Former Pat, current union leader Vrabel arrested

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Former Pat, current union leader Vrabel arrested

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com

Aweek ago I wondered on the Twitter how many knuckleheads would give their NFL brethren a black eye by getting into trouble during the lockout. Mike Vrabel was not a guy I had in mind. But apparently the former Patriot got arrested in Indiana earrrrrllly Monday morning for theft at the Belterra Casino in Florence, Indiana. Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk broke the story. Vrabel got booked at 5:28 a.m. My guess is he wasn't up early, but out late. As Florio reports, theft of anything in Indiana is a Class D felony so that's what Vrabel is on the hook for. Florio reports that Vrabel was released at 10:39 a.m. after posting a 600 bond.
In other words, he could have stolen a casino chip. Or a sweet top hat. Or maybe he was just helping someone out with their poker. Six hundred bucks bond doesn't generally indicate the infraction was too dire. Vrabel replied to an email I sent him with the following message: It was an unfortunate misunderstanding, and I take full responsibility for the miscommunication. I feel comfortable that after talking with the appropriate parties, we will resolve this matter.But Vrabel getting arrested for anything right now is worse than just about any other player in the league getting arrested for grand theft auto. At least for appearances. He's on the NFLPA's executive committee and was a vocal leader of that group. His suggestion two weeks ago that the NFLPA committee meet with a handful of owners while the lawyers cleared the room got a lot of play. Vrabel is a smart, no-BS guy who would have represented the players' interests well. We'll see how much this mitigates his ability to take a leading role at the table.

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

Is Tom Brady mentally ready to finish his career elsewhere?

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Is Tom Brady mentally ready to finish his career elsewhere?

The discussion on the future of Tom Brady is only going to intensify as the days, months or years tick off his career. Will that legendary career end as a member of the New England Patriots? Listen to the insightful discussion on this week's "Quick Slants The Podcast". Tom E. Curran says Tom Brady is mentally prepared to finish his career elsewhere.

Tom E. Curran, Phil Perry, and guest Mike Giardi have a spirited discussion about which quarterback should start against the Bills.

Curran and Bills columnist Tim Graham put Rex Ryan on the couch.

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Jamie Collins says he'll play quarterback for Patriots if they need him

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Jamie Collins says he'll play quarterback for Patriots if they need him

FOXBORO -- It's looking more and more like the Patriots will have options at quarterback Sunday against the Bills. Both Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett threw at practice on Wednesday, and it appears that at least one of them, if not both, will be available for the final game of Tom Brady's suspension. 

Patriots receiver Julian Edelman is the likely candidate to jump behind center should the team run into an emergency, but on Wednesday another player threw his hat into the ring. 

"Yeah, I'll play," said linebacker Jamie Collins. "Whatever it is. I don't care what the level is. I don't care what the level is. Whatever it is they need me to do, I'm doing it."

That would be some kind of show.

At 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, and with remarkable closing speed, Collins would be an intimidating run-first signal-caller. He's listed at two inches shorter and five pounds heavier than Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, and his NFL Scouting Combine 40-yard dash time was only 0.05 seconds slower than Newton's. 

Just to take this pie-in-the-sky idea even further, Collins can throw, too. Or he could at one point in time. He played quarterback at Franklin County High in Meadville, Miss. before heading off to Southern Mississippi to play all over the Golden Eagles defense. As a high school senior, he cracked 1,000 yards both on the ground and through the air.

Asked if he saw himself back then as a future star in the NFL as a passer, Collins shook his head.

"Nah," he said. "I ain't even see myself as a quarterback in the NFL."

The Patriots would be just fine with Collins sticking at linebacker. He had one of the best games of his career against the Texans last week, racking up 14 tackles and picking off Houston quarterback Brock Osweiler. He also made the calls in the middle of the defense, which is a job that typically falls to Dont'a Hightower, but Collins took over with Hightower out with a knee injury.

"Jamie Collins, he's a beast, man," said safety Duron Harmon after the game. "I tell you what, I've seen a lot of football players play, and he's definitely one of my favorite players to just watch. You just get caught up sometimes seeing all the amazing stuff he does on the field, you just sit in awe. I'm so happy he's on my team, I'll tell you that."

And the team is happy he's at linebacker. But imagine him at quarterback?