Good morning. Here is your PDB for Wednesday, July 27, 2011. It contains all the links, info, analysis and occasional humor that you'll need to start your day. If you can't detect sarcasm or take yourself and/or football too seriously, this may not be your thing.
WHAT'S ON TAP
- Players report to training camp for physicals, meetings and conditioning test. There is no media access.
- Teams can continue to sign drafted and undrafted rookies. Team can negotiate but not sign their own free agents, and those from other teams.
- 9:00 a.m.: Coach Belichick press conference
- 9:30-11:30 a.m.: Morning practice (no pads)
- 11:30 a.m.: Team-selected players available to the media
- 3:30-5:30 p.m.: Afternoon practice (no pads)
- As the Patriots start training camp, Amalie Benjamin takes a look at CB Devin McCourty going into Year 2.
- Dan Shaughnessy says Patriots owner Robert Kraft has emerged as a latter-day Walter Brown.
- How is the Patriots' pass rush going to improve without Tully Banta-Cain? Bill Belichick has a plan he's not sharing with us. What, did you just think he took one long vacation during the lockout?
- The Patriots are happy to get back to work, Monique Walker writes.
- Logan Mankins will be at camp on time, writes Shalise Manza-Young.
I'm not as surprised as some people are about this (easy for me to say now). For one, if Mankins wanted a long-term contract with the Patriots there was essentially a deadline by Sept. 20, which is the last day you can sign a franchise to a multi-year contract. If he doesn't report on time, there's no chance at a long-term contract.
Two, last year it was totally understandable that Mankins didn't report on time. He got screwed by the system because of the owner's opt-out of the CBA and I would have been ticked off myself. He never should have been an RFA in his fifth year. But getting hit with the franchise tag, that's always been part of the rules no matter how many years he's put in. They can tag him forever if they want. Plus, he's getting paid $10.1 million -- the average of the top five at his position. Not exactly a crappy RFA tender.
And three, from talking with people, I think Mankins has finally had enough of the drama and being connected to it, and he's finally going to take control of it. Sounds like being one of the plaintiffs in the antitrust case and having people like Jeff Kessler use him as a pawn without his knowledge -- and, no matter what anyone says, Mankins' name was involved in settlement talks -- has made Mankins say, 'Enough.' Also think the death of Myra Kraft, and also the role that Robert Kraft played during the negotiations while his wife was dying may have made Mankins take stock of what's important. Of course, we won't know anything for sure until Mankins finally agrees to a contract extension. That being said, they've been close to a deal before and not gotten it done.
- Here's an interactive training camp guide.
- Video of Patriots arriving by Zuri Berry.
- Photos of said arrivals.
- Lisa Zimmerman of CBS Rapid Reports says the Patriots are among those that have reached out to Jets FA WR Brad Smith. Wouldn't surprise me. He got squeezed out of playing time because of Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes. Smith is better than the Jets allowed him to show.
AROUND THE DIVISION
Here's the tally so far:
PATRIOTS--Additions: None. Subtractions: OLB Tully Banta-Cain, DB Tony Carter. Re-signings: None.
JETS--Additions: None. Subtractions: OL Damien Woody (retirement). Re-signings: RT Wayne Hunter.
BILLS: Additions: QB Tyler Thigpen (Dolphins). Subtractions: LB Paul Posluszny (Jaguars). Re-signings: None.
- QB Mark Sanchez may restructure his contract to give the Jets some cap flexibility. As if you needed further evidence that Sanchez is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
- The Jets are getting a lot of attention. And, boy, do they really hate that.
- The team wants to lockup WR Santonio Holmes and has reached out to All-World CB Nnamdi Asomugha. I really want to see how they're going to make this work under their cap. But GM Mike Tannenbaum is the cap master.
- The Dolphins are trolling the veteran quarterback market. You know, because Chad Henne is not good.
- Of course, they signed UDFA QB Pat Devlin so maybe the search is over.
- The lockout won't be helping the Dolphins' offense.
- My boy Greg Stoda says the Dolphins need to get Vince Young. Yeah, VY and South Beach...what could go wrong?
- The Bills lost ILB Paul Posluszny to the Jaguars. This is a big blow to an already mediocre defense that can't stop the run.
- WR Donte Stallworth won't be coming back. He just agreed to terms with the Redskins on a one-year deal.
- Norfolk native and former Boston College star QB Matt Hasselbeck landed where everybody thought he would with the Titans. Will be weird to see him in that uniform