The Patriots signed offensive lineman James Ferentz on Thursday. (Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots signed offensive lineman James Ferentz on Thursday. (Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots were fairly active on Thursday.

The team signed free agent offensive lineman James Ferentz, rookie free agent tight end Sam Cotton and 2017 fourth-round pick defensive end Deatrich Wise.

Additionally, New England released offensive lineman Chris Barker, who has bounced back and forth between the practice squad and the active roster over the last several years.

Ferentz was recently released by the Broncos, but does have a connection to Bill Belichick. He is the son of Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, who coached with Belichick in Cleveland in the mid 1990s. With the Broncos last year he played in just seven games mostly on special teams.

With the team releasing tight ends Michael Williams and Rob Housler of late, Cotton will fit into the mix to battle for the third tight end.

The Patriots’ roster currently sits at 89.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Patriots fourth-round pick defensive end Deatrich Wise is in a good position with the Patriots.

Deatrich Wise was selected by the Patriots in the fourth round. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports)

Deatrich Wise was selected by the Patriots in the fourth round. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports)

Patriots fourth-round pick defensive end Deatrich Wise is in a good position with the Patriots.

Sometimes rookies might get nervous and overwhelmed by life in the NFL, but for Wise he has several people he’s close with on the team helping with the process, as well as playing in a similar system as he did in college.

Defensive end Trey Flowers, who broke out in 2016, was a mentor to Wise at Arkansas during the few years they overlapped, and undrafted rookie free agents Cody Hollister and Brooks Ellis both were Razorbacks as well.

“Very similar to the program here and the program in college. They both teach mental toughness,” Wise told reporters at Gillette Stadium on Thursday. “They both teach things that transfer over to the league – how to take care of your body, mental and physical toughness. They teach – the terminology is kind of the same. It’s how they run their whole program – from the top to the bottom, show everyone respect.

“I don’t care if it’s a CEO, a GM or a head coach or a janitor, cafeteria lady. Show everyone respect. That’s kind of what Arkansas taught me and that’s exactly what I’m learning here as well.”

Wise acknowledged he’s relying on Flowers like he did at Arkansas, but he’s careful not to take things too far.

“It’s been awesome. He’s a big mentor,” Wise said. “The advice he gives me is pretty much take one day at a time and don’t try to think ahead, just think in the now. He’s been helping me out here and there with the plays and what I have to do and it’s been great… I try to follow him a little bit. Try not to get too close to him, but try to follow him and see what he does and see how he works and do the same.”

Despite a few injuries last year as a senior, Wise finished with 49 tackles, 5.5 for a loss and 3.5 sacks.

Flowers obviously made the transition from Arkansas to the Patriots well, and Wise feels he can do the same.

“With the pro-style offense that Coach Bielema run, going against that for the last four-five years will prepare me for what I’ll see in the future going against other teams with pro-style offensives,” he said. “Since I have experience in that field, I believe I can carry on in the league and see how they run their formations, see what plays they run. I know it’s different teams, different levels, but still the same concept. Transferring over I believe it’ll be very beneficial for me.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Gisele Bundchen says Tom Brady has suffered previously undisclosed concussions.  (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

Gisele Bundchen says Tom Brady has suffered previously undisclosed concussions. (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

Gisele Bundchen sparked headlines Wednesday when she told CBS’ Charlie Rose that her husband, Tom Brady, has suffered concussions during his playing career. While that would appear to be self-evident –– football and head injuries are nearly synonymous with each other nowadays –– the revelation was noteworthy because Brady has never been listed on the injury report with a concussion in 16 seasons. That means, if Bundchen is telling the truth, Brady might be hiding his symptoms from the Patriots.

In a statement, the NFL says “no paperwork indicates” Brady suffered a head injury last season or complained of concussion-like symptoms. The league’s apparent non-chalentness about the matter is telling, considering the draconian punishment that was levied on the Patriots for Deflategate. Not documenting your star quarterback’s apparent concussions, which would make him available to play when protocol states he should be inactive, seems to be a much more egregious violation than playing with slightly under-inflated footballs.

That is, unless the NFL knows this kind of alleged behavior runs rampant throughout the league.

Ever since the NFL implemented the concussion protocol in 2011, there’s been a concerted effort to stamp down on head injuries. Last season, the league says the number of reported concussions fell 11.3 percent.

But players and teams also routinely try to skirt their way around the rules. The most recent example happened in January, when the Dolphins cleared quarterback Matt Moore to return to the field in the wild card round without documenting all of his symptoms. The league was forced to introduce additional rules to the protocol last year after Rams QB Case Keenum wasn’t removed from a game after getting his head slammed to the ground (tests confirmed he was concussed).

Patriots fans saw an apparent violation of the protocol first-hand in Super Bowl XLIX, when wide receiver Julian Edelman didn’t miss a snap after Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor had laid him out with a helmet-to-helmet hit.

In an interview last year on Bill Simmons’ “Any Given Wednesday,” Seattle wideout Doug Baldwin talked about how NFL players fake their way through the sideline concussion tests. “It’s relatively known around the league –– officials know –– it’s not an exact science,” he said. “We know the protocol. So if you’re cognitively there somewhat, you can cheat the system.”

Instead of regularly training with the Patriots staff, Brady works with his fitness guru, Alex Guerrero. If he were to suffer a concussion, it’s conceivable he would tell Guerrero, and possibly keep the team out of the loop. It’s a way for him to skate around the league’s stringent guidelines, and be on the field when he shouldn’t. Like most football players, Brady doesn’t want to sit on the bench.

There are other reasons Brady may turn to Guerrero, including the disconcerting notion that his questionable methods are more effective than traditional treatment. In a 2015 interview with WEEI, Brady mentioned how they’ve treated concussions at the TB12 Center with “incredible success.” Brady also endorsed NeuroSafe, a phony concussion prevention drink that the Federal Trade Commission told Guerrero to stop producing.

On the surface, Bundchen’s comments appear to be inflammatory. But after examining the culture of the league, and Brady’s personal ties to Guerrero, her statement isn’t inconceivable. In fact, it’s quite believable.

There may be more awareness around head trauma than ever before, but if players think they can play through concussions, many of them are seemingly going to try and find a way.

Blog Author: 
Alex Reimer

It’s been over three months since the Patriots overcame a 25-point deficit to beat the Falcons, 34-28 in overtime of Super Bowl LI, but the halftime scene is still fresh in Martellus Bennett’s mind.

Gisele Bundchen will likely have a major say when Tom Brady retires. (Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports)When Tom Brady actually retires is anyone’s guess.



There was a chance the McCourty brothers could join forces in the Patriots secondary with Devin’s brother Jason being a free agent, but it won’t happen.

Jason McCourty signed with the Browns this week. (Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports)

Jason McCourty signed with the Browns this week. (Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports)

There was a chance the McCourty brothers could join forces in the Patriots secondary with Devin’s brother Jason being a free agent, but it won’t happen.

Jason signed a two-year deal with the Browns this week, but appearing on Good Morning Football on Thursday, he said there was mutual interest between he and the Patriots. The only issue was it wasn’t a fit given the players the Patriots already have.

“I think there was definitely mutual interest,” McCourty said. “Me and Devin have never hid the fact that us playing together would be a dream come true. My mom kind of has hinted at that since we both got into the league. She knows it would be a lot easier only having to travel to one city during the season.

“I think there was definitely mutual interest, but to be honest, the Patriots are kind of set at cornerback. They have a lot of talent in that room. There really wasn’t room for me. Me and Dev talked about that and that’s just the way of the league. I’m excited about the opportunity I have in Cleveland to work with those guys.”

This could have been more likely if Malcolm Butler was not on the roster because as it stands now, at cornerback the Patriots have Stephon Gilmore, Butler, Cyrus Jones, Eric Rowe, Jonathan Jones and Justin Coleman.

Jason would be battling for the third cornerback spot, where in Cleveland he likely will be a starter.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Martellus Bennett explained the Super Bowl LI halftime scene in a recent interview. (Bob Donnan/USA Today Sports)

Martellus Bennett explained the Super Bowl LI halftime scene in a recent interview. (Bob Donnan/USA Today Sports)

It’s been over three months since the Patriots overcame a 25-point deficit to beat the Falcons, 34-28 in overtime of Super Bowl LI, but the halftime scene is still fresh in Martellus Bennett’s mind.

New England trailed 21-3 at the half, and then 28-3 in the early stages of the third quarter.

Bennett, who is now a member of the Packers, detailed the halftime scene in an interview with Inc.com.

“It took that collective group of guys to be together to come back,” Bennett said. “We came into the locker room at halftime, and there was no bickering, there was no bitching, there was no complaining, there was no moaning. There was no throwing chairs. There was none of this epic ‘We’re going to come back,’ Rudy, Remember the Titans-type speech. There was none of that TV [expletive]. But when you looked around the locker room, you didn’t see anyone that was discouraged. You didn’t see doubt in anyone’s eyes. And that’s like all 53 guys — you looked around and you could see that everybody was determined to figure out what they could do to help us win.”

Added Bennett: “So we went back out there at halftime — we got up, coach gave all the coaching points, all the changes. I was like, ‘Alright, coach. This is the plan you have, coach. I trust you. This is what you think is going to win. That’s exactly what we’re going to do.’ And I’m going to do my part, my small equation of the 11 that is on the field at the time. [We] put our hands up, [and said], ‘Hey, this is going to be written in the history books. Patriots on three. One, two, three, Patriots, break.’ And the rest is history.”

Bennett finished the game with five catches for 62 yards.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Tom Brady has been a fan of Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics of late, as the Celtics won every game against the Bulls after his social media post prior to Game 3 in the first round.

Before the Eastern Conference finals, Brady posted a similar post to social media except he didn’t just wish the Celtics luck. He wished the Cavs and LeBron James luck as well.