On Monday, the Patriots announced former cornerback Raymond Clayborn has been elected into the Patriots Hall of Fame.

Clayborn beat out Richard Seymour and Mike Vrabel following being nominated by a committee and then winning an online vote by fans.

Raymond Clayborn is the Patriots' 2017 Hall of Fame inductee. (Otto Gruele Jr/Getty Images)

Raymond Clayborn is the Patriots’ 2017 Hall of Fame inductee. (Otto Gruele Jr/Getty Images)

On Monday, the Patriots announced former cornerback Raymond Clayborn has been elected into the Patriots Hall of Fame.

Clayborn beat out Richard Seymour and Mike Vrabel following being nominated by a committee and then winning an online vote by fans.

He had been nominated four straight years.

The cornerback was a three-time Pro Bowl player (1983, 1985, 1986) during his 13-year Patriots career that extended from 1977 through 1989. He set a franchise record with 36 career interceptions, a record which Ty Law tied in 2004. His 555 interception return yards rank second in franchise history to Law’s 583 return yards.

Clayborn also returned 57 kickoffs for 1,538 yards and three touchdowns. He is one of just 20 NFL players since the 1970 merger to finish a season with a better than 30-yard average on kickoff returns (min. 20 returns) and is the only Patriots player to accomplish the feat.

“I was fortunate to be a season ticket holder during Raymond’s entire Patriots career,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft in a statement. “For the first half of his career, he teamed with Michael Haynes to form one of the best corner tandems in league history. Throughout his career, Raymond was a physical, shutdown corner. One of my favorite memories was watching the 1985 team advance to the Super Bowl after Raymond helped us break the Orange Bowl curse when he stymied future Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino with a dominant performance against Pro Bowl receivers Mark Duper and Mark Clayton.

“Raymond had six passes defensed and an interception to help us claim our first conference title. It was the greatest upset victory in franchise history at the time and one the entire New England region celebrated. It is a well-deserved honor and I look forward to presenting him his hall of fame jacket.”

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Rob Gronkowski will now be fighting crime –– kind of.  (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

Rob Gronkowski will now be fighting crime –– kind of. (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

Rob Gronkowski is an unstoppable force on the football field, so it only makes sense for his canine namesake to be a police department’s K-9 officer.

The Athol Police Department named its first K-9 officer in roughly eight years after Gronkowski, with chief Russell Kleber telling the Associated Press he wanted to bestow the honor upon a Boston sports athlete. The one-year-old German shepherd will undergo 14 weeks of training before it’s trusted to track down criminals.

This isn’t the first time Gronkowski has been linked to Athol. In February, he ordered a footlong chicken, cheese and guacamole sandwich at the town’s Subway restaurant, which is now dubbed the “Big Subkowski.”

When Gronkowski saw the news on Twitter, he responded with a cheeky emoji:

Blog Author: 
Alex Reimer

In March, Darrelle Revis had felony assault charges dismissed by a Pittsburgh judge, and now according to ESPN’s Rich Cimimi

Darrelle Revis reportedly will not be disciplined by the NFL. (Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

Darrelle Revis reportedly will not be disciplined by the NFL. (Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

In March, Darrelle Revis had felony assault charges dismissed by a Pittsburgh judge, and now according to ESPN’s Rich Cimimi, the free agent cornerback will not be disciplined by the NFL.

In February, Revis was arrested when he was said to be involved in a street fight that left two men unconscious.

He was charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault, one felony count each of robbery and conspiracy and a misdemeanor count of terroristic threats. After appearing in court a month later, the charges were dropped.

With this news, it may mean teams might be more willing to sign him than they were before. If Revis were to be suspended by the league, teams likely wouldn’t want to take a risk by signing him and then be forced to lose him for any portion of the season.

Revis is 31 years old and coming off his worst NFL season, but the seven-time Pro Bowler likely could help any team if used properly. As it relates to the Patriots, with Malcolm Butler returning there doesn’t appear to be a fit.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

The Falcons had Super Bowl LI in their hands when they were up 28-20 late in the fourth quarter and had the ball in Patriots’ territory.

Former Falcons OC Kyle Shanahan regrets one play call from Super Bowl LI. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Former Falcons OC Kyle Shanahan regrets one play call from Super Bowl LI. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

The Falcons had Super Bowl LI in their hands when they were up 28-20 late in the fourth quarter and had the ball in Patriots’ territory.

It was first-and-10 from the Patriots’ 22-yard line, but following a sack and a holding penalty the Falcons were out of field goal range leading to a punt.

New England then got the ball back and Tom Brady led the offense down the field for a touchdown and the two-point conversion to force overtime where the Patriots eventually won the game, 34-28.

Immediately after the game, Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said he didn’t regret any of his play calls down the stretch, as the Falcons could have just ran the ball three times and kicked a field goal to win the game, but now a few months later, the now 49ers head coach admitted he would like to have a play call back.

“The second-and-10 that we got sacked on,” Shanahan said on The Rich Eisen Show last week. “I wish I had dialed up something differently. And then the next play, we called an option to [Mohamed] Sanu, we got right back in field goal range, but we had a holding call on the play and it knocked us out some more, and an incompletion on the next one.”

The second-and-10 play was a 12-yard sack by Trey Flowers.

“I go through every single play in the game, but when it comes down to it, the big one was the sack that we had on second-and-10,” Shanahan said.

The Falcons and Patriots will meet again this season in New England, but Shanahan will not be part of it as he is now coaching in San Francisco.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Tom Brady will likely need to address Gisele's concussion comments at some point. (Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady will likely need to address Gisele’s concussion comments at some point. (Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports)

1. The biggest football story of the week was Tom Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen, going on CBS This Morning and saying Brady has had concussions over the course of his career, including last year. This wouldn’t seem like a big deal given Brady has played 17 years in the NFL, but the issue is Brady hasn’t missed any games besides when he tore his ACL and he’s never been listed on the injury report with a concussion. The NFL responded by saying it has no record of any such thing and later in the week his agent Don Yee released a carefully worded statement saying Brady “was not diagnosed” with a concussion last year. He didn’t say Brady didn’t have one, he said Brady wasn’t diagnosed with one. A big difference. Whether he wants to or not, at some point Brady is going to have to address what Gisele said. Concussions are one of the biggest topics of discussion in the NFL and when the biggest star in the game is in the middle of it, he’s going to need to address it. With all the measures put in place for player safety when it comes to concussions (now having concussion spotters and specialists on the sidelines), it appears, at least according to Gisele, Brady has slipped through the cracks. It’s important to note the Patriots didn’t break any rules by not reporting anything because it’s likely a case of Brady not telling anyone. In 2015, Brady was asked on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan if he’s ever had a concussion. “I’d really not like to get into that,” he responded. But then, last year he said concussions are a “very important topic.” “I think there’s been more awareness from the general media on what CTE is, how it affects you, the long term ramifications of it,” Brady said, via ABC News. “I think, as an athlete, you have to take all those things into consideration and try to be as proactive as you can. Gain information, then go through the proper protocols if you do get a concussion.” With how much damage chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) can have, Brady contracting himself by saying what an important topic concussions are, and then seemingly ignoring his own will likely need to be explained.

2. This is a big week for the Patriots and their offseason program as OTAs are set to begin. They will be held Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, with Thursday’s session being open to the media. Contact isn’t allowed, but 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are allowed. This will give the media its first chance to see what the 2017 team looks like. The running back position will be an area to keep an eye on to try and get some glimpse as to how the carries and playing time will be split. It will also be worth keeping an eye on Malcolm Butler and how he interacts with his teammates, especially Stephon Gilmore following the Patriots signing him to a megadeal this offseason. Cyrus Jones is also a player to watch to see if he is showing signs of bouncing back after a tough rookie season. As always, the quarterback position is worth watching, especially Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett to see how big of strides both players have made from last season. It is worth keeping in mind any observations should be taken with a grain of salt considering it’s just OTAs and contact isn’t permitted, but this is the only thing there is to go on before training camp in late July.

3. LeGarrette Blount officially will not be on the Patriots next season, as the 30-year-old running back signed a deal with the Eagles this week. His career in New England deserves to be recognized. Many believe any running back can succeed in Bill Belichick’s system with Brady at quarterback, but Blount did things no one else could do. How many backs can carry four or five guys on their backs for 10 extra yards? How many backs have the ability to wear defenses down and run over defensive backs in the second half of games? Blount was also one of the happiest players in the locker room, always having a smile on his face and laughing with teammates. The connection was shown this week when many of his former teammates reached out to him on social media congratulating him on his new deal. Blount had a very underrated career in New England playing a large role in winning two Super Bowls.

4. One of the big picture questions raised this week is who will lead the Patriots offense in receptions? Obviously, Julian Edelman is the heavy favorite, but don’t sleep on Brandin Cooks. If Edelman plays a full 16 games, he’s almost a lock to get around 100 receptions, as he had 98 last year and 105 in 2013. On the other hand, Cooks’ career-high is 84 (2015). Cooks could take away some of Edelman’s targets, but the Brady-Edelman connection is unmatched, so if Edelman plays the entire season look for Edelman to still be Brady’s favorite target.

5. Even though the Celtics are on a deep run in the playoffs, the Patriots have sometimes stolen the show at home games, which shows just how popular the Patriots are. A number of Patriots have attended playoff games including Belichick, Robert Kraft, Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, James White, Cooks, Gilmore, Butler, Garoppolo, Cameron Fleming and more. Nothing gets any Boston sporting venue louder than showing Belichick on a big screen.

6. One of the most competitive position battles this summer will be the third tight end spot. The competition got a little clearer this week when the Patriots released Michael Williams and Rob Housler. Behind Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen, the Patriots have Matt Lengel, Sam Cotton, Jacob Hollister and James O’Shaughnessy. It would seem at this point Lengel has the advantage given his experience in the system last season, but also don’t be surprised if the Patriots add another veteran tight end before training camp.

7. Former Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork is still unsure about his plans for 2017. “What retirement is, I want to make sure I’m 100 percent committed to whatever I’m going to do,” Wilfork said on ESPN Radio’s Russillo Show last week. “I’m not saying that I’m going to retire, and I’m not going to say that I’m retired.” The Texans seem to believe Wilfork has called it a career, but the 35-year-old is a free agent. From this viewpoint, Wilfork will indeed retire, and what a terrific career it was — both on and off the field.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

The Patriots have a busy week next week with OTAs kicking off, but Bill Belichick seemed to enjoy himself on Saturday by taking in the Preakness Stakes with girlfriend Linda Holliday.

Holliday posted a picture of the two to Instagram with the caption: Awesome day at the Preakness!

The Patriots have a busy week next week with OTAs kicking off, but Bill Belichick seemed to enjoy himself on Saturday by taking in the Preakness Stakes with girlfriend Linda Holliday.

Holliday posted a picture of the two to Instagram with the caption: Awesome day at the Preakness!

Here is the picture.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable