Rob Gronkowski threw out the first pitch prior to Tuesday’s Red Sox-Giants game at Fenway Park and while he didn’t spike it, he did throw a strike to the Red Sox designated hitter.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Tom Brady almost got Kevin Durant to wear green. Almost.

On Monday, Durant reiterated how close the Patriots’ quarterback got to convincing him to come to Boston.

Tom Brady almost got Kevin Durant to wear green. Almost.

On Monday, Durant reiterated how close the Patriots’ quarterback got to convincing him to come to Boston.

“I was ready to just say, ‘OK, let’s go,'” Durant told reporters he recalled after hearing Brady’s sales pitch. “Just seeing someone so successful at his craft. He’s a great ambassador for the game of football and the city of Boston. It’s great to be in the presence of such greatness. But at the same time, I knew I couldn’t let that distract me.”

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patrots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Tom Brady had an eventful offseason. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)As training camp looms at the end of the month, here’s a quick look back at the 10 biggest offseason headlines involving the Patriots.



Roger Goodell offered his first public comments in the wake of Tom Brady’s announcement late last week to drop his Deflategate appeal and take the four-game suspension.

Roger Goodell offered his first public comments in the wake of Tom Brady’s announcement late last week to drop his Deflategate appeal and take the four-game suspension.

Speaking with Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post on Monday night at the premiere of a documentary on ALS-stricken former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason, the commissioner said he and the league have put the whole affair behind them.

“We moved on from that as a league quite a long time ago,” Goodell told the Post.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Dont'a Hightower landed at No. 5 on our countdown. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Dont’a Hightower landed at No. 5 on our countdown. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

As the countdown to training camp begins later this month, we’re looking at the 20 most important members of the Patriots heading into 2016. We are down to our top three, which we’re set to unveil over the last few days. But first, here’s a quick look back at 4 through 20 to get you caught up.

4. Cornerback Malcolm Butler
5. Linebacker Dont’a Hightower
6. Linebacker Jamie Collins
7. Defensive back Devin McCourty
8. Running back Dion Lewis
9. Defensive end Jabaal Sheard
10. Tight end Martellus Bennett
11. Left tackle Nate Solder
12. Defensive lineman Malcom Brown
13. Defensive end Rob Ninkovich
14. Centers Bryan Stork/David Andrews
15. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski
16. Wide receiver Danny Amendola
17. Right tackle Sebastian Vollmer
18. Defensive end Chris Long
19. Special teamer Matthew Slater
20. Cornerback Cyrus Jones

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will be doing the owners a favor if his authority is questioned during CBA negotiations.</p>
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Running back Jeff Demps won silver at the 2012 Olympics before joining the Patriots. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Running back Jeff Demps won silver at the 2012 Olympics before joining the Patriots for a brief spell. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Nate Ebner’s berth on the U.S. Olympic rugby team is an extraordinary honor, but he’s not the first member of the Patriots to reach for Olympic glory.

Jeff Demps was a former track star at Florida who also saw time as a running back under Urban Meyer. The speedy Demps rushed for 2,470 yards and 23 touchdowns in four years with the Gators, but decided to forgo training for the combine and the draft after his senior season to concentrate on a potential Olympic berth. Turns out, it was a smart move: Demps was a member of the 2012 Olympic roster as a member of the 4 x 100 meter relay team that won the silver medal.

After the games were done, Demps attracted interest as an NFL free agent, and the Patriots landed him with a three-year deal. He impressed in a brief preseason run, but ended up spending his lone year in New England on injured reserve, and the following spring, was dealt to Tampa Bay for running back LeGarrette Blount. He played in two games with the Bucs in 2013, and had a brief cup of coffee with Indy before he was waived last spring.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
While Nate Ebner is at the Olympics, the Patriots will fundamentally have the luxury of an extra roster spot.  (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

While Nate Ebner is at the Olympics, the Patriots will fundamentally have the luxury of an extra roster spot. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The Patriots will have some addition roster flexibility over the course of the next couple of months.

Quarterback Tom Brady will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season, while defensive back/special teamer Nate Ebner will be gone for the next month-plus because of his Olympic commitment. While it’s unclear how long Ebner will be off the radar screen, in both cases, neither player will count against the 53-man roster limit. That means the Patriots could have some additional options when it comes to September cuts, and give some hope to players who might be on the roster bubble, at least in the short-term.

First and foremost, the absence of Brady over the first four games will cause plenty of speculation about the value of adding an addition quarterback for depth purposes for the first quarter of the 2016 campaign. Off course, that could all be rendered moot if rookie Jacoby Brissett is able to show he’s ready to back up Jimmy Garoppolo, at least on a part-time basis.

While it’s unclear when Ebner will be good to go, it’s expected he’ll start training camp on the reserve list. While the franchise could theoretically add another player at a different position, it’s worth keeping an eye on the likes of safety/linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill when it comes to filling that spot. Ebner wasn’t around for the spring workouts, but the Grugier-Hill appeared to handle some of Ebner’s old responsibilities. Once the Patriots hit the field later this month, it will be interesting to see how much the rookie is asked to do, especially when he lines up alongside the likes of core special teamers like Matthew Slater and Brandon King.

One more thing to remember: There’s a danger of locking into a specific school of thought that says if the team is going to lose a someone at one position for a stretch, they need to add a new body at the same position. And while that might still be the case, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them add more depth at a different position of need, at least until Brady and/or Ebner return.

Bottom line? Don’t get tricked into a traditional mode of thinking when it comes to the Patriots and the team-building process. They have some roster options and flexibility, and it’ll be intriguing to see how the team utilizes those elements over the next month-plus.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price