How the Vladimir Ducasse signing will affect the Patriots

July 07, 2010 - 8:48 pm

The Jets signing of UMass offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse Wednesday should have an impact on the Patriots on a couple of levels: First, eagle-eyed Tweeter @Rich_The_Hill made an excellent point as soon as the deal was announced '€” with Ducasse going at No. 61 overall and the Patriots taking linebacker Brandon Spikes one spot later, it looks like the market has been set for New England's negotiations with the former Florida linebacker. "That sets [Brandon] Spikes' contract (1 pick later) at $3.189M," he Tweeted. "Bank on it." Given the history and the way contracts are uniformly slotted, that feels about right. While the reports on the signing bonus vary (I've seen everything from $1.46 million to just over $1 million guaranteed reported), it's a safe bet that Spikes' guaranteed money should exceed $1 million. Second, Ducasse was the first second-round pick of the 2010 draft who has agreed to a deal. Keeping in mind the Patriots have three second-rounders (Spikes, Rob Gronkowski and Jermaine Cunningham), this will likely start the run on second-round signings, which means the trio could be in the fold sooner rather than later. (On that same point, I have spoken with several people around the league over the last week or two '€” including agents” and they all anticipate that the Patriots will have all 12 of their draft picks in the fold before the end of July.) '€¢Randy Moss was back in his home state of West Virginia over the weekend as a part of the Feed the Children Caravan. '€œThat's something I've always stood for,'€ the Patriots receiver told reporters who spoke with him at a stop in Huntington, West Virginia. 'For us to team up and feed the children, it says a lot. '€œI always said you really don't see what's going on behind closed doors,' added Moss, who was taking part along with fellow West Virginian and NBA star O.J. Mayo. 'When I pulled up and saw all those boxes ... that's a lot of families and children that need food and good nutrition. Hopefully, we can do more for his community and my community and the state of West Virginia.' 'Look for Patriots coach Bill Belichick in a new film about Alabama coach Nick Saban. Called "The Gamechanger," the film promises what this story calls "an unpredented, behind-the-scenes look into the life of Saban as a coach, friend and husband." Belichick, a close friend of Saban, worked with him when the two were in Cleveland, and is one of several people interviewed for the film, which is set to open Aug. 24.