The good news is that one way or another, the end appears to be in sight.
The rather murky saga called Spygate has now stretched on for six months and a day since it surfaced Sept. 10. A half-year is probably more than enough shelf life for a story that, strangely enough, has at times been vastly over-dramatized in terms of its significance and vastly underestimated in terms of its staying power.
Sure, Watergate lasted longer, but it was, after all, a tad more important in the grand scheme of things. We think.
With the news that the NFL and ex-Patriots video assistant
For the record, our reading of the available tea leaves certainly doesn't portend the story ending with Walsh producing an illegal tape that shows the St. Louis Rams in the midst of their walk-through preparations for Super Bowl XXXVI against the Patriots in February 2002.
That tape might or might not have ever existed. I don't get the sense that the NFL thinks Walsh has it, not from what league spokesman
The NFL desperately doesn't want to again appear to be in the dark about any facet of Spygate, as was the case when it acknowledged that Walsh had not been interviewed in the initial investigation last September. So if the league felt there was even a remote chance that Walsh has such a damaging tape, it doesn't stand to reason that Aiello would be offering on-the-record comments that cast doubt on its existence, setting up the NFL for a potential blindsiding.
The other factor that leads me to believe that no 2002 Super Bowl walk-through tape is forthcoming from Walsh is the vehemence of the denial that came from Patriots coach
Even if yours is the most cynical view of Belichick, and you are convinced he believes he is somehow above the rules, why would he, in the course of his obvious attempt at damage control, hand Walsh such an ideal opportunity to prove him a bald-faced liar? And that after holding his tongue on the matter for the previous five months? It doesn't pass my sniff test.
As for one more potential Spygate scenario that has been floated, I'm equally dubious of the notion that the Patriots could claim they never authorized Walsh to shoot any Super Bowl walk-through and that he must have acted on his own as a renegade video assistant trying to help the cause. Despite what may be circumstantial evidence that points to Walsh acting alone, the reality is if there's a tape shot with a Patriots-owned camera, New England and Belichick will stand guilty as charged in the court of public opinion, and you can expect momentum to build for NFL commissioner
While a Belichick suspension and further penalties to the team would keep the story alive in some respects, the ending of the saga would actually already be in place, with a countdown clock started. No more news would be forthcoming.
Soon enough it appears we'll know what Walsh has to say and what his evidence is. The mystery that has loomed over this story will be revealed. If Walsh largely has just tapes showing the Patriots videotaped the signals of opposing coaches in regular-season games from 2000-02, in which they missed the playoffs twice in three years, that's in line with what Belichick has already acknowledged to Goodell. That will elicit no further punishment from the league, and will serve as the likely final headline in this whole messy affair. Even Sen.
One way or another, it's almost time to move on and put Spygate in the rearview mirror. Let's hear what Walsh has, digest it and debate what it all means. We still don't know this story's eventual outcome for certain, but I am glad that the end finally appears to be in sight.
• The near-dormant Redskins are going to get a visit Wednesday from free-agent Seahawks receiver
Secondly, so are the Redskins, thanks to Hackett's six catches for 101 yards and a touchdown in Seattle's 35-14 conquest of Washington in the first round of the NFC playoffs in January.
When you factor in the Redskins' desire to transition to bigger receivers -- Hackett is 6-foot-2, 208 pounds -- it would appear a marriage waiting to happen if the financial end can be worked out.
As I've pointed out before, Hackett is one of the most attractive remaining free agents in a market that is already painfully shallow. He played in only six games last year due to a lingering ankle injury, but caught 32 passes for 384 yards and three touchdowns. Those totals project to a more than serviceable 85 receptions for 1,024 yards and eight touchdowns had he played in all 16 games.
• On the theory that everyone deserves a second
Carr made four starts and appeared in six games in Carolina last year, where he started the season as
With the Seahawks having signed both
Off the top of my head, teams that might have room and/or interest in adding Alexander include Chicago, Houston, Carolina, Denver, Philadelphia and maybe Dallas, if the Cowboys don't draft anyone to replace the departed Jones.
• This is turning out to be the NFL's offseason of reunion. To recap,
Am I missing anyone? So what's it going to be,
• I love it. After almost three years of constant media speculation on the topic,