Larsen thrilled to be back with McDaniels

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Larsen thrilled to be back with McDaniels

FOXBORO -- Spencer Larsen is one of the new kids in town. But, as it happens in this turnstile business, he was greeted by a few familiar faces.

Denver drafted the 6-foot-2, 245-pound fullback -- then a linebacker -- with a sixth round pick in 2008. Larsen played under former Broncos head coach, current Patriots offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels the following season.

The connection could help him find a spot on the roster despite New England's recent apathy for his position.

"I loved playing for McDaniels and I loved all the opportunity that he provided for me. I'm just excited to be back with him," Larsen said.

"I think just being with Josh from the past, I think he just likes to have options. And being with him in Denver . . . he just likes to have different things that he can do from week-to-week, so who knows. I don't think any of us know what can happen at that position. I think you just need to work and get better and let that thing happen naturally."

Larsen always has versatility in his back pocket.

Though he didn't play a snap at linebacker last season, he said he's "100-percent open" to reprising the role for the Patriots if need be. Larsen is, after all, just the fourth guy since 1990 to start a game on both offense and defense (Denver's November 16 game versus Atlanta in 2008).

Yes, he was a rookie. And he also played special teams that day.

"It was just one of those exciting days," Larsen smiled. "I didn't really play a whole lot of offense that day -- as a fullback you kind of come in and out. So it wasn't 100 percent taxing; it was a good days work."

Right.

They must teach toughness at Arizona. Which is where Larsen met Rob Gronkowski.

"I was a senior when he was a freshman, so I used to beat him up in college if you guys believe that," Larsen laughed. "It's just been good seeing him and seeing the success he's had, getting to talk to him again.

"I swear he looked like he does now as a freshman, coming out of high school. I can't imagine what he did in high school. He's one of those guys that come around and you just feel like he's going to be special. So far he's proved that."

The real reuniting begins Monday with practice. If Larsen wants to work again for McDaniels, and with Gronkowski, he needs to be a Patriot -- no easy undertaking.

"Bottom line is, it's a new year and I have to prove that I can play."

Exactly.

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. 

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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
 

Perry: 'Not out of the realm of possibility' Amendola takes pay cut

Perry: 'Not out of the realm of possibility' Amendola takes pay cut

Phil Perry analyzes  whether Danny Amendola will take another pay cut to stay with the New England Patriots.