McGinest wants to retire a Patriot

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McGinest wants to retire a Patriot

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
In his first training camp in New England, Bill Belichick used the names "Willie McGinest" and "Lawrence Taylor" in the same sentence. For McGinest, the fourth overall pick in the 1994 draft, it was another bouquet that turned into a millstone. During the first portion of his Patriots career, McGinest was viewed as somewhat lacking. He put up 19.5 sacks in 1995 and '96 combined and made the Pro Bowl, but once Bill Parcells left, injuries cropped up under Pete Carroll. McGinest played 20 games in 1997 and 1998 when he was entering what should have been the height of his athletic powers.A five-year, 25 million deal signed during his injury-phase didn't help. But by the time 2001 rolled around and McGinest was under Belichick's hand, the strengths unique to McGinest began to emerge. A beast against the run and a threat combining power and speed as a pass-rusher. A terrific leader by word and example. Smart, smart, smart. The arc of McGinest's career parallels that of Celtics captain Paul Pierce. And by the time his Patriots tenure ended and he followed Romeo Crennel to the Browns in 2006 at the age of 35, he was widely appreciated and respected here. On Friday, McGinest joked that he hoped to be offered a contract after running through a workout with the Detroit Lions as part of his work as an analyst for NFL Network. After realizing his comment was taken seriously, McGinest sent a statement to Pro Football Talk letting them know he was done. At the end of the statement, McGinest added, "The only thing that will bring me back is a one-day contract with New England to retire as a Patriot."It doesn't seem that outlandish a request. We'll see if it happens.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Bart Scott: Falcons have 'the better quarterback' in Super Bowl

Bart Scott: Falcons have 'the better quarterback' in Super Bowl

Former Ravens and Jets linebacker - now an "NFL Today" analyst for CBS - Bart Scott usually "can't wait" to make his disdain for Tom Brady and the Patriots known. 

He was back at it Tuesday in an interview with CBS Radio's Damon Amendolara, in which he said the Falcons have the better quarterback heading into Super Bowl LI.

“We know they’re the better offense, and right now, you could say they got the better quarterback because they have the MVP of the league,” Scott said. Ryan is the favorite to win the NFL MVP, which will be announced the night before the Super Bowl at the "NFL Honors" show.

“Now that’s a debate, but Matt Ryan has earned the right for his name to be put up there with the upper-echelon quarterbacks," Scott said. "He’s always been elite in the regular season, but now he’s taken this show into the postseason and he’s won the hard battles against the elite quarterbacks and now you have to give him his due.”

More from Scott: “I can’t see the Patriots stopping this offense. So, that means that these receivers are going to have to [keep] pace. It’s all going to come down to what it always comes down to. It’s going to come down to who makes the turnovers, who gets up early and puts the pressure on the other team. Matt Ryan and that offense showed me a lot when they went behind [in the divisional round against the Seahawks]. Seattle came and busted them in the face, and [Atlanta] went right back down and answered immediately.

"The Patriots always find a way, but I think it makes it more close of a game than what people think.”