Quick-hit thoughts around the NFL and with the Patriots:
1. The two-year contract that tight end Alge Crumpler signed with the Patriots includes a $100,000 weight clause each season. Crumpler receives a $1 million signing bonus and will receive base salaries of $1.4 million in 2010 and $2.4 million in 2011.
2. Had an enlightening chat with Ravens coach John Harbuagh at the NFL owner’s meetings on one of the intricacies of the game – how Baltimore has used an unbalanced line with a sixth offensive lineman in an eligible position. We often hear teams looking for favorable matchups in the passing game. This is a way the Ravens target favorable matchups in the running game, and they are one of the best teams in the NFL at it.
3. Maybe that’s something the Patriots, given their personnel, could study and adopt more of in 2010.
4. Broncos coach Josh McDaniels isn’t counting on former Patriots defensive lineman Jarvis Green to be a full-time player for him. Green will be used as part of a rotation.
5. This year’s draft is considered weak at quarterback, but the Patriots probably aren’t concerned. My opinion is that when the Patriots look at backup Brian Hoyer, they believe he’s a legitimate No. 2 option who should have been drafted in 2009.
6. Pete Carroll is emphasizing the running game in his first year as Seahawks head coach and said that landing longtime offensive line coach Alex Gibbs was one of his crucial hires. Gibbs helped install Southern Cal’s run schemes in Carroll’s second season.
7. Last year, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said that Donovan McNabb has “proven with him at quarterback, you have a very good chance of winning and winning big.” I wonder if he still believes that.
8. I was surprised that the NFL Players Association didn’t come out stronger against the NFL’s modified overtime rule for the playoffs.
9. Browns coach Eric Mangini on what he expects from former Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson: “He’s a vertical guy. I think he’s going to cause some problems and be accounted for in the deep part of the field, middle of the field. He’s been a three-down player for them.”
10. From 1994-2010, the Patriots have received 26 compensatory draft choices. Only the Ravens (29), Cowboys (28) and Eagles (27) have had more over that span.