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The roller coaster ride that is the media’s opinion as to whether or not the “Patriots’ Way” represents the genius or stubbornness of Bill Bilichick, probably snapped a record number of necks during the recent free agency frenzy. The abrupt change in attitude when the story line went from the losing of Aqib Talib to the Denver Broncos to the acquiring of Darrelle Revis–all in about twenty-four hours–was pronounced and likely subjected many to a severe case of whiplash. It didn’t matter that the money Denver was shoveling out ($26 million guaranteed) was mildly insane, or that Talib has not proven he can stay healthy for a full season; the fact that he was going to Denver was very difficult to swallow. It appeared that, once again, the Pats were going to keep the checkbook closed, look for “value” and risk starting the 2014 season with decent, if unspectacular cornerbacks. Then came Revis.

Not only did they sign him, but they did for a relatively cap friendly $12 million. (I know, technically they had to sign him for 2 years and $32 million, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.) On top of that, they went out and signed the 6’4″, 220 pound CB, Brandon Browner, formerly of the Seattle Seahawks. Although most of us are hoping that he will be used in a role similar to Rodney Harrison‘s, indication are, as of now at least, that he will concentrate on CB. Given the size of some receivers, especially some of your more mobile tight ends, this is probably a good thing. Speaking of good things, it was reassuring to see the Patriots resign last year’s leading receiver, Julian Edelman, as well as  adding another weapon in WR Brandon LaFell. The more reliable targets you have for TB12, the better.

However, not all the news has been good. There seems to be a very strong likelihood that we will lose family favorite Vince Wilfork to salary cap considerations. This is one of those situations where it’s very easy to see both sides of the argument. On the one hand, he is almost 33 and is coming off a serious Achilles tendon injury; but on the other, he has been a good soldier and vital part of the team and community for almost a decade, and deserves to be rewarded. One way or the other, New England will need to add help to the D-line, as well as add depth to the linebacking corp. They also have a few issues to deal with on the O-line, as center Ryan Wendell is a free agent and guard Logan Mankins is coming off a subpar year.  Free agency isn’t over, and there is still the draft, so stay tuned for further developments…

FRENZY, PART II:

Grady Sizemore
Sizemore has opened up a lot of eyes this spring. (Matt West/Boston Herald)

There is a growing excitement amongst Red Sox fans over the play of comeback candidate Grady Sizemore. He got three hits and scored three runs in a recent Spring Training game against the St. Louis Cardinals, and is looking like he’ll be the Open Day starter in centerfield. The “Frenzy”, over last year’s Spring Training sensation, Jackie Bradley, has cooled considerably, as it is now hoped that he will at least someday be a steady if unspectacular outfielder. Oh, the difference a year can make…

FRENZY PART III:

Tuuka Rask
Can the Bruins get deep into the playoffs again? (Matt West/Boston Herald)

The expectations of post season glory are growing for the Bruins, as they are currently in the midst of a nine game winning streak. There is concern that they may be peaking a bit early (March as opposed to April) and that Tuukka Rask, who has a 2.07 GAA, in 50 games, may wear down, so I wouldn’t reserve the Duck Boats just yet. But still, they have a five point lead over Pittsburgh in the conference, and you have to like the way they are trending…

Featured image courtesy of: The Associated Press

Jerry Ballgame

About Jerry Ballgame

The personification of "old school", Jerry Ballgame was born in the shadow of Dr. Naismith's peach basket, and baptized in that "Dirty Water." Designated by his "Uncle" Ted, to keep an eye on things, he's here to tell everyone what his view is like from the Hub of the Universe.

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