Tag:New England Patriots
Posted on: July 28, 2010 9:11 am

McCourty the next to sign

The second of the first-round picks has signed, as the Patriots and CB Devin McCourty have come to an agreement on a five-year deal, according to his agent Andy Simms . He will be in camp today, Simms wrote.

Now, as training camps open this week – some teams, of course, already are practicing – the rookie holdout watch really begins. McCourty was one of the next obvious first-round picks to sign, because Dallas had signed Dez Bryant, who was picked three spots beforeMcCourty, last week, creating a framework in which the Patriots and Simms could negotiate.

But the real domino-shifter will be No. 1 pick, QB Sam Bradford. When he signs with the Rams – and the Internet scuttlebutt says it should happen in the next day or two – that’s when you’ll start to see more top-round signings.

--Josh Katzowitz

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Posted on: July 27, 2010 10:35 am
Edited on: July 27, 2010 10:37 am

Welker to PUP list

Better take a rain check on the “amazing comeback” story of Wes Welker…at least for now. It was reported that the Patriots receiver, fresh off February ACL surgery, would practice on the first day of training camp. However, Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston is reporting that Bill Belichick has decided to put Welker on the PUP list. Welker could come off the list anytime, though. W. Welker (US Presswire)

In the meantime, Julian Edelman, who may or may not be a Welker clone (experts are still investigating), will handle the underneath receiving chores.

-- Andy Benoit

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Category: NFL
Posted on: July 25, 2010 5:16 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2010 7:29 pm

Welker's return is nothing short of remarkable

Massachusetts radio station 98.5 The Sports Hub has been told that Wes Welker will be cleared to participate for the first day of training camp. The Boston Globe reported Saturday that Welker, who had surgery on a torn left ACL in January, is healthy and ready to go.

Needless to say, this is nothing short of remarkable. The last big name player to recover so quickly from a torn ACL was Philip Rivers. But there’s a stark difference between Rivers and Welker. Rivers, being a quarterback, plays a stationary brand of football (so to speak). Most of his movement is in the north/south direction. He must plant on his knee, but he rarely has to plant and then move.

A receiver, on the other hand, is required to make frequent east/west movements, with explosive cuts after planting their foot. This is especially true for a catch-and-run magician like Welker.

Steelers Hall of Fame defensive back Rod Woodson came back from an ACL within six months. As a corner, he was required to make those east/west movements. Woodson, however, only had to prime himself for one game (Super Bowl XXX against the Cowboys). The success of Welker’s return will be measured on his effectiveness over a five-to-six-month span. Because of this, expect the Patriots to bring Welker along slowly during training camp.

-- Andy Benoit

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Posted on: July 23, 2010 10:45 pm

It's officially "The Brady Watch"

The clamor about Tom Brady possibly holding out in New England seems to be picking up. Right now, the general thinking is that it won’t come to that. Still, there could be animosity between the superstar quarterback and Patriot organization. Yesterday, Chris Mortensen appeared on ESPN’s NFL Live and had this to say: T. Brady

"On a scale of 1 to 10, and this is based on what current players [and] former players who know Tom or have spoken to him, and had some communication with him, they say his unhappiness is real, that it's above a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10.

“He's going to make $6.5 million this year. Robert Kraft, the owner, has alluded to the uncertain labor situation. Just as you see with the Broncos and Elvis Dumervil, if you want to get a deal done, you can get a deal done. [The Patriots] did one with Vince Wilfork.

"I think on principle, Brady is disappointed that they haven't stepped up and done the right thing. We'll see if something gets done. There has been a lot of speculation about whether he'd miss a day of training camp just to make a statement. I don't see that happening. Tom is too competitive. He's very professional. But the relationship has definitely chilled, and I think it has chilled on a business level and on a personal level."

--Andy Benoit 

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Category: NFL
Posted on: July 23, 2010 4:27 pm

Welker will be at Patriots camp

The Boston Globe picks up this bit of news from 98.5 The Sports Hub that says New England WR Wes Welker will be a full participant at the upcoming Patriots training camp. He hasn’t been medically cleared yet, but that’s expected to be a formality at this point.

Considering Welker is coming off a 123-catch season in 2009 and that he’s recovering well from knee surgery – which he talked about with Will in a “Five questions (or more) ” segment earlier this week – that’s a big deal for New England.

From the Globe:

And yes, that's huge news.

It's not that surprising, of course (considering what we saw in the spring), but it signifies a certain amount of confidence the team has in Welker's recovery. By putting Welker out there next week, the Patriots would forgo the ability to put him on PUP, and lose the chance to save his roster spot for the first six weeks of the season. So this decision is tied to one of those 53 places at the table when the season starts.

--Josh Katzowitz

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Category: NFL
Posted on: July 16, 2010 11:06 am
Edited on: July 16, 2010 2:00 pm

Five questions (or more) with Wes Welker

W. Welker speaks at the Gatorade National Athlete awards (US Presswire). (Quickly: Hello there, I'm Will Brinson and I'm new here. And while I'll be hanging around a lot, I thought that, rather than having me go through some introduction and telling you how excited I am and whatnot, you'd just as soon read an interview with Wes Welker instead? Sounds good. Excellent.)

Wes Welker has a rollercoaster of a resume: he's gone from the Gatorade Oklahoma Football Player of the Year, to being unsigned until a week after National Signing Day, to setting Texas Tech records while he was in Lubbock, to going undrafted, to getting waived by the Chargers, to becoming one of the most dangerous wide receivers in football as a member of the New England Patriots.

Of course, Welker suffered a nasty injury in Week 17 vs. the Texans last year, forcing him to spend his entire offseason rehabbing his knee. CBSSports.com was at the 2010 Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Awards in Los Angeles Wednesday, where Welker was an honored guest, and we had a chance to catch up with him to talk about how far along he is with the injury.

1. CBS Sports: How's the knee, man?

Wes Welker: It's going good. Kind of trucking along, each day, and trying to get better and just get back after it.

2. CBS: Originally, everyone was saying you'd miss a pretty good amount of time, like the first six weeks or so, and now there are rumors that you've been running around pretty well on the field. Think you'll be ready by the beginning of the season?

WW: I don't know, honestly. It's still a long ways off and I feel like I still have a long ways to go, so I can't really set a time table on it. But when it's ready, that's when I'm going to make the jump and see how it is.

CBS: Do you take extra precaution on the time since your game is so predicated on quick cuts?

WW: Yeah, I think you do, especially with this kind of injury. You want to make sure you're ready to go and stay on top of things. It's easy to do things in a controlled environment, but when you get out on the field it's a little bit different. So you've got to make sure not only is your knee ready for that, but your mind is ready for that as well.

3. CBS: Alright, there's been some mild controversy chatter about Tom Brady being out on the West Coast a lot, doing the family thing, instead of really being the "first-in, last-out" guy that he usually was during the preseason. Is that an issue with the team at all ?

WW: I don't think so. I don't really see it being a problem. Tom is still the first guy in, last guy out. Just because he's on the West Coast doesn't mean he's working any less. The guy's the hardest worker you'll ever be around – it's always “one more throw” with him, he's always trying to see what else he can get in. So I don't really see it being a problem or anything like that. Tom's going to come and bring his game no matter what he has to do, and, he's fully going to support his teammates just like we're going to fully support him.

4. CBS: Cool deal. Let's talk about the AFC East this year, because it's getting pretty tough pretty fast. The Dolphins landed Brandon Marshall, the Jets are improved, so how do you approach this year looking at your division? Is it any different than years past?

WW: Absolutely, man. We have a lot of talent in our division, a lot of good teams. It's going to be tough to even win the division, much less win a game. It's definitely going to be a tough year and we're definitely going to have to take those games very seriously and make sure we're bringing it, because the Jets made a lot of great moves, along with the Dolphins. And the Bills have a new coach, so there's a new mindset around there. So you gotta make sure you're bringing it every day and staying on the same level with those guys, because they have a lot of great players and there are going to be some teams to reckon with.

5. CBS: Alright, you weren't the national Gatorade Player of the Year, but you did win the Oklahoma player of the year. How crazy is it to see what they're doing here?

WW: Yeah, it's pretty wild. I guess they trick some of the kids into thinking they've been nominated or whatever and come to their school and tell them they need to shoot a video and then spring it on them.

And it's funny, them telling the story, and I was like, "Yeah, well, I opened up the USA Today and there's this two-page, long deal and I scanned down to find Oklahoma and over here on the middle right corner and there's 'Football' and 'Wes Welker'" …

CBS: And then you just gave your dad a high five over breakfast, or something, right?

WW: [Laughing] Yeah, yeah, exactly, man. I didn't realize you get to travel out to Los Angeles and hang out at the ESPY? It's pretty crazy stuff.

To read the Five questions (or more) with Harvey Unga, click here .

--Will Brinson

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Category: NFL
Posted on: July 16, 2010 9:34 am

Mankins, Patriots not communicating

L Mankins before a game last season (Getty). If you thought the New England Patriots and the disgruntled Logan Mankins were negotiating behind closed doors to make sure one of the top offensive guards in the NFL was ready to begin training camp, think again.

According to the Boston Herald’s Ian Rapoport , the two sides haven’t even begun to talk.

Part of that likely is because the NFL is on its month-long holiday, but it’s unclear whether Mankins – who missed all of New England’s offseason workouts – will attend training camp.

From the story:

Mankins had refused to sign his one-year restricted free agent tender worth $3.26 million, and the Patriots reduced it to $1.54 million. He’s not under contract, so he simply won’t be paid if he doesn’t show.

Mankins has said his stance is based on principle and that he wanted to be traded. Bauer added that “Mankins is a pretty principled guy.”

While sources have indicated the Pats offered Mankins a deal worth $7 million annually, the guard’s camp puts it at seven years and $6.5 million annually. The guaranteed money is not clear. If 2010 had a salary cap, Mankins would have been a free agent.

Two problems here: 1) New Orleans signed guard Jahri Evans to a huge seven-year, $56 million deal last year and obviously that set a precedent in Mankins’ mind, and 2) Mankins believes the Patriots have been dishonest in promising to take care of him after he played last year at what he believes was a reduced rate.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Posted on: July 15, 2010 10:49 am

Vince Wilfork needs your help

Patriots DT Vince Wilfork’s Super Bowl ring has been stolen. And he wants you to help him find it.

OK, it’s not necessarily true that Wilfork’s ring is gone, but think of this as a big scavenger hunt (as long as you don’t drive a 1976 Pinto, like the getaway car used by the alleged perpetrator who happened to be wearing a Jets helmet).

From the Patriots, who released this news this morning:

Starting today, the search is on across New England, and it’s powered by SCVNGR – the location-based iPhone and Android app about going places, doing fun challenges and earning points all while unlocking badges and sharing your activity with your friends. Patriots fans can play special Patriots challenges at hundreds of spots across New England in the special “Help Vince” trek on SCVNGR. Along the way, special Patriots badges are awarded and prizes given daily and weekly, as well as the Ultimate-Grand-Finale-Finito-ZOMG-W
e-Found-Vince’s-Ring prize: a private lunch with a Patriots player!

In order to play, you’d need to download the SCVNGR app for the iPhone or Android. Select the “help Vince” trek and then begin the game.

In case you need video evidence, here’s the Youtube video .

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com