Tuesday is an off day for players, but that hasn't slowed the flow of news in Foxborough. Two recent reports regarding Patriots star players Terry Glenn and Drew Bledsoe are apparently inaccurate.
The first pertains to an alleged "knockdown, drag-out" argument between Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Such an event never took place.
In fact, Belichick met with Bledsoe the Monday after the loss to the Rams to inform his quarterback that fill-in Tom Brady would remain the starter for the foreseeable future. Because of schedule changes pertaining to Thanksgiving, that Monday was like a normal Tuesday, meaning players had the day off and were not present.
The closed-door meeting took place in Belichick's office, and the coach never raised his voice. In fact, Bledsoe listened to the news and walked out before returning five minutes later to express his displeasure with the coach's decision. At that time, Bledsoe was indeed agitated and relayed his feelings on the matter, but no shouting match between the two occurred as was reported.
Later Monday night, Bledsoe returned for the weekly quarterback meeting and went about his game preparations along with Tom Brady and Damon Huard. Bledsoe didn't hide his disappointment the following day when he addressed the media and seemed miffed that the coach had changed his mind about allowing a quarterback competition to take place on the practice field during game preparation time.
No meeting scheduled
A high-ranking team official confirmed that owner Robert Kraft has no meeting scheduled with Glenn despite a report that one may be pending. Glenn, who hasn't played in the last six games, was in the spotlight over the weekend when he appeared on WBZ-TV4's Sports Final with Bob Lobel and Steve Burton.
In that interview, Glenn indicated that he no longer cared if he remained a Patriot in the future and had this to say about his absence from the lineup since recording seven catches for 110 yards and a touchdown in the team's 29-26 win over the Chargers on Oct. 14:
"I'm not getting paid and my hamstring hurts … you do the math," Glenn said before cracking a smile that left the intent of his comments up for interpretation. Glenn apparently has been cleared to return to practice this week, which means there had to be an injury that prevented him from being cleared earlier. But how much Glenn's conversations with team trainers and doctors had to do with his absence is impossible to speculate without speaking to those medical officials, who are not permitted to speak to the media about a player's health.
Glenn did not come out and say he was sitting out because of the team's reluctance to pay his signing bonus, which it is withholding in light of his violation of the league's drug policy. There was wording in Glenn's contract that allowed the team to recoup bonus money if the league suspended him, which is what happened. If Glenn violates the drug policy again, the team could lose him for 10 games, which may be why it is reluctant to bend on the money.
Glenn has filed a grievance to force the team to pay him his bonus money, but that won't be heard until after the season. If Glenn admitted to sitting out of the games because of the money, one could only assume that his chances of winning a grievance would be lessened greatly.
One certainty is that he doesn't think he'll be a Patriot for much longer. "I did want to play for them again," he told Burton and Lobel. "That's D-I-D, but I don't think I'll be here next season. I don't care if I'm still on this football team."
That leaves the Patriots with an interesting problem. They own Glenn's right for five more seasons and conceivably at a minimum salary level. If Glenn loses his grievance, he becomes easier to trade, but the Patriots would then have to wonder what kind of value they could get for the player considering his recent troubles with the organization. If Glenn wins the grievance, the Patriots would be back on the hook for a signing bonus they planned to pay originally anyway.
The team also must be concerned that letting Glenn go would create a perception for other players that if unhappy, a player can run his mouth and be given a ticket out the door to resume his career with a fresh start elsewhere – the inmate-running-the-asylum theory.
The team clearly hasn't been distracted by the Glenn saga and, in fact, has performed as well if not better without him than it did last year with him on the field. There's no questioning the player's talent, only his attitude at this point.