Photos from Day One of Patriots OTAs

Tom Brady throws a pass during the team's first OTA and the 2015 season is officially underway. (Photo From Patriots.com)

Tom Brady throws a pass during the team’s first OTA and the 2015 season is officially underway.
(Photo From Patriots.com)

The Quest for Five began yesterday, as the Patriots gathered for the team’s first OTA of the 2015 season.

Nate Solder takes his stance. (Photo From Patriots.com)

Nate Solder takes his stance.
(Photo From Patriots.com)

Stephen Gostkowski (Photo From Patriots.com)

Stephen Gostkowski
(Photo From Patriots.com)

Jimmy Garoppolo, the Patriots possible day one starter. (Photo From Patriots.com)

Jimmy Garoppolo, the Patriots possible day one starter.
(Photo From Patriots.com)

Tom Brady leading the offense. (Photo From Patriots.com)

Tom Brady leading the offense.
(Photo From Patriots.com)

Danny Amendola. (Photo From Patriots.com)

Danny Amendola.
(Photo From Patriots.com)

Patriots re-sign Dane Fletcher and add another WR Zach D’Orazio

Welcome Back Dane Fletcher! (Photo From PatsGFX Instagram)

Welcome Back Dane Fletcher!
(Photo From PatsGFX Instagram)

The Patriots announced yesterday they re-signed LB Dane Fletcher as an unrestricted free agent.

Fletcher spent four seasons with the Patriots (2010-2013) before signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year.

Fletcher has played in 54 NFL games with 10 starts and recorded 101 total tackles, 4½ sacks, one interception, three passes defensed, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.

He’s also been a key special teams player, recording 41 tackles. He had a team high 15 special teams tackles in 2013 with the Patriots.

He’s been in 6 postseason games for the Patriots with one start, compiling 14 tackles. 0.5 sacks, and 1 passes defended.

Fletcher, who went to Tampa to get some starting time, played in all 16 games for the Bucs with 4 starts. He made 30 tackles. He also had 10 special teams tackles.

E83RN8 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. 27th Sep, 2014. Akron WR ZACH D'ORAZIO (11) displays the football after making a catch during the second half against Pittsburgh. The Akron Zips upset the Pittsburgh Panthers 21-10 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. © Frank Jansky/ZUMA Wire/Alamy Live News

Zach D’Orazio makes a catch against Pittsburgh in 2014. (Photo By: Frank Jansky/ZUMA Wire/Alamy Live News)

Rookie WR Zach D’Orazio played for Akron during his college career. He was a 2-year starter for the team. He had 119 career receptions for 1,422 yards and 5 touchdowns. He’s a 6’2, 212 pound slot receiver. He began his college career as a QB.

Patriots LB Willie McGinest elected into Patriots Hall of Fame

New England Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest warms up prior to a NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri on November 7, 2004. The Patriots won 40-22. (AP Photo/G. Newman Lowrance)

New England Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest warms up prior to a NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri on November 7, 2004. The Patriots won 40-22. (AP Photo/G. Newman Lowrance)

The New England Patriots announced today that former three time Super Bowl Champion linebacker Willie McGinest has been voted into the Patriots Hall of Fame by the fans.

He will be the 24th member to join the Pats Hall of Fame.

“Just a few months after I bought the Patriots, we drafted Willie McGinest in the first round of the 1994 NFL Draft,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. “We came into the NFL together and will always share a special bond. During his 12-year Patriots career, Willie played a critical role in transforming us from a cellar dweller into a championship-caliber team. He was a leader of a defensive unit that propelled the Patriots to our first Super Bowl Championship in 2001. His leadership during the season and dominance in the postseason proved principal to our success in winning back-to-back titles in 2003 and 2004. Willie was a part of so many memorable moments for Patriots fans during his career. Now, I am looking forward to Patriots fans giving Willie a memorable moment as we celebrate his induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame.” 

DL Houston Antwine will also be inducted into the 2015 Patriots Hall of Fame.

The ceremony will take place on the NRG Plaza outside The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon sometime this summer. It will be free and open to the public the date and time will be announced later.

McGinest was selected by the Patriots in the 4th round of the 1994 draft.

McGinest played in 212 career games for the Patriots and Browns, compiling 798 tackles, 86 sacks, 16 FF, 17 FR, 5 interceptions, 2 touchdowns, and 56 passes defended.

During his 12 years with the Patriots, he complied six hundred and sixty six tackles, 78 sacks, 16 FF, 15 FR, 4 INT, 2 touchdowns, and 46 passes defended in 171 games.

Congrats to one of the best linebackers for the Patriots and the NFL!

 

Fans in Boston Turn Out Heavy for “Free Tom Brady” Rally

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Patriots fans turned out in full force today at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA, as they are pulling out support for their suspended quarterback Tom Brady.

Fans attended a “Free Tom Brady” rally, and as Connor Orr of NFL.com reports, the event was expected to have nearly 600 people showing their support for Brady.

Will you be attending the Free Tom Brady rally?

Apparently at least a few people will be on this beautiful Sunday, opting to march around on hot asphalt instead of enjoying one of the great long weekends on the calendar (not to mention the most important part; honoring the brave people who earned us the right to have these freedoms).

As of press time, the number of expected attendees was 561.

While the opportunity for hot takes here are endless, the point is that some people feel strongly enough about this cause to protest a situation in which they have no control.

The Facebook page talking about the event says it’s a ‘‘peaceful rally to protest the unjust football arrest of half God half man Tom Brady.’’

Have fun.

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Goodell To Personally Hear Brady’s Appeal of Suspension

Super Bowl XLIX - New England Patriots v Seattle Seahawks

People with knowledge of the decision say NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will hear Tom Brady’s appeal of his four-game suspension for his role in the deflated footballs scandal, of the Associated Press reports.

The NFL told the players’ union Friday that Goodell will not recuse himself.

The people said spoke on condition of anonymity because Goodell’s decision has not been made public. The commissioner considers it his responsibility to hear the appeal.

The union asked Goodell to withdraw from that role because it said he was not impartial and would be called as a witness.

Brady was suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season after a league-sanctioned report by lawyer Ted Wells found the New England quarterback “at least generally aware” of a scheme to deflate footballs used in the AFC title game.

Darrelle Revis is no longer a Patriot

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Darrelle Revis took a one year vacation to winners row and won himself a Super Bowl ring with the Patriots that Brady and company help provide, and also cashed in during the 2015 NFL Free Agency in a big way to go home to losers row New York Jets.

He’s back to his old ways, not coming to Brady’s defense and being 100% against the Patriots again.

In an interview with the New York Daily News, Revis was asked about Deflate Gate and Brady’s punishment.

“Everybody’s blowing it up because it is Tom Brady,” Revis told the Daily News Wednesday in his first extended comments on the Deflategate fallout. “I understand that. But if (the NFL) feels he did the crime or he did something and they want to penalize them, then that’s that. (The Patriots) have a history of doing stuff. You can’t hide that.… Tom was there when they did that stuff in the past.”

He also believes because of the Patriots history with Spygate, it played a role in this punishment for the Pats and Brady.

“New England’s been doing stuff in the past and getting in trouble,” Revis said. “When stuff repeatedly happens, then that’s it. I don’t know what else to tell you. Stuff repeatedly happened through the years. You got SpyGate, you got this and that and everything else. Obviously in those situations in the past, they had the evidence. So they did what they needed to do.”

Revis also says he believes they should not overturn it unless they see something new that suggest he did not do it instead of overturning it simply because of who Brady is.

“If I fail a drug test, then I fail a drug test. If I get a DUI, I get a DUI,” Revis said. “If Tom gets caught with a DUI, it’s a DUI. …. If they are saying that he did what he’s done, then the suspension is the suspension. I’m not the commissioner and don’t make the rules. If they want to change (the suspension) based on new information or new evidence, then okay, but it should have nothing to do with Tom being the face (of the NFL).”

Revis also mentions he doesn’t want to hear the NFLPA complain that Goodell has too much power in these hearings now, when they could have stopped that before hand.

“He’s the judge, jury and executioner,” Revis said of Goodell, who danced around whether he’ll recuse himself for the Brady appeal when asked at the league meetings in San Francisco on Wednesday. “Everybody signed off on it…. Why didn’t we stand up when it was time to stand up? You can talk about it after the fact, but we all agreed to it. So (the union’s) got to point the finger back at (the union).”

I always thought Revis didn’t enjoy being a Patriot nor felt like one, this just convinces me even more he never did. It was a nice little break from being on bad teams to being on a good one. It was also the chance to prove he could still play so he could get his money.

Good riddance Revis.

As if the Patriots and Jets rivalry needed to add any more fuel to the fire. Watch the Patriots attempt to win on the road when they face the Jets at MetLife Stadium by booking a New York City flight through Hipmunk.com. Soak in the victory and don’t rush home, as Hipmunk offers New York City hotels directly next to New York transit that will get any fan to and from the game.

 

 

 

 

Robert Kraft won’t appeal the NFL’s ruling

Robert Kraft's press conference during the spring meetings.

Robert Kraft’s press conference during the spring meetings.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft spoke at the NFL’s spring meeting in San Francisco on Tuesday and addressed “deflate gate” for the last time. He made the statement that he will not appeal the punishment handed down by the league against his team. The NFL fined the Patriots one million dollars and took away their first-round 2016 draft pick and their 4th round 2017 draft pick. This has nothing to do with Tom Brady’s appeal, as the QB will continue to appeal his four game suspension.

Here is the full statement by Robert Kraft:

“It’s been an emotionally charged couple of weeks as all of you know, and I’ve been considering what my options are. Throughout this whole process there have been two polarizing audiences. At one end of the spectrum we’ve had Patriots fans throughout the country who have been so supportive and really inspirational to us, and believing in us, but I’m also mindful at the other end of the spectrum there are fans that should feel just the opposite, and what I’ve learned is the ongoing rhetoric continues to galvanize both camps, and I don’t see that changing, and they will never agree. But the one thing that we all can agree upon is the entire process has taken way too long, and I don’t think anyone can believe that after four months of the AFC Championship game we are still talking about air pressure and the PSI in footballs.

So, I think I made it clear when the report came out that I didn’t think it was fair – there was no hard evidence and everything was circumstantial – and at the same time, when the discipline came out, I felt it was way over the top, as it was unreasonable and unprecedented in my opinion.

So, I have two options: I can try to end it or extend it, and I have given a lot of thought to both options.

The first thing that came to mind is 21 years ago, I had the privilege of going to a meeting similar to what we’re at here, in Orlando, and being welcomed in an NFL’s owners’ meeting. So here’s a fan and a former season ticketholder living a dream and being welcomed in that room, and I got goosebumps that day and I vowed at that time that I would do everything I could to make the New England Patriots an elite team, and hopefully respected throughout the country, and at the same time do whatever I could do to try to help the NFL become the most popular sport in America.

You know, what I’ve learned over the last two decades is that the heart and soul of the strength of the NFL, that it’s a partnership of 32 teams and what’s become very clear over those two decades [is] that at no time should the agenda of one team outweigh the collective good of the full 32. So I have a way of looking at problems that are very strong in my mind, and before I make a final decision, I measure nine times and I cut once, and I think maybe if I had made the decision last week it would be different than it is today, but believing in the strength of the partnership and the 32 teams, we have concentrated the power of adjudication of problems in the office of the commissioner, and although I might disagree with what is decided, I do have respect for the commissioner and believe that he’s doing what he perceives to be in the best interest of the full 32.

So, in that spirit, I don’t want to continue the rhetoric that’s gone on for the last four months. I’m going to accept, reluctantly, what he has given to us, and not continue this dialogue and rhetoric, and we won’t appeal.

Now, I know that a lot of Patriots fans are going to be disappointed in that decision, but I hope they trust my judgment and know that I really feel at this point in time that taking this off the agenda, this is the best thing for the New England Patriots, our fans, and the NFL, and I hope you all can respect that. You know, I would normally take questions, but my desire is truly not to continue the rhetoric, and so I’m going to leave this discussion exactly here. Thank you very much.”

I was a little disappointed, but I get it, it’s probably a moot point trying to go against the NFL right now, especially with no support from the other teams.

Were you disappointed with Kraft not appealing the punishment?

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also held a press conference after Kraft’s and talked a little about deflate gate, and Tom Brady. You can read his statement HERE. 

Patriots Release Veteran CB Chimdi Chekwa

Houston Texans v Oakland Raiders

The Patriots have released yet another cornerback. A source has confirmed that Chimdi Chekwa, signed as a free agent in March, has been released, Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald reports.

Chekwa figured to compete for time at slot cornerback, especially following the release of Kyle Arrington last week. Chekwa, 26, had signed a one-year deal with the Pats. A fourth-round pick out of Ohio State, he had played his entire career with the Oakland Raiders before signing with New England.

Chekwa is now the fifth cornerback to leave the Patriots’ fold this offseason, following the departures of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, and the release of Alfonzo Dennard and Arrington. That leaves Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan as the only two cornerbacks on the roster with Patriots experience from a year ago.