INDIANAPOLIS -- The distance between the Patriots and the rest of the AFC East is already pretty wide -- New England has won nine of the last 10 division titles, and done so pretty handily. The only exception to the rule came in 2008 when -- of course -- quarterback Tom Brady was on the shelf for practically the entire season.



INDIANAPOLIS — Vikings GM Rick Spielman said Thursday that despite recent rumors, Minnesota has “no intent” of trading wide receiver Percy Harvin.

Harvin, entering the final year of a five-year deal he signed as a rookie, has apparently made noise about a new deal, one in the neighborhood of roughly $10 million annually.

 



The trial of Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard ended Wednesday when the jury returned a verdict of guilty to a felony charge of assaulting a police officer and a misdemeanor for resisting arrest. He was found not guilty to a third charge, for misdemeanor assault. Dennard faces up to six years in jail and $11,000 in fines at his April 11 sentencing.

This week, the Patriots will join 31 other teams in Indianapolis for the annual NFL scouting combine, which will open Thursday morning at Lucas Oil Stadium.



The Patriots on Tuesday announced the signing of defensive lineman/linebacker Jason Vega, following reports last month that they had come to an agreement with the Canadian Football League veteran. The Patriots had to wait until Vega was released by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers before making the signing official.

Vega, who stands 6-foot-4, 255 pounds, is a native of Brockton who played his college ball at Northeastern. The 25-year-old spent the past two seasons playing for the Blue Bombers, recording 66 tackles and 12 sacks.

Tagging season began Monday for the NFL, and for New England, it began a two-week period of relatively uncertain for the three players who are most likely to get hit with either the franchise tag or transition tag between now and March 4.



Wes Welker has been called a lot of things: slot receiver without peer, standup comic,



Rob Gronkowski has had an eventful offseason, but it appears he’s got some more sedate activity lined up for later this month when he’ll hit the red carpet at the Academy Awards. The Patriots tight end has been enlisted as a correspondent for the “Rich Eisen Podcast” on NFL.com. (Former Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward did the honors last season.) The Oscars are set to take place on Feb. 24 in Los Angeles.

When it comes to gauging how well a team is positioned for the NFL postseason, late-season momentum is overrated. Health is not.