Belichick's old plan for punching up practice

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Belichick's old plan for punching up practice

FOXBORO --Entertaining anecdote or decades-old fuel for the Nanny Brigade? I guess we'll find out in the next few days. Anyway, old friend Chad Eaton revealed to the Dayton Daily News in a recent profile that, way back when Bill Belichick was coaching in Cleveland, Eaton was encouraged to instigate fights. And, lo and behold, an envelope would appear in his locker later that week.

If practice was going slow, hed look at me and just say, Its time, Eaton said. He wanted me to get on somebodys case and start a little fight. I was known for that and it paid off on Fridays. Thered always be some extra money in my locker. Practice players dont make much, so I really appreciated it.The story was brought to light by my friend Mike Florio on Pro Football Talk. It immediately reminded me of a story back in 2000 when Belichick allegedlybought another dustup, that one initiated by Rob Gattrell. Chad Finn of The Boston Globe found the story of a source telling Nick Cafardo that Gattrell was paid 200 to go after Lawyer Milloy. Belichick denied it back in 2000. And when asked about the Eaton story on Friday, Belichick said he didn't remember such a thing happening. Florio noted that greasing palms with cash for any reason may run afoul of NFL salary cap rules. Hopefully, the statute of limitations has long since kicked in and the league doesn't send its investigative geniuses sniffing around to see if Belichick's still running a practice squad fight club.My hunch is that he probably isn't.
First, that 2000 Patriots team and those Cleveland teams were trying to forge indentities. This team has established its identity. Belichick has also been heard on NFL Films segments in recent years taking a stance against practice fighting, seeing it as a waste of energy. And the cost of help now compared to back then makes it unlikely that he'd be interested in risking hands, knees and personnel by asking for a brouhaha.

Watch Tom Brady's daughter Vivian tear it up on ski slopes

Watch Tom Brady's daughter Vivian tear it up on ski slopes

Tom Brady's daughter Vivian is a natural on skis.

The New England Patriots quarterback and apparently proud father posted a comical video of his 4-year-old daughter tearing it up on the ski hill. Vivian took on the bottom section of the run while adhering to the all-important instructions from the Super Cool Ski Instructor from the Comedy Central show, "South Park."

Brady added the audio from the "South Park" ski instructor to the video of his daughter skiing, and included a joke about "french frying" and "pizzaing" at the correct moments. 

"That’s my girl! Pizzaing when she's supposed to pizza, French frying when she's supposed to French fry... NOT having a bad time!!" Brady joked on Instagram.

Curran: Jets' 2015 tampering with Revis more extensive than NFL revealed

Curran: Jets' 2015 tampering with Revis more extensive than NFL revealed

The Patriots obviously got it right when they pushed away from the table during the Darrelle Revis bidding war in 2015. 

The once-great corner spent the 2016 season languishing on the field. He’s spending the early part of the offseason reacting negatively to backpack journalism after midnight. 

MORE PATRIOTS

But the alleged double KO by Revis and his buddies isn’t what prompts this submission. 

It’s the revelation from Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News that the tampering the Jets engaged in when they were prying Revis loose from the Patriots was way, way more involved than what the NFL fined them for. And that Jets owner Woody Johnson knew all about it. 

Mehta leads his piece revealing that, long before free agency opened in 2015, Revis “was ready to squeeze more money out of [Johnson] who he knew would be willing to overpay for his services again.”

Mehta reports that, “back-channel discussions with the Jets in February set the foundation for a Revis reunion . . . 

“Team officials in stealth mode communicated with Revis, Inc., through private cell phones and face-to-face covert meetings at the 2015 Scouting Combine rather than make calls from the team's landlines at their Florham Park facility. No paper trails were a must.

“Johnson, the driving force behind bringing back Revis to right a wrong in his mind, endorsed all of it.”

The Patriots -- who were in the midst of the Deflategate colonoscopy that resulted in absurd-level discipline -- lodged a complaint with the league over the Jets tampering after Revis signed with the Jets in mid-March of 2015. 

The Jets were fined $100,000 but weren’t docked any draft picks.. The tender wrist slap came, ostensibly, because Johnson moronically stated at a December press conference that he’d “love” to have Revis return to New York. 

Maybe Johnson wasn’t being a dummy. That comment provided cover for the league office -- which has a documented history of treating the two NYC franchises with kid gloves -- to let the Jets off easy. 

Mehta’s article is the latest offering from him since completing his heel turn against Revis. 

Mehta did everything but fly the plane to bring Revis to New York once the 2014 season ended. And this is what he wrote the day the Jets penalty came down: 

The NFL’s attempt to uncover any dirt was an exercise in futility, a witch hunt driven by nonsense from a hypocritical organization with no reason to feel threatened by its competitor. 

You may wonder what’s the point? 

Clearly, the Patriots got it right while the Jets cheated, got what they wanted, and are now getting what they deserved. 

And everyone already knows the league office’s investigations and operations arms under the brutally incompetent leadership of Troy Vincent are a laughingstock. 

All true. But if I don’t write this now, I may have no recollection of this particular instance of league corruption given the absolute avalanche of other incidents