Take your Pick: Who gets franchise tag?

989289.jpg

Take your Pick: Who gets franchise tag?

Andy Hart joins Sports Tonight to play a game of 'Take Your Pick' where he gives his input on what the Patriots should do with their franchise tag.

Let's kick off the three-pack of questions with possibly the most concerning area for the Patriots - the secondary.

Who would you rather see in the secondary next season?
The choices: Aqib Talib, Ed Reed, Patrick Chung?

Hart says this one is easy, and the answer is Talib, although he says "I don't think it's gonna happen." Hart predicts Talib will get 20 million guaranteed and it won't be the Patriots signing the checks.

Chung can't get much love, and Merloni doesn't believe Reed is going to ruin his "Ravens legacy" by spending one year with the Patriots.

Hart and Tanguay aren't so sure, and believe Reed wants the money. Plus, there's that 'bromance' between Reed and Bill Belichick.

Who would you use the franchise tag on?
The choices: Sebastian Vollmer or Wes Welker?

Last year there was a lot of drama with the tag and Welker. This time around, the panel thinks the Pats show Welker some love and give him a multi-year contract and use the tag on Vollmer.

Hart believes Vollmer is an "elite right tackle" when he's healthy, and thinks the tag should go to him to 1) preserve the offensive line and 2) let Vollmer prove he can stay healthy. A long term deal with Vollmer would cost the Patriots more than they'd like to pay for a health-challenge lineman.

Which gritty underdog is more likely to be re-signed?
The choices: Julian Edelman or Danny Woodhead?

Edelman brings more value to the team as an above average punt returner and extra receiver. The panel believes both players will be back with the Pats next season.

For more, check out the video above.

Wednesday's Pats-Bills practice report: Jimmy G., Brissett both 'limited'

patriots-garoppolo-brissett-081516.jpg

Wednesday's Pats-Bills practice report: Jimmy G., Brissett both 'limited'

FOXBORO -- The highly-anticipated first Patriots injury report of the week was released on Wednesday afternoon, and it was fairly predictable. 

Both injured quarterbacks were active but limited in their practice participation, the report indicated. That comes as little surprise as both Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) and Jacoby Brissett (thumb) were spotted throwing passes early in Wednesday's practice. Neither appeared to be experiencing any significant discomfort as they made their warm-up throws. 

Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower (knee) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (hamstring) were also limited. Gronkowski admitted that the team was taking it slow with him in his first game back on the field last week -- he played just 14 snaps in New England's win over Houston -- but he said on Wednesday that he hoped to go "freakin' crazy" on the field soon.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
QB Jacoby Brissett (right thumb)
OT Marcus Cannon (calf)
G Jonathan Cooper (foot)
LB Jonathan Freeny (shoulder)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder)
TE Rob Gronkowski (hamstring)
LB Dont'a Hightower (knee)
CB Eric Rowe (ankle)

BUFFALO BILLS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
TE Charles Clay (knee)
OL Cyrus Kouandjio (ankle)
OL Patrick Lewis (knee)
WR Sammy Watkins (foot)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
DB Colt Anderson (foot)
DB Ronald Darby (hamstring)
QB Cardale Jones (right shoulder)
DB Jonathan Meeks (foot)
WR Greg Salas (groin)
DB Aaron Williams (ankle)
OL Cordy Glenn (ankle)

Garoppolo: Not pressured by Patriots to return last Thursday

Garoppolo: Not pressured by Patriots to return last Thursday

FOXBORO -- Jimmy Garoppolo spoke Wednesday for the first time since getting his shoulder separated by the Dolphins’ Kiko Alonso. Standing by his locker, Garoppolo was predictably vague about the status of his arm, unless you consider, “Getting better day by day,” as being insightful. 

The only two responses offered that were worth a damn came when asked if he could have done anything different when he got squished by Alonso while retreating and buying time.  

“Just have to be smart I guess,” said Garoppolo. “I mean, it’s football and stuff’s gonna happen like that, but have to be smart in those situations.”

Asked if he regretted holding the ball as long as he did on a third-down play with the Patriots up 21-0, Garoppolo replied, “After it’s all said and done it’s easy to say that, but it’s one of those things, you’re in the heat of the game. But bottom line I have to be smarter than that.”

Agreed.  

Meanwhile, as he worked last week to get back for Thursday night’s game against Houston, The Boston Herald reported that the Patriots were “putting pressure” on Garoppolo to be ready for the game. Working hard to get key players ready for upcoming games is standard operating procedure for a medical staff. Trying to force a player to perform is not. 

I asked Garoppolo if he felt unduly pressured. He replied, “No.”