Patriots Free Agent Primer: Secondary


Patriots Free Agent Primer: Secondary

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.comThis is thelast in a series of looks at the Patriots' position-by-position needs after the draft, and who's available to fill them via free agency . . . whenever free agency might come. Today's position:Secondary.Who's here?
Corners: Devin McCourty, Leigh Bodden, Kyle Arrington, Darius Butler, Ras-I Dowling, Tony Carter, Thad Turner, Jonathan Wilhite. Safeties: Patrick Chung, James Sanders, Brandon Meriweather, Bret Lockett, Ross Ventrone, Jarrad Page, Malcolm Williams, Sergio Brown. Who's out there?
Corners: Nnamdi Asomugha (Raiders), Jonathan Joseph (Bengals), Chris Carr (Ravens), Ike Taylor (Steelers), Antonio Cromartie (Jets), Josh Wilson (Ravens). Safeties: Eric Weddle (Chargers), Dawan Landry (Ravens), Quintin Mikell (Eagles), Michael Huff (Raiders), Donte Whitner (Bills), Darren Sharper (Saints). What's the need?
From 1-10? Let's call it a 2.The Patriots have three corners who have established they canplay the position well in the NFL:McCourty, Bodden and Arrington. Butler and Wilhite have shown flashes of competence and incompetence.Dowling, one presumes, should be good, but we presumed the same about Butler, Wilhite and Terrence Wheatley. It's a tough spot to predict. Still, you have to like the way the Patriots are stocked and the demand for a free agent pickup here is minimal. At safety, I'm going to be fascinated to see what the team does after this season with Brandon Meriweather, whose contract expires. Chung was clearly their best safety in 2010. Sanders was very consistent. Page had his moments. But despite the spotlighted ineffective andor stupid plays, Meriweather brought more aggressiveness and attitude to the position than he had in any previous season. 2010 was his best season. He may be a good player still. This is a very big season for him. That said, the Patriots need for anything more than roster-filler is minimal.
Who do they chase?
Whether it be at corner or safety, the only free agents I could see the Patriots chasing would be Jarrad Page-type players. Experienced, looking to get into a better situation than the one they're coming from or wanting to chase a ring. Darren Sharper, for instance.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official


Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official

NEW YORK - Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch was suspended for one game without pay by the NFL on Friday for shoving a game official during the Raiders' victory over Kansas City on Thursday night.

Lynch was ejected from the game after he shoved line judge Julian Mapp.

The scuffle started when Oakland quarterback Derek Carr was hit late on a run by Kansas City's Marcus Peters midway through the second quarter. Raiders offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn immediately confronted Peters, and Lynch sprinted onto the field from the bench to join the fray. Mapp tried to break up the fight, but Lynch pushed him and grabbed his jersey. Lynch also got a personal foul.

NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote a letter to Lynch, saying:

"You made deliberate physical contact with one of our game officials as he was diffusing an active confrontation between players. You were disqualified for your inappropriate and unsportsmanlike actions. Your conduct included pushing the game official and grabbing his jersey. ... You were not directly involved in the active confrontation that the game official was attempting to diffuse, nor were you a participant in the play that initiated the confrontation. You were the only player from either team who ran from the sideline to midfield to insert himself into a situation in which he was not directly involved."

Lynch will be eligible to return to Oakland's active roster on Oct. 30, the day after the Raiders' game against the Buffalo Bills.

Lynch finished the game with two carries for 9 yards.

The Raiders rallied to win 31-30 on a touchdown pass by Carr on the final play, and Lynch was in the locker room after the game congratulating his teammates.

Lynch came out of retirement this season and was traded from Seattle to the Raiders. Lynch said he wanted to make a comeback so he could give something back to his hometown of Oakland before the Raiders move to Las Vegas in 2020.

Lynch has rushed for 266 yards and two touchdowns in seven games.