Combined madness

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Combined madness

By Adam Hart
CSNNE.com

I watched the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine. A lot. Like, every day.

And, as much as I enjoyed it, it is a ridiculous event. Not because it's a track meet in which athletes compete in uncomfortably toight -- for us, not them -- Under Armour clothing. But because of reactions like this:

1) Nebraska DB Prince Amukamara ran a 4.37 40. That's fast:

"The biggest knock on Amukamara was his speed -- that probably shouldn't be a problem anymore."

And here I thought the knock on him was the fact he got chewed up and spit out by Justin Blackmon -- looked like Darius Butler at his worst. But he ran fast in uncomfortably toight clothing. Top 15 pick material.

2) Alabama WR Julio Jones ran a 4.39 40. Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com:

"So if, say, the St. Louis Ram picked Jones, enamored by his combine 40-yard dash orgasm ..."

Gross.

3) Jones, it was later discovered, ran, jumped and answered questions on a fractured foot that'd require surgery. An NFL front office executive tells CBSSports.com Jones will fall in the draft:
"When I pointed out that the media was trumpeting Jones' remarkable workout numbers, the source said that's what makes the inevitable fallout from this injury so difficult."

Fallout. Right. Like how Michael Crabtree, who suffered a similar injury prior to the 2009 Draft and never even ran at the combine, experienced a fallout.

Crabtree was drafted 10th overall.

Sounds like "an NFL front office executive" wants to artificially see to it Jones drops into his lap.

4) Anytime anyone performed well in a track event:

"Player's name made himself some money this week."

Hah! I get it. He did well, so he'll get drafted higher. Cleverly put -- by the first guy who said it. The one-millionth time, though, it gets a bit tired. No, no. I'm sure yours wasn't the one-millionth.

5) Wes Bunting on Florida SS Ahmad Black:

"I've been saying for months that I love Black as a football player, but small and slow isn't a good combo for any prospect. And at 5-10, 184 pounds and running in the high 4.7 range, he now looks like nothing more than a late-round nickel-type defensive back."

So, because he had a slow track meet, he drops down; no longer a player who can "possibly mature into a starter down the line." Good football player bad track athlete = later, Gator. Got it.

6) This reaction, by Greg Gabriel, is not ridiculous:

"As a former scout and scouting director for the last 27 years, I get a kick out of all the hype the media gives about prospects' stock going up and down because of their performances at the combine."

Preach on, Gabriel.

Pedroia doesn't have MRI, still listed as day-to-day with ankle/knee soreness

Pedroia doesn't have MRI, still listed as day-to-day with ankle/knee soreness

Three weeks into the season, health has dominated the conversation with the Red Sox. And it’s much more than just the flu.

A scheduled off-day Monday brought something resembling an update for three players worth roughly $63 million in salary.

Dustin Pedroia, Orioles peacemaker, was examined at Massachusetts General Hospital and remains day-to-day because of left ankle and left knee soreness. He did not undergo an MRI, with his condition apparently good enough that the team felt it was unnecessary -- even though the message delivered on Sunday by manager John Farrell was that the Sox wanted to rule everything out.

Pedroia hasn’t played since he was spiked by Manny Machado on Friday in Baltimore.

Pablo Sandoval, at some point Monday, was slated to have an MRI after spraining his right knee Sunday. A further evaluation is to come Tuesday, so his status remains unclear.

David Price, meanwhile, threw a 45-pitch bullpen at Fenway Park on his long journey back from a left elbow strain. There were simulated inning breaks and, naturally, what’s next is still to be seen. Facing hitters shouldn’t be too far away, Farrell has suggested.

Bills decline to match Patriots offer to RB Mike Gillislee

Bills decline to match Patriots offer to RB Mike Gillislee

The Patriots have themselves another "big back" option for 2017. 

The Bills announced that they have opted not to match the restricted free agent offer sheet that New England made to Mike Gillislee last week. That means the 5-foot-11, 219-pounder is now a member of the Patriots. Buffalo had until 4 p.m. on Monday to match.

Gillislee was reportedly extended an offer sheet by the Patriots that is worth $6.4 million and $4 million in the first year. The Bills had the cap space to match the offer, but with LeSean McCoy already atop their depth chart, the price tag may have been too rich for them to choose to hold onto the 26-year-old.

Because Gillislee was given the original-round tender by the Bills, the Patriots will send Buffalo a fifth-round pick as compensation. That gives Bill Belichick and Nick Caserio six picks in this weekend's draft: two thirds, a fourth, a fifth, a sixth and a seventh.

Gillislee joins Rex Burkhead, Dion Lewis, James White, Brandon Bolden and DJ Foster on the running back depth chart in New England.