Bill, Floyd, Nick -- whoever is in charge ofpokingnumbers into their cell and opening up free agent conversations -- Tom says it's your move. You want to make Brandon Lloyd a happy man? Want to make an already explosive offense even more dangerous with a bona-fide outside threat?Want to add the complement to Gronknandez and Welker that Chad Ochocinco couldn't be for the 6 million you paid him in 2011? Want to make sure that the coach-quarterback combo gets to either New Orleans or northern New Jersey in the next two Februarys and cements their legacy as the most accomplished in NFL history? Step one is making the call. Because Tom Condon says he will stand down. The superagent that you got pissed off at in 2004 when he refused to do a six-year rookie deal for Benjamin Watson -- the one agent powerful enough to say, "Screw the Patriots, I ain't dealing with them . . ." has a client who wants to be here and that you need. And Condon says he'll do what's in his client's best interests. He spoke to the Boston Herald. Ego checked, Patriots. Your turn. After a couple of days dodging phone calls, Condon -- leader of the football arm of CAA and agent for many of the NFL's luminaries like Peyton Manning and Drew Brees- said that his client Brandon Lloyd would "like to be with Josh (McDaniels)."Hearkening back to the 2004 negotiations (here's a look at the situation I did for the ProJo back in August of that year), Condon added, I may never like them and they may never like me, but I appreciate that theyre smart guys who usually get what they want. I usually get what I want, too, and what I want is what my client wants. If Bill Belichick finds it too distasteful, he can let Floyd Reese make the call. Or Nick Caserio might be the guy. Hell, Jonathan or Robert Kraft can ease the process if necessary. Go along to get along and all that. But here's the simple truth. Wide receiver has been the New England Patriots blind spot more than any other position. In 2006, the Patriots cut off their nose to spite their face, traded Tom Brady's most reliable target to Seattle rather than keep Deion Branch happy and they paid the price. With Reche Caldwell, Doug Gabriel and Watson as the main targets, that team was moments from a Super Bowl appearance. Add Branch? Add a ring. They've swung and missed on Chad Jackson, Taylor Price and Brandon Tate in the draft; flailed and failed at Ocho and Joey Galloway, etc. They hit on Randy Moss and Wes Welker but both guys were pulled out of the bargain bin. It's time to ante up for a legit wideout. In Lloyd you have a talented player in his prime ready to work for an offensive coordinator who can vouch for him. The impediments to a deal are falling away. Free agency begins in less than a month. How the mercurial Lloyd would fit in the Patriots locker room, how much the wideout -- who's never had a "cash in" deal -- may want when he actually sits down and thinks about it . . . those are questions that need answering. But Condon says he won't get in the way of business being done. The gloves are off. Let the Lloyd love in.
After sitting out the last month with a lower body injury, Bruins fourth liner Noel Acciari has been assigned to Providence presumably to get up to speed after missing a considerable length of time. It also means that Acciari has likely been cleared medically to play after appearing in B's practice over the last few days after missing the last 14 games.
The 24-year-old former Providence College standout has appeared in 12 games with the Bruins this season after breaking camp with the team, and recorded two assists for two points with four penalty minutes and a plus-one rating before suffering a lower body injury.
By all accounts Acciari was a good energy player on a surprisingly good fourth line to start the season, wasn’t afraid to throw around his body for impactful hits and was having plenty of success aggravating opponents into losing their cool and taking penalties. Fellow rookie forward Anton Blidh has stepped in and played a similar role on the fourth line over the last couple of games for the Black and Gold, so that gives the Bruins plenty of time to get Acciari back up to speed at the AHL level without their fourth line’s level of play dropping in the meantime.
The Acciari demotion to Providence does mean that the Bruins head into Washington with 12 forwards, so it should again be Blidh, Dominic Moore and Jimmy Hayes as the fourth line barring any last minute wrinkles from Claude Julien.
The Patriots should always be motivated heading into games against the Ravens. After all, Baltimore might be the team’s primary rival.
Yet Monday’s matchup might be about more than past meetings. It could be a revenge game for the Ravens’ role in the Deflategate fiasco.
As Tom E. Curran notes in the above video, the then-recently eliminated Ravens set off the ordeal when they tipped off the Colts entering the 2014 AFC Championship game. From there, the year-and-a-half-long saga played itself out, ultimately resulting in Tom Brady accepting a four-game suspension from the league.
Curran and Mike Giardi discussed whether Monday could be a revenge game, with them both concluding that they feel the Patriots are still “pissed off” at the Ravens.
"I’m just reading the tea leaves,” Curran said. “Bill Belichick will usually throw bouquet after bouquet at the Baltimore Ravens any time they play, from Ozzie Newsome, to George Kokinis, to Eric DeCosta, to John Harbaugh, Dean Pees, everyone. Not a lot of that today. Make of that what you will; I don’t think it’s a coincidence because I do know that when the Patriots were going through the process early on, the fact that the Ravens had dropped a dime -- their assistant special teams coach Jerry Rosburg calling the Indianapolis Colts and saying, “Look there was some foolishness going on with the K balls.’
“Additionally, when that email from the Colts to the NFL was sent to Mike Kensil, it said, 'It’s well-known throughout the league that the Patriots screw with the balls after they’ve been checked by the officials.' So if that conversation was going on during the week between those two teams, one certainly has to surmise that they also spoke about the fact of deflating footballs.
“So as much as John Harbaugh has tried to dissuade anyone from thinking there was involvement, Dean Pees was interviewed by Ted Wells, Jerry Rosburg was interviewed by Ted Wells. Those are the only two principals from other organizations who were involved, so yeah, I think they’re still probably pretty pissed off about it.”