UPDATE: According to Erika Leigh, the New England Patriots are finalizing a deal with John Abraham.
According to a tweet by Albert Beer of the NFL Network, former Atlanta Falcons’ defensive lineman John Abraham will be visiting the New England Patriots on Friday.
Abraham was the 2nd ranked defensive end on our free agent rankings list, and would add some nice veteran depth to the Patriots’ pass rush.
In 16 games with the Falcons in 2012, the former Pro Bowler had 35 tackles, 6 forced fumbles and 10.0 sacks.
Josh Cribbs is deciding between two teams and neither of them are the Browns. The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot reports the ace kick returner has narrowed his choices down to the Patriots and Cardinals, according to her source.
The Pats are looking to replace Julian Edelman and Josh Demps while the Cardinals probably don’t want Patrick Peterson putting his body on the line returning kicks while honing his cornerback skills.
Cribbs amassed 1,178 yards on kick returns, including three 40+ runs. He ran for 457 yards on punt returns, extending seven of them beyond 20 yards.
It’s looking like the New England Patriots and Wes Welker will not be able to get a deal done.
Talks between Wes Welker and Patriots management are over at this point, and the WR is going to explore free agency, according to a tweet from NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.
The Boston Globe’s Karen Guregian reports the latest development in the Welker saga isn’t encouraging, stating Patriots may now have to consider the possibility of the 31-year-old signing elsewhere.
A backup option for New England could be Rams WR Danny Amendola. Baltimore and Tennesse are rumored to be interested in the injury prone Texas Tech alum.
The New England Patriots are interested in free agent Wide Reciever Mike Wallace, according to the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero.
New England joins Minnesota and Tennessee in the hunt for Wallace, who is the top wideout available in this year’s free agent class. The Patriots lack a vertical threat in their offense. Paired with elite Tight End’s Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and possibly Wes Welker in the slot, Wallace could be a game breaking addition for Tom Brady and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
Last season ’60 minutes’ started 14 games for the Steelers, catching 64 passes for 836 yards and eight touchdowns.
There’s no football for seven months. You’re mad, lost, and scared. You assume that NFL players do things to prepare for the season. Things like run, lift weights, and eat apples. Like your kindergarten scrapbook that’s filled with sand and stick men, our Offseason Scrapbook will track the travels of NFL players through their social media rantings during this time of freedom.
And so it returns. As those weird slanted words just told you, sporadically throughout the offseason when I
feed you Friday afternoon fodder feel like taking a little break from the serious matters of discussing player movement and how it effects both real teams and fake teams, we’ll see what those zany NFL players are up to during the eight months they have to avoid drunk driving. A man who catches dinner with a spear seems like a good place to start.
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I want you to sit back, and think about something for a minute. I know, thinking on a Sunday usually isn’t advisable, since not thinking is generally the best way to consume football. But before we dive into the Ravens’ 28-13 upset win over New England in Foxboro that’s unleashed the Harbowl (*punches self*) in two weeks, there’s something deeper and all-encompassing which needs to be considered.
The losing teams in today’s championship games had names like Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez, Julio Jones, and Roddy White on their respective offenses. Those guys are pretty good, and they helped to give both the Patriots and Falcons halftime leads. Combined, the two teams held a lead of 37-21 at halftime. Yet still, combined they lost 56-37. That alone is shocking, but it gets worse.
Those teams with those names and that immense offensive firepower combined for exactly zero points in the second half of their games. Seriously.
For the Falcons earlier this afternoon, their loss was crushing yet expected, as only a week ago they did everything in their power to lose. This time they succeeded.
But for New England, the hurt was quite literally historic. Prior to today, New England was 67-0 at home with a lead at halftime in the Tom Brady era.
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There are injuries hovering around this game. It’s not an abundance of black and blue anymore, especially for the Ravens, a healed team that’s only seen Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs on the field at the same time for a handful of games this year. For the Patriots there’s the matter of Rob Gronkowski, and how his absence effects their offense.
In that sense, the subtractions (Gronk for New England, Lardarius Webb for Baltimore) are a wash, which re-focuses this game to where the central talking point belongs: the rivalry. This should be the kind of close, brutal football that’s expected of a championship Sunday.
For evidence of that, we only need to look back at recent history. Of the last six meetings between these two teams in both the playoffs and regular season, the margin of victory in five of them has been less than a touchdown. Taking that further, four of the six games were won by a field goal or less. Even when we include the glaring exception (Baltimore’s 33-14 Wildcard Weekend win in 2010), the cumulative score throughout the six games is still 164-129.
With the immensity of the offseason movement in the NFL by both players and coaches, I don’t usually give long-term win-loss records of that nature much value, but those spreads are difficult to ignore. Tomorrow likely won’t deviate from history, or at least not much, as we won’t see a blowout despite what Madden 13 would have you believe.
But unless the Ravens can continue passing deep, and passing deep often, another trend will continue too. Throughout the nine-game history of this series, the Ravens have won only twice.
The surface layer of numbers begin to tell the story of how Baltimore can win this game. Or lose it again.
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