Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports NFL analyst Peter King checked in with Mut & Merloni for his weekly Patriots Friday appearance and weighed in on some key issues involving the Patriots.
Wes Welker's cut in playing time has been a huge issue in New England this week. King speculated that Welker is indeed being phased out.
"I think they're preparing for life without Wes Welker," King said. "I think if you look at the reality of this situation, Bill Belichick has always -- I mean always -- had the future in mind when he is trying to figure out how he is going to put his team into play for both the present and the future. All you have to do is look back at Richard Seymour. When you look back at Richard Seymour you realize in essence good players can be traded and can be gotten rid of.
"Now, I'll just make this point: Even though Wes Welker is not playing as many snaps as he did let's say a year ago, I did look [it] up this week -- he played 63 of 82 offensive snaps in that game against Arizona. It's not like he's being benched. And I understand that [Julian] Edelman has obviously taken some of his work away. And you look at it and you say, 'Jeez, well, why are the Patriots doing that?' And I think it has to do with basically survival of the fittest. If Bill Belichick knows he's going to lose Wes Welker at the end of this year -- which he figures he probably is. They made their best shot, he decided not to sign. And if they're either going to lose him at the trading deadline or at the end of the year, he says, 'I've got to find out if Julian Edelman is the guy.' And so, that's what he's in the process of finding out right now."
Asked if he thinks Welker will be traded, King said: "I think it's doubtful that they'll trade him, unless they got a really good offer. But I think that nothing is impossible. What if some team comes to them and says, 'We'll give you a [second-round draft pick]?' … What if you're Belichick? You know you've only got him for, let's say at that time, 12 more games. Is it worth it? If I were BIll, I'd strongly consider that. Because if you're not going to have the guy around and you believe that Edelman is an adequate replacement, I would do that if I were them."
Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton raised some eyebrows earlier this week when he claimed that his defense picked up on some Patriots tendencies that made it easy for Arizona to figure out what was coming during the Cardinals' 20-18 victory Sunday.
"I find him an honorable guy, and I find him an honest guy," King said of Horton. "So, I have to think that what he has done here, maybe, is overstated what he knew. Because I can't believe -- and I've known Ray -- I can't believe he'd lie about something like that. Perhaps it was overstated, and clearly the numbers don't bear it out -- something doesn't match there.
"I also think this: A lot of times, when you're a young, rising team like the Cardinals hope that they are, and you get excited after going to New England and the defense you call works against one of the best offenses ever to take the field, you get excited. So, I've got to think he overstated what happened a little bit and what they knew, because just knowing the guy the way I know him, I just can't believe that he would have made it up."
Looking at the situation with the game officials, King said the league still is "probably two disastrous weeks away from giving in" on at least one of the issues preventing the sides from settling.
"The NFL understands that people are still going to watch the games, people are still going to go to the games, and people are still going to talk about the games," King said. "Now, I believe if there are many more weeks like Week 2, where there were two games that I thought were borderline abominations: the Monday night game, where the officials just lost control of the game, and then the game Philadelphia and Baltimore in Philly, where for the life of me I cannot figure out why they were afraid to throw somebody out of the game after all the fights in the game.
"At some point you have to look at this and say this isn't working. In my opinion, it's not working. Now, there are some games where they do fine. Last night they missed two obvious false starts, they still are not capable of calling pass interference correctly and illegal contact. But in essence, they did a fine job last night. There was nothing glaring about that game. Half the games, there's nothing glaring about them, really. So, I think the NFL, unless they feel pressure, is not really going to in a revolutionary way change its offer."
Regarding the specific issues that are preventing the regular officials' return, King said: "The biggest problem right now has to do with two things that are not really money related, because they're not really fighting over the money that they're paid per game. They're fighting over the fact that the NFL wants to hire 21 additional officials to basically give them a farm system. So if some guy is rated poorly two or three weeks in a row, he goes to the bench and the next bet-rated head linesman gets called up. So, that's one thing.
"And I think the other thing is the pension. Last year, all NFL officials got $38,000 contributed to their pension for the post-career plans. The NFL is trying to lower that to about $16,000 a year. … Those are the two biggest issues right now. You're right, they met this week, Jay Glazer [of Fox Sports] reported it, it was a top-secret negotiation, and they got nowhere."
We had an impromptu visit from Peter King from SI / MMQB to our Fenway Studios and decided to talk some NFL and Patriots with him.
Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe discuss NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball with his very outspoken father Lavar Ball. The guys touch on the Celtics, his feud with his sons' high school coach, Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and much more.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
We sit down with the manager of the Sox, John Farrell, for our weekly interview.
Rob Bradford is joined by Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Craig Breslow, who is one of the foremost authorities among professional athletes when it comes to understanding how charities work. Not only does Breslow head up his own charity, the Strike 3 Foundation, but also proactively has taken the Boston Globe to task via a letter to the editor after a 2013 article criticizing the allocation of funds for high-profile athlete's charities. Breslow digs into the recent controversy surrounding Tom Brady's affiliation with Best Buddies, explaining why the recent Globe article was misguided.
Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett talked to the Sox left fielder, who had five hits in the Sox win in Baltimore.
Hour 4. Bradford joins the show to defend the fact that he attends Ortiz’s charity event for free. Alex doesn’t think it was unethical to out Hernandez.
Hour 3. Kirk goes on his second rant of the day. Minihane orders Alex’s and Gerry’s mics to be turned off and hosts the show by himself.
Hour 2. The guys talk discuss Hernandez’s gay lover with Reimer. Reimer says there aren’t a lot of straight guys looking to experiment. Bradford tells Mut he paid for his wife to attend the Ortiz charity event.
HOUR 3 - ESPN layoffs continue. One time Fauria didn't know Sage Steele's name so he called her "Rashard." ESPN has pretty much decided to punt on hockey. Marcus Smart responds to Jimmy Butler. Glenn dreams of the Celtics adding Gordon Hayward in the offseason.
HOUR 4 - The guys kept us updated on the wave of ESPN firings. Paul was blocked by Pete Abe. Fauria still hates Dan Dakich. Will Gerald Green be a factor, again, tonight? The lawyer for Kyle Kennedy (Aaron Hernandez' rumored gay lover) Larry Army gave a press conference.
Some house cleaning is being done at ESPN as reports of employee cuts begin to come out. And how pissed/not pissed should Matt Barnes be?
We sit down with the manager of the Sox, John Farrell, for our weekly interview.
The article didn't actually reveal anything that wasn't already public record, but the Globe "expose" on Brady and his relationship with the Best Buddies charity certainly has everybody around here talking about it.
We spend some time talking Sox as news of the rain cancellation comes down. A few more thoughts on the spat in Baltimore and Dustin Pedroia, plus David Price takes to twitter for his "media session".
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.
Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.
Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis are in after a Reimer Wednesday edition of K&C to recap a virtuoso Kirk Minihane off-the-rails performance
Buck and Reimer debate over whether it’s appropriate to speculate about Aaron Hernandez’s sexuality. Buck says his sources don’t corroborate what Michele McPhee and the Daily Mail have reported about the disgraced ex-NFL star’s love life. Reimer disagrees with the Boston Globe's assertion that there's a homophobic element to the Hernandez story.
Buck and Reimer share their coming out stories and discuss the different ways they decided to reveal their sexualities. Buck waited until more than 30 years into his career, whereas Reimer announced he was gay during his second appearance on WEEI. On that note, Buck presses Reimer on whether he's exploiting his sexuality to further his career.
Hour 3. Kirk goes on his second rant of the day. Minihane orders Alex’s and Gerry’s mics to be turned off and hosts the show by himself.More from this show
Hour 4. Crazy Al calls in for the second day in a row. A terrible caller tries to make a point. The Arkansas inmates had interesting last meals. Tomase’s epic acceptance speech.More from this show
Hour 1. In a wild opening segment, Kirk and Gerry lash out at the Globe and Joe Sullivan. Reimer weighs in on Cyd Ziegler’s Hernandez take. Michael Holley thinks the Globe would do the same story on Ortiz as they did on Brady and Best Buddies.More from this show
Hour 1. Tomase, Gerry, and Kirk discuss the identity of Aaron Hernandez’s gay lover. Tanguay thinks Brady held up Best Buddies and Kirk agrees. Tomase investigated where Ortiz sends his charity’s money.More from this show
Rob Bradford is joined by Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Craig Breslow, who is one of the foremost authorities among professional athletes when it comes to understanding how charities work. Not only does Breslow head up his own charity, the Strike 3 Foundation, but also proactively has taken the Boston Globe to task via a letter to the editor after a 2013 article criticizing the allocation of funds for high-profile athlete's charities. Breslow digs into the recent controversy surrounding Tom Brady's affiliation with Best Buddies, explaining why the recent Globe article was misguided.More from this show