they please with player negotiations. He also looks at some recent news items about the team that were revealed through smaller newspapers and Internet sites. Tom Curran wonders if the Pats will make their annual run at a restricted free agent.

The Bruins lost in OT to Montreal last night. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell, Stephen Harris and Joe McDonald have the coverage of the game. Kevin Paul Dupont says the Bruins could be trying to land a prized defenseman in a trade before the deadline. Steve Conroy looks at Jonathan Girard making an appearance in the Bruins lockerroom last night. Karen Guregian has a piece on Sergei Samsonov, injured, and stuck in neutral. Dupont also says that the Bruins will need production from the likes of Travis Green down the stretch. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at Patrice Bergeron, held out of the lineup because of injury last night. Harris’ notebook has more on that topic.

Brandon Hunter gets some ink in the papers this morning. Find all your Celtics links over at Fox Sports Net.

Bill Griffith has a look at ESPN’s track coverage and a host of other media news and notes.

FSN has Celtics/Raptors at 7:00. (Also ESPN Nationally) ESPN has Suns/Sonics at 9:30. ESPN Classic has some Celtics programming tonight with “Celtics Dynasty” at 7:00 and a Larry Bird “SportsCentury” at 8:00 and 11:00.

Alright, since I didn’t get

Alright, since I didn’t get the morning links up, here are a couple from the smaller papers. (Since you’ve already likely read the larger papers.)

Glen Farley says that that Patriots aren’t worried about Tom Brady’s shoulder, which was operated on this week. The news was broken yesterday in a Palm Beach Post gossip column. Our poor local media guys were shut out again by the Pats on this one.

Clark Booth addresses 10 questions going into Spring Training. He thinks the Yankees are better. Kevin Gray has the story of a 24 year old from NH who is learning the life of a front office person in Major League Baseball.

David Scott has his Scott’s

David Scott has his Scott’s Shots Spring Training Caravan day three, this time from Fort Lauderdale.

Pedro and Nomar met the media for the first time in the spring yesterday. Nomar was understandably still hurting from the Red Sox efforts to acquire ARod during the offseason. Gordon Edes, David Heuschkel, Steven Krasner and Jeff Horrigan have a recap on what Nomar had to say. Tony Massarotti says it would be a huge blunder for the Red Sox to allow Nomar to get to free agency. Meanwhile, Pedro had his say as well, and the always entertaining Martinez went through his conference telling reporters how much he doesn’t like them, answering questions about game seven, and what the future holds beyond this season for him. Michael Holley takes the first turn with Pedro, while Horrigan, Heuschkel and Krasner file reports as well. Bob Hohler has a summary of both sessions, and tries to read the tea leaves of the two superstars. Steve Buckley has a nice article on Ellis Burks, and manages to get through it without mentioning his uniform number. Well done Buck. Buckley also has a pay column on the theatrics of the two press conferences yesterday. Lenny Megliola tries to kill some time before opening day. Gerry Callahan’s pay column looks at Theo Epstein and how the Sox GM isn’t concerned about making his superstars happy, nor is he particularly worried that he has so many going into their final year of their contracts. Epstein says in retrospect, the Sox decisions to let Clemens and Vaughn walk, weren’t as bad as they seemed at the time, as they used Clemens’ money to get Pedro and Mo’s career was essentially over after he left Boston. Bowl DVD’s are in!

Horrigan’s notebook looks at Pokey Reese, while Hohler’s notebook and Krasner’s notebook both focus on Burks.

The Patriots DVD arrived yesterday, and while I have not had a chance to do much more than flip through the menus, I can see already that it is well worth spending the money for. It contains much more than the DVD of two years ago. Included is the entire game with the World broadcast feed with Dick Stockton, but it is like the games in the “Three Games to Glory” disc. Each play is shown, and then you move directly onto the next play. There are some other nice bonus features as well. I hope to take a longer look at it tonight. Tom Curran says the Patriots are in position to become a superpower in the NFL. Michael Felger and Michael Smith report on the Patriots decision not to raise ticket prices. Skip Wood of USA Today has a piece on how opposing GM’s are trying to study and copy the Patriots model of building a team.

The Bruins and Islanders played to a 0-0 tie last night on the island. Kevin Paul Dupont, Stephen Harris and Dan Hickling report. Harris’ notebook says that Sergei Samsonov is stuck in injury limbo. Hickling’s notebook has Mike Sullivan feeling for a fired colleague. Dupont’s notebook looks at the 90 minute delay to start the game.

Are you pumped for the start of the Chucky Atkins era with the Celtics? It starts tonight. Links are at Fox Sports Net.

FSNE has Celtics/Bucks at 7:00. ESPN has NC State/Georgia Tech at 7:00 and then Rockets/Cavs at 9:00. ESPN2 has Lightning/Thrashers at 7:30.

More Red Sox negativity today

More Red Sox negativity today as the Big Show repeatedly played unflattering clips of Nomar’s nervous laugh from his press conference this afternoon in Florida. They wonder why the players don’t want to talk to them. Here’s Nomar, a hard working player, excellent role model for kids, never been in trouble during his career, yet some of the local media have tried more than once to run the guy out of town, simply because he isn’t a quote machine, nor always cooperative with them. To his credit, Dale Arnold called out Steve Buckley a bit on it today, but then the repeated clips later on the Big Show just were uncalled for.

To paraphrase BSG: This never would’ve have happened if Jason Wolfe were still alive…