A few items to ruminate on as free agency looms. 1. I'm not so sure it's going to be a free agent "frenzy" this year. The reason? There are way more free agents than normal. The uncapped year that pushed free agency eligibility in 2010 from four years to six years kept guys off the market. Then, the abbreviated offseason in 2011 caused a lot of teams (and players) to opt for one-year deals. So what we have is a flooded market and that means teams can idle down the aisles. 2. The Patriots are so unpredictable and tight-lipped during these periods that we're often left to read tea leaves and kick around for clues that indicate who they like or where they appear to need help. With that in mind, the 2011 season gave a big clue that safety is a huge need position.Too badfor the Patriots it's a tragically weak class. 3. Although the BenJarvus Green-Ellis Camp believes he'll draw attention on the free agent market, I believe it will be second-tier attention. It's going to leave him with a decision to make about chasing dough or staying in New England. I believe the Patriots will make him a respectable offer but they won't be in a bidding war. For an undrafted player, the money will be a powerful lure -- especially when that player is a running back whose career expectancy will be short. I believe he's likely to be somewhere else. 4. Mark Anderson could be a guy that attracts major attention. He rehabbed his career in 2011 with the Patriots after going into a graveyard spiral in Chicago. His decision to stay or go will be tougher than Green-Ellis' because the Patriots are the ones whogave him a shot and put him in a position to make plays. Of course, ifNew England lowballs him the decision won't be hard at all. 5. There is so much I enjoy about Randy Moss. When it comes to authenticity, he's got it all over Chad Ochocinco. Buthis separation from reality is apparent when he says, "I think when it comes to the world-wide sports media, Ive gotten a bad rap . . . not being a team player and things like that. That's what he insisted Monday night in a conference call after the 49ers signed him. Randy, do you remember your diatribe after the 2010 season opener? Yeah, that left a mark. 6. I know I've kinda turned into Brandon Lloyd's advance press agent, but it's been an obvious story. A top-15 receiver who wants to play for Josh McDaniels and has had success in the system -- why wouldn't we be finding as much out about him as we can? Is he Jerry Rice? No. Does the confounding start to his career need investigating? Sure. But Lloyd having been "moody" in Denver palescompared toVincent Jackson. The football world droolsabout Jackson's potential as a prospective free agent. Meanwhile, he's had two DUIs andis currently onprobation. 7. That said, if the Bills get V-Jax -- and they are very interested -- that's a helluva receiving corps to deal with between him, Stevie Johnson and tall slot receiver David Nelson. 8. Larry Fitzgerald got 50 million guaranteed when he signed a new deal. Andre Johnson got 48 million. Tom Brady got 48.5. Julius Pepper gets 40 million in the first three years of his deal. What will Mario Williams get? When you consider that Peppers has played very well yet the Bears went 8-8 this year (after a 12-4 2010), does it give a team pause about going into the 60 million guarantee range for a non-quarterback. 9. The 2011 Offseason Champions were the Philadelphia Eagles. They missed the playoffs last year. 10. I'm not buying on Matt Flynn. At least not to the "savior" level teams seem to be attaching to him. I do hope he does well, however. itsanirishthing.
Robert Kraft’s relationship with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was no doubt tested by the Deflategate saga, but apparently the Patriots owner is still thought of highly enough to be included in the new committee of five owners who will be among Goodell’s closest advisers.
Kraft, the New York Giants’ John Mara, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Art Rooney II, the Kansas City Chiefs’ Clark Hunt and the Houston Texans’ Bob McNair will form the committee. Those five are chairmen of the league’s various committees: Media (Kraft), Finance, Stadium, International and the Management Council Executive Committee.
The five had worked closely with Goodell on an informal basis. The NFL has now made their status official.
Kraft, long one of the most powerful owners in the NFL, has been critical of Goodell’s handling of the Deflategate case, but also stood down as “one of 32” owners and accepted the league’s punishment in the case without appealing.