Posted: Monday May 9, 2005 9:34AM; Updated: Monday May 9, 2005 12:57PM
I'm not saying Seymour, who clearly is next in the financial line, should take 60 percent of his worth. But I am saying he should look at the landscape and think about whether one more Super Bowl win might cement his Hall of Fame bust someday and make him a lifetime legend in a rabid six-state region ... and he should consider that, like Bruschi and Brady, he shouldn't try to gouge the Patriots for every last dime.
This team has shown it will spend to stay great by adding good middle-class contributors such as the guy they'll sign today or tomorrow: free-agent linebacker Chad Brown. He's not the assassin he used to be, of course. But Brown, who'll likely get $4 million for two years, will be the new Roman Phifer, the 30-snap-a-game guy who can play inside or outside and make sure the possible loss of Bruschi would hurt a little bit less.
The Patriots have $4 million for a Chad Brown, and they may have $1.5 million left to sign the top player cut in the June market, because Bruschi and Brady see the big picture. I know it's absurd to think of the Patriots winning yet another Super Bowl next season, but I'll tell you this: They just had one hell of a week.
Quote of the Week
"Brett's never been undervalued -- I mean, he has a $100 million contract -- so how is it his place to say what Javon should be doing?'' -- Former Packers safety Darren Sharper, now with Minnesota, to SI.com's Mike Silver about Brett Favre's claim that teammate Javon Walker shouldn't miss offseason workouts to protest the inactivity in negotiations for a new contract with Green Bay. Walker has two years left on his existing deal.
Aggravating/Enjoyable Travel Note of the Week
Peter King will answer your questions each week in Monday Morning Quarterback: Tuesday Edition.
My wife and I spent nine days in Ireland. I have many delightful things to report, but I won't bore you with our home movies. I will just say that visiting 12 pubs gave us an appreciation for a slower way of life (and me an appreciation of how good Guinness is); that driving 327 miles on the wrong side of the road on the wrong side of the front seat on roads as narrow as my driveway was an absolute gas; and that the people are as decent and warm and friendly as advertised ... and, well, here are three other quick observations:
1. The Irish tabloids (cousins of the British ones) make the New York Post look like The New York Times. There's gossip, tawdry headlines and sports. I don't think anything else makes the papers. One day, one of the tabs ran a photo of Jennifer Lopez, from behind, wearing a tight pair of jeans. And this copy accompanied the photo: "There's no mistaking this prize rump. Our favourite ample-arsed superstar J.Lo proudly displayed her whopping derriere during a stroll around New York with her sister.''
2. I ate zebra. Imported from South Africa to a small town in central Ireland, Carlow, the zebra special was in a small restaurant (fillet of zebra, in an aromatic nut and spicy crust) and was incredibly tasty, like very tender roast beef. The waitress asked me how I liked it. "I am demolishing this poor zebra,'' I said.
3. One lodging recommendation: Coolanowle House, a B&B on a working farm in the middle of the country, in Ballickmoyler, about 25 minutes north of Kilkenny. You stand in the middle of 250 acres and hear either dead-silent nothing or cows or sheep talking to each other. That's it. The husband, Jimmy, farms. The wife, Bernadine, runs the five-bedroom B&B. She makes something called pinhead oatmeal in the morning, and all I can say is it's the closest breakfast food to vanilla ice cream that I've ever had. If you go to Ireland, and you want a placid couple of days walking amid the sheep (actually, the sheep run away when you get close), you have to try Coolanowle House. The B&B is reachable at email@example.com.
Stat of the Week
A comparison of the last three expansion teams shows just how horrendously the Cleveland Browns have drafted since they returned to the NFL in 1999.
Records of Jacksonville, Carolina and Cleveland in their first six seasons, including playoff games:
Number of Pro Bowl players drafted in the first three rounds of the first six seasons:
Jacksonville -- Five Carolina -- Two Cleveland -- Zero
Of the 20 players Cleveland has drafted in the first three rounds of its six inaugural drafts, only three are listed as starters on the offseason depth chart: center Jeff Faine (first round, 2003), safety Sean Jones (second round, 2004) and wide receiver Dennis Northcutt (second round, 2000).
That is some disgraceful player evaluation and development.