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08/27/2012 - 6:04pm
Hernandez humbled by 'surreal' contract

FOXBORO -- In an outpouring of emotion and appreciation, Aaron Hernandez gave thanks to the Kraft family and the Patriots organization Monday night hours after agreeing to a five-year, $40 million extension that will keep him in a Patriots uniform through 2018. 

"This is probably one of the best days of my life," Hernandez said before the annual team gala at Gillette Stadium. "I'll remember this day forever."

As part of the contract extension, Hernandez will receive a $12.5 million signing bonus, bringing guaranteed money in the deal to $16.4 million. The money will come in handy as Hernandez acknowledged he has a child on the way. 

"It's surreal. Is it really true?," Hernandez said when asked what his reaction was to the news this morning when the deal was finalized. 

As part of the deal, Hernandez donated $50,000 to the Myra Kraft Foundation, the organization Monday night's gala benefits...

08/27/2012 - 5:04pm
Gaffney, Warren among Patriots cut

The Patriots made a series of moves on Monday to reach the NFL roster limit of 75 players.

The team announced they have released defensive lineman Tim Bulman, wide receiver Jabar Gaffney, wide receiver Donte' Stallworth, defensive back Ross Ventrone and defensive lineman Gerard Warren. In addition, they have placed defensive back Will Allen, safety Josh Barrett and fullback Spencer Larsen on injured reserve.

They also put tight end Jake Ballard and defensive lineman Myron Pryor on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. And rookie free agent offensive lineman Markus Zusevics was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list. And they also claimed first-year wide receiver Kerry Taylor.

For more on the Patriots, check out weei.com/patriots.


08/27/2012 - 4:45pm
Belichick: 'We'll see,' with Welker

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said during his weekly interview with The Big Show that he would talk with wide receiver Wes Welker about whether the wide receiver would play in the team's final preseason game against the Giants on Wednesday. Welker has missed the last two games with what he called "personal reasons."

"We'll see how that goes," Belichick said. "It's something personal with Wes so I don't feel comfortable getting into it. We'll talk to him and make a decision on that. That's one of the many considerations we have, and we'll have to evaluate and discuss as we talk about the way we actually play the game against the Giants."

The coach added that they would probably decide later Monday or early Tuesday how they will approach the final preseason game.

Belichick praised tight end Aaron Hernandez, who recently signed an extension with the team. 

"Aaron's done a good job for us. He's been...

08/27/2012 - 3:13pm
Matsuzaka gets milestone as Sox win

Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka won his first big league game in almost 16 months, and in the process became just the third pitcher born in Japan to win 50 games in his big league career. The right-hander improved to 1-3 this year and 50-33 in his six-year big league career as the Red Sox beat the Royals, 5-1.

Matsuzaka was outstanding in seven innings, allowing just one unearned run on five hits while striking out six and walking two. He was efficient as well, requiring just 101 pitches to sail through seven innings, his longest outing since last April.

The outfield trio of Jacoby Ellsbury (2-for-4, HR, 2B, RBI), Cody Ross (2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI) and Scott Podsednik did the lion's share of damage in giving Matsuzaka all the support he would need. After the Sox fell behind, 1-0, Ellsbury went deep in the bottom of the first for his second homer of the year and his first since July 22, after a span of 129 at-bats without going deep. Ross adde...

08/27/2012 - 2:28pm
Bobby V: No decision on Aceves as closer

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said that Alfredo Aceves, whose three-game suspension for "conduct detrimental to the team" will conclude after Monday's game, will travel to Anaheim separately from the rest of the team and be ready to pitch against the Angels. However, asked whether Aceves would serve as the closer going forward, said that the Sox "haven't made that determination." 

Aceves is 2-8 with a 4.60 ERA this year. He's 25-for-32 in save opportunities, with his seven blown saves tied for the most in the American League. On Friday night, WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia reported, he tore off his jersey on his way off the field after Andrew Bailey recorded a four-out save -- one day after Aceves had a two-inning, five-run, six-hit yield against the Angels. (More on the actions that led to the suspension are here.)

While...

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