Sunday, March 11, 2007
Schlesinger Signed; Stallworth to Patriots
Miami reached an agreement on a two-year contract worth $2 million with FB Cory Schlesinger. Schlesinger is considered a "prototype fullback" and is "regarded leaguewide as one of the NFL's premier lead blockers." He was a sixth-round pick of the Detroit Lions in 1995, and has played all 12 of his seasons there. Last year, he did not carry the ball and has only carried it once over the past two seasons. Under Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz, his role was reduced significantly since Martz rarely uses a fullback. Cam Cameron, on the other hand, makes full use of the fullback as a lead-blocker.
Despite the fact that Schlesinger will be 35 years old entering the 2007 season, Cameron still believes he can be an effective blocker. He was selected as a Pro Bowl alternate from 2003-05. Also, his lack of rushing prowess will not be a problem. That's not the role he was brought in to fill. He has, however, shown the ability to be an adequate pass-catcher out of the backfield, which is a plus. He's durable too, missing only 11 games over 12 seasons. As long as his skills don't deteriorate too much due to age, he will be an upgrade over Darian Barnes, and he will give a nice boost to Ronnie Brown and the running game.
Although it was believed that Miami was WR Donte' Stallworth's preferred destination, he agreed to a six-year contract worth $30 million with the Patriots. Assuming he avoids a suspension as part of the NFL's substance abuse program, he will provide the Patriots with a true deep threat at the receiver position and could give Miami some problems if the secondary doesn't improve. They tended to have problems with some of the faster receivers they faced last season.