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."
In the latest edition of the "It Is What It Is" podcast, Chris Price and CSNNE's Mike Giardi take a look at the Patriots offseason on both sides of the ball, try and get a handle on which new guys will make an impact first, and whether or not the Patriots have altered their style when it comes to drafting and developing wide receivers.
Mike Florio joined the program to discuss the Jets decision to release Tim Tebow, he said the situation is as disaster all around for the Jets and that the problems begins with owner Woody Johnson. Mike also said that he was disappointed with the Pats moving back in the first round.
One of the hardest working men in the biz, Mike Petraglia aka "Trags", sits down with Butch Stearns live in Foxborough to help break down all the latest Pats moves. He discusses his reaction to the trade in Round 1 and the guys those picks produced. Also, the boys talk about the decent trade the Pats made in acquiring LeGarrette Blount from Tampa Bay for Jeff Demps and a 7th rounder.
We check in with Danny Ainge for our first talk to him since the Celtics season ended last weekend. We talk about the future of the team, KG, Pierce, Doc Rivers and more, as Danny directly answers the rumors being floated by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.
Jackie Mac joins the show to discuss the trade rumors swirling around Paul Pierce, KG, Doc Rivers and the Celtics. She also discusses the future of the Celtics head coach.
Stephen A. joined the program to discuss the trade rumors he has reported regarding a possible trade including Doc Rivers and the Clippers. Stephen A. also told the guys that he has heard that Danny and Doc may be tiring of working together.
Dave O'Brien talked to John Farrell before the end of the Twins series. The Sox skipper said that Big Papi's success is no surprise given his work ethic.
John Farrell postgame press conference
Joe Castiglione and Dave O'Brien talked to David Ortiz after the Red Sox beat the Twins 12-5. Big Papi said that team chemistry is great, that the new guys see the Sox way of doing things.
Dale and DJ roll on with their puck talk and chat some more about the goalie matchup in this series, as well as the lack of a quality power play for both of these teams. In fact, DJ says the Rangers are even worse on the PP than the B’s! The guys also get into the resurgence of Milan Lucic and his deceptive speed and grit. Dale and DJ talk about the similar styles of play for these teams and look forward to Game 2.
Dale and DJ get into the two coaches and their polar opposite styles and demeanor. Both teams play a similar style, but the coaches certainly convey their messages in a different way. Dale isn't buying the Tortorella hype and thinks he's a little overrated. DJ thinks he's a good coach, but isn't a fan of anti-media stance. The guys also talk about Jagr and how he has not lived up to the hype. They weren't expecting him to light it up or be the savior, but DJ says he wasn't prepared for just how slow the aging veteran is. Another big topic for B's fans this season is the play of Tyler Seguin and why he has yet to become the superstar everyone anticipates he will be. This leads to Claude Julien's style and if he does actually have something against the younger players. That Iginla trade shows its ugly head again as well.
WEEI.com's DJ Bean joins Dale in studio for Sports Sunday to discuss the Bruins playoff run. Game 2 is later today and the guys discuss the results of the first game of the series. They get into the construction of the lines for the B's and if they would make any changes. DJ has a few ideas for the lines today. The boys also discuss the two goalies - Tuukka vs Henrik Lundqvist and wonder why people automatically think the Rangers have the edge at goalie. Finally, they get into the legacy and the decisions of Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli.
Shawn joined the program to discuss another overtime win for the Bruins. When asked about Game 7 against Toronto, Thornton said that he would like to keep his specific comments in the dressing room private, but acknowledged that he encouraged Tyler Seguin to up his play and it paid off in overtime.
Barry joined the guys to help breakdown the Bruins overtime win last night in game one. Barry said that he has rarely seen a team dominate as much as the Bruins yet be forced to an overtime.
Boomer joined the program to discuss the tough loss for his beloved Rangers. Boomer told the guys that Lundqvist will be better in game two and predicted a seven game series.
Bruins rookie defenseman Matt Bartkowski has emerged as one of the young stars of the team and he joins Mut and Tom Caron to discuss his role on the team, why he's confident, and the trade that almost sent him to Calgary.
Millar joins the show to discuss the recent Sox slide, Jacoby Ellsbury's lack of power, and hitting in the big leagues.
Andy Brickley joins the show to discuss the Bruins Game 1 win over the Rangers, the play of the three young Bruins defensemen, and the fatigue Jagr has shown on the ice.
We talk all things game one with Jack Edwards of NESN, and get to hear a little from Jack's Finnish protege as well.
We tackle four topics we haven't yet touched upon today.. Joe Thornton and disappointing former Boston athletes, parking in Boston, buying jersey numbers and more...
We talk about the report that Rob Gronkowski may now be a candidate for back surgery with a disc problem. Is Gronk just an injury prone guy? Or is he not rehabbing proberly? Can the Pats build an offense around a guy who is so inconsistently on the field? We discuss.
The Bruins have almost finished raking the Leafs, the Red Sox struggle from the mound, Miami Heat fans show their level of class.
Daily Planet Wednesday May 8th
Today on the Daily Planet the Bruins take a 2-1 series lead, the Red Sox get a run-off win, and we hear about cannibals and bible thieves.
Sounds like a prostate exam to me!
Damn New Yorkers!
Sauce Man stylings!
Buster Olney joins the show to discuss the muddled AL East, the average play of Ellsbury and how that will affect him in free agency, and Tropicana Field.More from this show
Linda explains how the shootout transpired in Watertown during the early morning hours. She saw the first suspect mortally wounded and police beginning the manhunt for the second suspect.More from this show
Jeff Bauman, a victim of the Boston Marathon bombing, joined the show to give the guys an update of his condition and a first-hand account of that terrible day. Jeff told the guys how he wrote the description of the bomber as soon as he could. Mr. Bauman added that he is aided every day with the knowledge that he is alive and the terrorist that detonated the bomb is dead.More from this show
Boomer joined the program to discuss the tough loss for his beloved Rangers. Boomer told the guys that Lundqvist will be better in game two and predicted a seven game series.More from this show