The Patriots have re-signed 26-year old QB Brian Hoyer to a 1-year, .92 million dollar deal. Hoyer played in 3 games for the Patriots last year and he completed his only pass attempt, which was good for 22 yards. He also carried the ball 4 times for -3 yards (-0.8 ypc) last year. Hoyer has now played in 13 games (0 starts) in his career with the Patriots and he has completed 27 of 43 passes (62.8%) for 286 yards with 1 TD pass and 1 INT (80.2 QB Rating). He also has carried the ball 24 times for 14 yards (0.6 ypc) with 1 TD carry. Hoyer will be the Patriots’ #2 QB once again in 2012.
Good morning! A light day for Kansas City Chiefs news. Enjoy.
With the team’s decision makers headed this weekend to Florida for the NFL’s annual March Owners Meeting, the pace will likely be slow early next week as well. In the last three days, the Chiefs have had just two visitors according to the NFL: unrestricted free agents WR Jerricho Cotchery and CB Chris Carr.
All Quite With Free Agency & Chiefs from Bob Gretz
Before Kansas City signed a single free agent, I asked fans a question. Do they trust Pioli and do they think Pioli will make the Chiefs better?…
…It’s amazing what Week 1 of free agency did for Pioli. Fans went from being upset to instantly saying nice things about Pioli. Sometimes fans are impatient, but how long has it been since Kansas City won a playoff game? Like the Kansas City Royals, the Chiefs could also say it’s time.
Pioli Deserves Some Trust from The Examiner
An Idaho native who was adopted and raised by his grandparents, McClellin grew up on a little farm that sat on Chicken Dinner Road, just off the Snake River in what they call the Treasure Valley of Idaho.
From out of this remote corner of the football world, McClellin heads to the NFL and he could be a defensive end, outside linebacker or inside linebacker.
Top 100 Prospects – No. 82 LB Shea McClellin from Bob Gretz
Has Scott Pioli transformed the Kansas City Chiefs? It’s a simple, straightforward question. Has Pioli improved the Chiefs in a positive way? Isn’t that the best question to ask when evaluating him? By looking at each position on the team you may find the answer is a resounding, yes!
Scott Pioli: The Transformer from Arrowhead Addict
The Patriots have re-signed 29-year old center Dan Connolly. Connolly played in 13 games (11 starts) for the Patriots last year. He has now played in 42 games (28 starts) in his first four years in the NFL. Connolly appears to be a late bloomer and the Patriots were smart to bring him back to help protect Tom Brady in 2012.
This could be an epic game just like the last time these two teams played in the Super Bowl, when the Giants ruined the Patriots’ bid at a perfect season by beating them 17-14. The Giants are coming into this game red hot as they have played really well in the playoffs. But, both teams needed a little luck to win in the Conference Championship Games, so I expect this to be a hard fought, outstanding game. Here is a look at the matchups in this game:
When the Patriots have the ball: The Patriots might just run the ball more than usual as the Giants have had issues stopping the running game this year. If the Patriots can get BenJarvus Green-Ellis going early in the game, it will make the Giants pay for overplaying the passing game. That doesn’t mean the Patriots aren’t going to pass the ball, because that’s their bread and butter. For Tom Brady to be effective in this game, the offensive line is going to have to step up and keep DEs Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora away from him. If Brady has time to throw the ball, he’s going to have a field day as the Giants are not loaded with good cover corners. WRs Wes Welker and Deion Branch could both have big games for the Patriots this Sunday as Brady is going to challenge Giants’ CBs Aaron Ross and Corey Webster quite a bit in this game. The Patriots are also going to use TEs Rob Gronkowski (he has a high ankle sprain) and Aaron Hernandez a lot in this game, so Giants’ safties Kenny Phillips, Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant are likely going to have long days if Brady has time to throw the ball. I see the Patriots scoring a lot of points this Sunday.
When the Giants have the ball: The Giants are likely going to try to stay somewhat balanced offensively in this game. That means the front seven are going to have to stop the running game while getting a good pass rush on Eli Manning. That will be easier said than done. The Giants have two good RBs in Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs. The OLBs (Rob Ninkovich and Jerod Mayo) are going to have to keep the outside contained and force the Giants’ RBs inside to deal with Brandon Spikes and Vince Wilfork. The Patriots are going to have to get a good pass rush on Eli Manning or they are going to be in big time trouble. WRs Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham are going to cause big time matchup problems for the Patriots. CB Kyle Arrington has been a big time player for the Patriots but he’s going to get challenged big time this weekend. CBs Sterling Moore and Antwaun Molden are really going to have to step up this weekend as they will likely be matched up with Cruz and Manningham. Safeties Devin McCourty and Pat Chung are going to have to give help over the top for the corners while also keeping an eye on TE Jake Ballard. A lot of times Manning throws the ball up for grabs after he gets hit a few times early in games, so the secondary is going to have to win those jump balls this Sunday.
PREDICTION: PATRIOTS 31, GIANTS 27
The Patriots waived 24-year old WR Tiquan Underwood last night on the eve of the Super Bowl. He played in 5 games for the Patriots this year and he caught 3 passes for 30 yards (10.0 avg). Underwood has now played in 15 games in his first three years in the NFL and he caught 11 passes for 141 yards (12.8 avg). He has also returned 26 kickoffs for 599 yards (23.0 avg) so far in his NFL career. Don’t be too sad for Underwood as he will still get a share of the Super Bowl winnings and he will get a Super Bowl ring if the Patriots prevail later today.
UPDATE: (2/7/2012) – The Patriots have re-signed Tiquan Underwood to a reserve/futures contract for 2012.
The Patriots have used their franchise tag on 30-year old WR Wes Welker. Welker played in all 16 games for the Patriots last year and he caught 122 passes for 1,569 yards (12.9 avg) with 9 TD grabs. He also carried the ball 4 times for 30 yards (7.5 ypc) and he returned 8 punts for 82 yards (10.3 avg) last year. Welker has now played in 77 games in his first five years with the Patriots and he has caught an amazing 554 passes for 6,105 yards (11.0 avg) with 31 TD grabs. Welker has also carried the ball 16 times for 126 yards (7.9 ypc) so far in his career with the Patriots. Welker has returned 89 punts for 942 yards (10.6 avg) and 10 kickoffs for 247 yards (24.7 avg) in his career with the Patriots. It was smart of the Patriots to bring back Welker for the 2012 season as he is still money over the middle.
In the lead-up to free agency, we’ll be looking at each Patriots free agent and projecting whether or not they will re-sign with the Patriots this offseason;
Status: Unrestricted Free Agent
2011 Stats: 15 games, 1 game started, 37 tackles, 1 pass defensed
Overview: Since coming to the Patriots via trade from the Eagles, veteran linebacker Tracy White has been one of the very best special teams players for the Patriots. However, in the 2011 season, White actually stepped up and played a more significant role on defense. He started at OLB in the 4-3 and also played some MLB. He wasn’t terribly effective or consistent, but he occasionally made some decent plays. In fact, it was his pass deflection against the Redskins that led to Jerod Mayo’s game-sealing interception in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. While White did perform adequately at times in 2011, it became clear that giving White a role as a full-time defender going forward probably wouldn’t be in the team’s plans. Nonetheless, White is still valuable as a special teams player, and is one of the very best in the league when it comes to that role. The Patriots obviously aren’t going to break the bank on a player like White, but if he’s willing to come back on the cheap, I’m sure the team would be happy to have him back.
Prediction: Re-signs on a one year, million deal
The New England Patriots have released 29-year old DT Mike Wright. Wright only played in 1 game for the Patriots last year and he had 1 tackle. Wright played in 81 games in his 7 years with the Patriots and he had 134 tackles, 15 sacks, 5 tackles for a loss, 4 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries and 3 passes defensed. The Patriots will likely try to replace Wright with a more durable and younger player either in the draft or free agency.
The Patriots have waived 26-year old G/C Rich Ohrnberger. He spent all of last season on the Injured Reserve List. He played in just 5 games (0 starts) in his three years with the Patriots. The Patriots have decided not to waste a roster spot anymore on a rather untalented player in Ohrnberger, who also can’t seem to stay healthy.
Saturday’s workouts are in the books and here’s a look at some prospects for the Patriots:
Georgia center Ben Jones ran a little slow in the 40 Yard Dash (which is actually important for most positions), but he was just as fast as top prospect guard David DeCastro. On the other hand, his 3 cone drill was far from spectacular. Jones was above average in the bench press, vertical jump, and the broad jump. He looked very good in his drills, which matches how he is as a player: an above average, but not elite, athlete with extremely sound fundamentals.
Wisconsin center Peter Konz put up 18 on the bench press (extremely low), and is recovering from an injury so he didn’t participate in anything else.
Ohio State center Michael Brewster was extremely limited as an athlete (no explosion). He hasn’t helped himself, in my opinion.
Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler continues to impress as a vicious guard prospect and could be rising due to his versatility. He was athletic and has the grit to be an elite run blocker (something the Patriots expect out of their right guard).
The star was Georgia’s Cordy Glenn. Glenn is a projected guard, but showed he has enough athleticism to potentially play tackle (read: Marcus Cannon). Glenn is 345 lbs, but moves extremely well with the weight. If the Patriots paired Glenn with Cannon, there’s no way any team could move them.
Lafayette tight end Ladarius Greene was the athletic stud many expected him to be. He was great catching the ball and at 6’5.5, Greene could present a mismatch all over the field.
Oklahoma tight end James Hanna was also impressive in shorts at 6’3, 252 lbs and could be a solid prospect. His tape might not back it up, but he’s a potential riser.
Missouri tight end Michael Egnew had, in my opinion, the most impressively athletic day. He dominated the field in the broad and vertical jumps, showing off his explosion. However, his bench press was low (21). Still, he has questions around translating his ability to the field. Could be another Ben Watson sort of question mark- flashes of talent, but concerns about putting everything together.
Stanford tight end Coby Fleener and Georgia tight end Orson Charles didn’t participate, while Clemson tight end Dwayne Allen hurt his stock (in my opinion) with an abysmal 4.89 40 time and low numbers across the board. These are the big three tight ends.
There are plenty of shorter (5’9-5’10) receivers in the draft. Arkansas’ Joe Adams (179 lbs), Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles (192), Florida International’s T.Y. Hilton (183), Toledo’s Eric Page (186), Arkansas’ Jairus Wright (182), and Baylor’s Kendall Wright (188). All are potential prospects for the Patriots.
There are fewer medium (5’11-6’1) receivers. Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon (207), California’s Marvin Jones (199), Ohio State’s DeVier Posey (211), Rutger’s Mohamed Sanu (211), and Wisconsin’s Nick Toon (215).
This is the year, if any, that the Patriots go for a big receiver. There are plenty of top prospects between 6’2-6’4. Arizona’s Juron Criner (224), Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd (220), Texas A&M’s Jeff Fuller (223), Georgia Tech’s Stephen Hill (215), South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery (216), North Carolina’s Dwight Jones (230), Iowa’s Marvin McNutt (216), Appalachian State’s Brian Quick (220), LSU’s Rueben Randle (210), Arizona State’s Gerrell Robinson (227), and Miami’s Tommy Streeter (219).
Look for players to separate themselves from the rest and expect the Patriots to draw from the 2nd tier of players.