Rex says he made right call in cutting Woodhead


Rex says he made right call in cutting Woodhead

By Tom E. Curran Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
Last season, after a pitiful offensive performance in their season opener, the Jets re-signed wide receiver David Clowney. To make room for him, they released Danny Woodhead. The Patriots snapped Woodhead up and he went on to be a key player in New England's 14-2 season. On Friday, Ryan tried to spin that regrettable decision by saying that the running back they kept instead of Woodhead - Joe McKnight - will ultimately bea better player than Woodhead. "Quite honestly, there's a reason we kept him instead of Danny Woodhead," Ryan told the New York media on Friday. "Danny Woodhead's a great back and done great things in New England, but McKnight's ceiling is about as high as it gets."In the next breath, Ryan suggested that - while McKnight's ceiling is high - the Jets don't even know which room to put him in. "I think he's got a chance to be one heck of a player," Ryan said. "It may be as a corner, but he can play."McKnight, a second-year player from USC whom New York took with a fourth-round pick, has carried 6 times for 14 yards this season, and 45 times for 203 yards in his career. Woodhead - undrafted and signed by the Jets in 2009 - accounted for 926 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns in 2010. He's got 32 touches for 156 yards so far this year. McKnight scored his first NFL touchdown last week against the Ravens on a 107-yard kickoff return. He also has a blocked punt for the Jets this week. Good special teams player. And Clowney, the guy that Woodhead was released to make room for? He had one catch for the Jets last year after they brought him back.

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Easley on character concerns: 'It's all rumors' until sources step forward


Easley on character concerns: 'It's all rumors' until sources step forward

When Dominique Easley was released by the Patriots this spring, it wasn't because he wasn't productive when he was on the field. In fact, on a per-snap basis, he was one of the most productive interior pass-rushers in the league last season, according to Pro Football Focus. 

Instead, there were some off-the-field factors, as well as injury concerns, that led to the Patriots choosing to cut ties with their 2014 first-round pick. 

As our Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran put it, there were "philosophical differences" between Easley and the team.

Other, more scathing reports of Easley's impact in New England were released, including one report from the Boston Globe that included a quote from a former teammate saying he was a "locker room cancer."

Since then, Easley has landed with the Rams and has a chance to contribute to one of the most talented defensive lines in football. In an interview on Sirius XM NFL Radio with Phil Savage and Amber Theoharis, Easley said he hopes that his new team will get to see that he's a better person than some have indicated.

"Just really," Easley said, "just hopefully that the Rams get to see what a great person and a great hardworker I am, and really, just a great person."

Easley went on to say that he's not sure who would speak of him negatively or why. He explained that it's not his "main goal" to prove there's nothing to worry about with his character, but clearly it's somewhere on the list. 

"There's been, obviously, stuff said about me," Easley said. "We don't know where it came from. I would say the person doesn't want to come out and say it, neither. As far as I know, it's all rumors until that person comes out and say that it was from them, and they can prove that they actually know who I am, or been around me long enough to know who I am and how I am as a person."

PFT: NFL plans to interview Manning about Al Jazeera PED allegations


PFT: NFL plans to interview Manning about Al Jazeera PED allegations

Peyton Manning is retired, but that doesn't mean he's exempt from the interviews that the NFL plans to conduct as it looks into the allegations made by Al Jazeera's December PED documentary. 

It was reported last week by USA Today that the league's senior vice president of labor policy and league affairs Adolpho Birch informed the NFLPA that players named in Al Jazeera's report would be interviewed in July. 

Among those scheduled to be interviewed are Packers linebackers Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews and Steelers linebacker James Harrison. Former Packers linebacker Mike Neal will also be interviewed.

(Harrison has taken issue with the league's request, and said on social media that he would only meet with the league if commissioner Roger Goodell showed up to his home.)

Manning was not mentioned in the letter obtained by USA Today detailing the league's interview plans, but Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk followed up on Monday to see if the NFL intended to speak with Manning. It does.

The former Broncos and Colts quarterback has been very vocal about just how strongly he denies Al Jazeera's claim that his wife, Ashley, received HGH for his use. Despite the fact that he's no longer playing, it will come as no surprise if, given his stance, Manning cooperates fully with the league as it seeks more information regarding the report. 

As Florio points out, if Manning hopes to return to the NFL at some point as an executive -- as many believe he will -- this is something he'll want to put to bed beforehand. That process will start with an interview.