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View Full Version : The Patriots could add Barry Sanders to their open roster spot


Nzoner
02-02-2005, 08:25 PM
The Patriots could -- Sign a former player who wasn't able to enjoy the spoils of the team's recent Super Bowl runs. Or give the spot to an NFL great like Barry Sanders who never got to play for an NFL championship. (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylc=X3oDMTBpZ2NvMjltBF9TAzk1ODYxMDU5BHNlYwN0aA--?slug=ap-superbowl-53rdman&prov=ap&type=lgns)

Interesting article,I had no idea.

Belichick sitting on ultimate Super Bowl ticket
By JIMMY GOLEN, AP Sports Writer
February 2, 2005

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- The New England Patriots are sitting on the ultimate Super Bowl souvenir: A chance to be on the roster for Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Patriots only have 52 players on the active roster -- one fewer than the maximum allowed by the NFL. That means they could sign anybody they want off the street as long as he didn't finish the season under contract with another team.

The 53rd man -- or woman, if they want to get really revolutionary -- wouldn't have any chance of playing. NFL teams only activate 45 players from the roster each Sunday and it's more than extremely unlikely that the person would make that cut.

But No. 53 would get a $68,000 winner's share if the Patriots win and a loser's share of $36,500 if they lose. And then there's the ring the winners pass out -- a bauble that can be worth $15,000 or more.

Always tightlipped about anything involving his roster -- or pretty much anything else -- coach Bill Belichick wouldn't confirm that they would face the Eagles on Sunday with an open spot.

``We're at 52. We could add another player; we might not,'' Belichick said at Tuesday's media day. ``I don't think that we would bring in anybody from the outside at this point.''

But why not?

The Patriots could:

-- Post the roster spot on eBay. Face value for a game ticket in the lower bowl is $500 and brokers were charging five times that. So a chance to stand on the sideline would be worth at least $5,000. The money could be given to charity or socked away to pay signing bonuses for the defending AFC champs.

-- Use it as a reward for a member of the practice squad. Each team is allowed eight extra players who fill out a scout team during practice and stand by, familiar with the system, in case they're needed to replace someone on the active roster. They dress in the same locker room as their teammates and study the same playbooks, but make pennies on the dollar.

-- Sign a former player who wasn't able to enjoy the spoils of the team's recent Super Bowl runs. Or give the spot to an NFL great like Barry Sanders who never got to play for an NFL championship.

-- Sign someone from the front office who helped build the team, or even owner Robert Kraft himself -- the ultimate vanity move. (Maybe we shouldn't give Cowboys owner Jerry Jones any ideas.)

-- Sign a reporter who can document the team's inner-workings for posterity. OK, Belichick isn't known as the most media-friendly guy in the league, but he did allow a Boston Globe columnist to trail him around for a couple of seasons for a book that came out last year.

Injuries -- especially in the secondary, where they've lost both starting cornerbacks -- have forced the Patriots to shuffle their roster all season. When cornerback Ty Law went on injured reserve, they signed former Steelers kick returner Hank Poteat to replace him even though he had been out of football most of the season finishing his college degree.

After the AFC title game against Pittsburgh, Belichick inexplicably cut Antwan Harris, who signed as an extra defensive back just 11 days earlier. That opened up a roster spot and left Harris on the figurative sidelines instead of the literal ones.

That's cold.

So the spot could probably best be used on Harris, who was a hero of the Patriots' first Super Bowl run.

Asked what advice he would give to someone sitting around, making plans to watch the game on television but really hoping to play in it, Poteat said, ``Never give up. Always have faith. Believe in yourself. Don't worry about what anyone else says about you.''

Poteat could wind up covering Philadelphia tight end Jeff Thomason, who was out of football for two years and working in construction before the Eagles signed him to replace Chad Lewis for the Super Bowl.

``Right now, I'm living the dream,'' Thomason said.

He only made one mistake: If he held out, he might have gotten a better offer from the Patriots.

``Maybe I will,'' he said, five days before the game. ``We'll see.''

cdcox
02-02-2005, 08:48 PM
I think I would stage a round-robin bare-fisted boxing tournament to see who gets the open roster spot. I would sell the event pay-per-view and make a fortune.