Offensive lineman Dan Connolly is scheduled for a visit with the Bucs later this week, according to a report from ESPN. The 32-year-old free agent is one of the longest-tenured member of the New England roster, having been with the Patriots since 2007. The 6-foot-4, 311-pounder has played all three interior positions along the offensive line, and has started 43 regular-season games the last three seasons for New England.

There are plenty of Patriots’ ties in Tampa for Connolly to consider — fellow offensive lineman Logan Mankins was dealt to the Bucs late last August. In addition, the Tampa Bay front office features GM Jason Licht and assistant GM Jon Robinson, both of who made their bones in the New England system.

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Tom Brady showed his multi-sport skills this past weekend in the Bahamas by playing 36 holes of golf with Michael Jordan, Keegan Bradley and Luke Donald and then playing pickup basketball with the trio later that night.

Bradley, a life-long Boston sports fan and 2011 PGA Championship winner, has long idolized Brady and met him once before spending the weekend together in the Bahamas. Seeing Brady play football and hearing about how “unathletic” he was, Bradley said Brady’s skills on the court took him by surprise.

“I’ll tell you what, I grew up in New England idolizing Brady, I watched him win his first Super Bowl in my basement with my dad. All I hear about Brady is he’s this unathletic quarterback and he’s not mobile. You should see him on the basketball court,” Bradley said Monday afternoon appearing on the SVP & Russillo show on ESPN Radio. “He’s so athletic. I couldn’t believe the talent he had. I mean obviously he’s a great athlete, but he is a really good basketball player and he’s a really good golfer. I was blown away with his ability with both those sports.”

Bradley explained how the pickup game came about.

“It was pretty spectacular,” he said. “We were out playing golf and I looked at Luke Donald and said, ‘Let’s go shoot some hoops.’ I was thinking that might entice MJ to the court. I’ve never shot with him. We went there and he didn’t have any shoes on and we were just shooting. Then, it kind of got to where I was talking a little trash to him and it got a little serious and he said, ‘Go back and get my shoes.’

“Then I knew it was going to happen and then Brady shows up and of course Brady and MJ were going to be partners because they have the greatest of all-time partnership going. We played this game and it was just unbelievable. I could see MJ talking trash and he was just loving it.”

The four played golf together for two days — Bradley and Donald vs. Brady and Jordan. The first day it came down to the last hole and Jordan made a 20-foot putt to push the match. Bradley called the pair, the “greatest trash talkers ever.” The next day Bradley and Brady had their own wager, and Brady’s competitive nature came out.

“I say to Tom Brady, I am going to give him 12 shots, and this is easy money,” Bradley said. “I am getting all cocky on the first tee and I get a match with him and I win the first hole so I go, ‘TB, I’ll give you a buy out if you want.’ I kept chirping and he runs off and he played the next 14 holes at 4-under par. Beat me 6&5. He’s really good. I couldn’t believe it. His competitive juices kicked in and he smoked me.”

Bradley enjoyed his time with his childhood idol in Brady and a person now he calls a “good friend” in Jordan, as Jordan has played a large role in helping with the US Ryder Cup teams, as well as playing at the same course in Florida.

“It was one of those moments where you look around and realize ‘I don’t know how I got here.’ It was just a really, really fun time,” said Bradley.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Darrelle Revis and many of the rest of the New England defensive backs training together last offseason. Now, despite the fact that Revis is back with the Jets, DBs like Logan Ryan are still sticking with Revis' offseason coach Will Sullivan. (Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

Darrelle Revis and many of the rest of the New England defensive backs trained together last offseason. Now, despite the fact that Revis is with the Jets, DBs like Logan Ryan (center) are still sticking with Revis’ offseason coach Will Sullivan. (Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

Despite the fact that Darrelle Revis isn’t with the Patriots anymore, some New England defensive backs still are going to spend at least part of the offseason working with the man who played a role in helping shape Revis into an All-Pro.

Will Sullivan, who is the offseason position coach for Revis (the corner calls Sullivan “the best positional coach I’ve ever had … period!”), spent a chunk of last offseason working with several of the Patriots defensive backs as well, and those players plan on sticking with Sullivan this offseason at his facility in Arizona.

According to Sullivan, Devin McCourty, Logan Ryan and Tavon Wilson either have plans to work out with Sullivan or already have been out to spend time with him at his facility.

“Some of them are already here working with me — I’ve been in contact with all of the guys who were here last year,” Sullivan said. “Logan has been out here — he’s been working with me for the last couple of weeks, reviewing film and what he did wrong last year. I think by now, we’re five games in. We’ve already done plenty of self-scouting and talked about how this year is going to be a big year for him.

“Tavon is supposed to come out next week. He’ll be out here with me until he has to head back. And I think Devin is set to come out here sometime in the summer — he usually likes to come and work out when his brother Jason can come out, too.”

Ryan has been the one who has received the bulk of the attention to this point in the offseason, according to Sullivan. He’s well aware that with the loss of Revis as a free agent, more will likely be on his shoulders in 2015.

“On Logan, I’ll say it like this: I think Logan, in his first year, he surprised people with his production. The times when he was asked to fill in the last two seasons, he’s done a good job,” Sullivan said of Ryan. “My thing is that now he’s a solid guy who you can stick in there. Now it’s about him taking that next step, if he’s given that opportunity. In 16 games and the playoffs, can he compete consistently against No. 1 and No. 2 receivers.

“Has he progressed? Definitely. I think Logan has been competitive since Day 1. It just boils down to whether or not he’ll be able to step up and take advantage of his opportunities,” Sullivan added. “Look, we saw it in the Super Bowl — defensive backs in New England don’t have a long leash. Everybody around the league knows that. They don’t hesitate to sit guys down. It’s just part of the culture there in New England. You have to be a tough-minded son of a gun to succeed there, to know that one game I might get 10 snaps, and then the next game I might be starting. They move guys around a lot.”

Of course, Sullivan said he’s going to continue his work with Revis. However, he professes to have no insight into Revis’ line of thinking that led him to leave Foxboro and return to the Jets as a free agent earlier this month. According to Sullivan, when it comes to talking about a new contract, the Revis circle of trust comes down to the cornerback, his agents and his uncle, Sean Gilbert. That way, he leaks are minimized.

“During the negotiation times, Revis disappears,” Sullivan said. “He doesn’t answer texts, email, phone calls. He does that every time. He usually goes some place you can’t find him — he’s not in his normal spots. He does a good job disappearing when he has to. So when it came to what was happening, I didn’t know a thing, and I’m glad I didn’t. That’s what his agents are for. My job is just to get a report from his agents, and go from there.”

As for talk that Revis has lost a step, Sullivan acknowledges he might be biased, but he still begs to differ.

“I feel like he’s gotten better with age. I truly do,” Sullivan said. “It’s interesting — that matchup of top corners against No. 1 receivers is the only spot where they get younger and younger on one side of the ball and older on the other. The receivers get younger, and the great DBs get older and older. That makes honing your craft all the more important, and that’s what he does very well. He’s gotten better with age.

“You look at the fact that outside the ACL injury the guy had a nine-year career where he didn’t miss many games. He comes in and he’s always in good condition. He’s not out there doing anything crazy. He takes care of his body the right way,” Sullivan added. “He still has a great feel for the game, and he knows what he’s doing. At this age, it’s more about picking your spots, understanding what’s going on on both sides of the ball and knowing where to get help and how to use it, if you need it.”

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

The Patriots may need some veteran linebacker depth with Dont’a Hightower expected to miss much of the offseason and some of training camp due to his offseason shoulder surgery.

The Patriots may need some veteran linebacker depth with Dont’a Hightower expected to miss much of the offseason and some of training camp due to his offseason shoulder surgery.

According to ESPN’s Field Yates, veteran free agent linebacker Rolando McClain is visiting with the Patriots on Monday.

McClain was drafted eighth overall by the Raiders in 2010, but had a few off field incidents while with the team. He was released on April 5, 2013. He then signed with the Ravens five days later, but announced his retirement May 15, 2013. He then came back to the league last season playing with Dallas, and had a productive season despite knee and groin injuries, finishing with 65 tackles and a sack.

It’s worth noting he’s facing a four-game fine for violating the league’€™s substance abuse policy, but no suspension.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

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.

Cody Prewitt (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Cody Prewitt led the SEC with six interceptions in 2013, and he followed that up with three in 2014. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

CODY PREWITT

Position: Free safety

School: Mississippi

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 217 pounds

Achievements: 2014 AP All-America second team, 2014 Bednarik Award watch list for best defensive player, 2014 All-SEC first team 2013 AP All-America first team, 2013 All-SEC first team, 2013 Thorpe Award semifinalist for best defensive back

What he brings: Prewitt has good size for a free safety, but scouts worry that he doesn’t use his size to his advantage enough. He is considered to be a better playing in a zone defense, and his man coverage has come into question. Scouts and experts applaud his ability to read plays and his above-average ball skills, but they say he has average top-end speed.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 3-5

Notes: Prewitt is ranked sixth among safeties and 101st overall in the draft at ESPN.com. He finished the 2014 season with 64 tackles and three interceptions, one year after leading the SEC with six interceptions. At the NFL scouting combine he ranked third in his position in the broad jump (10 feet, 5 inches) and fourth in the 60-yard shuttle (11.44 seconds).

Related articles:

Clarion Ledger: Prewitt wants more

Clarion Ledger: Prewitt’s road to success

Video: Prewitt lays a big hit on a Boise State receiver in August 2014.

Blog Author: 
Nik Beimler

The fiancee of Aaron Hernandez returned to the stand in his murder trial Monday and once again insisted she did not remember when questioned by the prosecution about some of her actions on the day after the murder of Odin Lloyd in June 2013.

The fiancee of Aaron Hernandez returned to the stand in his murder trial Monday and once again insisted she did not remember when questioned by the prosecution about some of her actions on the day after the murder of Odin Lloyd in June 2013.

Monday morning’s testimony focused on Shayanna Jenkins removing a box from the North Attleboro home she shared with Hernandez after receiving a phone call from the then-Patriots tight end. Prosecution has speculated that the box may have contained the murder weapon.

“He told me to go downstairs in our storage room and remove a box from our home,” Jenkins testified. “I believe he said it was important, I’m not too sure.”

Jenkins was shown on video sitting in the living room next to her sister, Shaneah, who had been dating Lloyd. Jenkins then is seen receiving a phone call and walking down to the basement. She acknowledged in court that she was asked to remove a box, which she said was open and contained smaller boxes inside — although she did not see the contents — and she put the box in a large plastic garbage bag and put baby clothes on top of it “so nothing was exposed.”

While she was able to recall the approximate dimensions of the box and the weight of the bag, she said she couldn’t recall why she asked to borrow her sister’s car and has no recollection of where she disposed of the bag. She said she drove around for about 45-60 minutes due in part to being nervous, and she does not remember where she found the “random dumpster” in which she deposited the bag.

“I think it was a residential area. I’m not sure,” she said. “I’m not sure what was around.”

Jenkins said she felt caught in the middle, trying to comfort her sister but also feeling the strain from her fiance being questioned by law enforcement about his possible role in the killing.

“At that point I was nervous,” she said. “Like I said, there were a lot of things going on. I really had to play a neutral role as far as trying comfort my sister. Everyone’s emotions were kind of on me. There was a form of breaking down at that point. So yeah, I was nervous.”

Jenkins was shown on security camera taking out money from a bank ATM, but she could not recall why she took out the cash. During Friday’s testimony she admitted meeting with Hernandez’s two alleged accomplices and giving them $500 in cash after dropping off Hernandez at the North Atlleboro police station to be questioned. She also admitted finding a handgun in a “kitchen junk drawer” in their house.

Jenkins said Hernandez denied any involvement in the murder after returning from the police station.

“I believe I asked him at that point if he did, did it, and he said no,” Jenkins recalled.

Jenkins has been granted immunity, meaning she cannot incriminate herself on the stand but she also can’t plead the Fifth Amendment and refuse to answer questions. She previously was charged with perjury for allegedly lying to a grand jury investigating the murder. She told the grand jury that she was not told to remove the box, which contradicts what she said in court.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

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.

Arie Kouandjio (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

There are concerns about Arie Kouandjio’s duability, especially after he had multiple knee surgeries while at Alabama. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

ARIE KOUANDJIO

Position: Guard

School: Alabama

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 315 pounds

Achievements: 2014 AP All-America second team, 2014 All-SEC first team

What he brings: Kouandjio has the right body type to be an NFL guard, and scouts generally like his ability to move defenders out of the way in the run game. The main concerns have to do with his durability and athleticism. He has had multiple surgeries in both knees, and has trouble moving to make blocks. He is expected to have trouble when matching up against more athletic linemen and when asked to leave the line of scrimmage.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 5-7

Notes: Kouandjio had multiple knee surgeries prior to the 2012 season. His brother Cyrus also played for Alabama and currently is on offensive linemen for the Bills. ESPN.com ranks him as the sixth guard and 156th overall in the draft.

Related articles:

Alabama.com: Kouandjio not concerned about knees after surgeries

Alabama.com: Kouandjio on recovery and return from injury

Video: Here’s Kouandjio (77) and the Alabama offensive line against Texas A&M in 2013.

Blog Author: 
Nik Beimler
Greg and Chris talk with Mike Reiss from ESPN Boston in hour 2 of NFL Sunday to discuss a variety of offseason happenings with the Pats and throughout the league. Greg and Chris also get into the NFL Draft and where Mariota and Winston will go.

[0:05:02] ... went when he talked with Jim Jones you're talking about a you Rob Ninkovich I think few few really good about where you wars defense affront wanna be able to get a little bit moral affront. ...
[0:17:35] ... So does the name that stand out to meet Chris would beat Dan Connolly their captains starting left guard last season. Still on the free agent market and I look at you know their their guard ...
[0:18:38] ... a lot of fighting between now and then outside of that media Dan Connolly are neck guard position. And then you go to the draft you feel about the draft if you look at how the ...