It looks like it’s Jimmy Garoppolo time for the Patriots.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady

It looks like it’s Jimmy Garoppolo time for the Patriots.

The second circuit has rejected Tom Brady’s appeal for a rehearing, meaning his four-game suspension stands and he will miss the first four games of the season. His only option now is to take the case to the Supreme Court, but as of now he will miss the first four games of the season.

The denial stated: Appellees, National Football League Players Association and Tom Brady filed a petition for a panel rehearing, or, in the alternative, for rehearing en banc. The panel that determined the appeal has considered the request for panel rehearing, and the active members of the Court have considered a request for a rehearing en banc.

IT IS HEARBY ORDERED that the petition is denied.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Patriots defensive lineman/linebacker Rob Ninkovich and former wide receiver Wes Welker joined Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Tuesday morning as part of their promotion of Dr. Robert Leonard and hair loss treatment. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.

Patriots defensive lineman/linebacker Rob Ninkovich and former wide receiver Wes Welker joined Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Tuesday morning as part of their promotion of Dr. Robert Leonard and hair loss treatment. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.

As is with most interviews with Patriots players, Deflategate came up.

“Honestly, no, we don’t talk about it,” Ninkovich said. “It was last year — what was it? Two years ago? How long ago was it? It’s something that you can’t really think about, talk about because it’s not going to help you.”

Added Ninkovich: “Really for me, I’m not a quarterback, I’m not a receiver. I don’t know. The whole thing is just stupid. There are a lot of things going on that shouldn’t last for two years, three years, four years, I don’t know.”

Welker was seen spending a few days with the Ravens this summer coaching. He admitted he’s interested, but doesn’t know if he wants to make the commitment because of the time involved.

“Part of of me does and then there’s part of me that is just like [oof],” Welker said. “We just had twins and they are 11 months old. That is a big factor too.”

The former Patriots receiver has done some media work in the past few months and said it’s something he would like to get into down the road.

Blog Author: 
WEEI
Martellus Bennett meets the media earlier this spring. (Michael Petraglia/WEEI.com photo)

Martellus Bennett meets the media earlier this spring. (Michael Petraglia/WEEI.com photo)

As the countdown to training camp begins later this month, we’re going to take a look at the 20 most important members of the Patriots heading into 2016.

10. Tight end Martellus Bennett
Height: 6-foot-7
Weight: 248 pounds
Age: 29 (will turn 30 on March 10)

Resume: A second-round pick of the Cowboys in the 2008 draft out of Texas A&M, Bennett was part of a two-tight end attack with teammate Jason Witten in his first four years in the league. His breakout year really came in 2012 with the Giants, when he caught a career-best 55 passes. That jumpstarted his most recent four-year stretch where he’s averaged 66 catches a year the last four years, including 90 in 2014 with the Bears. The brother of Seattle defensive lineman Michael Bennett, the Patriots acquired Martellus and a sixth-round selection from the Bears this past offseason for a fourth-round pick. His New England career is in its infancy, but Patriots fans have quickly came to see that why he’s developed a reputation as one of the more offbeat characters in the league, embracing the nickname “The Black Unicorn” and working as an illustrator and children’s author.

Why we ranked him here: The second new veteran we have on this list (defensive end Chris Long was the first), Bennett isn’t on the countdown because of what he’s done to this point, but what he’s capable of achieving in the New England passing game. Since 2010, one of the fundamental elements to the Patriots’ offense has been the two tight end set, with Rob Gronkowski and (fill in the blank) working in tandem against opposing defenses, and the new guy seems to be an excellent fit. Based on Bennett’s previous body of work and what he did over the course of the spring practices, if the duo can stay healthy, there’s no reason to think they can’t challenge the mark for most production in a single season at the tight end spot. (The 2011 Patriots, with Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, set the standard with 169 catches for 2,237 yards and 24 touchdowns.) Bennett not only has an impressive pair of hands, but has also shown an ability to be a willing blocker. One thing certainly worth watching is the fact that Bennett is heading into the final year of his contract; it’ll be interesting to see how that particular part of the drama plays out. But that’s for down the road. At this point, when it comes to on-field possibilities with Bennett, the sky is the limit.

Quote: “Dr. Seuss said, ‘No one can be you-er than you.’ Oscar Wilde said, ‘Be yourself, because everyone else is taken.’ I can only be one person. I just try and continue to be who I am and don’t change that. I’m a little chameleon. I just try and fit in wherever I am. When you’re authentic, people appreciate that.” — Bennett speaking with reporters on 6/8/16

“I have no idea. I just think it’s unusual to have two guys that are like 6-[foot]-7 and can run, catch, block. So, yeah, it’s going to be a major challenge. There’s no doubt about that. It’s scary when you look at them. Those are two huge guys. How we’re going to defend them, I don’t know.” — Bills coach Rex Ryan on how Buffalo will attempt to defend Gronkowski and Bennett when the two are on the field together this season, 3/22/16

Random Note: Bennett declared for the NBA draft after his senior season at Alief Taylor High School in Texas, but he withdrew from the draft shortly beforehand and decided to go to Texas A&M. (He averaged 23 points and 8.2 rebounds per game as a senior in basketball.)

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Tom Brady was evidently watching tennis on Sunday.

The Patriots quarterback congratulated Andy Murray for his Wimbledon win on Facebook by posting: Congrats to Andy Murray on the Wimbledon victory yesterday! Another title for team Under Armour…

He also photoshopped his picture into the face of a person clapping in the background.

Tom Brady was evidently watching tennis on Sunday.

The Patriots quarterback congratulated Andy Murray for his Wimbledon win on Facebook by posting: Congrats to Andy Murray on the Wimbledon victory yesterday! Another title for team Under Armour…

He also photoshopped his picture into the face of a person clapping in the background.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Congrats, New England.

According to a recent sports analytics study, the Patriots have the best fan base in the NFL. The study came from Mike Lewis, a professor at Emory College in Atlanta.

The Patriots reportedly have the best fans in the NFL.  (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

The Patriots reportedly have the best fans in the NFL. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Congrats, New England.

According to a recent sports analytics study, the Patriots have the best fan base in the NFL. The study came from Mike Lewis, a professor at Emory College in Atlanta.

Here is how he explained how his rankings were determined: These models are used to determine which cities fans are more willing to spend or follow their teams after controlling for factors like market size and short-term variations in performance.

The Patriots earned the top spot because: The Patriots victory is driven by fans willingness to pay premium prices, strong attendance and phenomenal social media following. The final competition between the Cowboys and the Patriots was actually determined by the long-term value of the Patriots greater social following. The Patriots have about 2.4 million Twitter followers compared to 1.7 for the Cowboys. Of course this is all relative a team like the Jaguars has just 340 thousand followers.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Nate Solder looks to rebound after an injury-shortened 2015. (Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

Nate Solder looks to rebound after an injury-shortened 2015. (Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

As the countdown to training camp begins later this month, we’re going to take a look at the 20 most important members of the Patriots heading into 2016.

11. Left tackle Nate Solder
Height: 6-foot-8
Weight: 325 pounds
Age: 28 (will turn 29 on April 12)

Resume: A first-round pick of the Patriots out of Colorado in 2011, Solder played mostly right tackle as a rookie before flipping over to the left side following the retirement of Matt Light prior to 2012. While an occasional short-term injury has sparked the need for a lineup shuffle, Solder has been the starting left tackle for the Patriots since then, working to protect Brady’s backside for almost all of the last four seasons.

Why we ranked him here: This is one of the most thankless jobs in sports; if a left tackle is good, you’re never supposed to hear his name. And through the early stages of the 2015 season, the unassuming Solder was well on his way toward putting together another one of those solid, workmanlike types of years. (From 2012 to 2014, he missed just one game.) Then, he suffered a torn biceps against the Cowboys, and was gone for the rest of the season. Solder’s loss was part of domino effect that included injuries to Bryan Stork and Sebastian Vollmer, turning things upside down along the offensive line and leaving Tom Brady as vulnerable as he’s ever been. There were other personnel losses along the way, but the fact remains that the injury to Solder played a large a role as any when it came to bogging down the New England offense. In many ways, Solder is Brady’s chief protector, and protection suffered last year when he was lost. That should be more than enough of an argument in favor of him to warrant a spot on this list. (For the record, it’s also hard to overstate the level of respect he has garnered within the locker room. A quiet leader who was named a captain prior to the start of the 2015 campaign, Solder played the entire 2014 season after being diagnosed with testicular cancer.)

Quote: “When you lose Nate Solder, you lose a Pro Bowl left tackle. Five different left tackles played [for the Patriots in 2015], and Nate Solder is head and shoulders better than any of them.” — NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger on the loss of Nate Solder early in 2015

Random Note: Solder and Marcus Cannon are the only two members of the Patriots’ 2011 draft class still on the roster.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price