The Patriots are in a tough spot with their contract players, Ben Volin of The Boston Globe writes. Players often find extra motivation in their contract years, but Volin wonders if the pressure of a big payday is getting to some Pats players. Linebacker Jamie Collins was traded to Cleveland in the midst of a disappointing year. Meanwhile, cornerback Logan Ryan has found himself in and out of the starting lineup and defensive end Jabaal Sheard was left home from the trip to San Francisco. Owner Robert Kraft admits that the uncertainty could be getting to some players, but coach Bill Belichick doesn’t want to hear any of that.
“Look, we all have things in our life to deal with. We all have families, we all have personal situations,” Belichick said. “That’s part of life. You can’t get around it. I mean, I don’t know if they’re distractions. It’s part of your life.”
This spring, the Pats will have to address the contracts of key guys like Dont’a Hightower, Malcolm Butler, and Martellus Bennett. Right now, it doesn’t look like Sheard or the suspended Alan Branch will be among the team’s top priorities.
Here’s more from around the NFL:
- Since taking over as the owner of the Jaguars, Shad Khan has watched his team go 16-58, the worst mark in the league during that span. Still, he believes that the wins aren’t far away, as Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union writes. Khan has remained committed to keeping the Jaguars in Jacksonville despite rumors to the contrary, and Khan discussed his plan for increasing the team’s revenue in north Florida. Part of his initiative is to draw fans from outside of the immediate area, a plan that cannot come to fruition until the team is competitive.
- What is Colin Kaepernick‘s future after the 2016 NFL season? In his most recent mailbag, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com notes that there are a lot of moving parts with regards to the controversial 49ers quarterback. With his play this year, Kaepernick has made it clear that he deserves a spot in the league based on his ability. However, a team must consider whether the additional media attention is worthwhile, particularly if they see Kaepernick as a backup. The quarterback has personally left the door open for a return, but it seems unlikely that SF will pursue anything with him beyond this season.
- Earlier today, the Broncos locked up safety Darian Stewart with an extension.