What does Rodney Harrison think about the Pro Bowl selections?
"It's kind of . . . a joke, to be honest with you," the ex-Patriots safety, now an NBC analyst told Tom E. Curran Thursday on 'Quick Slants' . . . and he pointed to the omission of Aaron Hernandez from the team as the prime example.
"It is, my man. You look at Aaron Hernandez. Come on now. You pick an Antonio Gates in front of Aaron Hernandez? Antonio Gates, he's been hobbled this whole year. He's running around on one leg. And he still gets voted into the Pro Bowl.
"You tell me two tight ends who have been more dynamic than the Patriots' tight ends. It's crazy."
Also on Rodney's mind: How important it is to have the No. 1 seed, the state of modern officiating, and more:
Tom Brady needs a Hail Mary at this point to get himself on the field for the first four games of 2016. The Patriots are more aware of that than anyone, so Friday night they grabbed a little security, using a third-round pick on North Carolina State quarterback Jacoby Brissett.
The 6-4, 235-pound Brissett was a two-year starter for the Wolfpack and had 23 touchdowns and five picks in his senior season. He’s lauded for his leadership, has outstanding physical skills and is a tireless worker.
All that said, he’s not going to beat out Jimmy Garoppolo. Brissett isn’t in Foxboro to be the long-term No. 2 in 2016. But if he shows a high level of competency between now and the end of August, the Patriots will likely go into the four-game Brady-less stretch with Garoppolo as the temp starter and Brissett as the temp backup.
When Brady returns, everybody moves back down the ladder again.
But a look at the contracts of Garoppolo and Brady shows that, after 2016, Garoppolo may become expendable. Brady is signed through 2019 and isn’t going anywhere. Garoppolo is up after 2017 and will be a free agent. If Garoppolo plays well enough to impress the rest of the league in his four-game audition, the Patriots could look to deal him prior to the 2017 season.
The return on the former second-rounder isn’t relevant right now. What is relevant is that the Patriots are going to have to carry three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster in 2016: Brady, Garoppolo and Brissett. For a team that’s always churning the end of its roster to get the best players ready for every week’s matchup, the team will have one less roster spot to deal with than it’s had in past seasons.
The only way around carrying Brissett all year on the 53 would be to release him, hope he passes unclaimed through waivers and then sign him to the practice squad. It’s likely someone would claim him. So the Patriots will be working with three quarterbacks on their 53 for 2016. Forecasting, it’s not likely they’d do that two years in a row.
The addition of Brissett is a signal that the team isn’t preparing for life after Brady, but life after Jimmy G.
After getting drafted by the Patriots with the 60th overall pick, Cyrus Jones spoke to the media and compared Nick Saban to Bill Belichick.
Greg Bedard joins Lou Merloni on Sports Tonight to discuss the Patriots selection of CB Cyrus Jones with the 60th overall pick.