Tom Brady and Roger Goodell will meet again Monday in front of Judge Richard Berman.  (D Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Tom Brady and Roger Goodell will meet again Monday in front of Judge Richard Berman. (D Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Get ready for Chapter 3.

Tom Brady and Roger Goodell are set to meet again in front of Judge Richard M. Berman on Monday in New York City to try and find some sort of resolution in the seventh-month morass known as Deflategate. It’ll mark the second time that the Patriots’ quarterback and NFL commissioner will be squaring off in Berman’s courtroom, but it’ll be the third overall opportunity (after sessions on Aug. 12 and Aug. 19, the second of which did not include Brady or Goodell) for the two parties to meet in hopes of bringing the matter to a close.

There are several different matters in play as it relates to both sides in this case, but as has been the situation in their two previous meetings, expect the league to reiterate the fact that under the umbrella of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, Goodell has every right to act as he did in the case, as he has fundamentally served as disciplinarian and “independent” arbitrator throughout the process. Meanwhile, the NFLPA maintains that because there’s no evidence — texts, e-mails, etc. — that directly links Brady to the idea of deliberately deflating the footballs, the discipline should be wiped off the books. Sparked in part by the NFLPA and lead attorney Jeffrey Kessler, Berman has also hammered the NFL on a number of other points, including fairness, as well as the curious decision to link Brady’s supposed infraction to a violation of the league’s policy on PEDs.

There have been reports that indicate the two sides might be amenable to some sort of settlement before Berman is forced to make a decision, but that seems truly farfetched given the nuclear language that was exchanged when the two sides issued separate filings earlier this month. For his part, Berman has hinted that whatever decision he makes, neither side would like it. (One school of thought is that the uncertainty shown by Berman will cause both parties to push for a settlement. After all, if there’€™s no idea what the judge might do, the two sides might be more inclined to work out a deal between themselves.)

The timetable going forward remains unclear. It’s possible that Berman could issue a final ruling on the matter on Monday, but there still could be another week of sitting and waiting, as both sides have asked the judge to come up with some sort of ruling by Sept. 4, which is one day before Brady’s suspension is set to begin and six days before the Patriots open the regular season at home against the Steelers. Berman has acknowledged the deadline request, but at the same time, he has made no guarantee that he will be able to make that deadline.

Ultimately, it remains unlikely the whole thing will end Monday. He could send both parties to an neutral arbitrator; former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue or former U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones are possibilities, given the fact they have both worked in this capacity previously. If the judge does issue a decision, it’s expected that whatever side loses, they would immediately file an appeal: If that’s Brady and the NFLPA, that would also include a petition for a “stay,” which, if it’s granted, would prevent the league from carrying out the four-game ban, at least in the short term. That would allow Brady to start the season. Despite the fact that there’s some feeling that the league would simply pack it in if it loses in front of Judge Berman, if the NFL does want to pursue the case, it would also file an appeal.

In the end, while Monday will likely mark the final day the two parties will be required to sit with Berman, there’s the very real chance that this is simply the end of the latest chapter in what promises to be a very long story that doesn’t figure to conclude anytime soon.

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Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Through three preseason games, the Patriots have been hit with 17 penalties for 160 yards. Here’s a breakdown of the calls that have gone against the Patriots to this point in the preseason, not including penalties that were declined or offset:

Most penalized players, listed by total flags and with total yardage lost
CB Robert McClain 2 (defensive pass interference, illegal use of hands), 33 yards
CB/ST Jimmy Jean 2 (offensive holding, facemask), 25 yards
CB Daxton Swanson 1 (unnecessary roughness), 15 yards
S Duron Harmon 1 (personal foul), 15 yards
LB Cameron Gordon 1 (roughing the passer), 13 yards
WR Aaron Dobson 1 (illegal block above the waist), 10 yards
WR Jonathan Krause 1 (offensive holding), 10 yards
DL Sealver Siliga 1 (encroachment), 5 yards
DL Rob Ninkovich 1 (defensive offsides), 5 yards
OL Jordan Devey 1 (false start), 5 yards
CB Logan Ryan 1 (defensive holding), 5 yards
DL Chandler Jones 1 (neutral zone infraction), 5 yards
OL Chris Martin 1 (false start), 5 yards
Team 1 (12 men on the field), 5 yards
DE Zach Moore 1 (neutral zone infraction), 4 yards

Most penalized by position
Cornerback: 5 penalties, 68 yards
Defensive line: 4 penalties, 19 yards
Wide receiver: 2 penalty, 20 yards
Offensive line: 2 penalties, 10 yards
Safety: 1 penalty, 15 yards
Linebacker: 1 penalty, 13 yards
Special teams: 1 penalty, 10 yards
Team: 1 penalty, 5 yards

Most frequently called penalties
Offensive holding: 2
Neutral zone infraction: 2
False start: 2
Facemask: 1
Defensive pass interference: 1
Encroachment: 1
Defensive offsides: 1
Unnecessary roughness: 1
Defensive holding: 1
12 men on the field: 1
Personal foul: 1
Roughing the passer: 1
Illegal use of hands: 1
Illegal block above the waist: 1

DraftKings Kick off this football season with the biggest fantasy football contest ever on DraftKings! Prizes worth $10 million are up for grabs, including $2 million for first AND $1 million for second! PLAY IN THE WEEK 1 MILLIONAIRE MAKER, CLICK HERE.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
LeGarrette Blount

LeGarrette Blount

Every week, we list the Patriots’ “offensive touches,” a running tally of which one of the offensive skill position players is getting the most looks. Like our weekly look at targets, it can occasionally be an inexact stat, but it remains a good barometer of how confident the coaches (and quarterback) are when it comes to the skill position players at their disposal. While it’s understandable to be dubious about these numbers in the preseason, it’s worth mentioning that one of the ways Jonas Gray managed to land a roster spot was because he took advantage of his opportunities in the preseason last year. (He led the team in touches last preseason.) Here’s a breakdown of the New England offense after three preseason games of 2015:

RB LeGarrette Blount: 22 (21 carries, 1 catch)
RB James White: 22 (17 carries, 5 catches)
RB Jonas Gray: 19 (19 carries)
RB Dion Lewis: 15 (6 carries, 9 catches)
WR Chris Harper: 13 (13 catches)
WR Brandon Gibson: 12 (12 catches)
WR Jonathan Krause: 12 (1 carry, 11 catches)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo: 8 (8 carries)
RB Brandon Bolden: 5 (5 carries)
TE Scott Chandler: 3 (3 catches)
TE Asante Cleveland: 3 (3 catches)
TE Jimmay Mundine: 3 (3 catches)
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: 2 (2 catches)
WR Josh Boyce: 2 (2 catches)
QB Tom Brady: 2 (2 carries)
WR Aaron Dobson: 2 (2 catches)
FB James Develin: 2 (2 catches)
RB Tony Creecy: 1 (1 carry)
RB Eric Kettani: 1 (1 catch)
WR Danny Amendola: 1 (1 catch)
WR Zach D’Orazio: 1 (1 catch)

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Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Malcom Brown

Malcom Brown

On draft day*, it’s easy to get carried away with each player’s potential impact out of the gate. We all go to extremes with expectations and are often proven very wrong in short order. It isn’€™t until the players have actually spent some time on the field as a professional that we can actually gauge how they might fit in as a rookie.

As such, here’€™s a look at where each of the Patriots’€™ draft picks stand with the regular season less than two weeks away:

Malcom Brown, DT: There haven’€™t been many big surprises with the 32nd overall pick to this point, as he figures to be part of a relatively crowded rotation on the Pats‘€™ defensive line

Jordan Richards, S: Perceived as a mega-reach in the second round, Richards has made good impressions in training camp. He figures to serve as a backup strong safety this season, but he will certainly make an impact early on special teams.

Geneo Grissom, DL: Projected to the NFL as an outside linebacker by many, the third-round pick has gotten reps at both defensive tackle and defensive end. Rumor has it the Pats like versatility.

Tre’€™ Jackson, OG: The first of two fourth-round guards, Jackson is ahead of Mason as far as chances of being the starter on the right side go.

Shaq Mason, OL: The second of the Pats‘€™ fourth-round guards, Mason is a proficient run-blocker (playing at Georgia Tech will do that to a guy), but he’€™s behind as a pass-blocker due to his college program’€™s run-heavy scheme.

Joe Cardona, LS: The fifth-round selection of Cardona, a longsnapper out of Navy, was viewed as a classic Bill Belichick pick. So far, Cardona figures to be a fine replacement for Danny Aiken.

Matthew Wells, LB: The sixth-rounder didn’€™t last long with the Pats, as he was dealt to the Bears for second-year guard Ryan Groy on August 10.

A.J. Derby, TE: The sixth-round tight end figured to have a tough time cracking the roster this season, but he remains Patriots property after the team waived him and placed him on IR after he went unclaimed.

Darryl Roberts, CB: The seventh-round cornerback started the preseason opener, but was injured against the Packers. ESPN’€™s Mike Reiss reported that it’€™s a serious wrist injury that could cost the Marshall product his rookie season.

Xzavier Dickson, LB: The seventh-rounder played six snaps in the third preseason game, the least among Pats linebackers.

Around the division:

Jets: Sixth overall pick Leonard Williams is expected to be a starter at defensive end from the get-go due to Sheldon Richardson’€™s four-game suspension. He got a safety in the second preseason game against the Falcons. Second-round receiver Devin Smith remains out with broken ribs suffered in the second day of practice, while third-round linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin has been out with a recently suffered knee injury.

Bills: Because they didn’€™t have a first-round pick due to the Sammy Watkins trade, the Bills’€™ first pick was cornerback Ronald Darby in the second round. Darby had two picks in the Bills’€™ second preseason game. Third-round pick John Miller is in line to be Buffalo’€™s starting right guard this season. Fifth-round running back Karlos Williams is out with an undisclosed injury but is expected to be ready for the season-opener. He shouldn’€™t expect many carries with LeSean McCoy and Fred Jackson ahead of him.

Dolphins: Fourteenth overall pick DeVante Parker was recently activated from the physically unable to perform list. The receiver is coming off offseason foot surgery and hopes to be ready for the season, albeit with very limited practice time. It seems the potential starting status of fourth-round guard Jamil Douglas is dependent on the status of starting left tackle Jason Fox (concussion), whose absence creates a domino effect that would seemingly slide Dallas Thomas to left tackle and Douglas into the lineup at guard.

*On the three draft days; Roger Goodell is lucky that Deflategate has pushed moving the draft to primetime down the list of incredibly dumb things he’€™s done as commissioner. What a bozo move.

Christopher Price contributed to this post.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Butch and Price discuss how Belichick and the Pats manipulate the roster with cuts, injuries, practice squad etc. - it's a complicated subject! They then move on to the improving play of QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Butch and Price start salivating over the thought of regular season football being less than 2 weeks away and discuss some early intriguing matchups.

[0:05:34] ... know this you don't lose your job to injury really talked to Drew Bledsoe so Ryan Fitzpatrick is starting quarterback you announcement is about if you're back abilities. Argument and and you look at buffalo council ...
[0:07:48] ... what you suggest and I agree with all of Amaechi feels like Matt Cassel part two meaning of Brady got forbid would go down to policy is he's better right now. And Matt Cassel was after how do we know is at a closed its priests no idea I just you can't you you you. When ...
[0:08:41] ... to me that he is going to be better career arc and Matt Cassel. 6177797937. Let's go to Russ in Walpole on NFL Sunday harass. Hey guys I don't they arrest. They Chris Lowery look what ...
[0:24:03] ... giants Dallas in Dallas off. 830 now Monday night don't forget first Monday night football league it's always we have we have Thursday. Sunday this Sunday night and Monday oh yeah. Yeah in the Monday night Monday ...






Butch is in for Dickerson on NFL Sunday and he and Chris get into the victory over Carolina and their take-aways - the receivers could be in trouble if they don't get healthy with Wayne struggling and Boyce not contributing at all, Scott Chandler is a beast that could be a huge redzone threat with Gronk on the field and more. They talk about the offense and break down the running back depth chart. Then Trags gives them a call to give his take on the roster and their play so far.
Reggie Wayne speaks to reporters at his new Patriots locker at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Reggie Wayne speaks to reporters at his new Patriots locker at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Bill Belichick has seen enough of young and veteran players alike to know that there’s no substitute for game action.

That’s why he decided to throw 15-year veteran receiver Reggie Wayne into Friday game with Tom Brady right from the start.

Wayne played 21 snaps but clearly was still finding his way. He was targeted just once, and dropped the one pass (a bullet through his hands) that was thrown his way – a 5-yard dig or “sit” route over the middle in the first quarter.

How comfortable did Reggie Wayne (sporting his new No. 15) look to Belichick after watching film of the game Saturday?

“Well, you have to ask him that question,” Belichick said before noting that Wayne is not the only one on a cram course in the Patriots playbook. “I’m not sure. There’s a lot to learn in a few days. There’s several players in that situation, Mike Williams, Reggie, Asante Cleveland hasn’t been here very long. Brought [offensive lineman] Chris Martin back, he had been here before so he’s probably a little bit ahead but it’s pretty common around the league. See a lot of teams in that situation, bring in a player at this point in training camp and having to catch them up.”

After each series, Wayne and Brady sat down to one another on the Patriots sideline and chatted. Wayne seemed to appreciate Brady’s concern and his ability to ignore the noise of Deflategate.

“In spite of all of all that stuff, [Brady will] pull me to the side and help me out,” Wayne told reporters after the game.

To Belichick, putting Wayne in Friday’s game was much more about seeing him on film at game speed.

“I think it’s always different in a game,” Belichick noted. “The game speed, timing and communication, not necessarily verbal but the timing and communication with the quarterback, the routes and so forth. Practice is good and that certainly helps but it’s never quite the same as the game. That’s something we can learn from and build on. You go out there in practice and work on that stuff all you want. But it’s always a little bit different in a game. It’s good to start that process. Obviously, it’s got a long way to go but keep working on it.”

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Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

The Patriots came back to Foxboro early Saturday morning after their 17-16 preseason win over the Panthers but fullback James Develin did not accompany them.

James Develin catches a touchdown pass from Tom Brady in the first half of the AFC championship in January. (Elsa/Getty Images)

James Develin catches a touchdown pass from Tom Brady in the first half of the AFC championship in January. (Elsa/Getty Images)

The Patriots came back to Foxboro early Saturday morning after their 17-16 preseason win over the Panthers but fullback James Develin did not accompany them.

Bill Belichick announced on his conference call Saturday that Develin stayed back in Charlotte to have his injured right leg treated. That treatment, according to multiple reports, was surgery after a clean break.

“He didn’t come back with us on the trip. He’s down there in North Carolina, in Charlotte. Don’t really have anything at this point,” Belichick said.

Mike Reiss of ESPN reported that Develin sustained a broken right tibia on a hit with just over eight minutes left in the fourth quarter Friday night. The injury, according to Reiss, was not immediately considered season-ending but rather a clean break that some in the organization felt could heal in 6-8 weeks. But Reiss pointed to medical skeptics who doubt that optimistic timetable and see a longer recovery for the valuable blocking/pass-catching fullback.

Belichick did not confirm the details of the severity of the injury, only to say that the team is considering its options for replacing him.

“We’ll have to take a look at that,” Belichick said. “I’m not sure right now. Just happened last night. Take a look at what our options are, talk about the situation and figure out what we want to try to do.”

Develin, who gained 10 yards on the play, rolled to his left and caught a pass from Jimmy Garoppolo. But as he was turning, his right foot appeared to stick in the turf. When it released after a tackle from linebacker David Mayo, it crashed into the leg of safety Dean Marlowe. Develin’s lower right leg bent backward and he had to be carted off with 8:01 left in the game.

After a few moments on the field with medical staff, coach Bill Belichick came onto the field and tapped him on the shoulder.

“Hate to see that,” is all Belichick said after the game.

DraftKings Kick off this football season with the biggest fantasy football contest ever on DraftKings! Prizes worth $10 million are up for grabs, including $2 million for first AND $1 million for second! PLAY IN THE WEEK 1 MILLIONAIRE MAKER, CLICK HERE.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia
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WEEI