Some people will never learn.

Granted, after the Patriots won the Super Bowl (which they indeed DID do, by the way) I did not foresee the parting of ways with Vince Wilfork, Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis as the first moves towards the team’s title defense.

But if there is one thing that we’ve learned in the last 15 years, it is that these guys generally know what they’re doing, right? I don’t think that’s a ‘fanboy’ take, it seems pretty rooted in line with facts.

Did they want to keep Revis? I’m sure they did. Would it have made sense to match what the Jets gave him? They would’ve had to have shaved off even more salary in order to do that, and still needed more to sign anyone else or their rookie class. Yet, you’ll see and hear various ignoramuses spouting that they ‘should’ve just paid the man!’

It doesn’t help that there are willfully ignorant sports radio hosts leading the charge on this, with their thinly veiled borderline anti-Semitic comments about the team owner. “They have a budget, Tony, and they stick to that budget…”  Others insist that the Patriots are still paying Revis $5 million this season to play for the Jets.

So what is the plan? I really have no idea. Are they going to start their title defense with Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan as their starting cornerbacks? I don’t think so, but who knows?

I do know that they valued Devin McCourty enough to make the huge financial commitment to. He, along with Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower are the key cogs to this defense and they are 28, 25 and 24 years old, respectively. They’re the current and future leaders of this group. Chandler Jones is 25 as well and Sealver Siliga is 24. All of those guys will have paydays coming up in the next few years.

It’s tough, but that’s how the salary cap works. Name me the last team to go “all in” on the first day of free agency and win the Super Bowl. It doesn’t work that way. Team that spend a lot in the first days of free agency are generally lousy teams who have a lot of cap space because they don’t have good enough players on their own team to pay.

The team will play a different style come fall. They’ll have to. I think they’ll figure something out. That’s not blind faith. That’s looking at an established track record and having confidence in the leadership that put it in place.

So the lunatic fringe of Patriots nation (h/t to Kerry Byrne) can howl and whine and moan, and the Jet fans can gloat over another offseason victory, but in the end, I’m pretty confident they’re all going to end up looking stupid.



By the way, how’s that tampering case coming, Roger?

Tampering accusations are going to be dismissed as “sour grapes” by many, but there seems to be a clear pattern here that led to Revis returning to the Jets.

First, Woody Johnson “accidentally” let slip that he’d really like to have Revis back with the Jets.

Since then there have been reports in the New York media that the Jets were working furiously to come up with a plan to sign Revis away from the Patriots should they decline his option. The NY Daily News has been leading the way on this, reporting that Johnson was having  intense internal discussions to bring back Revis.

How do reports of those discussions make it into the media? Someone leaked them. Tampering.

Even this from the other day – If money is equal, Darrelle Revis will choose Patriots: sources – seems like the media being used to drive up the Jets price, and then today the story was different – if the offers were similar, Revis would’ve still chosen the Jets because he loves New York. OK then.

I call shenanigans. I’m not the only one.

I’m not sure you could have a more textbook case of tampering than what went down here.

No big deal? You can say that Revis would’ve ended up with the Jets anyway, but that really is not the point.

What would the national reaction have been if the roles in this affair had been reversed?

I suspect Goodell will do nothing. He claims it’s his job to investigate when rules are broken, just as he claims he is available to the media every day.


128 thoughts on “Here We Go Again…

  1. Felger and Mazz already warned everyone that they will be doing a full day of “I’M ANGRY!!!!!” radio today if the Pats didn’t sign Revis. Beware!

      1. I’m ashamed to admit how long it took me to realize that Count Floyd was Floyd Robertson doing his ‘other’ job at the studio.

    1. Let’s be real here…even if they HAD signed him, they would have looked at the other offers and said the Patriots spent too much of their cap money on one guy.

      “They let Browner walk, Mike! Who is going to play opposite Revis? Butler? the guy made one play all season!”

      1. They already did it with McCourty! There’s no doubt they would have bashed the team for paying Revis too much if he signed here. Take what the Patriots have done, go in the opposite direction, and that is the take they are going to have. Especially when it comes to the Pat’s roster building philosophy.

    1. I actually came here to comment that I’m waiting for the “Patriots screwed up their chances of winning Super Bowls with Revis by winning Super Bowl with Revis” story.

      And of course, IT ALREADY HAPPENED.

      Never change, Boston sports media. Never change.

    2. This is similar to the “rally killer” logic that states when a batter comes to the plate with runners on he shouldn’t hit a home run because pitchers prefer working with empty bases. Hitting a home run prevents a bigger inning.

  2. RE: “…there are willfully ignorant sports radio hosts leading the charge on this, with their thinly veiled anti-Semitic comments about the team owner. ‘They have a budget, Tony, and they stick to that budget…’ ”

    FWIW, I’m pretty sure Felger is at least part Jewish (didn’t listen to him yesterday, but I’m assuming that’s who the comment above was directed at based on the quote that followed). I can’t stand Felger either, but let’s be careful before we just start throwing antisemitic accusations out there.

    1. Same thoughts.

      Felger isn’t dumb. Mazz isn’t dumb. We can criticize their approach all day but as the SaS/Chip Kelly stuff shows, you really need to be responsible when throwing anti-whatever/racist claims out there, despite some in the media who make their living doing so. I think they call him cheap because it’s sports talk fodder and they think he’s cheap. They’d do the same if he were Catholic or whatever. If anyone in the media ever took that approach, they’re not only done at that outfit but most likely should be preparing a new career.

      I find this falls under the same “I dislike the NBA” approach Felger takes. He dislikes the league because of how it’s run and the game itself. It has nothing to do with “racism”.

      I had a co-worker who hated the NFL and loved soccer. He grew up overseas and when he finally came back to live here, he never changed. Same rationale as to why he hated the NFL (and CFB).

  3. Shaughnessy and the Globe conveniently played both sides of the fence in a 12-hr stretch. Globe website had a column from him last night where Shaughnessy said the Patriots should step up and “pay the man” (his closing line) and citing examples in the past when others like Welker and Mankins were let go but that this time was different. Once Revis signed with the Jets, Shank called him greedy and said the Jets were throwing stupid money at him, yet also took his usual piss on the Pats fanbase by saying how they’ll still blindly follow the mantra of In Bill We Trust as they did when Welker and Mankins (using the exact same lines from the previous column) were let go.

  4. We’re going to find out that Revis simply wanted to go back to the Jets and it really wasn’t going to matter what the Pats did. Yet that’s not going to stop the OUTRAGE from Felger, Mazz, Merloni, Benz and Bertrand, who’s already turned into the 2-6 mouthpiece on the Zolak show that we expected him to. But that’s their game — project the roster on March 11th!

  5. I’m sorry, the use of the word “budget” is thinly-veiled anti-Semitism?! That statement is beyond asinine. It’s irresponsible. Mike Reiss has written it several times in his articles: The Patriots place a dollar amount on a player and they don’t budge far (if at all) from it. The quote you cite conveys the exact same sentiment. Nothing more. Get real, Bruce.

    1. Whether Felger himself is anti-Semitic or not is irrelevant, because what he’s saying is having that effect, whether he means it or not. There’s plenty of “cheap Jew!” tweets flying around right now, and Felger’s fanning the flames.

      As an aside, I don’t get anti-Semitism in this day and age. Unless you’re a radical Muslim, it seems like it belongs in another century.

      1. Wow. So, because there are some people making anti-Semitic remarks on twitter, NO ONE can state THE FACT that the Patriots work within a budget. And if someone does, then they are fanning the flames of anti-Semitism. What a mind numbing notion.

        1. You’re leaving tone out of the equation. I’m not listening to Felger, but I can hear the sarcasm in his voice perfectly in Bruce’s use of italics.

          1. Yes, he’s being sarcastic! That doesn’t make it anti-Semitic! He thinks the Patriots system of placing a dollar value on a player and not budging from it is nonsense! That’s it!

          2. He’s being sarcastic and stupid as well – Not budging works based on the past 15 years of results.

          3. You’re leaving common sense of your unnecessary political correctness. Felger’s father is Jewish. ‘Nuff said.

      2. I don’t get why a guy with a Jewish father would be an anti-Semite or fan the flames of anti-Semitism.

    2. Let’s make something clear here. There is no doubt there is a budget in place. It’s called the salary cap. But day after day, Felger knocks the Krafts for not spending hard cash or not spending to the cap, or leaving cap space open, or cutting a player for cap reasons or having a player redo their deal, and usually these comments are concluded with a sarcastic “they have a budget Tony.” Thus the italics.

      What Felger is doing is a million times different from what Reiss or anyone else is doing in their analysis. Felger is calling them cheap, day after day. While he’s not coming out and making the actual anti-Semitic comments, he’s pushing the lunatic fringe squarely in that direction.

      If you can’t see that, I’m not sure what you’re listening to.

      1. And even if Felger does push his agenda, you can’t get on him because of how lunatics react. That is so ridiculous. It isn’t his fault if people make remarks because he calls Kraft cheap.

        I do not believe for a second he wants people to make those remarks. He just has an agenda (which is totally off base) but not his fault what the lunatic fringe say.

        1. What Felger does is about a million times less inflammatory than what really disgusting people like beck and oreilly do, naming people and organizations as enemies. They consciously fan the flames of hysteria. Felger is trolling, obviously. And in any sport where there’s a salary cap, it’s pretty easy to find problems with how teams allocate their spending. The NFL cap seems to be complicated enough–there seem to be several different estimates of a team’s spending relative to it at any given point in time–that it opens up even more avenues for criticism. That is to say, so many more low-hanging fruit for folks like Felger to pick. But Felger’s liberal and I totally disagree that he’s trying in any way to draw on racism here.

      2. In the past, even when the Pats have re-signed their own players, people like Feger and Borges have basically criticized the players’ agents for letting the Pats lowball their client(s). Felger, in particular, used the term “convincing the players to take the cheese” to describe the Pats’ alleged lowballing of Hernandez and Gronkowski when each signed his extension a few years ago. To Felger, apparently, if you’re not overpaying a guy you’re not really paying hm at all. Is it anti-semitism? Probably not, but you’re right to point out that the constant “the Patriots are cheap” drumbeat from the media does have an effect on some of the lunatic fringe’rs out there.

      3. But they have a budget that goes beyond the NFL salary cap (which in and of itself is not a simple number, mind you). The Patriots have self-imposed caps based on position and talent (which is an oversimplification on my part). To some, these self-imposed caps are one reason for their sustained success over the past decade plus. To the likes of Felger, the self-imposed caps are malarkey (hence, cap is crap, all in, going for it, et al). Now, I, and most rational people, take Felger’s sarcastic tone as his disdain for the idea that the Patriots have a superior budgeting system which gives them a competitive advantage over the other 31 NFL teams. For you to make a connection to anti-Semitism is ridiculous. That’s a serious accusation you’ve leveled based on absolutely no evidence other than you reading into a sarcastic tone and the fact that Bob Kraft happens to be Jewish. If there’s some history of
        anti-Semitism with Felger, please enlighten us. And as for the fringe lunatics — they’d be making anti-Semitic remarks regardless of Felger’s innocuous comments. Indirectly blaming Felger for their actions is reckless on your part.

        1. Fact not Opinion: Felger has harped on two owners in Boston for being cheap for years. Jacobs and Kraft. Both of whom are Jewish. Felger is not stupid enough to say anything overtly anti-Semitic, but after YEARS of him consistently calling the only the Jewish owners cheap you have to wonder.

          1. Wondering, sure, but I brought up the “Felger isn’t dumb” point below.

            Don’t you think if there was anything remotely close to an anti-Semitic undertone, Jacobs and/or Kraft would be on the horn to Les Moonves? Kraft and him are friends, and I have to think someone in the Jacobs family could get his number within five minutes. They’d lay out a pretty clear “him or we’ll re-up radio rights with your competitor”, right? Felger would be gone within.. about.. 30 seconds, no?

            Again, I don’t think Felger is this dumb.

          2. No, because there is no proof, just smoke. And Les is a business man. You don’t fire the number one rated host in afternoon drive time without serious proof or he opens CBS radio up to a monster of a lawsuit. Which you don’t do because your friend wants him too.
            The overall point which I think is being lost here is that by fanning the fires which Felger has done, again for YEARS, it allows the fringe nuts to rant and rave.

          3. There’s no smoke or fire. Felger’s father is Jewish. Still think he’s fanning the flames, Trip? Or did you over think this whole matter in the name of unnecessary political correctness? Yeah, exactly.

          4. Prior to the salary cap era, Jeremy Jacobs was notorious for not spending as much on player salaries in comparison to the rest of the league. Felger is referring to those ownership years (’75 – ’05) when calling Jacobs cheap. That’s Felger’s opinion, but it’s not based in anti-Semitism. Calling Kraft cheap is based on Felger’s ignorance on the nuances of the NFL salary cap. Again, not anti-Semitic.

          5. I forgot about this. I’m not sure if Watney is Jewish, though. Does it matter? The incident reeks of anti-Semitism regardless.

          6. Not good. It’s amazing how that unfounded rumor continues to be the conventional wisdom to so many people. They basically assume that Heidi and Varitek were knocking boots just because some internet flamethrowers put it out there as an established fact. (“I saw the two of them snuggling together in a bar across the street from Camden Yards!” — that was one of my favorite examples of the “proof” people were bringing forth that the alleged relationship actually happened; the internet ravings of some jealous female Varitek stalker who claimed to be in Baltimore for a Red Sox series and “saw the whole thing.” — As if a married ballplayer would so egregiously and carelessly make public his alleged affair with the blonde bombshell sideline reporter by groping her in a bar frequented by Red Sox fans when they travel to Baltimore to see the team play on the road). This is off-topic, I know, but I always had a bit of sympathy for Heidi during her time here. Because of her looks, she was automatically assumed to have been engaged in all sorts of salacious behavior, and no amount of public denials (which she issued constantly, especially during her weekly radio appearances with K&M on WZLX) could change the “conventional wisdom” about her.

          7. Correct. See my comment above, if you can find it. Jacobs was one of the WORST owners in sports for the first 30 years he owned the team. This town is so hockey-mad that, unfortunately, Bruins fans kept going to the Garden (both old and new) in droves for 25 of those 30 years and so Jacobs never felt the need to change his philosophy. After the salary cap — and after a lot of the fans finally lost interest — he began to change. But Felger was correct about the first 30 years of the Jacobs ownerhip. It’s not being anti-semitic to point out what most Bruins fans would agree is a fact. The B’s tight-fisted ways basically resulted in their wasting the talents of two of the greatest players the NHL has ever seen (Bourque and Neely), because they refused to put enough talent around them.

          8. So was Bobby Fischer’s. It doesn’t change the tone of his comments or the fact that the only owners in town he seems to have a problem with are Jewish.

            A point was made here that he has been doing this for a while, I have noticed it myself so I agree with the overall point that while it m not be outright anti-Semitism it still smacks something that does not belong in today’s society.

            If you disagree good for, but it doesn’t make you right. This is an opinion and that’s all.

            Understand OLH?

          9. I understand that you’re comparing Felger saying the word “budget” in a sarcastic tone with Bobby Fischer denying the Holocaust, idolizing Hitler, and promoting the killing of Jews. That makes complete sense.

            The tone of his comment was sarcasm, not hate.

            You’ve never heard Felger criticize John Henry? Cause I have. So there goes your theory that he only has a problem with Jewish owners.

            It’s not outright anti-Semitic. It’s not anti-Semitic at all.

            I am right. And you are wrong. You’re not giving an opinion. You’re a making a very serious accusation and it is totally baseless. Accusing someone of making anti-Semitic statements cause . . . well, you think that deep down . . . underneath his words . . . there’s a tone to it . . . HE’S ONLY SAYING IT CAUSE THEY’RE JEWISH — I CAN FEEL IT IN MY BONES! That’s wrong. YOU are you WRONG, Trip. It’s an irresponsible and dangerous accusation. And you are digging yourself deeper with every comment that you make. You should be ashamed of yourself.

          10. “I am wright. And you are wrong.” How very 5th grade of you.

            Actually I was blowing up your argument that just because someone has Jewish roots doesn’t mean that they can’t say something considered insensitive to Jewish people.

            Thanks for telling me what I hear as tone BTW.

            If you don’t believe it good for you, I think it’s fair to wonder about someone who I think makes some questionable statements about people.

            And I am not making any accusations, merely stating some facts about his previous assertions.

            You are the one who has been embarrassing themselves on this board lately. Trying to shout down anyone who dares have a different opinion than you. Get over yourself and accept that others will differ with you. It should make your life easier.

          11. You tried to say there was no right or wrong because it was about opinions. You didn’t share an opinion. You accused Felger of anti-Semitism and that is wrong. And you know it.

            Your comparison to Bobby Fischer was asinine. And you know it.

            You’re not questioning Felger. You’re making a serious accusation against him. Your “facts” show not even a hint of anti-Semitism. I’ve refuted them all. Your accusation is based on a feeling with no facts to back it up. That’s wrong of you to do.

            When I see someone make an unfounded accusation like you’ve made, I’m going to challenge him on it. Every time. You’re trying to wriggle your way out of this by making personal attacks on me. That’s not going to change the fact that the accusation you’ve leveled against Felger is baseless and WRONG.

          12. Do you even know what an opinion is, because I’m beginning to think you don’t. I have NEVER said that he makes anti-Semitic statements. I said he calls the Jewish owners in this town cheap. Which he does. I am then allowed to make my own judgments about those facts.

            The comparison was not asinine, you’re just mad I made the point.

            There are no serious accusations being made here. We share opinions here. Opinions. Again I’m not sure you understand the difference.

            You haven’t refuted crap, you’re giving your opinion. And I’m not wiggling my way out or around anything, I just refuse to be pushed around by you and you don’t like it.

            I only went on the attack after you fired the first shot at me. That’s the way I argue, I stay on point. Unlike you who consistently makes things personal here.

          13. And your judgement of the fact that he calls owners who happen to be Jewish cheap is that he does it out of anti-Semitism. A serious accusation. And wrong.

            Comparing Felger to Bobby Fischer was asinine. You know it.

            Your opinion is that Felger makes anti-Semitic comments. That’s a serious accusation. And wrong.

            I’ve explained to you why your accusations of anti-Semitism against Felger are wrong. I refuted your statement that he only criticizes Jewish owners.

            I’m not pushing you around. I’m taking on your baseless accusations of anti-Semitism head on. You’re attempting to wriggle out of it by making personal attacks against me, ignoring the facts that refute your accusations, and, essentially, refusing to admit your accusation was wrong.

            I don’t take anything you’ve said personally. I take false accusations of bigtory, such as yours, very seriously. You are wrong and I’m making a point of refuting it.

      4. I’m not sure about the ears you’re listening with, Bruce. There are lots of Jewish owners in many sports who overpay. Dan Snyder and Mark Cuban come to mind. And more than once I’ve heard Felger rip Snyder for spending stupidly (not often since the Skins, aside from their team name, aren’t much of a concern up here).

      5. The guy with the Jewish father is pushing the lunatic fringe squarely in the direction of anti-Semitic thinking? Might want to think about issuing a retraction and apology, Bruce.

    3. Sometimes, I wonder if the team’s “value” approach is just misunderstood in general. People just buy whatever, even if they lack the cash, because there’s credit there. The Patriots, even with the money machine the NFL is, have to operate within a budget, due to the salary cap. I know this is for a different discussion, but it just makes me wonder.

      1. It’s absolutely misunderstood. The only thing I understand about it is that it’s way more complicated than just adding dollar values together.

      2. Not sure about that, bsmfan. For one, the Patriots aren’t the Krafts’ only business concern. I do think it’s foolish to think that all of them operate completely independently of each other, particularly when many of the same people (i.e. Jonathan) are involved in more than one team. People don’t get rich by throwing their money around blindly. Many teams have spent themselves into corners–the Niners, Cowboys and Redskins come to mind–even if that’s primarily due to salary cap rules. I don’t doubt Mark Cuban’s statement–paying richly for talent is worth it because the returns justify the investment–but then, he did squeeze his own Mavericks with untradeable players for quite a while there in the early-to-mid 2000’s.

        The Krafts and Belichick have their approach–they might not always be in agreement, but in the main, I think they are–and that boils down to not overpaying for athletes. Sometimes, like now, they have to let a really good player go. It really stings as a fan to watch that happen, and it’s hard to imagine the Patriots’ defense will be close to that good next year, but I do think they’re being true to their principle of keeping the team as competitive as possible for as long as they can. Cold comfort when a player of his stature leaves, though.

  6. My Favorite is how the media has made up this 5 million dollar difference in the contract he signed for the one the pats offered to fit their agenda of the Pats being cheap. It is really a 2 year 39 million dollar contract or 3 year 48. The 3 year 39 isn’t real, since he is due a roster bonus on the first day of the league year and another 4 million out of the remaining 13 is guaranteed. Obviously they have two options at the end of year 2 cut him and pay 6 million for him not to play on the Jets or keep him and pay 3 years with 48 guaranteed since he will be on the roster. But what WILL HAPPEN. Revis will hold out after the second year for even more money, since he is owed the roster bonus and 4 million of his remaining 13 for just being on the roster and take the Jets to the woodshed again.

    So Felger and Mazz will sit and say they lost him over 5 million and the Pats should pony up and are cheap and BB is arrogant and doesn’t want to win with stars and force their agenda on this signing but in reality it is really a 13 million in guaranteed money difference which gives Revis all the power in the world to hold out and take the Jets to the woodshed again after two years.

  7. I read the phrase, “there are willfully ignorant sports radio hosts,” and quickly concluded that all of them will waddle over to this page and see themselves described thusly. And therein lies the true value of this web site.

  8. So you think Bill Belichick has total autonomy? That he can spend what he likes on whomever he likes without clearing any of it with the Krafts . . . the owners of the team . . . whose money Belichick is free to spend willy-nilly? I don’t think Bob Kraft became a billionaire running his businesses in that fashion. Why do you think Jonathan Kraft was the one who said that the $20m option on Revis was a placeholder? Did you think that that was the owner’s rich-kid son talking out of his ass about stuff he doesn’t know anything about? The Krafts are very much not involved in the X’s and O’s of the team, but they are extremely involved in the business of the team. And player contracts are a big part of the business. The Krafts have a business model. I have no doubt it was influenced by Bill Belichick’s philosophies on how to win, but it is the Kraft’s model. And that business model has a budget. And Bill Belichick explains why he wants or doesn’t want to sign a high priced player. And the Krafts put their stamp on the decisions. This process has been written and talked about by the likes of Mike Reiss, Tom E. Curran, and Michael Holley. And for anyone to allude to the fact that the Krafts run their billion dollar business themselves isn’t anti-Semitism. That’s a foolish argument.

  9. You have no idea what you’re talking about. The Patriots have self-imposed caps based on position and talent. Do some research. It’s a business model. The Krafts are running the business. As I said, I don’t doubt that Bill Belichick had a hand in in the development. But the model will continue once he is gone.

    1. Felger calls them cheap over the NFL salary cap, he has never made the distinction between NFL or self-imposed.

      1. Felger’s father is Jewish and his mother is Catholic, I think he is more of a jerk than an anti-semite

      2. Yes, I know. He is insanely ignorant of how the NFL salary cap works. That’s the point. That’s why he’s sarcastic about the “budget” and calls the Krafts cheap. He thinks the salary cap is simple. He refers to it as crap. He thinks it’s easy to get out from under a bad contract with no repercussions. He is very wrong. But because he doesn’t understand the nuances of the cap, he views the Patriots unwillingness to hand out ridiculous contracts as the team being cheap. The leap that you and many others are making to anti-Semitism is unfounded.

        1. Felger’s a smart guy, I think he understands how the salary cap works just fine, he just lies about it/dumbs down his argument to an extreme level. His argument used to be that the cap is going up by a lot of money every year, and teams can sign backloaded contracts which don’t mean as much in those later years because the cap keeps going up by a lot (especially because the contracts aren’t fully guaranteed). That used to be his argument. And he explained it just fine.

          Felger eventually dumbed this down big time to simply saying that the cap was meaningless. Incidentally when he was doing this was right around when the cap stopped going up (and even went down one year I think). Granted, the last year or two things have been righted and the cap is going up by decent amounts again.

          Now his argument has devolved to the absolute bottom. Today he makes statement like “the team can make the cap number any number they want” which is a blatant lie. His argument is that the cap dollars are meaningless, its the real dollars, and that Kraft is cheap because he has a non-cap budget that he has set. He also blatantly ignores the numerous examples of other teams making bad cap decisions and suffering worse records as a result, or cutting good players for cap reasons. He does this to troll people, to rile people up, and to bring more attention upon himself. And because he has dug himself so deeply on this subject that he can never go back on it. He doesn’t do it out of ignorance of how the cap works.

          Mazz on the other hand? He probably is ignorant of how the cap actually works.

          1. You might be about him feigning ignorance on the cap. But it’s not about anti-Semitism.

          2. Have never been in disagreement with you about that one. Felger is a very liberal individual who loves to bash the rich. And calling sports team owners cheap goes with the territory when you are a media member. Has absolutely nothing to do with Kraft being jewish.

          3. The hypocrisy of a guy with a 2nd home on Nantucket calling out the uber rich is a treat.

    2. I don’t agree with Bruce about Felger’s take, but what you say about the Kraft’s business plan and self-imposed caps based on position cannot be proven until after BB is retired. I have always assumed that it was BB’s plan, you might be right that it will continue post-BB, but that remains to be seen.

      1. Tom E. Curran, Mike Reiss, and Michael Holley have all written/talked about the approach.

        1. Can you point to specific articles that quote either of the two most prominent Kraft’s talking about it being their approach, above and beyond BB? I can’t remember anything so conclusive to that point.

          1. Off the top of my head, no. But I can point to Jonathan Kraft making the placeholder comment regarding Revis. Does that not indicate that he is involved in player contracts?

          2. Perhaps, but not necessarily. I mean, he could’ve just been echoing the party line, so to speak, as written by BB. Again, I’m not saying that you’re view of things is not correct, I’m saying that we simply don’t know and probably won’t until after BB is retired. Maybe BB crafted the strategy and the Kraft’s bought into it? Maybe the Kraft’s crafted the strategy and BB bought into it? Maybe all of them crafted it and bought into it together? How can any one scenario be proved by those of us on the outside looking in?


            That’s a link to a transcript of Bob Kraft talking to the media. Lots in there indicates his involvement. This quote in particular:

            Q: Was Albert Haynesworth a difficult guy to sign off on?

            Robert Kraft:
            I met with him. And you know, I’ve learned in life and in business that
            people sometimes have different agendas. I met with him and I like the
            guy, so I take people as – he didn’t come here for the money; he came
            here to be part of a team and win and I think in some ways, improve his
            reputation. Like a lot of meetings I have with these guys, I found him
            to be genuine and sincere so now I hope he gets out on the field and
            does his thing.

          4. That’s nice, but I haven’t cast attempted to cast doubt on Bob or Jonathan’s involvement.

            Repeating for the third time, the mysteries are twofold: Who crafted the plan and will it continue after BB is retired?

          5. No spit. But the Krafts are Belichick’s boss. Not the other way around. BB wants to bring in Haynesworth. Kraft says, let me meet with him and I’ll let you know if I’m willing to do that. Again, for the umpteenth time, the Krafts are not just signing checks at Bill’s request. Don’t need Belichick to retire in order for that to be revealed.

  10. Bottom line to me is that it’s fair to criticize not signing Revis. He was the clear difference maker last year and the team will likely take a step back without him. I knew it was possible, and i know the cap situation, but it’s disappointing nonetheless.

  11. Am I mistaken in that Felger is half Jewish? Pretty sure he said so on the air. I don’t think he cares at all whether an owner is Jewish. He just hates billionaires. Just like Borges. They never side with the coach or owner. They side with the “working man.” Today on the air it was all about having control of the roster. Damn right! Would these guys have a job if the pats were run like the Jets or Redskins? I, for one, don’t want a two decade drought between playoff appearances. Revis . . . Enjoy watching the playoffs in January.

  12. Borderline anti-Semitic? For cripes’ sake, Bruce. The criticism of the Patriots’ budget has a little more to do with their being businessmen than their ethnicity. Mark Cuban is Jewish. Are the criticisms of his wild-spending ways anti-Semitic too? You can criticize Felger for trolling, and not representing players or contract negotiations fairly, but the charge of anti-Jewishness (to be more proper about it) strikes me as entirely foolish.


    That’s a link to an article in which Felger mentions that his father is Jewish. Care to retract your baseless accusation of borderline anti-Semitism now, Bruce? You should. It was absurd and completely out of line to begin with. You’ll probably just dig yourself deeper, though. You’re handling this situation as badly or worse than certain members of the Boston sports media that you keep a watch on.

  14. Felger’s attacks on Kraft have nothing to do with him being jewish, its all about Felgers “the owners are cheap” mentality, which goes back many years to when he was a beat writer on the Bruins. Felger is a very liberal individual who loves to attack the rich. Anyone who listens to his program regularly knows that he doesn’t direct this solely at Kraft, but rather is bashing all the NFL owners non-stop. He is also an extreme contrarian, especially when it comes to the Patriots. Felger knows how the salary cap works. He knows it makes a different. But he lies about this “cap is crap” nonsense to rile people up and create more interest in himself. He has also dug himself so deep with this “cap is crap” thing that there is no going back on it. Felger’s attitude towards the cap actually got worse and worse over the years when the cap went down. He used to present his “take” on the cap in a much more reasonable, logical, and truthful manner. He stopped doing that several years ago though.

    I will not deny that Felger’s ultra negative attitude towards the Patriots and his constant bashing of the Patriots as a cheap organization may at times help the lunatic fringe who actually are anti-semetic go even further over the top. There is no denying that Felger has poisoned the mentality of many when it comes to the Patriots. We can all probably think of people in our real lives who have regurgitated Felger’s talking points. I do not think it his intention at all for people to bash Kraft on those terms though. Yes, he wants people bashing Kraft as much as possible, but not because Kraft is jewish.

  15. Bruce et al…

    Oy Vey, I think the Felgers comments are not veiled anti-semitism or fanning anti-semitism. I do think they play on a stereotype and being Jewish, I think Felger thinks he can make that type of comment about Kraft because he can’t be anti-semitic (similar to an African American dropping the N word on a fellow African American). To me, a Jewish person, I don’t think of Felger as one of the ones who make veiled anti-semitic comments about the Krafts and the Pats. I think that has always been more of a Globe thing. I do think Felger’s comments are being misunderstood…but that is par for the course.

    So I am about to cause a ton of problems for myself. I think Tony Mazz worked out what happened and has the best handle on the motivations of the parties involved. To refresh, his theory by 4:30 this afternoon was that the Pats refused to guarantee the $35 mill completely (they only wanted to guarantee for injury) because they wanted control. Feller was arguing this was a case where the Pats did not want to put the $23 mill in escrow, but Mazz correctly deduced that the Pats would have no problem borrowing the $23 mill at very favorable rates because of the current market and because they own an NFL team. So if Felger was wrong then why not guarantee the $35 mill. It came down to control. The Pats want leverage over their players so that they can get more out of them. Had they guaranteed the full $35 mill then the player (Revis) would have the control at least for the next 3 years. That goes against everything the Patriots have done these past 15 years. So whether it was Kraft, Belichick, Casserio or some combination that made the decision not to extend for Revis, all they were doing is staying consistent with the organizational philosophy.

    I don’t think the media in town has covered themselves in glory covering this story. In the end the Patriots made a value judgment weighing how much money Revis would cost/tie up/count against the cap versus the flexibility they want/need to make sure Bill Belichick can control his team. I also do not think the motivation to go back to NY is given proper due either. I have never been convinced that Revis wanted to stay in NE. My calculus had been based on him wanting to reunite with Rex ryan. It turns out I was wrong there…he wanted to be in NYC.

    Lastly, If you want to pillar the Pats…look at the lack of a plan B. This is the First time I ever remember that happening.

    1. I think you’re far too kind in labeling the accusations as a misunderstanding. I think they’re completely unwarranted and an ugly twisting of Felger’s words. I’d say by now Bruce, at the very least, regrets the comment. But seeing as he holds the Boston sports media member’s feet to the fire on this site, I hope he shows a little humility and keeps himself personally accountable in this instance. I expect he will in a post tomorrow.

      1. So I have accused more than one member of the Boston Sports Media establishment of being anti semitic. I don’t think Bruce is wrong in suggesting that there is an undercurrent of antisemitism in the coverage the Patriots receive. Kraft is called cheap when his GM makes a sound football decision. On the other hand I have never heard Wic and Co called cheap. I seldom hear John Henry called cheap. Jeremy Jacobs…constantly…Bob Kraft even in the face of evidence that the Pats always spend right up to the cap is called cheap. It perpetuates a stereotype. The issue is whether Felger, who was raised in a Jewish home (although he has the worst yiddish accent ever), is being anti semitic giving those inclined to perpetuate the stereotype the opportunity to do so with impunity. Bruce claimed he was. When I look at it that way I understand where he is coming from. I just don’t think Felger was purposely being anti-semitic. Others making these comments well…I will just stay quiet.

      2. Your insistence that Felger being part Jewish means he wouldn’t say anything remotely anti-Semitic doesn’t square with the impression that Felger gives of someone who’ll say anything for ratings.

        The guy spouts an astounding amount of bullcrap, but it gets people talking and listening. Why should this be any different?

        And as noted before, he’s not being blatant about this. HE’s not the guy saying “cheap Jew,” it’s the listeners! He’s completely innocent! If the listeners want to make that connection, Tony, it’s on THEM!

        1. You’re right. Despite the fact that Felger is politically liberal and his father is Jewish, he’s not beyond making veiled borderline anti-Semitic comments in order to garner ratings from the lunatic fringe. Makes perfect sense. And even if that’s not the case, he’s responsible for the lunatic fringe and everything they say and do as a result. Anything said, no matter the intention, that spurs on lunatic fringe activity should be banned.

        2. “If the listeners want to make that connection, Tony, it’s on THEM!”

          Oh geez…how many times have we heard some variation of that sentence come out of Felger’s mouth? Too many…

  16. “Name me the last team to go “all in” on the first day of free agency and win the Super Bowl.”

    The Bron…whoops, no the Pats kicked their a$$es last season after they went all in on the first day of free agency and were declared by Felger, Mazz, Adam Jones, Tanguay, Kaufman, Muttnansky, Merloni, Benz, etc. to be the Free Agent Super Bowl Champions.

    1. Felger insists the 2012 Ravens did that, but I’ve dispelled that notion in the past. They added Boldin to their receiving corps, but that’s it. They basically brought back their 2011 team, which fell one near-TD pass (Lee Evans) short of going to the Super Bowl, and added a quality receiver. It wasn’t exactly “loading up,” but when Flacco got insanely hot in the post-season and the Ravens ended up winning it all, Felger retroactively branded it as “loading up for one shot at winning the Super Bowl.” As you noted, however, Denver’s experience last year is the more typical result.

      1. The owner of the Ravens is Catholic. The owner of the Broncos is Catholic. Felger praises those teams. He criticizes the Patriots. I thought he was just riling up the fans by siding with the rivals and crapping on the local team in order to get ratings. I see now that he’s just an anti-Semite. It’s so obvious.

      2. And that entire season Felger was killing Flacco, treating him as no different than say a Mark Sanchez. The funny thing is that’s the main reason they won the Super Bowl, not any “loading up”.

  17. I’ve accused Felger of being many things but anti-semitic is not one of them. I think what gets Felger in trouble at certain times is that for someone who talks for a living he is actually a poor communicator. He butchers the the english language at every turn and his tone is very negative even when what he’s saying isn’t. So many things he’s says on the radio can be interpreted differently by different listeners. My major critique is that he is a disingenuous crap stirrer.

  18. I don’t agree that Felger is purposely fanning the anti-semitic flames but do agree about who actually makes the budget.. If Felger wants to blame anyone he should just blame Bill. I’ve heard for years from insiders who really know that it’s Belichick and not Kraft who is into the “value” system. Remember all the huge big contracts the Patriots doled out for years before BB took over? Many guys got paid big. Especially under the Pete Carroll years.

    1. And Bob Kraft has stated that he made contract mistakes in the Parcells and Carroll years.

  19. Random thought going forward with our little tempest in a teapot: What
    conceivably will be any backlash on this debate regarding
    hidden motives and agendas expressed in code? Will the self-appointed main stream react at all and pick up
    the “narrative,” giving it legs, or are we just milling about here in isolation, cackling to ourselves like keyboard-ridden Ben Gunns castaway on Treasure (Allen) Island?

      1. Value, cheap, and budget. Yes, I’ve heard Felger use these words several times. What a bigoted piece of garbage he is.

  20. More evidence of his anti-Semitic ways. Good call. How does this guy still have a job?!

    1. As a long-time Bruins fan, I can confirm that any criticisms of Jacobs being cheap prior to the advent of the salary cap were 100% fair and fact-based. I’m not at all a Felger fan, but I’m not going to criticize him for calling out a guy who was one of the 5 or 10 worst owners in sports for the first 30 years he owned the local NHL franchise. The last 10 years, operating under the salary cap, have redeemed him somewhat (but it still pains me a bit to realize that he never saw fit to give great players like Bourque and Neely more help when they were in their primes and among the best players in NHL history at their respective positions).

      1. Jacobs is Jewish and referring to a Jewish person as cheap is anti-Semitic. Period. Doesn’t matter what the situation is. There is a lunatic fringe that will feel empowered by the words of sports radio talk show host. With great power comes great responsibility. If guys like Felger didn’t exist, then anti-Semitism would disappear. Any lawyers on here? I’m wondering if hate crime charges could be brought up on Felger.

        1. Context does matter. I am jewish. If I call Kraft cheap it has a different meaning than if Dan Shaughnessy does. I do so without malice, but with worry. If he does it it is with malice and without worry. I think your position is too simplistic and eliminates nuance. To me this is akin to an African -American dropping the N word on his friend versus me doing it.

  21. Totally logical. He must be an anti-Semite if he’s never said anything overtly anti-Semitic. It’s what he’s NOT saying. Hiding in plain sight. I get how it works now. How foolish of me.

      1. He’s become really invaluable to Pats fans. I started especially liking his work around the beginning of the Hernandez trial, when he spent a lot of time going through the legal and practical aspects to the case. And now more than ever for his steady and patient debunking of a lot of contract and negotiation nonsense. Between that piece and Revis’ own interview where he gave his reasons for going back to the Jets–I mean, other than that they offered him more money–I felt pretty much at peace with things. It was pretty clear that, unless the Patriots really got silly with money, there was no way he was staying. New England’s secondary next year still won’t be pretty, but I won’t be angry about it. It’ll actually be kind of fun to listen to all the on-air bitching.

      2. He’s too logical, rational and fact-based for ESPN. But I can see him going to the NFLN some day. Some of their on-air analysts are imbeciles (mostly the ex-players with certain axes to grind), but I’ll take their NFL coverage over ESPN’s any day of the year.

    1. If the Patriots knew that Revis was gone no matter what they offered (and they probably would have realized this during the negotiating period before they had to cut him), then letting Browner go when they did makes much more sense to me now. Browner’s physicality doesn’t work if he is your top corner. In fact, I think its downside (i.e. PI and holding penalties), gets magnified if he’s in that role. And even as a number two guy, Browner’s effectiveness is directly correlated with the ability of the number one corner. I think more so than most number twos. If the number one needs safety help more often, then Browner gets help less often, and his tendency to get penalized goes up. If Revis is there, then Browner can be physical at the line and let the safeties help beyond that. So his value to the Patriots went way down once they knew Revis was gone, so the let him go immediately.

      1. I think that’s the case, really. They probably felt that Revis was a goner and realized that Browner’s effectiveness would be significantly diminished without Revis on the other side. So, they decided to “reboot” the secondary with McCourty as the foundational block around which to build. We’ll see how it plays out. I’m not as pessimistic as some people, because who would have believed that midway through the 2012 season, with the D getting torched every week, that BB would be able to pull that Talib deal out of his butt? (For a 4th round draft pick!). There will always be opportunities to make deals like that during the regular season because once certain teams fall out of the playoff hunt, trading away assets to acquire draft picks becomes a more reasonable scenario.

      2. You’re correct, but (probably) for a different reason. I think it’s because they determined that if Revis left, they’d change the secondary scheme back to the cover-2 zone (or whatever they called it — it’s the short/midrange CB zone with help over the top from two backfield safeties) they used to use — which Browner is totally unsuited for.

    2. It is obvious what the message Gilbert is trying to send to the rest of the NFL players is.

      ” ‘Just think what’s going to happen if you can do for the rest of the players what you did for me,’ Revis said.”

      Gilbert, as you read in that article, is the guy who is running for DeMaurice Smith’s job (along with 7 others) and also said the new CBA transferred 2.5 billion dollars from the players pocket to the owners pockets and sent a fake 2.5 billion dollar check to every NFL player. If he wins the election I believe all hell will break loose between the players and owners. Gilbert claims he does not want the players to strike but wants to throw out the new CBA and redo the deal.

      For the past year or so Cole has been Gilbert’s mouthpiece and if he wins the NFLPA election Cole will be to Gilbert what Peter King is to Roger Goodell so I believe what is written is what happened according to Sean Gilbert’s agenda.

  22. Calling Bob Kraft cheap is one of Felger’s stranger positions. When Kraft bought the Patriots in 1994, he paid a record amount for an American sports franchise. And the franchise he bought had the worst stadium in the league and was the worst team in the league from 1990-93. Then a few years later he built a new stadium with only a small amount of public money, probably lower than any other NFL stadium. Kraft was also aggressive in spending on players back in the 90s. What changed the Patriots approach was the arrival of Belichick. Rather than being cheap, Kraft is a great example of Jewish business ability. He has completely transformed a franchise that had struggled for decades under bumbling Gentile ownership.

  23. Felger cracking me up today…

    He says that because the Jets had as much cap space as they did, then Revis’ contract cannot be possibly hurt them. But don’t they have that space because they don’t have any good players? So if they spend all of their money on 3-4 players, then they have 3-4 good players and over the next two-three years, they win what, a total of 25 games? And this is the radio host that kills the Patriots during seasons in which they ONLY win the AFC championship…

    If a non-radio host, non columnist troll takes Felger seriously and parrots his nonsense, a simple heuristic is to assume right off the bat that the person is a moron.

  24. You coulda been a contend…Nah…this sums it

    Treat a Bitch good, some her a good time, show her how greatness feels .
    And she still going to leave you for some fu**ing hoodrat cuz $$$

    h/t dopamine

  25. The thing with any given issue is that it’s very rarely as obvious as, say, Jimmy the Greek busting out with something societally inappropriate. Usually it’s an agglomeration of small things that, by themselves, are really not a big deal. But they accumulate, and contribute to the background picture.

    It’s like the 5,001st time an African American player is framed as more instinctively good, versus a Caucasian player relying on toughness and working harder. No one’s being intentionally or maliciously racist. It just piles up.

    So the narrative that Bob Kraft and Jerry Jacobs are cheap can be/could be quite innocent, /and also/, as more and more of it gets piled on, anti-Semitic. The kind of anti-Semitic that’s just background noise and most people don’t even notice.

    (I hear/read the cheap stuff more about Belichick than Kraft, and I think Felger does target Belichick more than Kraft, but a) I’m not as sensitized to the anti-Semitic narrative, and b) I don’t listen to local sports radio anymore, so I don’t really know.)

  26. I truly have to thank Bruce for sludging thru the cesspool of so called informed Boston media. Listening and reading what has been said the past few days would make me bang my head against a wall.
    Results matter. After 2/7/2016 is when they can whine.

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