« The cost and savings of cutting some players | Main | Incognito on his way to Pro Bowl »

Championship Sunday: Brady, Lewis, Jake Long

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- I'm covering the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game today.

It has become something of an annual rite that these two teams meet in the playoffs. They met last year in the title game. They have played six times since 2007 and this will be the third playoff meeting between the teams.

And all that time, the rest of the AFC East that is charged with knocking the Patriots down in the regular season has not been able to do it. The Dolphins did sneak in to win a division title in 2008 in what now seems like a mirage. And believe it or not, the Jets have had the most success unseeding the Pats from their playoff perch.

And still that hasn't been enough.

The primary reason? Let's face it, it's the quarterback. Tom Brady.

I believe as long as Brady is playing for the Patriots, the rest of the AFC East teams will be playing for a wildcard slot because Brady and the Pats are simply too dominant. So when will Brady, 35, go away? When will the door open for the other AFC East teams?

As I write in my column today Tom Brady is not declining. And in comparing him to Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Johnny Unitas and others, Brady isn't suffering the ravages of time. Check out which QB I believe he is comparable to as he ages.

If my comparison is correct, it might be 2018 before we're done seeing Brady in New England, folks.

Scary.

One legend that will be leaving the NFL after this season is Ray Lewis. I appreciate that dude. He is a great player. He is a great leader. However you feel about that long-ago murder charger (later dropped) is not the topic today.

The topic today is whether Lewis gets a chance to go out on top by advancing to the Super Bowl. Or whether he will bow out after this game.

On another matter, I want to share with you a good example of how uncertain things are for the Dolphins these days.

On Saturday, Jackie Long, the wife of Jake Long, tweeted what is a clear statement of how little certainty the Dolphins have given the Dolphins offensive lineman.

"Getting a little tired of not knowing where we'll be next year!" she tweeted. "I don't wanna move but if we have to leave I better start organizing!"

This seems like a sign that the Dolphins are quite willing to let Long walk this offseason if the price is not right on a new deal.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I can't be 1st. Lol

I say expect 2 or 3 more good seasons from Brady.

If Jackie Long does not want to move, there is a very good chance that Jake re-signs here at the hometown discount.

Not sure Jackie Long's concerns about packing her mansion should factor into the Dolphins' decision on whether to keep him or let him walk.

Long should accept the discount. He has already had his pay day and his play is declining but still well above average.

The blogs of a number of other teams are all projecting that Long will sign with them.

Remeber when Ireland makes a low ball offer and the FA walks then Ireland has not helped the team.

It's a good thing that Tanne is not as scared of the Pats as Mando is.

Let long go he's been in decline the last 2 years. Merriman pancaked Long fat a s sin the Buffalo game. He's done

Brady is probably the best QB ever. Its either him or Montana.

TNfinfan,

Thanks for the reply last night and I did catch your 6:58 PM post regarding the Jr.'s who declared and the approach to the upcoming draft.

I don't disagree with your point of view but have like every other blogger on here played G.M. and have a different take on the upcoming Off-Season.

I would like to address the WR pos. via FA, I know some don't really like my selection but I would sign Mike Wallace and his unbelievable speed as soon as FA started. I think his speed and ability will force the FS back out of the intermediate mid-field range were teams normally play us given the lack of respect at our ability or speed to get over the top. Even though my gut tells me if it's a FA WR we will look to sign G.Jennings given his history in our H.C.'s Offense.

I would also aggressively pursue JerMicheal Finley whose addition would make it a nightmare for opposing teams Safety's and help keep the LB's honest forcing some zone and clearing run lanes for our run game.

I would take the BA player in the drafts pick-12, if DE D.Moore (relentless pass rusher) and OLB Jarvis Jones (Von Miller type) are gone I would take OG Chance Warmack giving us a very imposing OL in the mold of S.F.'s The trick here is that if J.Long won't sign a team friendly deal we will be forced to look at Tackle once again with one of our 2 second RD selections (check out Central Michigan's Erik Fisher 6'8"/310 Pds.)

This situation would change the draft for us and hurts our chances at landing one of the Safety's like LSU's Eric Reid or T.E. Ertz. In RD-3 if available I would look to WV WR S.Bailey to add to the mix going BA from there on out. In that BA scenario if a player coming into the draft with an injury like RB Marcus Lattimore were there RD-4 I would take him given we all know the ACL injuries aren't the career killers they once were (F.Gore, W.McGahee, AP) addressing IMO the need for another RB in what I believe a weak Miami group.

If Jackie doesn't wanna move,she better get on the phone to Jakes agent and persuade him to tell Jake to take a monster paycut in order for him to stay otherwise she better pack her bags now lol.

Mando,Lewis has been a great player and leader but feel it's gonna be his last game unfortunately...

It's a good thing that Tanne is not as scared of the Pats as Mando is.

Posted by: Word'sBond | January 20, 2013 at 01:13 PM

Tanne should be scared he couldnt score a point against them.

Given the Dolphins are not involved or relevant to these games I will base my picks with my heart.

In the AFC

I like the Ravens given I'm also a UM Lifer and would love to see Ray Lewis and Ed Reed (hinted he's hanging it up as well) go out in story book fashion.

In the NFC

I'm going 49ers because while I like Tony Gonzalez I've just NEVER been a fan of that franchise at any time ever not even in the Primetime Yrs. and happen to like the idea of the Harbaugh Bowl which would make for an interesting S.B.

On Saturday, Jackie Long, the wife of Jake Long, tweeted what is a clear statement of how little certainty the Dolphins have given the Dolphins offensive lineman.

"Getting a little tired of not knowing where we'll be next year!" she tweeted. "I don't wanna move but if we have to leave I better start organizing!"

Mando,

Seriously??? Hard to believe that his wife would tweet that. If I were GM I would have actually made it more clear by now--start packing Jackie b/c we're rebuilding & your husband is not the same player he once was. Harsh??? Maybe so but at least she'd stop with the idiotic tweets.

You have to pay Jake Long if you want to win. There is plenty of cap space and I wouldnt want to rely on Irescum to replace him.

Jake is worth 10-11 mill/ yr.

poor pathetic fin4life.

This team cant afford to lose ANY players. And its not like they dont have the cap space.

There is seven weeks before FA...everyone relax.

This franchise has this nasty habit of treating their top players like chit. Marino, Welker, Ricky Williams, Joey Porter, JT, Brandon Marshall, Matt Moore, Jake Long, Reggie Bush, all mistreated.

Oh Jackie Long has such a dilemma. A young, healthty, multi-millionaire wife may have to organize a move.


Gee some people sure have it tough these days.

I believe as long as Brady is playing for the Patriots, the rest of the AFC East teams will be playing for a wildcard slot because Brady and the Pats are simply too dominant. So when will Brady, 35, go away? When will the door open for the other AFC East teams?

Mando,

With all of the players we have that are set to become FA's it would take a MIRACLE off-season to have us finish 8-8 or better.

I'm not saying I want most of these guys back next year including Long, Bush, or Smith but letting Hartline go would be disastrous. As bad as our offense was last year, he was BY FAR the best player we had. W/o him our receiving corp is Bess, Matthews, & Binns. That's a f#cking joke!

So then everyone automatically assumes that signing Jennings or Wallace. Not saying I wouldn't want either player but Jennings is coming off a season where he missed a lot of time b/c of injury & Wallace didn't exactly light it up either. BTW--There MIGHT be other teams that offer more money &/or years or the chance of playing for better football teams like the Seahawks or the Niners.

With Hartline, at least we know what we're getting & don't we need to add to the position & not subtract at this point??? I'm not sure if Ireland understands that b/c he's so preoccupied with 'overpaying' for a player. However with over $45 Million in cap space only an idiot wouldn't re-sign Hartline ASAP. In fact only an idiot would have let it go this far. This team just went 7-9 & so it's not like Ireland is operating from a position of strength. Hartline & his agent can easily go to a better team & still get a pretty damn good contract. For Ireland to f#ck around & risk losing the ONE player that has the best chemistry with your QB to FA is EXACTLY why I doubt his acumen as a GM.

Maybe Ireland doesn't want to appear desperate in negotiations with Hartline BUT the sad truth is that he is. But how 'bout that new logo???

Time to get you swag on dudes can you say RAVENS time to say goodbye to the Boston patriots goodnight TOM

There is seven weeks before FA...everyone relax.

Hayden,

We're coming off our 4th straight losing season & we have more holes than last year. Some of us don't have any confidence in Ireland's decisions & to be perfectly honest why should we???

I don't understand the Hartline negativity. Tanne and him have the best chemistry on the offense. You don't build a team but letting somelone like Hartline go. Even if you bring in 2 or 3 WR's I think Hartline can do a better job in the slot than Bess.

poor pathetic fin4life.

sucio | January 20, 2013 at 01:32 PM

I know who you are you fool nobody like Dashi has said many times the fact that like some cheap soap opera one can leave this blog and always find you here running the same pathetic storyline is what's truly pathetic, quit swinging off my sack and post Football and maybe after this post if you actually have something to say I'll respond until then your as significant as a piece of gum on the bottom of a shoe with me and some others all up in your mouth!

Jennings , hartline , bess , KEENAN ALLEN, SWOOPE, Mathews Keller , Fasano ,mastrude sounds pretty good to me just saying

"Time to get you swag on dudes can you say RAVENS time to say goodbye to the Boston patriots goodnight TOM."

NJ,

Would love to see it happen. Very hard to see NE losing this game in NE...

Draft Picks,

Ireland is not a dumb person, even though many like to think so. Also remember he is not going to totally ignore his coaches. I say Hartline is a lock to be here for sure unless Philbin is just not happy with him.

Jennings , hartline , bess , KEENAN ALLEN, SWOOPE, Mathews Keller , Fasano ,mastrude sounds pretty good to me just saying

NJ,

Sounds great BUT only Bess, Matthews, & Mastrud are under contract here.

We will resign the players that coach joe wants back just be patient none of our free agent will be a priority to any other team trust me

That's the point

We will resign the key players at their true value and let the rest walk . I do consider Fasano hartline both key players to our offense . Reggie bush not so much as well as big jake

"Ireland is not a dumb person, even though many like to think so. Also remember he is not going to totally ignore his coaches. I say Hartline is a lock to be here for sure unless Philbin is just not happy with him."

Razor,

I hope you're right about Ireland. I'm not saying I think he's a dumb person, I just think he's a little too arrogant for his own good. When it comes to Hartline it bother me a LOT that as of a couple of weeks ago Ireland hasn't even reached to Hartline & his agent. What's he waiting for???

BTW---How could Philbin be unhappy with Hartline??? What more could Hartline have done this season???
Sherman was saying how impressed he was with Hartline down the stretch for not only playing while hurt but playing well while hurt.

We will resign the key players at their true value and let the rest walk . I do consider Fasano hartline both key players to our offense . Reggie bush not so much as well as big jake

NJ,

Agreed.


If Jackie Long does not want to move, there is a very good chance that Jake re-signs here at the hometown discount.

Posted by: TNfinfan | January 20, 2013 at 01:01 PM

TNfinfan,

Didn't Ireland approach Long with an offer during the season, and didn't Long decline?

If that is the case, I wouldn't get hopes up on this ever popular hometown discount, JMO

What the coaches, GM's or anyone from the organization says publically is hogwash.

Ireland missed bad on a lot of picks. It sucks. Name a GM who hasn't. He is not dumb and now he has some experience. He has to perform NOW though, this season, he can't blow the draft or FA.

For those who really want Ireland gone, look at the bright side.

He has cap room, he is armed with lots of high draft picks. He either does well with it, or he is gone, no way he stays otherwise. So...it is a win/win for you.

"Didn't Ireland approach Long with an offer during the season, and didn't Long decline?

If that is the case, I wouldn't get hopes up on this ever popular hometown discount, JMO"

Signal,

Great point.

BTW--If we're going to 'overpay' for a player let's not do it for a player who finished the season on IR & who is physically on the decline. This is EXACTLY the same mistakes we made with both Jake Grove & Justin Smiley.

Jackie can stay with me until they figure things out.

Gracious me, I am having palpitations in anticipation of today's athletic contests!

"For those who really want Ireland gone, look at the bright side.

He has cap room, he is armed with lots of high draft picks. He either does well with it, or he is gone, no way he stays otherwise. So...it is a win/win for you."

Razor,

I just want us to be a good team already...Is that too much to ask for after the last ten years??? Apparently it is.

"Jackie can stay with me until they figure things out."

LOL@Mike. Agreed.

It's not Jake Longs fault that the Tuna screwed up and drafted him over Matt Ryan , but it's time to let him go !!

Give it time and the dolphins will turn things around. We just have to keep weathering the storms. I have faith in the phins

I'll always be their 1 fan but they have made so many mistakes over the last 12 years I don't have a lot of hope that they will turn things around anytime soon .

On another note if the new logo is anything like I've seen in the press , I HATE IT !!!

Leave our logo and fight song alone Mr Ross

The single worst thing to happen to this franchise was getting a QB so spectacular that they thought he would do it on his own, and they never learned, and never prepared for the future.


Give it time and the dolphins will turn things around. We just have to keep weathering the storms. I have faith in the phins

Posted by: Mike Acc | January 20, 2013 at 02:22 PM
-------------------------------------------------------

Umm, how much time? Mike, you must be young. Most of my friends would like to see another championship before we die.

FIN4LIFE WHY YOU TREAT SACIO SO BAD. YOU ARE THE ONE WITH PROBLEM. LET GO YOUR HATE. BE A REAL MAN NOT LIKE OUR GARAGE COACH

If Jake Long leaves, it was in the cards and no amount of money is going to keep him here. I think he wants to go. If it were me, why would I destroy my body on this team that is going nowhere for at least 3 years. No matter how much they make they all want to win. The team has been in rebuild since the 90's, save for a couple of seasons.
Hartline will be back. Bush maybe? The rest, who cares, pick up some more players. It isn't like the guys in FA were playing lights out football. I am sure that there are players that can keep this team at 7-9 forever.
If we get a good draft and sign a couple of game changers, we could easily be 10-6 next year.

Senso

I've never thought of it from that perspective and I agree 100% !

The new logo the Herald keeps showing is NOT the one they will be using. Ross and Dee have already said as much, so it's pretty dumb of this newspaper to keep on showing it.

The logo WILL be different, there is no question about that. The design change has already been filed with the league. But it is not the one pictured.

Wonder how you knew when the wife of a Dolphin player tweets,or is every body that is close to any Dolphin player scrutinized or should I say spied on by a friend of a friends friend

Signal,
I believe the offer to Long was made prior to being placed on IR so that should factor. My point however, is that the wife has a say in the decision, although not the final say.

fin4life,
Phins do need to sign a free agent WR. I do think Mike Wallace would be a good addition but do you think Ireland will give him the kind of money he wants? That is one of the reasons why I think Jennings would be more likely to land here plus the fact that Philbin is familiar.
I'm also in favor of BPA for the first round pick considering there are holes to fill in all positions except probably LB, RB and QB.

My heart goes with Ravens today for same reason, the UM connection of Lewis and Reed.

I will be thinking of microscopically tiny mice during today's game. I will imagine them in impossibly tiny little mice villages with tiny castles, trains, and amusement parks where they can laugh and play.

I remember someone posted on one of these blogs it might have been Yahoo when Tony Sporano put his house up for sale and that he had a condo in Dallas,leading to speculation he was headed back to the Lone Star State.I think there are probably spies in Irelands neighborhood maybe busy body old ladys that will sell the story to the highest bidding media type when Jeffy decides to put his shack up for sale.

i see brady going 7 more yrs.... yes 2020. not good news at all

Jackie Long:

"Getting a little tired of not knowing where we'll be next year!" she tweeted. "I don't wanna move but if we have to leave I better start organizing!"

Armando:

This seems like a sign that the Dolphins are quite willing to let Long walk this offseason if the price is not right on a new deal.

Me:

This sounds to me like Ireland knows exactly what his fa/draft oline oline options are. Seems the best offer to Long may be a borderline top 10 olineman offer. Which is fair considering Long as shown evidence of "DECLINE" each of the past 3 seasons and has struggled with injuries to boot.

Both these 2 things would be huge worries coming into 2013 when you resign Long. So, you dont want to add the extra issue of "OVERPAYING" him too.

jake long has become injury proned. hes taking a pay cut wherever he goes

At the rate of Brady's current play, it seems he would have at least 2 more very good seasons.

Brady's 35yrs old right, seemingly he could play forever. However, when "father time" comes to claim "his own", most times these players seeming lose thier skills as if happening "overnight".

Also, we can nevr predict when "Mr. Medical" shows up. He could show up to claim Brady in 2013 with serious injury. Then "Father Time" shows up at Brady's rehab. Both combining thier efforts to defeat the seeming invulnerable Brady in one swift season.

You just never know for certain about these things.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 »

The comments to this entry are closed.