Dallas Clark reportedly had a meeting with the Patriots on Tuesday.
A list of plausible reasons why:
1. Bill Belichick is having some kind of reunion involving the NFL's best players from 2007 and wanted to check on Clark's availability in person. Cakes are cookin' for LaDainian Tomlinson and Randy Gene.
2. Even though New England has Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez on its roster -- and Daniel Fells and undrafted rookie Brad Herman -- Clark may be seen as depth for the unique role that Hernandez operates in.
3. Joseph Addai told Belichick he HAD to see Clark's moustache in person.
4. The Patriots needed to do their due diligence on Clark who has played in just 17 games over the past two seasons and will be 33 when the 2012 season begins. Is he serviceable? Can he be reeled in in late August if worse comes to worst and somebody gets hurt? That's the stuff pro personnel departments need to know in advance of calamity.
5. Clark was in town to give a first-hand account of things an NFL player SHOULD NOT SAY at a girls high school basketball game.
6. With a dearth of teams interested in the crafty-Hernandez forerunner, Belichick may have been doing a solid for Clark, Clark's agent (and Belichick's former agent) Neil Cornrich and for old friend Kirk Ferentz, Clark's coach at Iowa. So far, the Chiefs seem to be the only team with interest.
7. Bill Belichick wants to save old friend and current Chiefs GM Scott Pioli from the awkwardness of introducing Clark to his wife. "Dallas, this is Dallas." "Dallas, say hello to Dallas."
Cassius Marsh was brought to New England to help a depleted defensive end group and play in the kicking game. The Patriots wanted him badly enough that they parted with two draft picks -- a fifth and a seventh -- to acquire him in a trade with the Seahawks just before the start of the season.
Less than three months later, they've decided to part ways with the 6-foot-4, 245-pounder.
Marsh played in nine games for the Patriots this season, providing the team with an edge defender and someone with special-teams experience. He blocked a kick in Week 7 against the Falcons that earned him an enthusiastic attaboy from coach Bill Belichick.
Coming off the edge, Marsh recorded one sack and 13 hurries. Against the run, he was used more sparingly, and he was one of the Patriots on the scene for Marshawn Lynch's 25-yard run in the second quarter on Sunday. He played in just two snaps in Mexico City after missing the previous week's game in Denver due to a shoulder injury.
Without Marsh the Patriots remain thin at defensive end. In order to help bolster that spot, the corresponding move the Patriots made to fill the open spot on their 53-man roster was to sign defensive lineman Eric Lee off of the Bills practice squad.
Lee entered the league with the Texans last season as an undrafted rookie out of South Florida. Listed at 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, Lee has bounced on and off of the Bills practice squad this season since being released by the Texans before this season.
The Patriots got a good look at Lee during joint practices last summer with the Texans at The Greenbrier in West Virginia. In the preseason game with the Texans that week, Lee played 40 snaps and according to Pro Football Focus he had two quarterback hurries. The Patriots have a history of snagging players they've practiced against, and with Lee, that trend continues.
Bill Belichick sounded less than enthused about traveling to Mexico to play a game. And his line about being "fortunate there was no volcano eruptions, earthquakes or anything else while we were down there," didn't exactly sit well with some folks south of the border.
“Personally, I wouldn’t be in any big rush to do it again,” Belichick said on his weekly appearance on WEEI's "Dale and Holley with Keefe" show Monday. “Players did a great job dealing with all the challenges that we had to deal with. I think we’re fortunate there was no volcano eruptions, earthquakes or anything else while we were down there. I mean you have two NFL franchises in an area that I don’t know how stable the geological plates that were below us [were], but nothing happened so that was good.”
Pancho Vera of ESPN Mexico took exception to Belichick's comment on Twitter, which, translated, called out the "ignorance of the genius of the NFL." More than 200 people were killed after a quake centered near Mexico City struck in September.
Other Twitter users said, using Belichick's reasoning, they wondered if they'd be fortunate not to be killed or wounded in a mass shooting if they were to travel to the US:
Translated, the tweets read "I also have luck in Las Vegas I was not in a shooting" and "But you are right, I apply the same when I go to the U.S. and say I was fortunate I was not in some crazy shootout."