Category Archives: New England Patriots News

Pats owner Robert Kraft expresses hope in Malcolm Butler return

PHOENIX — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Monday at the NFL’s annual meeting that he hopes restricted free agent cornerback Malcolm Butler returns to the team in 2017, and that the club doesn’t intend to trade him.

The Patriots have tendered Butler at the first-round level of $3.91 million. Butler hasn’t signed the tender offer and has visited the New Orleans Saints.

“I know he has the ability to go out in the market and get someone to sign him, and then we either match it or get the first-round draft pick. I’m rooting, I hope, he’s with us and signs his offer sheet and plays for us,” Kraft told reporters.

“I have a great affection for him. He was part of probably the greatest play in the history of our team, but there are a lot of people involved in that on both sides.”

Butler could also sign his tender with the Patriots, and then get traded for compensation other than the first-round pick New England would receive if Butler signed an offer sheet with another club.

When asked if the team’s intention was to trade Butler, Kraft said it wasn’t, before adding: “But I don’t want to, in any way, take away from his rights [as a restricted free agent].”

April 21 is the deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets with other teams.

The Patriots and Butler’s representatives had discussed a long-term extension last offseason, and some believed there was momentum toward a deal, but ultimately they couldn’t reach an agreement.

Now the Patriots’ long-term plans with Butler could be affected by the free-agent signing of cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who inked a five-year, $65 million pact with $40 million in bonuses and guarantees.

As for the Saints, they have been focusing on improving their defense this offseason, and coach Sean Payton was complimentary of Butler after hosting him on his free-agent visit.

“Coming out of a small town in Mississippi and through junior college and into West Alabama, it’s pretty amazing,” Payton told XTRA 1360 radio in San Diego earlier in March. “The first three years he’s had in this league, shoot, he’s had a tremendous amount of success, winning two Super Bowls in three years and being a big part of a team that’s accomplished a lot. So I’d say he’s humble, but when you watch the tape, he plays with a chip on his shoulder.”

If the Saints signed the 27-year-old Butler to an offer sheet and the Patriots didn’t match, New Orleans would surrender its first-round pick (No. 11) to New England. That would be a high price to pay, which is why Butler had previously been part of trade speculation with New Orleans in a deal for lesser compensation.

Bill Belichick as a witness to add, can be called in Aaron Hernandez double murder trial testify

BOSTON — New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has been added to a list of people who could be called to testify at the double murder trial of former player Aaron Hernandez.

Belichick’s name appeared on a list of possible witnesses filed Tuesday by Hernandez’s defense.

Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels had also been named as a possible witness.

Hernandez is charged with the drive-by slayings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in Boston in 2012. Prosecutors say Hernandez shot them after one spilled a drink on him at a club. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty.

Jury selection is underway. Opening statements are scheduled for March 1.

Hernandez grew up in Connecticut. He’s serving a life sentence in the 2013 killing of a man who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancĂ©e.

Tom Brady Patriots Jersey

CLEVELAND — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady(Tom Brady Jersey) was in midseason form in Sunday’s 33-13 victory over the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium, as he returned to action with a decisive performance after serving a four-game suspension to open the season as part of the NFL’s Deflategate punishment.

After going 28-of-40 for 406 yards with three touchdowns, Brady said he wasn’t looking back at Deflategate and appreciated the chance to “be back doing what I love to do.”

It particularly showed late in the third quarter after he ran 4 yards to the right sideline to convert a first down, then sprang to his feet to give a deliberate first-down signal in which he brought his right arm high into the air in front of him while his left hand rested on his right shoulder.

“I don’t run much, so when I do, I think I was a little excited. I’m glad we got the first down,” he said.

Brady also said that after returning to the team for the first time late Monday afternoon, “it felt very much like a normal week once I got into it.”

By Sunday, he looked calm and focused upon arriving at the stadium at 9:45 a.m. and heading directly to the team’s locker room. At 10:13 a.m., he made his way onto the field for the first time, wearing a red hoodie as he assessed the conditions and venue before walking off at 10:17.

By the time he returned to the field shortly after noon, a sizable Patriots contingent greeted his presence with a rousing cheer that almost made it feel like a home game. Brady, as is his routine, ran to the opposite end zone and thrust his right fist into the air in a show of excitement.

He then carried his fire into the game, leading the Patriots to touchdowns on their first three drives.

Veteran tight end Martellus Bennett, who caught all three of Brady’s touchdown passes, joked that all it took was a little WD-40 to get the rust off Brady, but Brady felt differently.

“I think there was plenty of rust out there. I could do better in a lot of areas,” he said. “We have a long road ahead, and we’re going to try to keep building. … 4-1 is a pretty good place to be right now.”

Asked if saw any rust from Brady, tight end Rob Gronkowski turned the question around on a reporter and said, “Did you?”

“Me neither,” Gronkowski then said, laughing, after relaying that it was “super great” to have Brady back in the huddle.

“He came out on fire,” Gronkowski said.

After one of his touchdown catches, the sizable Patriots contingent began chanting “Brady! Brady! Brady!” The cheers picked up again when Brady was sent out to the offensive huddle with 6:02 remaining in regulation, then pulled in favor of Jimmy Garoppolo, with Bill Belichick seemingly doing it that way so Brady could be recognized.

“It was pretty awesome,” Brady said of the support, which included numerous signs that hung over the front row of the stadium in the pregame.

“We have amazing fans. They showed up today. It was great to hear them.”

As for Brady’s feelings about finally having Deflategate behind him, he deflected the topic.

“I was just thinking about today and what I had to do, just try to focus on what my job is,” he said. “This isn’t a time for me to reflect. … It was fun to come out and play, and it was fun to win. I think that’s the most important thing.”

Patriots Jimmy Garoppolo Jersey

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Jimmy Garoppolo(Jimmy Garoppolo Jersey) and Jacoby Brissett both were present for the start of Tuesday’s practice as the New England Patriots remain hopeful that at least one of the injured quarterbacks will be available for Sunday’s home game against the Buffalo Bills.

Garoppolo missed Thursday’s 27-0 victory against the Houston Texans with a sprained AC joint in his right throwing shoulder, while Brissett, who made his first career NFL start in his place, injured his right thumb in the third quarter and played through it.

Brissett, who had tape around his thumb and wrist Tuesday, seemed amused at the attention reporters were giving him before practice in the locker room, walking by them with a smile and saying, “Never seen so many people looking at my hand.” Brissett wasn’t made available to reporters.

Meanwhile, Garoppolo also walked through the locker room during the time in which reporters were present, quickly dropping his bag at his locker, grabbing his practice gear and departing without answering any questions. He did not wear a sling to aid his injured shoulder.

The Patriots, who worked out five-year veteran free-agent quarterback T.J. Yates last week, don’t have any other players at the quarterback position on their 53-man roster or 10-man practice squad.

The club is practicing Tuesday for the first time since the win against the Texans, with receiver Danny Amendola noting that it felt the club had a “mini bye week.” The practice was held in light shoulder pads and shorts, and reporters were present for only the stretching/light warm-up part of the session.

The Patriots, and other teams playing Sunday, won’t be required to submit an injury report that details the level of practice participation of players until Wednesday.

New England is looking to improve to 4-0 on Sunday and then will welcome back starting quarterback Tom Brady from a four-game suspension on Oct. 3.

Elite Tom Brady Jersey

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Though he wasn’t in a New England Patriots uniform, Tom Brady(Tom Brady Jersey) found a way to throw some touchdown passes this weekend.

Brady and Michigan Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh, a former Pro Bowl quarterback, had a catch together Saturday afternoon as the fourth-ranked Wolverines warmed up around them. Brady is visiting his alma mater this weekend as Michigan’s honorary captain for their afternoon match-up with Colorado.

Brady arrived in Ann Arbor on Friday night to speak to the team, but before he met them at the hotel he and his son made a stop at Michigan Stadium to throw a few passes.

He returned to the stadium around 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon and headed into the Michigan locker room shortly after the team arrived. Harbaugh and Brady, both former starters for the Wolverines, lined up about 25 yards from each other and had a spirited game of catch. Harbaugh, true to form, wore cleats and a pair of receiver gloves.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Though he wasn’t in a New England Patriots uniform, Tom Brady found a way to throw some touchdown passes this weekend.

Brady and Michigan Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh, a former Pro Bowl quarterback, had a catch together Saturday afternoon as the fourth-ranked Wolverines warmed up around them. Brady is visiting his alma mater this weekend as Michigan’s honorary captain for their afternoon match-up with Colorado.

Brady arrived in Ann Arbor on Friday night to speak to the team, but before he met them at the hotel he and his son made a stop at Michigan Stadium to throw a few passes.

He returned to the stadium around 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon and headed into the Michigan locker room shortly after the team arrived. Harbaugh and Brady, both former starters for the Wolverines, lined up about 25 yards from each other and had a spirited game of catch. Harbaugh, true to form, wore cleats and a pair of receiver gloves.

Elite Tom Brady Jersey

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Addressing reporters for the first time since deciding not to pursue further legal options in his Deflategate fight with the NFL, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady(Tom Brady Jersey) called it a “personal decision.”

“I’ve just tried to move on from it,” Brady said Friday after practice. “I’ll be excited to be back when I’m back, and I’ll be cheering our team and hopefully we’ll go out and win every game.”

Asked how difficult he expected it would be for him to serve a four-game suspension to open the season, Brady said: “I’ve tried to be as positive as I can be. I think that’s kind of always been my motto. Over the course of my career, I’ve been faced with different things and tried to overcome them the best way I could, or the best way I knew how. I’ll try to do the same thing.”

Brady didn’t elaborate when asked how he plans to spend the four weeks of his suspension, saying: “I’ll deal with that when it comes. I could have a plan and then change the plan. So I really don’t know.”

Brady deflected a question on whether he is angry at the powers that be in the NFL.

“I have a job to do, and I try to approach it the best way I can,” he said. “I’ve always tried to do things the same way. Every day is important to me. Certainly, as someone who has been around here for a long time, I know I have to bring it every day. I think I just have to go out there and lead by example, and try to bring it, and show my teammates I’m ready to go mentally and physically every day.”

Brady was on fire during Friday’s practice, which was an intrasquad scrimmage. Although the pass rush held up before sacking quarterbacks and there was no live tackling, Brady was still 25-of-25 in the scrimmage and was especially vocal, his emotion flowing over after big plays.

“I think it’s just a way to elevate everybody’s game,” he said of his approach. “It’s a very competitive team, it’s a competitive sport and you have to bring it mentally every day. You have to have an attitude about you, and we have a lot of guys on this team that bring that. Trying to push their buttons, I love to do that. They push it back, and I think that gets the best out of everybody.”

Brady also deflected a question on whether he’s changed his approach in training camp, knowing he won’t play until Oct. 9 at Cleveland, saying, “Honestly, I’m just trying to be as good as I can be every day.”

His interview with reporters lasted five minutes, during which he acknowledged the support he’s received throughout Deflategate.

“My family has been everything to me,” he said. “Obviously the support of my teammates, and coaches, and Mr. [Robert] Kraft and Jonathan [Kraft], the whole team, all our fans. I said the other night, we have the best fans in the world. And we do. Hopefully we give them a lot of reason to cheer this year.”