Rex Ryan: 'I think we're going to beat them'

561228.jpg

Rex Ryan: 'I think we're going to beat them'

What happens when the Jets beat Indianapolis 35-9 and New England falls 24-23 to Seattle on the same Sunday?

Not to mention, one week before New York plays the Patriots?

Rex Ryan moves a chess piece.

"I want them to know, and they know that I think we're going to beat them," the Jets coach said Monday. "I don't buy into all that other stuff. I recognize they're a great football team. And Bill Belichick's a great coach. I never once said that he wasn't.

"But we're not going to back down or concede anything. They're going to get our best shot. We know we're going to get theirs. It really doesn't matter who says what. We're coming up there to take our swing. And we'll see if we land that punch to win a game."

Ryan -- by his own standard -- has been more subdued in boasting this season. Both his team and Belichick's are 3-3 in the AFC East's logjam of a division.

But it sounds like New York's win on Sunday, with its revitalized ground game (252 rushing yards), did something to bolster the coach's confidence.

And he seems to have noticed the Patriots impotence in close-out situations this season.

"Are they more vulnerable? I don't know. They've lost three games, that's probably more than they normally lose in a season," Ryan said. "We need to worry about ourselves."

A slight motion, perhaps, to tap the breaks.

The Jets are 3-4 against the Patriots during Ryan's New York tenure and there has been plenty of jawing in that span. You can believe he knows well enough now that the rivalry can only decided on the field.

He just likes to start the games a little early.

"We always get their best, and they always get ours," he said. "We'll see if our best is better than their best on that particular day. They've been the dominant team in our division. We've been second every year since I've been here. For us to get to where we want to get to or anybody in our conference they have to beat New England."

It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

browns-collins-jamie-collins-012017x.jpg

It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

The Patriots received a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018 from the Browns in return for Jamie Collins. That's how the trade was described on the league's transaction wire. 

The "condition" of that fourth-rounder? Well, if the Browns received a third-round compensatory pick in 2017, the Patriots would nab that pick instead. 

On Friday, the NFL announced that the Browns had in fact been awarded a third-round compensatory pick, which meant that almost three full weeks after Super Bowl LI, everything was still coming up Patriots.

In actuality, the odds were pretty good all along that the Patriots would get what they got

Cleveland lost Pro Bowl center Alex Mack in free agency last offseason when he opted to sign with the Falcons. Because compensatory picks are based on free agents lost and free agents acquired, and because the Browns did not sign any similarly-impactful free agents, there was a good chance Mack's departure would render a third-round comp pick that would be shipped to New England.

Had Mack suffered a significant injury that forced his play to drop off or limited his time on the field, a third-rounder may have been out of the question, but he played well (named a Pro Bowler and a Second Team All-Pro) and stayed healthy -- lucky for the Patriots -- missing just 17 total snaps in the regular season. 

The Browns comp pick that will be sent to New England is No. 103 overall. The Patriots were also awarded a fifth-round comp pick, No. 185 overall. That was a result of the league weighing the departures of Akiem Hicks and Tavon Wilson against the arrival of Shea McClellin.

The Patriots now have nine selections in this year's draft: One first-rounder; one second-rounder; two third-rounders; one fourth-rounder*; two fifth-rounders; two seventh-rounders.

The third-round compensatory pick acquired by the Patriots carries additional value this year in that it is the first year in which compensatory picks can be traded. A near top-100 overall selection may allow the Patriots to move up the draft board or build assets in the middle rounds should they be inclined to deal. And we know they oftentimes are. 

* The Patriots forfeited their highest fourth-round selection in this year's draft as part of their Deflategate punishment. They acquired a fourth-round pick from the Seahawks last year. Because that would have been the higher of their two selections, that's the one they'll lose. They will make their own fourth-round pick at No. 137 overall.

Gronkowski says he has 'no doubt' he'll be ready for start of next season

Gronkowski says he has 'no doubt' he'll be ready for start of next season

When it comes to projecting Rob Gronkowski's health, it's been best to steer clear of absolutes. There have been too many injuries, too many surgeries, to predict exactly how he'll feel months in advance. 

Still, in speaking with ESPN's Cari Champion recently, he said he had "no doubt" he'll be ready for Week 1 of the 2017 regular season. 

"Yes, for sure," he replied when asked if he expected to be good to go. 

Gronkowski also fielded a question about his long-term future in the sit-down. Lately it's been his coach Bill Belichick and his quarterback Tom  Brady who receiver all the life-after-football queries, but Gronkowski, 27, was asked how much longer he'd like to play. 

"I’m not really sure," he said. "I mean, I still love playing the game, and as of right now, I want to play as long as I possibly could play. My mindset is to keep on going."

Gronkowski landed on season-ending injured reserve in December after undergoing a procedure on his back -- his third back surgery since 2009. He's had nine reported surgeries -- including procedures on his knee, forearm and ankle -- since his final year at the University of Arizona.