The Oakland Raiders signed former New England Patriots defensive end Andre Carter, and GM Reggie McKenzie reportedly “looked into” tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. but decided that they are fine at TE, per Tim Kawakami.
Winslow requested a release from the team yesterday and was granted his release, and it is likely due to constant knee issues that have been plaguing the talented but extremely injury-prone TE. However, there is a chance that he didn’t fit well with Bill Belichick, and Sports Illustrated’s Peter King wrote this in today’s column.
“‘I’m told in the offseason, when Belichick inquired about acquiring Winslow from Tampa Bay, the coach’s good friend Greg Schiano told him, in effect, ‘Bill, you do not want this guy.’ I’m doing you a favor — lay off this player.”
Thus, the plot thickens regarding the true reason as to why Kellen Winslow Jr. requested his release from the Patriots. Schiano and Belichick have similar coaching styles, but it seemed like Winslow was willing to try and fit with the Pats organization. There’s always going to be speculation at this point, and it is definitely justified especially after he was released by the Seattle Seahawks this offseason as well.
I’d like to think that Winslow asked for a release because of knee issues rather than character issues, because I like him as a player back when he played with the Browns. This is going to be an interesting story to watch, even though his release doesn’t effect the Pats in the grand scheme of things.
As for the Raiders, this was clearly the best plan of action for them with the injury concerns surrounding Winslow. If it his truly severe knee issues that kept him from playing, then he’s most likely taking the year off anyway. The Raiders aren’t strong at tight end, but Brandon Myers has played well this year and Winslow is far too risky at this point.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.