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Darrelle Revis Joins Patriots to Pick Things Up And Put Them Down

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff April 22, 2014 09:46 AM

Newly-signed Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis was spotted in Foxborough Tuesday as Patriots players reported for voluntary workouts.

Darrelle Revis is among the Patriots putting in work in Foxborough: http://t.co/OrQp1KHkT4 pic.twitter.com/dvpLuF6k6J

— Gary Dzen (@GaryDzen) April 22, 2014

Revis joined quarterback Tom Brady and the team's entire receiving as players who were in attendance.

What's the deal with these workouts? Several Patriots players have bonuses tied to them. This from the Globe's Ben Volin:

It was unclear if new cornerback Brandon Browner was in attendance, but he was likely involved given his $250,000 workout bonus. He is one of several Patriots getting a bonus to attend the voluntary offseason program. Three other players are also getting $250,000 (Rob Gronkowski, Logan Mankins, Mayo). Vince Wilfork gets $200,000, and four players get $100,000 (Rob Ninkovich, Shane Vereen, Stephen Gostkowski, Slater), among others. In most cases, players must participate in 80-90 percent of workouts to receive their bonuses. Those without workout bonuses, like Revis, get paid $175 per session. Per NFL rules, the Patriots can hold four practices per week, and none on the weekend.

You can watch the full video of Pats players lifting weights on Patriots.com.

Patriots Staff, Alumni Finish Strong in Boston Marathon

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff April 22, 2014 09:21 AM
ericalexander609.jpgFormer Patriots linebacker Eric Alexander ran the Boston Marathon for the Patriots Charitable Foundation. Courtesy of the New England Patriots

The Patriots Charitable Foundation, the charity arm of the New England Patriots, had 52 runners in Monday's 118th running of the Boston Marathon, including 15 staffers.

Former linebacker and special teams standout Eric Alexander also ran for the foundation's team. He finished the marathon in 5:17:42.

"It was an awesome experience," Alexander said. "It was tough, it was grueling. But being able to persevere and get through it, to finish, was great."

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Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman Show Boston Marathon Support

Posted by Glenn Yoder, Boston.com Staff April 21, 2014 04:42 PM

It was an emotional Boston Marathon this year, and the stars of the New England Patriots were feeling the love, as well. Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, and Rob Gronkowski all took to Facebook to post messages for the runners and the city.

Brady posted this photo and inspiring message:

Post by Tom Brady.

Edelman kept it simple:

Post by Julian Edelman.

And Gronk pumped up the runners with a Boston Strong message in this video post:

Post by Rob Gronkowski.

Report: Patriots Will Host Florida DT Dominique Easley For Pre-Draft Visit

Posted by Erik Frenz April 21, 2014 02:45 PM
(Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The New England Patriots are examining options to fortify their defensive line.

According to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun, the Patriots will host Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley for a private visit on Tuesday. Easley has a busy week; he already seen the Browns (Sunday) and has a meet-up planned with the St. Louis Rams (Monday).

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Bill Belichick Reportedly Running Rock Ďní Roll Half-Marathon

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff April 21, 2014 08:25 AM

BBlax.jpg

Bill Belichick, the Patriots head coach with a known affinity for Jersey rockers, will reportedly take his love of rock and roll to Nashville on Saturday for the Rock Ďní Roll Marathon series. This from MMQB's Peter King:

According to an official of the Rock Ďní Roll Marathon series I met in Boston on Friday as the running community gathered for the Boston Marathon, Bill Belichick will run the Rock Ďní Roll Half-Marathon in Nashville on Saturday. My guess is, with the long-range forecast for temperatures in the high 70s Saturday in Nashville, Belichick will be hoodie-free.

No word on whether or not the 62-year-old Belichick will run the race with "Livin' on a Prayer" blasting through his headphones.

Patriots Worked Out Cornerback Anders Battle

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff April 20, 2014 12:09 PM
042014andersbattle607.jpgNorthern Arizona's Anders Battle, left, worked out for the Patriots in March. Asher Swan / The Spectrum & Daily News / AP photo

In addition to a large tally of quarterbacks, the Patriots have also been associated with an equally impressive number of defensive backs.

You can add Northern Arizona's Anders Battle to that list, according to a source.

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Patriots Have Also Talked to Northern Coloradoís Seth Lobato

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff April 19, 2014 12:52 AM
041914sethlobato607.jpgThe Patriots had an extended conversation with Northern Colorado quarterback Seth Lobato. Taylor Mahoney / AP photo

In addition to the 10 other quarterbacks the Patriots have been associated with, New England has also had talks with Northern Coloradoís Seth Lobato.

Lobato, who has spoken to a number of teams, talked at length with Patriots representatives at Colorado Stateís Pro Day in March, according to a source.

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Patriots Have Shown a Strong Interest in Quarterbacks

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff April 18, 2014 07:15 PM
041814quarterbacks607.jpgBoth Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, left, and Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater have had contact with the Patriots. Brian SPurlock / USA TODAY Sports

The NFL draft is 20 days away.

If youíre like me, youíve been watching with intensity which players the Patriots have blessed with their interest.

Each team in the NFL gets 30 out-of-town visits, and thatís whatís been the buzz of late, but there are also numerous pro days to attend, local athletes to evaluate, and thatís all in addition to the information teams have on hand because of the NFL Scouting Combine.

So while we were monitoring the visits, the totality and accuracy of which weíll never truly know, we noticed a trend developing. And no, this is not your average Scarlet Knight connection. (Although thereís a surprising lack of those guys associated with the Patriots.)

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Report: Jets Sign Former Titans Running Back Chris Johnson

Posted by Erik Frenz April 16, 2014 05:07 PM
041614chrisjohnson607.jpgFormer Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson reportedly signed a two-year deal with the New York Jets. Wade Payne / AP photo

Chris Johnson wasn't a free agent for long. The former 2,000-yard running back was cut by the Tennessee Titans on April 4 and 12 days later ESPN's Adam Schefter has reported that the New York Jets have reached an agreement with Johnson on a two-year deal.

Former Titans RB Chris Johnson reached agreement with Jets on a two-year deal, per league sources.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 16, 2014

Over the past two years, the Jets have played the low-risk high-reward card on their free agent moves under new general manager John Idzik. They seem to have taken the same road with Johnson ó although, according to Pro Football Talk, the deal is the richest one for any running back this offseason at $8 million for two years with an additional $1 million in incentives.

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Ty Law, Raymond Clayborn Reflect on Being Nominated to the Patriots Hall of Fame

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff April 16, 2014 03:11 PM
041614tylaw607.jpgIn this file photo from 1999, Ty Law is exasperated after getting call for pass interference. On Wednesday, Law was named a finalist for the Patriots Hall of Fame. Jim Davis / Globe file photo

Ty Law, a finalist for the Patriots Hall of Fame with Raymond Clayborn and Bill Parcells, said being named a finalist was the last thing he expected right now.

"Itíll mean a lot," Law said. ďIt'll put the icing on the cake as far as my playing career with the Patriots."

Law played 10 seasons for the Patriots before moving on to play for the New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs, and Denver Broncos. But his heart, he said, was always in New England.

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Patriots mock draft 7.0: What if the Patriots don't pick in the first round?

Posted by Erik Frenz April 15, 2014 08:00 AM

The NFL draft is unpredictable, in large part, due to the nearly unlimited potential for trades. The New England Patriots are often among the teams moving up and down the board over the course of the weekend.

In particular, this year's draft is being regarded as one of the richest drafts in recent memory. NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock called it the deepest draft in the past 10 years, and Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said it has the most depth in the past 30 years.

As such, it wouldn't be a surprise for the Patriots to move down the board to try to acquire more picks. That being said, the price of moving up could be lower than before due to the demand to move down. As a result, the Patriots could target a coveted player with an early pick and they wouldn't have to mortgage the draft to move up for him.

FanSpeak premium allows users to take complete control of a team in the draft, and allows the user to make trades with the 31 other computer-controlled teams. Here's one look at how the draft might break down if the Patriots make some trades.

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Words With Frenz mailbag: Dominique Easley has look of future Patriots defensive tackle

Posted by Erik Frenz April 10, 2014 04:35 PM

If your paralysis by draft analysis has set in quicker than usual this year, that's because there's a longer space between the start of the 2014 league year and the 2014 NFL draft.

Relax. There's only one month left of pre-draft chatter before draft weekend kicks off at Radio City Music Hall.

As we get closer to the draft, however, the questions get more specific with the picture coming more into focus. The New England Patriots have typically done a good job of addressing all their major needs before the draft begins, but this year, they still have a few holes to fill before their roster is complete.

They must also be keeping an eye toward the future, with several key players coming up for new contracts next offseason and others getting closer to the end of their careers than the beginning.

Let's take a look at some of the questions on the minds of Patriots fans as we get ready for the draft.

@ErikFrenz @BostonDotCom What round if any do you see the Pats going for a running back?

— Scott Beaudry (@scott_beaudry23) April 10, 2014

There will be a bevy of backs available on the second day of the draft (rounds two and three) with great value. The Patriots went with two backs in 2011, drafting Shane Vereen in the second round and Stevan Ridley in the third round. Both are set to hit the open market in 2015, so the Patriots may need to begin looking for alternatives to develop ahead of that point.

I've picked a running back for the Patriots in several of the six mock drafts I've done so far: Ka'Deem Carey (Arizona), Tre Mason (Auburn) and Bishop Sankey (Washington) look like some good fits, and all have some versatility to their game, which would give the Patriots multiple options when it comes time to make decisions on their backfield.

@ErikFrenz What late round QB are they looking at to draft?

— craig s (ManusBret) (@Cstodd89) April 10, 2014

The Patriots hosted top quarterback prospects Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville) and Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M) for official visits to Gillette Stadium. A.J. McCarron (Alabama) has also been brought in for an official visit, but is not considered a "late round quarterback" as he will probably be taken somewhere in the third or fourth round.

As always, NEPatriotsDraft.com has done a great job of tracking the Patriots' visits, workouts and draft contacts. So far, they've had private workouts with Zach Mettenberger (Louisiana State), Logan Thomas (Virginia Tech), Connor Shaw (South Carolina), Kenny Guiton (Ohio State), and Chase Rettig (Boston College).

I've been on-board with them drafting McCarron since the beginning of the process. If the Patriots are thinking about moving on from Ryan Mallett, they will need a quarterback with an ability to step in and immediately command the offense as an accurate passer who makes good decisions. McCarron's ceiling may be limited due to his lack of arm strength, andthere are some questions as to whether he can be as successful when he's not playing for a juggernaut college program like Alabama where he is surrounded by talent, but in a pinch, he can come in and be an effective game manager.

Speaking of Mallett...

What are the odds of a Ryan Mallett draft day weekend trade? If so, what do you think the Pats get for him? @BostonDotCom #WordsWithFrenz

— Mick Macrina (@MickMacrina) April 10, 2014

The only way the Patriots trade Mallett is if they end up drafting another quarterback or somehow find a free agent somewhere along the line.

According to Nick Underhill of MassLive.com, the Houston Texans have expressed interest in trading for Mallett. There has previously been trade interest in Mallett. The Cleveland Browns were reportedly interested in trading for Mallett ahead of the 2013 draft. The Patriots reportedly turned down an offer of a second-round pick for Mallett from the Denver Broncos in 2012, ahead of Denver signing Peyton Manning.

In that sense, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Mallett get dealt, but it would be a surprise to see the Patriots do it without having a backup plan already in place.

@BDCPatriots @ErikFrenz With the draft as deep as it is, any chance BB trades up for A Donald Pitt?

— George Raab (@GR365patriot) April 10, 2014

George, the depth in the draft will probably lower the price of moving up, as teams will be more inclined to want to move back. If it costs less to move up, a team might be more inclined to do so if there is one prospect in particular they really like. However, the depth in the draft suggests that this will be another year where Bill Belichick sticks by his usual tendency to trade back to acquire more picks.

If the Patriots are going to move up for anyone, Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald would be a good choice. The Patriots met with Donald in Indianapolis during the scouting combine. It's impossible to know how that meeting went, but if it went anything like his workout, the Patriots probably fell in love with him the minute he walked in the door. Donald is slightly undersized at 6-feet-tall and 288 pounds, but he has great burst off the snap to get into the backfield and is exactly the kind of pass-rushing presence in the middle of the defensive line the Patriots have been missing for years. He may not be available when the Patriots pick at No. 29, though, so they would have to trade up to get him.

One more thing to keep in mind: the Patriots only have six draft picks for 2015. It may be wise for them to add to their supply of picks for next season, in a draft that could be considerably more top-heavy than this year's draft.

@ErikFrenz @BostonDotCom who's your favorite DL prospect in the draft?

— Tray Satterwhite (@Dorian_Swhite) April 10, 2014

It's close. There are a lot of defensive tackles to like in this class, including Louis Nix (Notre Dame), Stephon Tuitt (Notre Dame), and RaShede Hageman (Minnesota), but my personal favorite is Dominique Easley (Florida).

It seems like every undersized defensive tackle gets compared to Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins, but Easley may deserve that comparison more than most other prospects this year. At 6-foot-2 and 288 pounds, his quick burst off the snap is his best weapon in making plays in the backfield. He has a unique way of lining up at the line of scrimmage that makes him difficult to block and keep the shoulders square. He could use to add some strength, but an NFL training program can help him accomplish that goal.

His competitive streak stands out when watching his college footage. He has a non-stop motor and seemingly never gives up on a play, even when he's been blocked to the ground.

The only problem with Easley is that he is primarily a one-gap defensive tackle getting into the backfield. He is not the two-gap, read-and-react style of defensive lineman the Patriots have targeted in the past. If they continue to look for better gap-plugging defensive tackles, Tuitt would be a great fit. Tuitt has drawn comparisons to Richard Seymour for his ability to contain multiple gaps, but also to attack the line and find his way into the backfield.

This goes back to the previous question: Why bother trading up when there will be talented players available when you pick? This draft is deep enough to warrant staying put. Easley and Tuitt should both be available when the Patriots pick in the first round, and possibly even later. There will be plenty of defensive tackles on the board when the 29th pick rolls around. The Patriots could have their pick of plenty of talented players if they stay put.

Thanks everyone! Further questions, as always, can go in the comments section or send me a tweet and I'll answer there. Thanks for reading.


Follow @ErikFrenz

Patriots doctor Thomas Gill is stepping down

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff April 10, 2014 02:49 PM

Patriots doctor Thomas Gill, who has been at the center of numerous medical controversies with the Red Sox and Patriots over recent years, is stepping down from his position, the team announced on Thursday.

The Patriots released the following statement: "After well over a decade of service with the New England Patriots, Dr. Thomas Gill has stepped down as the chief of sports medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Sports Medicine to focus on his private practice which will subsequently end his tenure as medical director with the team. We have always had the chief of sports medicine at MGH serve as the team's medical director and will continue to work with MGH to provide those services. We greatly appreciate the many years of dedicated service and innovation that Dr. Gill provided our team and wish him well in the future. We will continue to work with MGH Sports Medicine to provide our medical services and look forward to receiving the level of care and expertise that MGH has been providing the New England Patriots since our team's inception. Dr. Matt Provencher is the new chief of sports medicine at MGH and will become the team's new medical director."

As Red Sox team doctor, Gill was at the center of Jacoby Ellsbury's injured ribs controversy in 2010, when the outfielder challenged what he felt to be an erroneous diagnosis. Gill left the Red Sox after the 2011 season. According to ESPNBoston.com, Gill was only a part of a medical team that had become "toxic" between him and trainer Mike Reinold.

Last season, there were significant concerns about Gill's surgery on Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, when WEEI.com reported last October that Gronkowski was dealing with "serious concern" about the integrity of the bone where the implement was placed and the surrounding nerves." Gronkowski would only play in seven games all season before going down with a knee injury in December.

According to his bio at Mass General, Dr. Provencher specialized in shoulder instability, ACL reconstruction, cartilage disorders, and rotator cuff tears.

"Dr. Provencher is a native New Englander, having grown up in Barrington, NH. He received his BS in Electrical Engineering from the United States Naval Academy where he held several leadership positions, graduated with Distinction and was the Secretary of the Navy Distinguished Graduate. He was also a 4-year Varsity Oarsman on the Naval Academy Crew Team and designated a first-team All-American for two years. Dr. Provencher earned his MD with Honors from Dartmouth Medical School where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. He completed his residency at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, CA followed by a fellowship in Shoulder, Knee and Sports Medicine at Rush University in Chicago."

Patriots 2014 preseason schedule out

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff April 9, 2014 03:42 PM

The Patriots' 2014 preseason schedule was released on Wednesday, with the team opening the exhibition schedule at Washington in Week 1.

The Patriots will host the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2 and the Carolina Panthers in Week 3 before traveling to New York to face the Giants in Week 4 of the preseason.

All of the games will be televised on the Patriots Preseason Network. Times and dates have yet to be announced.

Patriots preseason schedule

Week 1: at Washington
Week 2: vs. Philadelphia
Week 3: vs. Carolina
Week 4: at New York

Brandon Spikes calls time with Patriots '4 Years a Slave,' spars with fans on Twitter

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff April 9, 2014 02:38 PM
040914spikes607.jpgBrandon Spikes found himself fighting with Patriots fans on Twitter Wednesday. David Goldman / AP photo

Brandon Spikes, the colorful linebacker now employed by the Buffalo Bills, is relishing the opportunity to play against his former team, the Patriots.

And once again, he took his brand of brashness to Twitter to share his uninhibited feelings about his time in New England and what he expects for the Bills in 2014 against their AFC East opponent.

Great games on the schedule for 2014, but it's going to be like Christmas to hand the #Patriots #PatriotsNation a L...twice! #BILLSMAFIA

— BrandonSpikes51 (@BrandonSpikes51) April 9, 2014

it's icing on my cake to hand the #Patriots two big L's this year. #justwatch

— BrandonSpikes51 (@BrandonSpikes51) April 9, 2014

He didn't seem to characterize his stay in town too fondly, either.

4 years a slave

— BrandonSpikes51 (@BrandonSpikes51) April 9, 2014

Of course, Patriots fans who follow the evocative personality that is Spikes were not too pleased with the what was on display. Doesn't Spikes know that Bill Belichick is 65-23 against the Bills? That Tom Brady is 22-2 all-time against Buffalo? Or that the Patriots went on a 15-game winning streak against Buffalo (that Spikes was a part of) before it ended in 2011? (The Patriots have since started up a new streak, winning five straight now.)

But hey, there are plenty in Patriots Nation that let him know. And Spikes wasn't too pleased with them. Especially when they took it too far.

I'll tweet in a sec. Busy blocking every single #MassHole one sec #Twitter brb

— BrandonSpikes51 (@BrandonSpikes51) April 9, 2014

Lol don't call me a thug #Masshole go head and say what u really wanna say !!! 😳

— BrandonSpikes51 (@BrandonSpikes51) April 9, 2014

More than anything, for Patriots fans and those that call themselves Bills fans in this space, this is just another revealing episode in which you get to view the Spikes that wasn't allowed to speak freely while he under Belichick's wing. He was very much kept under lock and key, talking to the media rarely in his four-year tenure for his own good. He's the type that doesn't have a filter. And even then, you kinda get the feeling he's still pulling punches.

He signed with Buffalo on a one-year, $3.25 million deal. You probably can imagine the freedom he gets now. It's a different world for him in western New York. But you gotta wonder how much his freedom of speech actually costs, in wins and dollars.

Zuri Berry can be reached at zberry@boston.com. Follow him on Twitter @zuriberry and on Google+.

Former Patriots tight end Matthew Mulligan signs with Bears

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff April 8, 2014 08:39 PM
040814mulligan607.jpgMatthew Mulligan has signed a one-year deal to play for the Chicago Bears. Steven Senne / AP photo

The Chicago Bears have announced that they have signed former Patriots tight end Matthew Mulligan, the muscle bound blocking tight end who played prominently while Rob Gronkowski was injured.

Mulligan agreed to a one-year deal, according to the team.

The former Maine high school and college star played 23 percent of the team's offensive snaps in 2013, according to ProFootballFocus.com. He only caught two passes for 16 yards and a touchdown.

The Patriots currently have three tight ends on the roster: Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui, and D.J. Williams.

It's more than likley the team will select another tight end in the NFL draft. The Patriots carried four tight ends on their roster for most of the 2013 season because of Gronkowski's availability. But have gone into camp at times with five. Neither Hoomanawanui or Williams can back up Gronkowski at the Y tight end position, which is meant for tight ends that are larger and exceptional blockers.

Zuri Berry can be reached at zberry@boston.com. Follow him on Twitter @zuriberry and on Google+.

Revamped Patriots secondary makes Rob Ninkovich a happy man

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff April 8, 2014 12:53 PM
040814robninkovich607.jpgPatriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich held court with reporters at Gillette Stadium, Tuesday April 8, 2014. Zuri Berry / Boston.com Staff

FOXBOROUGH ó If thereís one thing a defensive end craves, itís time to get after the quarterback.

When the Patriots added a pair of highly regarded cornerbacks to their stable, Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, those transactions were a sure sign to Rob Ninkovich that he and his fellow linemen were going to have an easier time to to do what they love most.

ďWe got the best corner in the league coming in,Ē Ninkovich said of Revis. ďThatís always a good thing for a defensive end like myself. Just give me a little bit more time. Iíll be happy to use that.Ē

With the free agent signees, the secondary can possibly shut down one or two players without a problem, Ninkovich said.

ďYou can do whatever you want with [Revis],Ē Ninkovich said. “You can put him on the best receiver, tight end, whoever, and just say Ďhey, go cover this guy,í and he can do it. So whenever you have a guy that is that talented, itís always great, as far as defensive schemes.Ē

As to Browner, Ninkovich said, ďThat guy is bigger than me. When I first met him, I didnít know he was a corner. Heís a big, physical guy, heís tall, and long. Heís another guy that you can, a piece that you can put on the field anywhere, cover a guy, and shut him down. So again, thatís another great addition that we have to our secondary.Ē

At this time of year, players are returning to New England to work out at Gillette Stadium ahead of the start of the teamís offseason program, which begins April 22. Ninkovich, has been working out with Jerod Mayo, who was put on injured reserve last year after he tore his pectoral muscle six games into the season.

ďHeís a pretty explosive guy,Ē he said. ďSo I try to keep up with that guy. Heís looking good right now. I’ve been training with him for a long time. Itís always good to somebody to push you and make you better than what you are.ď

With the free agency bonanza seemingly cooled off and the NFL draft a month away, Ninkovich was asked to assess if the Patriots had taken the necessary steps to get back to the AFC Championship and deal with high-powered offenses like the Denver Broncos.

ďWeíve done some good things so far and itís not over yet,Ē he said. ďWeíve done some great things here and continue to get better as a football team. Iím excited that Julian [Edelman] came back. Heís my guy. Heís a good football player on offense. We have some great receivers coming back. And with Tom [Brady], you can pretty much do anything. Offensively, weíre looking good. Defensively, just adding a couple of pieces. What we had had so far, those guys are tremendous talents. As a defensive end, youíre happy to have two great corners that can shut down two receivers at the same time. And then we have a great safety. So again, defensively, weíve improved. But weíve got to put in the work. That starts now, it starts in the offseason. You have the talent, but you gotta put in the work to get to the ultimate goal.Ē

Zuri Berry can be reached at zberry@boston.com. Follow him on Twitter @zuriberry and on Google+.

Patriots release safety Adrian Wilson, never played a snap for team

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff April 4, 2014 02:48 PM

The Patriots have told safety Adrian Wilson that they will release him.

Wilson, on Twitter, said he was thankful for the opportunity with the Patriots.

Thankyou to the Patriots organization for the opportunity. I look forward to the future.

— Adrian Wilson (@adrian_wilson24) April 4, 2014

Unfortunately for Wilson, the three-time all-pro and five-time Pro Bowl player was never able to get going in New England after spending the first 12 seasons of his career in Arizona. He was placed on injured reserve before the 2013 regular season began. He never played an official snap for the team.

The Patriots signed Wilson in the 2013 offseason to a three-year contract. He was slated to make $1.5 million in base salary in 2014 with a $500,000 playing time bonus. His release frees up $1.16 million in cap space and follows the team's signing of safety Patrick Chung, who signed for one-year deal and a base salary of $740,000.

Can't make the club in the tub

— Adrian Wilson (@adrian_wilson24) April 4, 2014

Patriots CB Alfonzo Dennard released from Nebraska jail

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff April 4, 2014 02:37 PM
040415alfonzodennard607.jpgPatriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was released from a Nebraska jail on Friday. Elise Amendola / AP photo

Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard is no longer in a Lancaster County, Nebraska jail following his 60-day sentence for felony assault on a police officer.

Dennard, the Lancaster County Adult Detention Facility and his agent confirmed, is no longer in the system, after getting released at 1 p.m. He spent 35 days in the jail, with Friday marking the first day he was eligible for release because of good behavior.

The 24-year-old cornerback was arrested just days prior to being drafted by the Patriots in 2012 for hitting a police officer. He was originally given two years probation and a 30-day jail sentence. His sentence had been suspended until after the football season.

But that sentence was extended after he admitted to violating his parole following his arrest while being suspected of drunk driving in July 2013. He pleaded no contest to the drunk driving charge and was assessed $500 and placed on probation for that offense.

Dennard recorded 40 tackles and one interception for the Patriots in his second NFL season. He started 11 of the team's 19 games, including both playoff games.

Details of Patrick Chung's contract emerge

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff April 4, 2014 01:54 PM

New Patriots safety Patrick Chung will make a base salary of $740,000 on a one-year deal, according to multiple reports.

Chung also will make $60,000 on a signing bonus, another $60,000 workout bonus, and a $15,000 per game roster bonus, according to a report by ESPN's Mike Reiss.

The sixth-year safety was cut by the Philadelphia Eagles on March 11. He had signed a three-year, $10 million deal with the Eagles in the 2013 offseason and was due to make $3.25 million in 2014 before he was let go.

For such a low-paying contract, it reinforces the belief that Chung has been brought in as a backup, more likely to be used for special teams.

Patriots offseason workout dates revealed

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff April 3, 2014 05:40 PM
040314trainingcamp607.jpgThe NFL announced workout dates on Thursday for all 32 NFL teams. Matt Rourke / AP photo

The NFL announced workout dates for all 32 teams Thursday.

The Patriots will begin their offseason program on April 21, with organized team practice activities (OTAs) starting on May 27, and a mandatory minicamp for veterans beginning on June 17.

The Patriots OTAs dates are as follows: May 27, May 29-30, June 2-3, June 5, June 9-10, June 12-13, and June 17-19.

The mandatory minicamp will last from June 17 to June 19.

There are three phases to each offseason program. The first part includes strength and conditioning, as well as rehab. That begins April 21. The second portion, which lasts for three weeks, is individual instruction and team drills. However, no live contact is allowed. And the third portion is OTAs, where 7-on-7s and 11-on-11s can occur. But no live contact is allowed either, per the collective bargaining agreement.

The schedule for training camp will be announced at a later date.

There are only 154 days until the NFL opener.

Zuri Berry can be reached at zberry@boston.com. Follow him on Twitter @zuriberry and on Google+.

Newly-signed Patriots safety Patrick Chung happy to be back with 'family'

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff April 3, 2014 04:59 PM
Patrick Chung didn't play up to expectations in
Philadelphia. (Matt Rourke / AP photo)

It wasn't too long ago that Patrick Chung was a rising star with the Patriots. The sixth-year safety was drafted by New England in the second round of the 2009 draft. It didn't take long before he took the reins of the starting safety position.

Last year, in his first year of free agency after a lackluster performance for the Patriots in 2012, which included his benching, he signed a three-year, $10 million deal to be with his former college coach Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles. It seemed to be a match made for Chung, who had exhausted his opportunities as a starter in New England.

In the end, in 2012, Chung only played three defensive snaps in the Patriots' divisional playoff and AFC Championship games. At that point in the season, the team had opted for a combination of Devin McCourty and Steve Gregory at safety, with Alfonzo Dennard, Aqib Talib, and Kyle Arrington manning the cornerback positions. The Patriots cut Gregory on Feb. 28.

Moving on to Philadelphia was supposed to give Chung an opportunity to make good on all of the promise he showed while with the Patriots and likely in a more friendly environment with Kelly. But he struggled. He played in 10 games and was beset by injuries, finishing the year with 59 tackles while giving up the most touchdowns on the team in pass coverage (five).

This year, he was due to make $3.25 million with the Eagles but was cut on March 11. He comes to the Patriots with the view that he is a depth signing, meant to backup McCourty and possibly Duron Harmon, while pushing them in practice.

"Iím glad to be back. Itís like family here. It feels like home," Chung said in a conference call with reporters Thursday. "Iím glad to be back. I love the fans, love the coaches, love the environment, love the city. It was like a blessing."

It's still tough for Chung to square with why he's no longer in Philadelphia.

"I canít really tell you why things didnít work out in Philly," Chung said. "I donít make those decisions. You know, Philly is a great city, there are a lot of great people there; great locker room, great coaches. But I feel now that this has happened, I feel like itís a better fit here. Iíve been here for four years. I know the system, I know the coaches. The coaches are cool. I know most of the players. All locker rooms change but I know most of the players. This is a good environment. Iíve been here for a while so I feel like part of me is home. Iím always going to come back here regardless. I always came back here to help the city regardless of where I was. Now Iím back in the city that gave me my very first chance, my very first opportunity, so I feel like it's home."

Chung has an opportunity to continue to grow here, again. But even now, he doesn't see himself as having changed, improved or not, despite a year in Philadelphia.

"I donít feel Iím any different. Iím just going to continue to keep working, keep getting better, whatever I can do to help the team, whatever role I might have to play," he said. "I feel Iím the same. The scheme, I guess, would fit a lot better. Iíve had a lot of conversations so I just feel like this would be the best fit right now. Plus, Iím really glad to be back, too. Iíve missed you guys."

He'll get his chances. That's for sure.

Zuri Berry can be reached at zberry@boston.com. Follow him on Twitter @zuriberry and on Google+.

Bill Belichick helps you celebrate National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff April 2, 2014 02:46 PM

In honor of Wednesday being National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, letís revisit Bill Belichickís epic Ė and surreal Ė segment on the best way to make the sandwich taped while he was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Behold, the BBPBJ (The Bill Belichick Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich).

ďMothers are divine, arenít they?Ē


FULL ENTRY

Report: Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater visiting New England

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff April 1, 2014 07:29 PM

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Johnny Manziel is reportedly in New England to meet with the Patriots. (Patric Schneider / AP photo)

Former Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman winner Johnny Manziel is in New England and is set to meet with the Patriots Wednesday, according to a report by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Louisville standout Teddy Bridgewater will also meet with the Patriots Wednesday, according to the report.

Manziel's agent, according to Rapoport, would not confirm the meeting.

The Patriots have the eight picks in the 2014 NFL draft, including the 29th overall in the first round. Manziel is one of the top rated quarterbacks in the draft and is expected to be selected on the first day. It would be tough to believe the Patriots would pick up the electric Manziel, either by moving up in the draft or otherwise, because of the dearth of talented college quarterbacks. And not to forget, Tom Brady is signed through 2017.

But that doesn't mean Bill Belichick would shy away from Manziel. He could see value in the talented quarterback that others don't, especially if Manziel drops in the draft because of character issues. He did that with Ryan Mallett, the team's current backup quarterback. And there's always the due diligence for the Patriots to consider, scouting Manziel ahead of his NFL career. An up close look could help the Patriots determine if Manziel is worth any value at their current position in the draft or if he'll cause them trouble on the field in the future.

Bridgewater threw for 9,817 career passing yards and 72 touchdowns while at Lousville. The Patriots visited Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles in Orlando last week, according to multiple reports.

Zuri Berry can be reached at zberry@boston.com. Follow him on Twitter @zuriberry and on Google+.

Patriots will reportedly host defensive end Will Smith

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff April 1, 2014 12:50 PM

Free agent defensive end Will Smith will visit the Patriots Tuesday, according to a report by ESPN's John Clayton.

Smith, 33, missed the 2013 season with a torn ACL. He's a 10-year veteran who had played the entirety of his career with the New Orleans Saints until being released Feb. 12.

He has 67.5 career sacks.

Smith is expected to visit the Patriots the same day as free agent running back Michael Bush.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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