The Patriots fill the Sunday links today with news, notes and opinion columns from around New England. I do provide a few baseball and basketball links as well.
I guess the best place to start is the Sunday notes from Nick Cafardo. Where do I begin? Nick does a very nice job getting some interesting details about Tom Brady’s new contract. There’s some unique clauses and items included in the deal. It’s obvious though, that Cafardo’s main sources for these columns are almost solely player agents. He says that Richard Seymour “is being lauded in the agent community for standing up to the Patriots.” He then has three unnamed agents saying that the Patriots players are also happy that Seymour is doing this, because of what happened to Tedy Bruschi.
On Bruschi for a moment, the interesting thing to me about this is this: Bruschi was scheduled to become a free agent this offseason. His stroke occurred within days of the end of the season. He had NOT signed his new deal last season, he would be without a contract at all right now. That’s a sobering thought.
Then we get our weekly Drew Bledsoe update with the former Patriots QB getting yet another off field “good guy” award. We know Drew is a good man. We’ve moved on. So should Nick. Then there is a curious item about the Patriots front office. He mentions Tom Dimitroff as a possible future successor to Scott Pioli…
if Pioli moves on when his contract expires following next year's draft. After nine months of negotiations on the Brady deal, endless hours evaluating talent, and now the Seymour contract mess, one wonders whether Pioli is wearing too many hats.
So after proclaiming for the last few years that Pioli would want to move on to another team where he could have a bigger say, complete control and build his own team, now Nick says Pioli is doing too much here, right now. Does that make any sense? Nick moves on to having Raymond Clayborn wondering why his likeness isn’t hanging in the rafters of Gillette Stadium with other older players. He concludes by lauding Adrian Klemm for having “great insight” in his comments from earlier this week where he groused about the way the Patriots don’t reveal injury information.
All in all, it was just a Sunday’s work. From these pieces in the Globe, you would get the distinct impression that the Patriots franchise is the same as it was in the early 1990’s and early 1980’s, not the two-time defending Super Bowl Champions and the model franchise of the NFL.
OK…elsewhere on the Patriots…Mike Reiss talks to Tom Brady about the upcoming season. Brady feels this could be his “toughest” yet, with his new responsibilities, but is looking forward to the challenge. Alan Greenberg has an interesting piece on David Terrell who has chosen Deion Branch as his role model here with the Patriots and hopes to copy the Super Bowl MVP in work ethic and production. Eric McHugh has a very enjoyable article on Branch, who is not letting success get to his head, and is getting ribbing from his teammates about his role in an upcoming ‘Get Motivated’ self-empowerment seminar being held at the FleetCenter on June 28. Michael Felger’s Sunday notes says that the Patriots won’t budge on the Seymour situation and provides an update on Ty Law, as well as who the loudest coach on the offensive side of the ball over the weekend was. Tom E Curran says that the Patriots should pay Richard Seymour and Rodney Harrison because those two deserve it. This after Curran reported yesterday about Harrison being unhappy with his own contract. Felger had also reported it, but somehow the tone was different in the two pieces. Jim Donaldson says Seymour should fulfill the contract that he signed, because even had he been a bust or injured, he would have been paid his bonus. If he wants to make more money, he should make up for it in his next contract.
Kelsie Smith has a piece in the Globe about Chad Brown and his adjustment to the Patriots and to the Belichick defensive system. Felger also has a sidebar item on Brown. Jerome Solomon wrote yesterday that the secondary should be a place to watch for competition in training camp. Felger’s notebook has Rosevelt Colvin finally feeling at 100% nearly two years after breaking his hip. Solomon’s notebook and McHugh’s notebook each preview tonight’s Super Bowl ring presentation ceremony to be held at owner Bob Kraft’s home.
Baseball…the Red Sox continue to struggle. We won’t spend too much time on them. Tony Massarotti says that Theo Epstein is prepared to make changes to this club in order to turn things around. Gordon Edes has a piece on Manny Ramirez and if his last at-bat yesterday was the start of a turnaround. Edes also has his Baseball Sunday Notes. Massarotti’s Covering all the Bases looks at the success of the Nationals in Washington DC.
Shira Springer has a brief note in the Globe which says that if traded, Paul Pierce would not report to Portland. However, she also has the following line about the Van Exel contract.
The attractive part of the proposal for a team acquiring Van Exel is that it would have a team option for next season and could save money by declining it.
Mark Murphy’s NBA notes looks at the impending lockout, and David Stern’s willingness to submit to that even though the Players Association has offered to play another year under the current deal. Peter May plays the annoying “what if” game with players that the Celtics let get away, for some reason he includes Tim Duncan on the list. He also comments on the Portland deal asking:
Portland also doesn't want to add Pierce's sizable salary to an already bloated payroll, and why would the Blazers pass on a possible star at No. 3 and surrender a valued asset in the nonguaranteed contract of Van Exel?
Bill Griffith’s media notes looks at the low appeal of the NBA Finals and previews the Sunday night sports shows.
You can check out the headlines in the New York Sunday papers over at the NY Sports Headlines page.