GimmeShelter Posted March 6, 2005 Share Posted March 6, 2005 Globe Article: Not everybody is glossing over the recent exodus of veteran Patriot players. Fans and media alike have definitely shrugged off the departures of key veterans like Ty Law [news], Roman Phifer, Troy Brown [news], David Patten [news] and Joe Andruzzi. Bill Belichick [news] and Scott Pioli made the decisions and they've brainstormed this team to three Super Bowl titles in four years. So people on the outside have taken the Alfred E. Neumann approach - ``What? Me worry.'' Apparently there is one segment of Patriots [stats, news] Nation that's not so understanding: the players. They seem to be turning a deaf ear to the sales pitch management is giving: Playing for the Patriots is an honor and a reward in itself. Look at those three Lombardi Trophies. Look at the comparisons being made between this team and the great dynasties in NFL history. Look at the way the players get along, how everybody serves a purpose and nobody - well, almost nobody - gets treated like a deity. That's been successful in the past. It's why Brown signed lower-than-market contracts for all those years. For years, the Patriots would enter negotiations with other players with the ``Troy Brown ceiling rule'' as a primary tactic. They'd detail what Brown was making and point out that, given his contributions to the team, it wasn't right to give other players better contracts. It's also why Tedy Bruschi [news] and Matt Light [news] took less money to stay here than they could have extracted from other teams in free agency. And coming here was enough of a lure that Rosevelt Colvin signed with the Patriots for less than he was offered by other teams. But times seem to be changing. Troy Brown did not fall in line and take the offer the Patriots made him at the end of the season. He might still come back to New England, but right now he's out in the market looking for better money. Andruzzi and Patten, two of the tough, dependable Patriots of this decade, took the money from the Browns and Redskins, respectively, rather than take less money to stay here and go for a third straight Super Bowl title, their fourth in five years. And free agent wide receiver Derrick Mason, the former Titan who was released because of salary cap problems in Tennessee, actually rejected the Pats' offer and signed with Baltimore. He turned down the chance to play catch with Tom Brady [news] to join the Ravens, where Kyle Boller is the quarterback. Supposedly the decision was made by Mason's wife, who preferred to live in the Baltimore area rather than New England. Even if that were the reason for rejecting the Pats' offer, it doesn't change the bottom line. Everybody expected the Patriots to use their success on the field to retain or attract quality players. That doesn't seem to be happening any more. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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