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."
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price explain how the Patriots held off the Jets, 17-16, Sunday at MetLife Stadium to improve to 12-3 and lock up a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs.
Greg and Steve give their final thoughts and predictions for what is about to go down at MetLife Stadium today.
Curran calls the guys to discuss the game today and gets into the effect of having no Edelman. He talks about Amendola's role, the Pats running game and more.
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Sam and Ben talk with Greg Dickerson about how fun this year's Celtics team is to watch as well Jeff Green trade ideas.
Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with former Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester. Jon talks about his experiences with free agency, what it would have taken to sign him to the Red Sox last season, and his experiences with fans since signing with the Cubs.
Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with newly signed Red Sox pitcher, Wade Miley. They talk about the story that came out about the D-Backs wanting him to switch to a gluten-free diet, and what he expects coming from the N.L. West to the A.L. East.
The boys are back at it, Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with former Red Sox pitcher and new Chicago Cub Jon Lester, they then talk with new Red Sox pitcher and ongoing consumer of gluten, Wade Miley.
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Jack Edwards talks with Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton and drops the bomb on us that based on how the standings look now, the Bruins could miss the playoffs this season.
Pierre joins the guys to talk about the Bruins and all things NHL
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The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
Jeff Goodman discussed the Rondo trade.
Christian quizzes Lou and Tim on which songs were used for torture by the CIA, and Tim is upset he couldn't remember Team America: World Police
Adam Schefter, ESPN, joins MFB to discuss Jim Harbaugh rumors, Rex Ryan's future, and why the Patriots may be better served by not wraping up the number one seed in the AFC this week
Christian shares what he believes will be the three keys to this Sunday's game against the New York Jets
We check in with the playmaker, the hall of famer Michael Irvin for a look at the NFL and all things Patriots as they prepare to face the Jets.
Dale and Michael discuss the trade of Rajon Rondo, and whether it ultimately was a good deal for the Celtics.
We break down Rex and the Jets vs the Patriots with CSNNE's Tom E Curran
Kay comes into the show to try out for the textress role on the program. We learn about her favorite sports and fondness for Rajon Rondo.
Mikey, Mut, Lenny and Kerry Byrne are taling Patriots-Jets and the potential end of Rex Ryan's coaching career with the team.
Tonight marks 9 straight years of the Planet Mikey Show. We play some sound from the takeover which got Planet Mikey rolling .
Jen Royle joins the show to talk about The Taste and what its like working with amazing chefs and how her personality is going over with viewers.
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Ryan Lambert of Puck Daddy joins DJ to discuss the "uncoachable(?)" Taylor Hall and revisit the Tyler Seguin trade. Ryan also shares his issues with how the Bruins are run.
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