ESPN's Chris Berman reportedly will retire at the end of the 2016 season. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

ESPN’s Chris Berman reportedly will retire at the end of the 2016 season. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

ESPN’s football coverage will see some significant changes this coming season — and it won’t be the only year with a change.

According to The Big Lead, Chris Berman will retire from ESPN after the 2016 season.

Berman has been with ESPN since 1979 and his contract is up after this season. Instead of looking to join another network, he will retire at age 61.

The report adds the network has already begun to plan Berman’s send-off as he’s one of the longest tenured employees the company has.

As for potential Berman replacements, the two names mentioned in the story were Trey Wingo and Suzy Kolber.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

The NFL has come down against the Ravens.

Earlier this month, the Ravens held rookie minicamp practices in pads, which is against NFL rules. On Thursday, the NFL imposed the discipline against the organization and coach Jim Harbaugh.

The NFL has come down against the Ravens.

Earlier this month, the Ravens held rookie minicamp practices in pads, which is against NFL rules. On Thursday, the NFL imposed the discipline against the organization and coach Jim Harbaugh.

As a team, they have to forfeit one week of their organized team activities, which had been scheduled June 1-3. In addition, the team was fined $343,057 and Harbaugh was fined $137,223, according to ESPN’s Jim Trotter.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Roger Goodell reaffirmed the league's commitment to concussion research. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)

Roger Goodell reaffirmed the league’s commitment to concussion research. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)

On Thursday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter obtained a letter Roger Goodell sent to the owners and presidents of the NFL’s 32 teams where he emphasized the league’s commitment to the treatment of head injuries and independent medical research.

Following is the complete letter:

As discussed during our recent meeting, the NFL has a unique responsibility and opportunity to drive change and advance progress in the prevention and treatment of head injuries. That is our unwavering commitment to our players, former players, athletes at all levels, and society more broadly.

At the core of that commitment is your continued and robust support of independent medical research, including the $30 million contribution to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for scientific research on concussion and head injury. I want to reaffirm in the strongest possible terms my comments to you during the league meeting and my public statements this week reaffirming the NFL’s commitment to the NIH of the $30 million in grant funding we pledged to accelerate scientific understanding of concussion and head injury. There was no consideration given to anything other than honoring that commitment in its entirety.

The research you have funded thus far is significant. It includes $12 million that has been allocated through the NIH for two $6 million agreements dedicated to studies that define the long-term changes that occur in the brain after a head injury or multiple concussions. Boston University School of Medicine and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs received $6 million for a study on CTE and post-traumatic neurodegeneration, while Mount Sinai Hospital received $6 million for a study on the neuropathology of CTE and Delayed Effects of TBI. Additionally, the NFL grant has funded six pilot projects totaling more than $2 million to provide support for the early stages of sports-related concussion projects .

Apart from our firm commitment of $30 million to the NIH for scientific research, we will move forward on the work discussed with you earlier this week, including substantial additional funding for projects relating to safety equipment, treatment of athletes who have experienced concussions, and a longitudinal study relating to the incidence and prevalence of long-term health consequences. We are fortunate to be guided on these projects by the finest medical and scientific advisors and appreciate their dedication to our ongoing efforts.

We look forward to a productive and ongoing partnership with the NIH and others to advance our shared priorities, and to committing additional funding to medical research and engineering advances to enhance the safety of athletes at all levels.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

According to Bleacher Report’s Ja

Robert Kraft

Robert Kraft

According to Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole, three NFL owners have expressed “extreme disappointment” in Robert Kraft and the Patriots after they filed an amicus brief on behalf of Tom Brady and the NFLPA in the quarterback’s appeal of the Second Circuit pertaining to his four-game Deflategate suspension.

Cole says the owners view the move by the Patriots and Kraft as a publicity stunt to get more fans back on their side. He adds the owners don’t believe Kraft was serious with the filing as it goes against commissioner Roger Goodell’s ability to punish players and undermines the league’s CBA.

One owner told Cole if Kraft thought it mattered he and the team wouldn’t have made the filing.

The Patriots filed the amicus brief on Wednesday supporting Brady and the NFLPA.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

New Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett and Tom Brady appeared to be on the same page Thursday.</p>
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Ted Olsen, who is serving as the lead counsel for Tom Brady in the quarterback’s fight against the reinstatement of the his suspension, joined Ordway, Merloni and Fauria Thursday to discuss his client’s recent appeal.

Brady and his team are now awaiting word on whether the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will grant a re-hearing.

FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss the biggest takeaways from the first week of OTAs, which concluded Thursday with a two-hour workout that was open to the media. Some of the highlights included Tom Brady working closely with and throwing a touchdown pass to new tight end Martellus Bennett and the debut of rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Brissett was intercepted once by top draft pick Cyrus Jones while throwing a touchdown pass to fellow rookie Malcolm Mitchell on a fade pattern. Petraglia and Price also discuss the latest developments in Tom Brady’s appeal, the Patriots joining the fight and what it means going forward.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Ted Olsen, who is serving as the lead counsel for Tom Brady in the quarterback’s fight against the reinstatement of the his suspension, joined Ordway, Merloni and Fauria Thursday to discuss his client’s recent appeal.

Brady and his team are now awaiting word on whether the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will grant a re-hearing.

“We think we have very, very strong reasons here,” Olson said. “We acknowledge that courts of appeals don’t usually grant re-hearings and the Supreme Court doesn’t usually grant anything more than a small percentage of the cases that it takes, but those statistics are misleading because it depends upon the case.

“Here’s a situation where a huge injustice is manifestly done and the commissioner, who commissioned this report which you’ve discussed many, many times, calling it neutral is just a complete misnomer. It wasn’t a neutral investigation. Then the commissioner reviewed his own investigation and imposed discipline. Then when the appeal came along, he appointed himself to do an appeal and then he decided on different grounds to sustain the discipline that he had previously imposed based upon obviously pre-determined judgement, and he failed even to mention the provisions of the collective bargaining agreement that related to equipment, which is obviously what was involved in this case.

“We think this is important to collective bargaining agreement[s] and to employers and employees everywhere.”

On the subject of the power wielded by commissioner Roger Goodell, Olson said that the NFLPA granting him that power in the collective bargaining agreement is a “legitimate concern.”

“In fact, the majority on the panel — the two judges that decided against Tom — basically decided that,” Olson said. “They said, ‘Look. It’s an arbitration and you’ve granted a lot of discretion to the commissioner and that’s all it’s going to be. We pointed out, however, that when the commissioner decided to hear the appeal himself, he was responsible to act in a fair and neutral fashion and provide an unbiased review of things, and he was supposed to look at the record, look at the decision that he made, and consider that and not come up with a new analysis that wasn’t part of the decision in the first place.

“So he came up with something completely new. We make the point that that’s inconsistent with collective bargaining principles decided by the Supreme Court and other circuits and that when there’s a specific provision in the collective bargaining agreement — as there is here — about equipment that is directly pertinent to the case, the commissioner had to at least mention that and explain why in the world that was not pertinent, why he departed from that equipment violation provision completely, which would have required a fine — a relatively modest fine, even if the evidence was against Tom, which of course it isn’t — but he ignored that principle, too. He ignored a provision in the collective bargaining agreement that was directly pertinent, and he had a responsibility to discuss it.”

Blog Author: 
WEEI