NFL News & Notes 8/27/12
Hernandez In, Welker Out For Pats
The New England Patriots will now have its two top pass catching weapons locked up to long-term deals. Multiple outlets are reporting that New England has agreed to re-sign TE Aaron Hernandez to a contract through the 2018 season. Rob Gronkowski was locked up earlier this year and Tom Brady will likely have that pair of pass catching options for the remainder of his Hall Of Fame career.
This move, however, does not come without consequence. As Albert Breer of the NFL Network points out, Hernandez’s likely lucrative deal does not leave much money for Wes Welker, who will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, and could spell the end for Welker in New England. Hernandez and Welker have the same representation and it looks like Welker could very well be the prize of the free agent class next March.
Wilson Beats Out Flynn For Seahawks Job
Rookie Russell Wilson was seriously considering a career in baseball with the Rockies. Instead, the man panned as too small to be successful at the pro level beat out big time free agent signing Matt Flynn to win the Seattle Seahawks QB job. Seattle coach Pete Carroll was extremely impressed with his poise and ability to shake off mistakes and will be at the helm when the Seahawks open the regular season at Arizona.
“Russell has taken full advantage of his opportunities and has done everything that we have asked for on the field and more than what you guys could know off the field in meeting rooms and with our players and how he’s represented. He’s earned this job,” Carroll said Sunday night. It also means another frustrating year for Flynn, who earned a $26 million payday in March after a record-setting week 17 for Green Bay. He will now stand on the sideline as an underrated rookie takes the reigns.
Jets Offense Faces Identity Crisis
For the third straight preseason game, the New York Jets failed to score a touchdown and a lot of that has to do with offensive continuity and identity. Are the Jets a pass first team? If so, they don’t have enough at the quarterback, wide receiver and tight end positions (not to mention the numerous injury concerns among pass catchers) or the requisite pass protection to succeed. If they’re a run-first team, Shonn Greene has not proven the ability to be an every down back in the league and they’d have to break out numerous Tim Tebow wildcat packages, which could create a discord among big names like Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes. So Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Tony Sparano have a lot of work to do for the Jets to emerge as a competitive team.
On The Vontae Davis Trade
Indianapolis hinted at a big trade over the last few days and delivered when they acquired CB Vontae Davis from Miami for a 2013 second round pick and an additional conditional selection. But for a rebuilding team like the Colts, it was a questionable decision to deal such a high pick for a player who had lost his starting spot with the Dolphins. Granted Indianapolis was woefully thin at an important position, but the price seemed to steep for a developing franchise. The Colts argued that Davis would be higher than a second round pick next year, but who knows whether that will be a need after free agency next season. Seems like a curious decision for the Colts and a jackpot move for Miami.
-Pittsburgh’s offensive line will again be a weak point this season after first round pick David DeCastro’s knee injury will sideline him three to five months. This puts more pressure on Ben Roethlisberger, but also for the team to reach an agreement with WR Mike Wallace.
-The AFC East is 1-11 so far in the preseason, but expect Buffalo to be a surprise this season. They acquired Tarvaris Jackson from Seattle on Sunday, and having Jackson, Vince Young and Brad Smith should make their Wildcat packages quite interesting.
-Terrell Owens could not make it over Braylon Edwards it Seattle and needs to call it quits while he has some of his dignity left. Unfortunately, it seems like he’ll be remembered for his off the field antics rather than his Hall Of Fame level play on the field.