ESPN football reporter Chris Mortensen joined the Dan Le Batard Show on Monday to discuss Deflategate and one of his tweets early on in the Patriots’€™ ball-deflating scandal.

Mortensen incorrectly reported that 11 of 12 game balls for the AFC championship were underinflated by two pounds per square inch.

Rex Ryan is a big fan of what his team has done this offseason. (Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

Rex Ryan and the Bills still have no idea who their starting quarterback will be. (Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

With NFL training camps roughly a week in the books, now is a good chance to catch up with the rest of the AFC East to see what they are up to as preseason openers for all teams are just over a week away.

Buffalo Bills

— The Bills still don’t have a starting quarterback as neither EJ Manuel, Tyrod Taylor or Matt Cassel have done anything to separate themselves from the other two.

— Offensive line coach Aaron Kromer will avoid legal punishment for the incident last month when he allegedly punched a boy in the face and threatened to kill his family following a dispute over beach chairs, but the team announced he will be suspended six games. — It didn’t take long for Richie Incognito to make an impact on coach Rex Ryan as he already named the troubled offensive lineman the team’s starting left guard.

— Off the field, new running back LeSean McCoy made headlines with a party he posted on Instagram for woman 21-and-over. “I felt like it was like a thing I do every year with teammates. It’s something I bring together with teammates, but I didn’t do it this year,” McCoy said to clarify what happened. “It got too wild. I should never have posted it, and I take blame for it.”

New York Jets

— In their first season without Rex Ryan, things have been much more calm with the Jets during camp with Todd Bowles leading the way. Quarterback Geno Smith has seen the majority of snaps with the first team, so it would seem he’s on track to the starting job over Ryan Fitzpatrick.

— Sheldon Richardson was arrested July 14 and charged with resisting arrest after leading police on a high-speed chase in St. Louis. He was already facing a four-game ban for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. General manager Mike Maccagan didn’t have much to say on the matter. “At this point in time, we’ll see how it progresses,” Maccagnan said. “It’s not about words right now, it’s about actions — not actions on the football field. It’s how he handles himself.”

— Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, in negotiations for a long-term contract extension, left practice early Sunday with a hamstring injury. “I don’t think it’s serious,” Bowles said. “If it loosens up a bit, it should be OK. He shouldn’t be out long.” Regardless of the severity, it’s never good to have an injury this early in camp.

— One of the best matchups to watch with the Jets so far throughout camp has been wide receiver Brandon Marshall against cornerback Darrelle Revis. Video was posted of the plays — who is better, you be the judge.

Miami Dolphins

— Their biggest offseason acquisition, defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, has been very impressive with his new team. “It’€™s good for everybody, [Suh] needs to get himself fully comfortable in our system and his timing and his rhythm down as a D-lineman and it’€™s going to be a great experience for our offensive players to go against him,” said head coach Joe Philbin. “He’€™s got an outstanding motor, which is good.’€

— As the Dolphins attempt to reach the postseason for the first time since 2008, arguably the biggest player who controls that fate is quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The No. 8 overall pick in the 2012 draft has shown steady improvements each season and if he can limit his mistakes, the Dolphins could potentially make a run at the Patriots for the AFC East crown.

— Owner Stephen Ross made headlines last week when he supported Roger Goodell’s ruling on Deflategate. “I have a lot of confidence in Roger and the league offices,” Ross said. “I dealt with them, as you know, with our controversy not too long ago, and they’€™re very objective. I don’€™t have all the facts. I don’€™t think any of us have all the facts. But I think the league takes everything into consideration, and I have a lot of faith in what the league ruled.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Jake Bequette

Jake Bequette

After being drafted in the third-round by the Patriots in 2012, three years have passed and Jake Bequette has played in just eight games, spending the majority of his time on the practice squad.

In order to try and get the most out of Bequette and him on the field, the team has moved him from his defensive end position to tight end. The 26-year-old was sporting a new number last week — No. 85.

‘€œI’€™m not really sure that was my choice,’€ Bequette said about his new number. ‘€œI just walked out here, see a jersey in my locker, and I just go with it.’€

He spent all of last season on the practice squad — making his eight appearances in 2012 and 2013. It’s only been a few months, so Bequette knows there’s a lot to learn, but he’s already shown he can make a few plays, as he made a few nice catches last week.

‘€œIt’€™s a daily process,’€ Bequette said. ‘€œI’€™m making process and getting in that comfort zone, making it feel like you’€™ve always done that. I’€™m not there yet. There’€™s going to be a long way to go before I get there, but every day I make improvements. There are different things I see on film that give me confidence, and I think you’€™ll see that as I progress.’€

It isn’t a totally new position as he played it high school and sparingly at Arkansas.

The 6-foot-5, 265-pounder may have a better shot at making the roster as a tight end rather than a defensive end, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a competitive group. He’s likely competing with Michael Hoomanawanui, Jimmay Mundine and AJ Derby for a spot, as Rob Gronkowski and Scott Chandler are locks.

Bequette knows he has his work cut out for him to make the team.

‘€œIt’€™s a competitive unit, competitive team, competitive offense, and we have a lot of good players,’€ Bequette said. ‘€œIf I’€™m going to find a role, I’€™ve got to do some things that other guys may not do as well, and hopefully in the run game, I can bring something to the table there.’€

Whether he makes the team as a tight end or not, it won’t be for a lack of effort. Between OTAs and training camp, Bequette was catching passes and seeking advice from anyone he could fine.

‘€œI had anyone and everyone out there throwing to me,’€ Bequette said. ‘€œI was running routes in multiple states and locations just trying to get a better feel for the position and trying to get the point where I wasn’€™t totally rusty after five or six weeks off.

‘€œEveryone from my brothers to high school quarterbacks. People in Fayettville (Ark.), Little Rock (Ark.), everyone.’€

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Even though the Patriots were off Monday, that didn’t stop them from making some roster moves.

The team released offensive lineman Kevin Hughes and rookie free agent defensive lineman Vince Taylor. In addition, the team announced the signing of guard Harland Gunn off waivers and after linebacker Cameron Gordon officially gets added to the roster (his agent said Gordon has re-signed with the team) the Patriots’ roster will be at 87 players, meaning they have three openings.

Here is a portion of the release on Monday:

Gunn, 25, is a veteran of three NFL seasons with the Atlanta Falcons (2012-14). The 6-foot-2, 310-pounder, was released by Atlanta on Aug. 1, 2015. He originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent out of Miami by the Dallas Cowboys in 2012. After being released by Dallas at the end of training camp, Gunn began his rookie season on the New Orleans practice squad. He was signed to the Atlanta Falcons 53-man roster from the Saints’€™ practice squad on Nov. 20, 2012, but was inactive for the final six games of the season and both postseason games. Over the last two seasons with the Falcons, Gunn has played in 13 games with one start.

Hughes, 26, was signed by the Patriots as a free agent on May 11, 2015. The 6-foot-4, 315-pounder, originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the St. Louis Rams on July 29, 2011, out of Southeastern Louisiana. He began his rookie season on the Rams’€™ practice squad before being signed to the 53-man roster on Nov. 19, 2011. Hughes played in three games that season as a reserve on the offensive line. He was released by St. Louis on Aug. 27, 2012, before being signed to the San Diego practice squad on Nov. 21, 2012. He then signed with Green Bay on Feb. 1, 2013, but was released on Aug. 31, 2013. Hughes signed with Carolina on Feb. 4, 2015 but was released on March 10, 2015.

Taylor, 23, was signed by the Patriots on May 8, 2015 as a rookie free agent out of Vanderbilt. The 6-foot-2, 305-pounder, played in 49 games with 12 starts at Vanderbilt and finished with 87 total tackles, 1½ sacks and three fumble recoveries.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

In a move that should surprise no one, Tom Brady will appear in person for a court-mandated Deflategate settlement hearing Aug.

Roger Goodell and Tom Brady will meet again Aug. 12 at a court conference. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Roger Goodell and Tom Brady will meet again Aug. 12 at a court conference. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

In a move that should surprise no one, Tom Brady will appear in person for a court-mandated Deflategate settlement hearing Aug. 12 in New York City, a source confirmed to ESPN on Monday. Brady and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell are expected to sit down before U.S. Ninth District Court Judge Richard Berman.

A source close to the Patriots quarterback tells ESPN’s Dan Graziano that the appearance at the Aug. 12 settlement hearing in New York City was “never in doubt.” The Patriots open their preseason at home at Gillette Stadium the next day.

Brady and the Patriots traditionally have a walkthrough the day before a game. If Brady were to miss the walkthrough for a preseason game, it would likely not significantly alter the team’s readiness in camp.

Graziano did not indicate whether Brady would also attend the second hearing scheduled for Aug. 19, if the two sides can’t hammer out a settlement after one hearing. Berman’€™s has ordered Brady and Goodell to attend a status-settlement and oral argument conference scheduled for Aug. 19.

The Patriots are scheduled to be in West Virginia that day for a joint practice with the New Orleans Saints, who again are holding their training camp at The Greenbrier resort.

The next step in the case occurs when Judge Berman decides whether the sides will be allowed to file documents under seal, or whether they have to be filed unsealed. According to ESPN, that ruling should come by Tuesday.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

ESPN football reporter Chris Mortensen joined the Dan Le Batard Show Monday to discuss Deflategate and one of his tweets early on in the Patriots’€™ ball-deflating scandal.

Mortensen incorrectly reported that 11 of 12 game balls for the AFC Championship were underinflated by two pounds per square inch.

That was proven wrong by the Wells Report.

“What needs to be corrected has been corrected,” Mortensen said Monday. “I didn’t correct it on Twitter, which was a mistake by the way. Twitter, I’m still trying to figure it out. The bottom line is, as the Wells Report showed, there were not 11 balls that were all two PSI under the 12.5 minimum requirement.

“Now let me say this, and I’ve done this before: I can understand after reading the Wells Report, because we had silence for three months, that could somebody generalize two pounds under based on the range of 12.5 to 13.5? Yeah, they could have. Now that’s my job to do a better vetting job as a journalist. But let me ask you this question: If I had simply reported, which I did include in the original report, that 11 footballs were found to be significantly under inflated, what would the reaction have been? The same, I think, which is the descriptive narrative that I actually did change it to and correct it.

“What I didn’t do is I didn’t write a formal [thing] on Twitter to say, ‘OK we’re getting conflicting information. Leave it at significantly under inflated.’ And then Roger Goodell’s appealed decision, if you read it, the 20-page decision in which he upheld the suspension of Brady, you get the idea that they are going with the gauge that said he had five balls in the 10 range and four in the lower 11 range and another couple maybe in the middle 11 range. And oh by the way, in my original reporting, [I] never implicated Tom Brady. Never implicated the Patriots. I did ask the question if Walt Anderson, the referee, followed the protocol and the league assured me he had. But the first person who really mentioned Tom Brady in this whole matter happened to be Bill Belichick in that Thursday press conference: ‘If you want to ask about the footballs, ask Tom.'”

Blog Author: 

The Patriots have signed linebacker Cameron Gordon, according to his agent Brett Tessler.

The Patriots have signed linebacker Cameron Gordon, according to his agent Brett Tessler.

The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder initially signed with the Patriots in May 2014 after going undrafted, but was placed on injured reserve prior to the start of the season. He was released this past May. The 24-year-old played his college football and Michigan, and played linebacker and defensive end for the Wolverines. He had five sacks and 40 tackles as a senior.

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Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 18:  Ted Washington #92 of the New England Patriots lifts the AFC Championship Trophy after the win against the Indianapolis Colts on January 18, 2004 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Colts 24-14. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Ted Washington lifts the 2003 AFC championship trophy. (Elsa/Getty Images)

The team-building process doesn’t stop at the end of free agency; franchises are always looking to augment their roster. With that in mind, here’s a look at the five most important personnel moves the Patriots have made over the summer months during the Bill Belichick era.

Aug. 19, 2003 — Trade fourth-round pick to Chicago for nose tackle Ted Washington: The 2002 Patriots struggled to stop the run, and as the 2003 season dawned, it remained the Achilles’ heel of the defense. Enter the massive Washington, who was able to play a sizable role (pun intended) in helping craft a championship run defense. The 6-foot-5, 365-pounder shut things down up front in his lone season with the Patriots.

Aug. 2, 2009 — Sign free agent defensive end/outside linebacker Rob Ninkovich: The former backup long snapper had been released by the Saints, but the Patriots scooped him up off the street for nothing. He started as a special teamer, and quickly worked his way into the starting lineup. The 31-year-old has turned into one of the foundational elements of the New England defense — in his six years with the Patriots, he has 35.5 sacks, including three straight seasons with eight sacks or more.

Aug. 6, 2009 — Trade third- and fifth-round picks to Oakland for linebacker Derrick Burgess: The 6-foot-2, 266-pounder out of Ole Miss was acquired by the Patriots roughly a month before the start of the 2009 regular season, and came away with five sacks and a forced fumble in his one year in New England.

July 29, 2011 — Trade fifth-round pick to Washington for defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth; trade fifth- and sixth-round picks to Cincinnati for wide receiver Chad Ochocinco: While these moves weren’t particularly impactful (Haynesworth was gone before the end of the season and Ochocinco looked terrified of making a mistake every time he took the field with New England), they made the list just because they were two outsized personalities who were acquired just after the lockout ended.

Aug. 26, 2014 — Trade offensive lineman Logan Mankins to Tampa Bay for tight end Tim Wright and a fourth-round pick: The Patriots’ most surprising personnel move of the year saw the venerable guard shipped out of town in exchange for Wright, a move tight end who worked to complement starter Rob Gronkowski. While Wright didn’t have overwhelming numbers (and was cut the following offseason), he did set a new mark for dependability as a member of the New England passing attack.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price