Jets will heave big names overboard


Jets will heave big names overboard

By TomE. Curran
The Jets' big-name purge is under way.Informed of their pending walk off the plankroster are Jason Taylor, Damien Woody, Vernon Gholston and Kris Jenkins. Manish Mehta of the Daily News reported it first. According to Mehta, the Jets will save themselves 13.5 million in salaries and bonuses and that's not including the 10 million negotiable bonus Taylor was due to receive. Taylor is a possible Hall of Famer; Woody and Jenkins were very good players who are on the downside (Jenkins has been hurt the past two seasons). Gholston, the sixth overall pick in 2008, has been an unmitigated bust at outside linebacker. Mehta says the Jets may try to re-sign some of the players at reduced rates later. That will be an interesting proposition, given there will be about 500 free agents and about 250 rookies and undrafted free agents looking to join teams when the lockoutwork stoppage that's about to happen comes to an end. Throw on the fact that the salary cap could conceivably go down some from the 130 million it was at in 2010 if the owners get their way and there will be a lot of players getting asked to play for less than they were making previously. Looking at some of the Patriots' salary numbers chronicled by the indefatigable Miguel, Ty Warren could be another Patriots in line for a haircut similar to what the team asked Nick Kaczur to take. Tom E. Curran canbe reached at Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Kraft, Pats still bitter: NFL 'really messed this up badly'

Kraft, Pats still bitter: NFL 'really messed this up badly'

It's been almost two years exactly since the Deflategate saga began during the AFC title game between the Colts and Patriots on Jan. 18, 2015.

Since then, Robert Kraft has expressed his displeasure at how the whole thing was handled by the league -- particularly as it relates to the treatment of quarterback Tom Brady -- on multiple occasions. And according to a story in the New York Times, that feeling hasn't subsided.

"Sometimes, the league really messes up, and I think they really messed this up badly," said Kraft . "But we’ve all agreed to subjugate our right to disrupt everything.

"I mean, we can, but we’re a partnership. There’s jealousy, there’s envy, there’s stupidity. Sometimes, life is unfair, and you have to suck it up and move on and not use it as an excuse."

Brady served his four-game suspension to start this season, and Kraft opted to accept the league's punishment for the team following the 2014 season: They were docked two draft picks (a first and a fourth) and fined $1 million.

The piece includes Kraft's thoughts on President-elect Donald Trump ("Loyalty is important to me, and he has been a wonderful friend," Kraft said), as well as comments from others on how Kraft has handled his situation ("I think Bob has exhibited disagreement, but he’s also very capable of making and influencing change," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said). 

You can read the full piece here.

Bell excused from Steelers practice for 'personal reasons'


Bell excused from Steelers practice for 'personal reasons'

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have had perfect attendance at each of their last two practices. The Steelers, on the other hand, have been working with less than a full deck.

All-Pro running back Le'Veon Bell has been conspiculously absent from Pittsburgh's practices each of the last two days. On Wednesday, he was listed on the injury report as a non-participant due to non-injury related reasons. On Thursday, coach Mike Tomlin announced that Bell had been excused from practice due to "personal reasons."

Tomlin added that Bell will be ready to go against the Patriots on Sunday so it seems as though the team is painting this as a nothing-to-see-here situation. And it probably is. Whether or not Bell practices at all this week won't necessarily have any bearing on the AFC title game; if he's healthy, he'll be a factor. 

If for some reason he doesn't follow up his 170-yard performance against the Chiefs with another strong game, however, people will wonder how his preparation was impacted by missing out on the first two of his team's on-the-field sessions this week.