Robert Kraft said Monday “there is no smoking gun” when it comes to the deflated football controversy that enveloped the Patriots for nearly a month earlier this year.

Robert Kraft

Robert Kraft

Robert Kraft said Monday “there is no smoking gun” when it comes to the deflated football controversy that enveloped the Patriots for nearly a month earlier this year.

The Patriots owner, speaking with reporters at the league meetings in Arizona, was asked about the Deflategate scandal and the ongoing investigation, but replied by saying, “I like to worry about things I can control.”

“I know that there’s no smoking gun here. I’ve chatted with our people,” he said. “I think I said it pretty well the week before the Super Bowl. We’re worried about the 2015 season and that’s our focus.”

However, Kraft did offer a clarification of his statement during Super Bowl week. In a strongly worded press conference, he appeared to take some shots at the league and commissioner Roger Goodell over the probe.

“I want to clarify,” Kraft said. “First of all, when I spoke a week before the Super Bowl, I was speaking to the league office. (Goodell) is in charge. I think he has a pretty tough job. As a matter of fact, some of my friends say there’s two jobs they don’t want: President of the United States and commissioner of the NFL. He has a very hard job. I think he does a very fine job at what he does. It’s tough, but he needs to make sure all the people working in the system are also doing it.”

For his part, Goodell told Peter King on Monday the investigation is “getting near the end.”

He added: “The most important thing is to get the right information, to get the facts and the truth. We determined that we should bring [criminal attorney] Ted Wells to further the investigation. We haven’t given him a timetable except to be thorough, be fair and get to the truth. When he’s completed his report, that will be made public as well as to all of us.”

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Fans looking to get up close and personal with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady may be in luck.

Salem State University announced Monday Brady will speak at the school on Thursday, May 7 as part of the University’s speaker series. The event is open to the public and will be moderated by Jim Gray.

It’s worth noting Bill Belichick spoke at the school as part of the series in 2008. Other past speakers have included: Bill Clinton, President George H.W. Bush, Barbara Bush, Maya Angelou, Bobby Valentine, Bill Russell, Doug Flutie, Jay Leno, Cal Ripken Jr. and many more.

Tickets go on sale March 31 at 10 a.m.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

It’€™s back to work for the defending Super Bowl champions.

It’€™s back to work for the defending Super Bowl champions.

Even though the Patriots official offseason workout program usually doesn’€™t start until mid- to late-April, there have been occasional sightings here and there of players around Gillette Stadium as of late. On Monday, a source indicated quarterback Tom Brady was back in the building –€” just a couple of days after being buried by his kids on the beach. In addition, according to the same source, defensive backs Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon were also present.

According to league rules, players are allowed to use the facilities at the stadium in the offseason before the official team program begins. However, they are not permitted contact with coaches during that period.

The news of Brady’s appearance was first reported by Mike Reiss of ESPN.

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2015 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

Lorenzo Mauldin (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Lorenzo Mauldin has a knack for getting to the ball, but his size and speed raise question marks at the next level. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

LORENZO MAULDIN

Position: Outside linebacker

School: Louisville

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 252 pounds

Achievements: 2013 All-AAC

What he brings: Mauldin is praised for being a great tackler and having the strength and ability to take on NFL blockers. Scouts expect him to primarily be a pass rusher, but he is considered above average against the run as well. There are concerns that his size will limit his performance in run defense. He doesn’t have great speed, but experts like his ability to find holes to reach the quarterback or ball carrier.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 3-4

Notes: ESPN.com ranks Mauldin as the 11th linebacker and 89th overall in the draft. He recorded 45 tackles and 6.5 sacks in 2014. He has missed several games throughout his career with a few injuries, including a partially torn MCL and a shoulder issue that required offseason surgery in 2014.

Related articles:

Stack.com: Mauldin’s journey to the NFL draft

ESPN.com: Mauldin overcomes hardship to achieve success

Video: Mauldin records five tackles and sack against Virginia in September 2014.

Blog Author: 
Nik Beimler

In a Monday morning article at Sports Illustrated’s website, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell talked to SI’s Peter King about Deflategate and other news from the 2014 NFL season.

In a Monday morning article at Sports Illustrated’s website, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell talked to SI’s Peter King about Deflategate and other news from the 2014 NFL season.

The AFC championship game, in which the Patriots were accused of using footballs deflated below the legal level, was over two months ago, and the NFL investigation into the incident is still ongoing.

“The most important thing is to get the right information, to get the facts and the truth,” Goodell said, adding: “We determined that we should bring [criminal attorney] Ted Wells to further the investigation. We haven’€™t given him a timetable except to be thorough, be fair and get to the truth. When he’€™s completed his report, that will be made public as well as to all of us.”

Added Goodell: “I haven’t spoken to [Wells] for several weeks. I think he’s getting near the end [of his investigation], but there’s no requirement when.”

One rumor around the incident is that Goodell and the NFL suspected the Pats of deflating footballs before the AFC championship game and tried to catch them in the game against the Colts.

“I’m not going to get into what we knew and when we knew it because that’s part of what [Wells is] investigating,” Goodell said. “I can tell you that I was not personally aware of it until after the game.”

Blog Author: 
Nik Beimler

WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2015 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

Ameer Abdullah (Eric Francis/Getty Images)

A two-time team captain and an academic standout, Ameer Abdullah receives high grades for his character. (Eric Francis/Getty Images)

AMEER ABDULLAH

Position: Running back

School: Nebraska

Height: 5-foot-9

Weight: 195 pounds

Achievements: 2014 All-Big Ten second team, 2013 All-Big Ten first team, 2014, 2013 Nebraska team MVP, 2013 Academic All-American

What he brings: NFL.com cites his ability to hit his top speed quickly and unpredictability as a runner as strengths. Abdullah is very competitive, has a high football IQ, is patient and has good vision. A good sense of his surroundings, according to CBS Sports, helps him force poor angles. His size is a bit of a concern for teams looking to use him as a three-down back and in pass protection, as is ball security.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 2

Notes: As a sophomore in 2012, Abdullah was the first Nebraska running back to register 100-plus yards rushing in his first five starts since 1994. He finished his Nebraska career second in the school’s history with 4,588 yards. Abdullah is often praised for his work on the field as well as his personality off it. According to NFL.com, an AFC North scout said that Abdullah has “the highest overall character grade I’ve ever given to a prospect, and includes both football character and off the field,” and regards him as the third-best RB available in the draft. Abdullah is one of nine children and grew up in a house with all of his brothers and sisters, his parents and his grandmother. He was named MVP of the Senior Bowl in January.

Related articles:

Q&A: Former Husker RB Ameer Abdullah reflects on his time at Nebraska

Huskers’ Ameer Abdullah leads North

Ameer Abdullah: Never stop this train

Video: Here’s a package of Abdullah highlights at Nebraska.

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen

WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2015 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

Denzel Perryman (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Denzel Perryman is a big hitter, but at 5-foot-11 there is concern about his size. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

DENZEL PERRYMAN

Position: Inside linebacker

School: Miami

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 236 pounds

Achievements: 2014 All-America third team, 2014 All-ACC first team, 2014, 2013 Butkus Award finalist for best linebacker, 2013 All-ACC first team, 2012 All-ACC third team, 2011 Freshman All-America

What he brings: Scouts like that Perryman uses his stout build to make hard hits and shed blockers. He is considered to be great at diagnosing plays. One concern is his height, which may make it difficult for him to cover taller receivers and tight ends. Experts would like to see him improve in man coverage but see him as a big asset in run defense. An AFC regional scout tells NFL.com, “He’s physical and plays angry at the point of attack. He’s the type of guy you like having on your team because he brings toughness to practice.”

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 1-2

Notes: ESPN.com ranks Perryman as the top linebacker and 31st overall in the draft. He recorded 102 tackles, two sacks and an interception in 2014.

Related articles:

Miami Herald: Perryman on staying at Miami for all four years

Bleacher Report: Perryman may be top LB in draft

Video: Perryman records eight tackles and one pass defense in the 2014 Independence Bowl against South Carolina.

Blog Author: 
Nik Beimler