I work out of a cubicle tucked in the far northwest corner of the NFL Media newsroom. On my desk sits a television that is tuned to NFL Network pretty much all the time unless there’s a televised police chase taking place in the greater Los Angeles area.
Based on this news, the franchise tag will not be an option for the 2014 Pro Bowler.
The Patriots and Bennett have a “mutually respectful” relationship, Rapoport added, but it will be quite a challenge for the two sides to find common ground on value once the new league year begins on March 9.
As we pointed out after the Pats’ Super Bowl LI victory, the one financial constant of the Belichick era is a steadfast refusal to set the market for any player — a policy that now leaves Bennett on the outside looking in.
The team is understandably unwilling to pay any tight end more than Rob Gronkowski’s $9 million annual figure.
Soon after trading for Bennett last offseason, New England offered him a new deal worth $7 million per year, Rapoport reported early this month. Bennett promptly rejected that offer.
At this time last year, Bennett was available to 31 teams for the bargain-basement cost of a fourth-round pick. After transforming his reputation from clubhouse headache to selfless Super Bowl champion, he’s now counting on one of the remaining 30 teams to overpay for his services.
While we marvel at the feats of a nearly 40-year-old Tom Brady, don’t forget what Harrison has accomplished — and the havoc he continues to wreak — in Pittsburgh. The player and team remain a perfect match, much to the disdain of the AFC North.