Table droppings, idle ruminations, fact-based gossip and news from the NFL Combine in Indianapolis and other facets of American life.
Bill Belichick was underground during the Combine. I ran into him just once, at Shulas Steak House on Saturday night where he came in late, adorned in a hoodie and sat with son Steven, Mike Lombardi of the NFL Network and Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News.
Gosselin has long been the best NFL writer in the country when it comes to analyzing the draft. That he would seek Belichick as a resource and vice versa was no surprise.
The restricted free agent (RFA) tagging season is now open and ends when free agency opens March 13. Im curious to see what tender the Rams put on slot receiver Danny Amendola, a Wes Welker clone who missed virtually the entire 2011 season with a dislocated elbow.
If the Rams dont put a first-round tender on Amendola who had 85 catches in 2010 the Patriots could extract him the same way they did Welker from the Dolphins. And then they could franchise Welker and have his successor in-house for 2013.
Michael Irvins love for Bill Belichick knows no bounds. Speaking with him at Shulas, Irvin said his respect is so great for Belichick he believes the Lombradi Trophy should be changed to the Lombardi-Belichick Trophy.
I dont see that happening. And yeah, I dropped my Michael Irvin impression on Michael Irvin and he smirked.
On Saturday, I spent nearly two hours with the NFL Films folks giving feedback for their 2012 Top 10 lists. Ive always loved doing it but now that my 12-year-old has turned into an NFL Network addict, its even more fun because I got to tell him what the topics were.
Anyone believing that the cap is crap (proffered by Professor Felger, B.S. in Capology) should take a look at the New York Jets offseason. They put off paying Bart Scott last year until tomorrow tomorrow is here and the Jets owe a useless linebacker 4.2 million guaranteed.
Waving dismissively and crinkling up ones face passes for building a compelling argument, I know. But facts is facts and that 4.2 million the Jets pushed ahead into this season means less money to spend on improving a team thats taking on water.
Chad Ochocinco is on the books for a 3 million salary in 2012. The Patriots wont owe him that if they release him; just the prorated portion of his signing bonus from last year which Im told is less than 2 million.
One of the really impressive pass rushers in this draft is the versatile Melvin Ingram from South Carolina. The drawback to this player Mike Lombradi calls a top-1- prospect hes got cartoonishly short arms for his 6-2 frame, just 30.5 inches.
I didnt hear anything in Indianapolis that lessened my confidence that the Patriots would like to make a play for Rams receiver Brandon Lloyd in free agency. I did hear that the Rams will try to retain Lloyd, though.
With that in mind, Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network reported last week the Rams wont franchise Lloyd. LaCanfora expects that close to half of the 32 teams will use their tag.
After ripping it up at the Senior Bowl, UConns Kendall Reyes impressed at the Combine. Profiled here by Mary Paoletti before the event hes seen as a second-round pick but was called a riser by NFL Networks Mike Mayock.
Speaking of second-rounders, the Patriots have two and, as Bill Belichick told Michael Holley in reporting for Holleys excellent book, The War Room, "In the second round you find a lot of players with first round talent but not first round performance or production. The highest bust factor is in the second."
There are three wideouts who look to me like excellent riskreward players. Stephen Hill from Georgia Tech, Mohamed Sanu from Rutgers and Kendall Wright from Baylor, all of whom well spend more time on this week in our Patriots Talk blog.
As for those two first-round picks the Patriots hold 27 and 31 you have to look at the cost-control impact on rookie deals in the new CBA and wonder if the Patriots would move up in the first for an impact player. Dontari Poe of Memphis as a Wilfork successor, perhaps?