Can Dont'a Hightower point the Patriots defense toward a Super Bowl repeat?</p>
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MIKE PETRAGLIA

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The 2015 ESPYs will be held July 15 and the Patriots are up for five awards at the annual event.

The 2015 ESPYs will be held July 15 and the Patriots are up for five awards at the annual event.

Best coach/manager: Bill Belichick
Best game: Super Bowl XLIX
Best NFL player: Tom Brady
Best comeback athlete: Rob Gronkowski
Best play: Malcolm Butler interception

Fans can vote on the winners, by clicking here.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

By winning their fourth Super Bowl title in franchise history this past February, the Patriots are celebrating a little different than everyone.

They posted this photo to Instagram on July 3.

#FBF That other time we celebrated the fourth. #Patriots

A photo posted by New England Patriots (@patriots) on

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Judge Susan A.

Judge Susan A. Garsh, who oversaw Aaron Hernandez‘s trial for the murder of Odin Lloyd, refused a motion to toss the ex-Patriot’s first-degree murder conviction or at least reduce it to second-degree murder on Wednesday.

Hernandez’s defense lawyers asked the court to “invalidate the jury’s verdict and find Hernandez not guilty on the murder charge and one of the gun charges,” according to the Hartford Courant.

Garsh, in refuting the motions, which was a procedural step that needed to be taken before an appeal, wrote in a ruling that “considering the evidence in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth, the court finds that a rational jury could find that the Commonwealth proved every essential element of the crimes charged in counts 1 and 2 beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Hernandez was convicted in April of first-degree murder, which holds an automatic life sentence without parole.

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

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen

On Wednesday, former Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes pleaded guilty to three counts of leaving the scene of a crash resulting in personal injury for the car incident he was involved in last month.

Spikes was speeding and driving negligently when he crashed his 2011 Mercedes Maybach into the back of a Nissan Murano on I-495 in Foxboro early in the morning on June 7.

On Wednesday, former Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes pleaded guilty to three counts of leaving the scene of a crash resulting in personal injury for the car incident he was involved in last month.

Spikes was speeding and driving negligently when he crashed his 2011 Mercedes Maybach into the back of a Nissan Murano on I-495 in Foxboro early in the morning on June 7.

He was sentenced to one-year probation plus a $1,000 fine and a surcharge, while he also lost his license for a year. Several other charges were continued without a finding, including charges of negligent operation of a motor vehicle and operation of an uninsured motor vehicle.

The incident sent three occupants of the other vehicle to the hospital with minor injuries. Spikes’ Maybach had called an emergency assistance service claiming to have struck a deer, but responding officers found no evidence of a deer.

The Patriots released Spikes the Monday morning after the incident.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

In an interview with ESPN’s Ashley Fox, NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent was critical of the NFLPA in their decisions to take cases to court when challenging rulings set by commissioner Roger Goodell.

Vincent is referring to cases involving Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and potentially Tom Brady.

“Look at the amount of money being spent on legal fees for a handful of people,” said Vincent. “It’s millions and millions of dollars, and we’ve got players that are hurting. We’ve got young men who don’t know how to identify a good financial adviser. Men are in transition who aren’t doing well, and yet $8-10 million a year is spent in court fees about who should make a decision on someone, who in some cases has committed a crime.

“Think about that logically. Wouldn’t it be better to spend our time and resources on the issues that are vital to our players — past, present and future — such as the players’ total wellness and growing the game together?”

Vincent was the one who imposed the four-game suspension on Brady for his role in Deflategate. He defended his decision to Fox.

“Somebody has to protect the integrity of the game,” Vincent said. “That’s my responsibility, to protect and preserve the competitive fairness of professional football. That’s why our game is so great, because we protect the integrity of the game.”

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

In an interview with ESPN’s Ashley Fox, NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent was critical of the NFLPA in their decisions to take cases to court when challenging rulings set by commissioner Roger Goodell.

Vincent is referring to cases involving Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and potentially Tom Brady.

“Look at the amount of money being spent on legal fees for a handful of people,” said Vincent. “It’s millions and millions of dollars, and we’ve got players that are hurting. We’ve got young men who don’t know how to identify a good financial adviser. Men are in transition who aren’t doing well, and yet $8-10 million a year is spent in court fees about who should make a decision on someone, who in some cases has committed a crime.

“Think about that logically. Wouldn’t it be better to spend our time and resources on the issues that are vital to our players — past, present and future — such as the players’ total wellness and growing the game together?”

Vincent was the one who imposed the four-game suspension on Brady for his role in Deflategate. He defended his decision to Fox.

“Somebody has to protect the integrity of the game,” Vincent said. “That’s my responsibility, to protect and preserve the competitive fairness of professional football. That’s why our game is so great, because we protect the integrity of the game.”

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable