As the Patriots prepare to represent the AFC East in the Super Bowl tonight, let’s take a look at some notes regarding the Pats, their division rivals, and a few items from the NFC East:
- Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com writes that the league’s handling of “Deflategate” has thawed the relationship between Roger Goodell and Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who has been one of the commissioner’s biggest supporters and who publicly backed Goodell during the Ray Rice fiasco. Reiss notes that, if Goodell were to lose Kraft’s support, his hold on the commissioner’s job could become a bit more tenuous.
- ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that Patriots star corner Darrelle Revis will be courted not only by his current team this offseason–after New England inevitably declines his 2015 option–but he expects the Bills and Jets to be in on Revis as well. Joel Corry tweets that Revis will have a great deal of leverage, as the Patriots cannot put the franchise tag on him if they decline the 2015 option.
- Jets owner Woody Johnson received the Steinberg DeNicola Humanitarian Award on Saturday, and before receiving the award, he provided a few clues to his team’s offseason plans. In response to criticism he received earlier this week, when he announced that the Jets would be aggressive in free agency, Johnson stated that although he was not afraid to spend money on free agents, he would not waste money. He specifically mentioned cornerback and strong safety as positions that could be addressed in the free agent market, and he also touched on a possible extension for Muhammad Wilkerson and the team’s quarterback situation (article via Brian Costello of the New York Post).
- If Washington is to become competitive again in the NFC East, Rich Tandler of CSNWashington.com says new GM Scot McCloughan must move away from the team’s historic reliance on big-ticket free agents.
- After hearing that the Seahawks have offered Marshawn Lynch a lucrative extension, Joel Corry tweets that the Cowboys will have to substantially increase their offer to DeMarco Murray if they are serious about keeping him.
- Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News looked at the Cowboys linebacker situation in 2015, both with and without impending free agent Rolando McClain. Fortunately for Dallas, Anthony Hitchens showed that he can play any of the linebacker spots in his rookie season. If McClain comes back, he’ll play in the middle and Sean Lee will be on the weakside. If McClain doesn’t come back, Machota thinks it will be Lee in the middle with Justin Durant/Hitchens on the weakside.
- More from Machota, who writes that he’d be surprised if Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley, a restricted free agent, gets plucked away by another team. Linebacker Bruce Carter, however, is a different story. Carter has freakish athleticism and he was a projected first round choice in 2011. There could be teams out there that believe they can better utilize his abilities than Dallas has, perhaps by making him an inside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.
Zach Links contributed to this post