According to multiple major league sources, Mariano Rivera's representatives were the ones to initiate contact with the Red Sox in an attempt to get the team interested in the closer. While the Red Sox would ultimately make a two-year offer to Rivera, according to sources the team's expectation was that he would be returning to the Yankees. The 41-year-old ultimately re-signed with New York, securing a two-year, $30 million deal.
While there was some thought that because of the offer to Rivera the Red Sox were prepared to non-tender closer Jonathan Papelbon, separate sources suggest the Sox were never inclined to let Papelbon become a free agent this offseason. In the short-term, the team valued the reliever's presence in the back-end of its bullpen, while long-term it coveted any draft picks that might come the Sox' way if Papelbon were to sign elsewhere in free agency next year. The Sox' closer is arbitration-eligible for a third...
Tom Brady continued his incredible late-season run on Sunday at Soldier Field with 369 yards passing and two touchdowns in the Patriots' 36-7 romp over the Bears. He has now thrown 268 passes without an interception, the third-best streak in NFL history.
"There's a long way to go I don't think anything's been accomplished yet. We don't sit here and think we've got it all figured out." Brady said of the playoff-clinching rout.
Brady capped off a nearly-perfect first half with a 59-yard bomb to Deion Branch, making it 33-0 on the final play before halftime. "I thought it was great to get out to a lead today, to play from ahead, that was really important. We took advantage of some opportunities we got on offense. We also didn't take advantage of some other opportunities. It was a fun day. We'll remember that one.
"It was one of those days, one of those days...
The play that will be recalled as the one that put away the Bears as time ran out in the first half Sunday almost never happened.
Deion Branch caught a 59-yard 'hitch and go' route from Tom Brady down the left sideline as time expired in the first half. But Branch said there was "a lot of yelling" on the Patriots sideline with one coach yelling out for Brady to take a knee with a 27-0 lead.
"At one point, the coach was telling us to take a knee [laughter] and I'm looking at Tom like, 'take a knee,' and he was like, ''No.' He called a route and I was like, 'Alright, good. That's a good route.' I'm thankful to have him," said Branch, who felt the TD made up for the 71-yard punt return for a TD by Julian Edelman that was called back because of holding by rookie Dane Fletcher.
"But if you think about it they took the punt return away from Julian, which was a big minus...
In the moments following their 36-7 win over the Bears at Soldier Field, Deion Branch said it's nice to have clinched a spot in the playoffs but that is hardly their end goal.
"It doesn't mean anything right now," said Branch, who set a new career regular-seaon best with 151 yards receiving. "I think the thing is we want to continue to improve each and every week, to see how far can we go, as far as what's next. That's a plus, knowing we're in the playoffs, that's a plus but I think there's more football left in the rest of the season. We have three games and we're looking forward to them."
The Patriots can clinch their second straight AFC East title and their 9th in 11 seasons with a win over Green Bay next week and a Jets loss at Pittsburgh.
For more, visit the Patriots page at weei.com/patriots and the blog...
Bill Belichick met with the media following the Patriots' 36-7 win over the Bears on Sunday in Chicago. Belichick was understandably pleased with the effort of his team, now an NFL-best 11-2.
"The credit goes to the players," Belichick said. "They executed and did the things we needed to do. They've done it before and they've stepped up and did it again today. I'm really proud of the way they performed."
Deion Branch set a career high with 151 yards receiving and Tom Brady was again brilliant with 369 yards passing and two TDs. Belichick was impressed with the 59-yard TD connection by the two on the final play of the first half.
"Of course the play to Deion at the end of the half, that was two great players there making a great play," said Belichick. "You really have to give Tom and Deion credit there on that one, it was great execution."
Price calls Butch to discuss the March 2nd deadline for franchise tags, free agency and the Pats' plans going forward.
Shortly after the NFLRA released its statement demanding an apology from ESPN, Jim Quirk, the NFLRA's Executive Director, joined Mut to talk about the statement
WEEI's Chris Price joins Mut to talk about his experience of being in yesterday's Patriots championship parade, and which New England free agents could return to play for the Pats next season.
Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline
We talk to Chris Mannix from SI to break down the C's acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and the crazy trade deadline in the rest of the NBA.
Jessica Camerato of basketballinsiders.com joins the show to talk about Marcus Smart, the starting lineup, and trade deadline.
The one and only Rob Bradford calls Butch to discuss his early thoughts on this Red Sox team, the potential in the rotation, how the outfield will shake out and more.
David Ortiz takes a few minutes to talk with Mut, Bradford, and Tomase about some of his new teammates, who Pablo Sandoval reminds him of, and the rules aimed at speeding up the game of baseball.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are talking Red Sox spring training. and talk with Red Sox DH David Ortiz about the rules aimed at speeding up the pace of the game
In the second of Sunday Skate, DJ and Joe discuss the approaching NHL trade deadline and what the B's will do. They get into the Boychuk move at the beginning of the season and Boychuk's brother venting on Twitter this morning about complaining B's fans. There is more discussion on the 3rd and 4th lines, their playoff chances and then they are joined by ESPN's Scott Burnside.
Another edition of Sunday Skate is upon us and DJ and Joe get into the B's big win over Arizona last night and the improvement of Ryan Spooner. They get into the Blackhawks giving up a 1st round pick for C Antoine Vermette - someone the B's could certainly use but weren't willing to give up the steep price of a 1st rounder. DJ and Joe also get into Claude's willingness to switch up lines as well as the performance of the 3rd and 4th lines. Finally, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman sits down with the boys.
Scott Burnside joins the boys to discuss the Bruins and the NHL trade deadline.
All the latest stories brought you by Kirk Minihane.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk look at the Patriots choice not to use the franchise tag on Devin McCourty.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk kick off thier second to last day in Fort Myers by looking at the competition in center field.
Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News joins MFB to talk about his column about Darrelle Revis and the New York Jets' possible pursuit of Darrelle Revis
Tom E. Curran of Comcast SportsNet New England talks about the Patriots placing the franchise tag on Stephen Gostkowski and what is going on with Darrelle Revis' contract situation
In today's Three For All, Tim talks about Sharknado 3, Christian talks about Lakers Guard Nick Young's beef with SportsCenter Anchor Robert Flores, and Lou talks about a high school basketball team that was disqualified from the playoffs for wearing breast cancer awareness jerseys.
Michael, Mike Mutnansky and Jerry Thornton talk Bruins AFTER the trade-deadline and check in with the fans.
We examine four trade deadline day deals that helped or affected Boston teams in recent history.
Michael, Mike Mutnansky and Jerry Thornton talk Bruins before the trade-deadline and check in with the fans.
Mikey, Mut, and Lenny are joined by the Rev girls, who are revealing the New Revolution uniform Tuesday at the House of Blues in Boston and talking about the Revs.
Mikey, Lenny, and Maggie talk Red Sox baseball with Red Sox Hall of Famer Bill Lee, who is in Florida and out of the snow that's perpetually burying the area.
Mikey gets a call from Kirk Minihane, who wants to clear the air with Mikey and get everything settled. It goes better than you think.
Chris and comedian Will Noonan discuss the events of last night's Raw.
WEEI’s Scott McLaughlin previews the opening round of the Hockey East tournament with Northeastern coach Jim Madigan and Mike McMahon of College Hockey News and The Mack Report.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk talk about their time in Fort Myers and are joined by a special guest, Doug Lane.
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