Patriots

Are NFL teams holding Colts fiasco against Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels?

Are NFL teams holding Colts fiasco against Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels?

As the regular season drew to a close, conventional wisdom held that Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels would be near the top of the list for teams seeking a new head coach. 

But with one-quarter of the league's jobs open, McDaniels has reportedly been contacted by just two teams -- the Packers and Bengals so far. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is also said to be "high" on McDaniels after having interviewed him twice in the past. 

By rule, McDaniels can interview this week with the Patriots on their bye. He cannot meet with teams after this week until the Patriots are eliminated or during the bye week prior to the Super Bowl if the Patriots make it that far. 

So what gives? Why the tepid outreach?

Pro Football Talk poobah Mike Florio joined me on Tuesday's Quick Slants to discuss the NFL coaching landscape and, if his perspective is a guide, maybe last season's "I'm in, I'm out . . . " routine with the Colts has cost McDaniels. 

"I’m astounded that a guy who left the Colts at the altar -- and I don’t have a problem when somebody sticks it to a billion-dollar organization because they stick it to people all the time -- but when you tell people that you’re taking the job and they uproot their lives under the assumption, under the promise that you are going to be there and then you pull the plug on that and you don’t show up? I don’t know how he’s gonna land a staff."

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Florio was alluding to assistant coaches Matt Eberflus, Mike Phair and Dave DeGuglielmo, who were all committed to coach for the Colts under McDaniels. When McDaniels pulled out of the Indy job two days after the Super Bowl and a day before he was to be announced in Indy, the Colts decided they would honor all three contracts. DeGuglielmo (who was the Patriots' offensive line coach in 2014 and '15), Eberflus and Phair all stayed. 

Florio raises a legitimate point. Prospective head coaches can't just show up for an interview and shrug when asked who their offensive and defensive coordinators will be. They need to have done advance work to both find out who will be good lieutenants, both philosophically and in terms of personality. 

Those would-be assistants are putting faith in the candidate. McDaniels is going to have to quell concerns among prospective assistants that that won't happen again. 

Another reason for the slow response could be the presumption McDaniels is in line for the Patriots head coaching position and is going to bide his time at a hefty financial rate until Bill Belichick steps aside. The only issues there are that McDaniels has not been assured he's the next head coach of the Patriots and Belichick really isn't showing signs he's about to shove off. 

Of all the opportunities out there, the Bengals is by far the least appetizing. They are a notoriously cheap franchise that lags behind most of the league in facilities, scouting and player amenities. They also aren't talented. Green Bay has an aging, future Hall of Fame quarterback in place who's coming off a dysfunctional run with former head coach Mike McCarthy. Buyer beware is good advice for anyone considering that job. That also could be the advice right now on McDaniels. 

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NFL Rumors: Patriots do James White, Lawrence Guy a "solid" with bonuses

NFL Rumors: Patriots do James White, Lawrence Guy a "solid" with bonuses

Sure, the New England Patriots can be frugal at times. But they also reward players who prove their worth.

Defensive tackle Lawrence Guy and running back James White both fall into that category, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, who shared Wednesday morning that the Patriots gave both players raises for 2019 after they narrowly missed out on 2018 contract incentives.

As ESPN's Mike Reiss explains, Guy would have earned an extra $400,000 last season for playing in 50 percent of the Patriots' defensive snaps but fell just short at 49.6 percent. So, New England gave him that incentive anyway by tacking it onto his 2019 earnings as a bonus, bumping Guy's cap hit up to $4.4 million.

White, meanwhile, had a $250,000 incentive for 2018 for playing in 60 percent of the Patriots' snaps and tallying 1,200 yards from scrimmage. After he just missed both targets, the Patriots gave him a "make-up" bonus, as well.

Guy's and White's bonuses are nice gestures for two of the Patriots' more reliable contributors. They also are a form of thanks: As NESN.com's Doug Kyed points out, Guy and White hitting their incentives last season would have added an extra $650,000 to the Patriots' 2018 salary cap number, which would have subtracted from the amount they could carry over into 2019.

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Here are reported details of Phillip Dorsett's Patriots contract

Here are reported details of Phillip Dorsett's Patriots contract

The New England Patriots haven't exactly broken the bank for wide receivers in 2019 free agency.

The Patriots made their one-year contract with wide receiver Phillip Dorsett official Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, ESPN's Field Yates shared the numbers of that contract, via a source.

Dorsett's $1.5 million base salary is a slight uptick from the $1.1 million he made in 2018 on the final year of his rookie deal. This contract includes a $500,000 roster bonus ($400,000 more than his 2018 roster bonus) and more incentives, but it's still a relatively good deal for the Patriots, who retain a 26-year-old receiver with upside and knowledge of the offense.

Dorsett played well in spurts last season, catching 32 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns in his first full year with New England. He may be asked to take on a bigger role in 2019, as Julian Edelman is the only other wide receiver on the current roster who played significant snaps for the Patriots last season.

The Patriots also signed free-agent wideouts Bruce Ellington and Maurice Harris to low-cost, one-year deals -- $895,000 and $1 million, respectively -- as their current strategy appears to be acquiring several ponies instead of one or two horses.

That strategy obviously could change if the Patriots target another receiver via trade or free agency, but for now, they're keeping the budget tight.

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