BOSTON (CBS) – Toucher and Rich were joined by Albert Breer of the NFL Network Wednesday morning to discuss all things Patriots, including the controversial ending to Monday Night Football and how Aqib Talib’s bad hip is costing him in free agency.
But before discussing Talib, Breer had to close the book on Monday Night Football and the play that everyone is talking about.
By now we’re all aware of what transpired: four seconds left in the game, Tom Brady throws a pass into the end zone intended for Rob Gronkowski where it is intercepted. Gronkowski was bearhugged by Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly and a penalty flag is thrown. After a brief meeting between the referees the flag is picked up with no explanation. Game over, Patriots lose 24-20.
Bert Breer is of the mind that it wouldn’t have been as big a deal if the flag were never thrown, and the fact that it was picked up is reason for outrage.
The NFL’s Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino addressed the non-call yesterday, and Breer believes he skirted around the issue.
“It was very clear that he [Blandino] was having some fun with words, basically making it sound as if he was endorsing the call, without saying it was the right call. He explained what their logic was, but didn’t say if it was correct,” explained Breer.
When healthy, cornerback Aqib Talib is one of, if not the best cornerback in the game. He has the ability to shut down elite receivers, as evidenced by his play earlier this season in blanking Julio Jones, Vincent Jackson, AJ Green and Jimmy Graham.
But then a hip injury flared up, one that has plagued him since his days in Tampa.
“What’s really difficult for a guy who’s going to be a free agent is going into a situation where he’s being tagged as injury prone,” said Breer. “He obviously brings a lot of value to the table [as a shutdown corner].”
“Such a big part for these guys [NFL front offices] is the contracts. It’s not like baseball or basketball where everything is guaranteed, it’s about the structure of the deal.”
“My sense for a player like this, who doesn’t look like he’s necessarily breaking down but will have to deal with nagging injuries, is that it may not affect the total dollars that he gets on the market, but it’ll probably affect the structure of the deal.”
Listen below for Breer’s opinion on the turnover-prone Stevan Ridley, and whether or not Broncos receiver Wes Welker is on target to play Sunday night: