Patriots Report: Quick Hits

Ty Law

The past week at the Patriots complex in Foxboro has been a busy one. Deals were done, players were signed, new players were adjusting to their new surroundings, and former players are in the news again. Patriots Insider brings you a look at what's transpired in recent days in New England in this weekend's quick hits.

Patriots Quick Hits

Where's Ty Law Now?

The Ty Law syndrome has gripped Patriots fans for weeks. "Where will Law end-up?" is the question on everyone's minds. Will he re-sign with the team as some have predicted? What is the market for Law?

The latest news on Law is that he's still making the rounds, as a good free agent should. While he recovers from foot surgery, Law has been visiting with teams looking to add some quality depth in the secondary.

Law has visited or talked to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Indianapolis Colts, the New York Jets, the Detroit Lions and most recently the Miami Dolphins.

While Detroit's GM Matt Millen tells the media he wants to add depth, and from all accounts, the Lions need help on defense, it appears Law will play the waiting game a little longer and make another stop on his whirlwind tour around the league.

Law in a walking boot

Reports emanating from the Florida media have Law making a visit to the division rival Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins recently lost Will Poole to an injury. Coupled with a number of other roster changes to the Dolphins secondary, Miami will need to add some bodies to their roster, and a healthy Law is the type of defender the Dolphins could use.

As reported earlier on Patriots Insider, Law's agent Carl Poston isn't in the business of rushing his client into a bad deal. On a local radio show, Poston talked about the type of contract his client is looking for. ''I don't think there's any question that Ty is still Ty Law,'' agent Carl Poston said during a radio interview Friday. ``He had the injury, but he's ahead of schedule.''

This is the same line Poston has been offering to anyone who's listening. Law, who's recovering from foot surgery to repair what's known as a Lis Franc injury, hasn't started to do the type of cutting that is required by top-flight backs. That hasn't stopped his agent from working the media trying to create a market for his client.

Another Lineman In The Mix

The Patriots confirmed the signing of offensive tackle Victor Leyva. Leyva, 6-4, 307 pounds, has spent time with the Bengals and the Dolphins and had yet to crack the starting lineup. His days in Cincinnati were as a reserve lineman for the Bengals.

Coming out of Arizona State, Leyva, a fifth-round pick, was considered to be in the same class as guards like Jonas Jennings, Georgia, Matt Lehr, Virginia Tech, Floyd "Pork Chop" Womack, Mississippi State and Paul Zakauskus, Boston College. Other guards of note who were drafted the same year Leyva were Steve Hutchinson and Patriots lineman Matt Light.

The Bengals, in search of line depth in 2001, signed all-pro Richmond Webb from the Dolphins. Leyva was glad to have the veteran around to teach him what to do.

"He helps me out there communicating, making sure I get some of the calls," Leyva said. "That's a big help because at times, I get lost out there, so it helps to have somebody who knows exactly what you're doing to help you out with all the calls." - Pro Football Weekly August 2001, Leyva's rookie season.

Leyva played in 10 games over his four-year career. He spent the entire 2004 season out of football after being cut by the Bengals prior to the season. The Bengals apparently had given up on their project lineman after drafting players like Levi Jones who filled in right away.

"Veteran Victor Leyva is still an enigma in his third season. He hasn't had to play much in his first two seasons" - Bengals Insiders, August 2003

Leyva was signed by the Miami Dolphins this past January, but was released a couple weeks ago. It's expected that Leyva will compete with the reserve linemen on the roster, as well as the undrafted free agents the team has signed, for one of the final roster spots.

Brady's Contract, A Deal Or Not?

Brady and Kraft

There has been significant ongoing discussion as to how the Patriots managed to get a hometown discount when signing starting quarterback Tom Brady to a contract extension. Brady, who signed a 6-year, $60 million deal, appeared to be pleased with the outcome.

Brady who's never been about being number one as an individual, has espoused the Patriot Doctrine that what's good for the team is good for the team's leaders. In a recent column on Sports Illustrated, Peter King reflects on something Brady told him about the money he'll get from a new deal.

"That's not what makes me happy. In this game, the more one player gets, the more he takes away from what others can get. Is it going to make me feel any better to make an extra million, which, after taxes, is about $500,000? That million might be more important to the team.''

Seems honorable enough. Certainly Patriots fans are familiar with Brady's comments regarding his contract.

With a number of media outlets reporting that Brady's deal is indeed a value for the team, a certain columnist on CBS Sportsline, Pete Prisco, isn't so sure. In his recent column "Brady's deal doesn't look like such a steal," Prisco takes both sides of the argument. Prisco works at making his point by looking at both the positive and negative sides of Brady's deal, comparing it to Michael Vick and Peyton Manning. However, in his efforts to clarify Brady's deal, he fails to make clear to some readers his point.

Cold Hard Football Facts picked up on Prisco's column and has taken him to task on his oversights . This is the same Boston sports media site that took Ron Borges to task for his relentless negativity surrounding the team.

While Patriots Insider has looked at the Brady deal, there is one thing that jumps to mind. Tom obviously gave up a lot to make the deal work. He's happy with it, and the Patriots are happy with it. It was a win-win in spite of what some have to say on the matter. Just ask owner Robert Kraft who spoke with the Boston Herald about the deal

"I know, speaking for the organization and the fans of New England, we're happy it's behind us and we can concentrate on what's going to go on on the field now," Kraft told the Herald

'Nuff said Mr. Kraft, Patriot Nation is with you on that point.

Another Veteran Linebacker in Foxboro

With the addition of Chad Brown, the Patriots continue to look stronger than ever at the linebacker position. Brown, who has been a stalwart of the Seattle Seahawks defense, is expected to take on linebacker duties in the middle should starter Tedy Bruschi not be able to return on time for the 2005 season.

Brown told the media he was happy to join the Patriots, and the personal attention head coach Bill Belichick paid to him was a key component of his decision. Doug Farrar, of Seahawks.net - another Scout Media insider - reviewed the signing and had this to say to Patriots Insider:

"Although the incentives in his deal (specifics unknown at this time) may push the total near the $4 million mark over the two years, the Patriots have once again shown their mastery of the cap - and Chad Brown has shown his intense desire to get a real shot at the Super Bowl ring that has eluded him for so long." Farrar said. "This is an outstanding agreement for both parties, and a true meeting of the minds."

Chad Brown leaps to drag down Itula Mili

The value the Patriots found in Brown appears to be directly related to the mystique the team has created around league circles. Each year, the Patriots start at the bottom and have to work their way to the top. Yet because of their success, or in spite of it, they manage to attract top tier players who feel coming to New England is their best chance at going to the Super Bowl.

Other linebackers the Patriots have been speaking with appear to be moving on now that Brown has joined the team. Warrick Holdman, formerly of the Cleveland Browns, signed with the Washington Redskins, and Anthony Simmons, formerly of the Seattle Seahawks, seems to have disappeared from the Patriots radar altogether.

For an excellent breakdown of the difference in Seahawks linebackers between Simmons and Brown, visit the "Insiders Lounge" on the message boards. Farrar breaks down these two talented backers for Patriots' fans interested in finding what they might be getting to watch next season.

The Rookie Watch

With Rookies coming and going, a couple of them stand out as having a good shot to make the roster. Competition at the position, or lack thereof, only improves their chances. One such rookie spent a few moments sitting down with Cyclone Nation this week to talk about the team, and his chances to make the cut.

Cyclone Nation spoke with Ellis Hobbs, III the Patriots third-round draft choice out of Iowa State University.

CN: Have you had any one-on-one conversations with the head coach or position coach to get a feel for where you stand?

Hobbs: No, and my expectation doesn't exceed making the team right now. That's my number one goal is to make the team. They don't have to sit down and talk to me about playing time and starting, because I don't want to hear that and don't need to hear that. My number one job is to make the team. They just taught me my job and I need to go out there and perform. I have no idea what they're thinking.

Hobbs has assumed the rookie role well, and is acclimating himself to the Patriot mindset rapidly. More on the Hobbs interview pre and post draft can be found on Cyclone Nation.

Related: Ty Law Sweepstakes Heating Up :: Patriots Sixty Million Dollar Man :: Chad Brown - Another Steal for the Patriots :: Insiders: Q & A with Ellis Hobbs :: Victor Leyva Player Page :: Ellis Hobbs Player Page :: All stories on "Ty Law" :: All Stories on Tom Brady

 


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