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09/28/2012 - 12:07pm
King: Kraft 'a good candidate' for Hall

Peter King of Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports joined Mut & Merloni on Friday for his weekly discussion of all things NFL.

King agreed with the general assertion that the officials union did well in the new agreement with the league, but one victory for the NFL is the ability to quickly replace poorly rated referees.

"This is really something the NFL has wanted all along," King said. "The NFL has wanted to be able to bench underperforming officials during the year. The officials union allowed them to do it."

However, King noted that the officials got something with that concession.

"[The NFL] basically wanted them to give up the work rules that allowed them once they started a season that no matter what happened, they finished that season," King explained. "Here's the funny little compromise that happened. … Every NFL official now who starts a season in essence has a one-year guaranteed...

09/28/2012 - 11:33am
Mankins, Edelman again miss practice

FOXBORO -- For a third straight day, Logan Mankins and Julian Edelman joined Aaron Hernandez as Patriots not spotted at practice. Mankins missed all three days with a hip issue while Julian Edelman is nursing a left hand injury that kept him out of the second half last Sunday night against Baltimore. 

Also missing Friday at practice, which was held in sweats and shells in the rain on the main Gillette Stadium field, was defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick. He returned from an ankle injury on Thursday but was limited at practice. He was one of four Patriots not spotted during stretching on Friday. Defensive lineman Justin Francis (ankle) did return on Friday after missing the previous two days.

Defensive lineman Marcus Forston returned to the team on Friday after reportedly clearing waivers on Thursday. He was signed to the practice squad, taking the place of safety Chyl Quarles, who was not spotted at Friday's practice and was released....

09/28/2012 - 11:29am
Celtics announce Milicic deal, sign two more

The Celtics announced the signing of center Darko Milicic as well as free agent forwards Micah Downs and Rob Kurz.

The 7-foot Milicic, who averaged 4.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 16.3 minutes over 29 games for the Timberwolves last season, reportedly received a one-year, $1.2 million veteran minimum contact.

Meanwhile, Downs and Kurz are longshots for the final two roster spots, considering Celtics president Danny Ainge said recently he didn't expect any additions to the roster as Kris Joseph, Jamar Smith and Dionte Christmas battle for the 14th and 15th roster positions. The 6-foot-8 Downs averaged 11.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists for the Spanish ACB League's Assignia. The 6-foot-9 Kurz played in both Spain and France last season.

For more on the Celtics, including updates from media day, visit weei.com/celtics.


09/28/2012 - 11:24am
Belichick: Winslow cut for 'personal reasons'

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick wasted no time Friday explaining his release of tight end Kellen Winslow a day earlier. He opened his press conference explaining the move that leaves him with three active tight ends on the roster heading into this weekend's game in Buffalo against the Bills.

"I had a discussion [Thursday] with Kellen. We talked about several different things," Belichick said. "At the end of that discussion, I felt that it was best that we release Kellen for personal reasons. So that's what we did, and our roster is currently at 52 [players] and we'll just go from there."

The 29-year-old veteran of six NFL seasons made his response on Twitter.

I'm lookin forward to my next opportunity in the NFL and continuing to play the game I Love! 

He then tweeted: I would like to express my gratitude to the Patriots organization and wish them a great season.

Winslow caught one pass...

09/28/2012 - 10:56am
Varitek: Not saying 'yes' or 'no' to managing

Speaking on a conference call Friday, Jason Varitek clarified his newly appointed position as a special assistant to general manager Ben Cherington, while also touching on any future aspirations.

Regarding the possibility of Varitek managing one day, the former catcher said, "If I answered it either way right now, I wouldn't be giving myself the best opportunity. I'm not in a position to make that a 'yes' or a 'no' at this point."

Varitek, who is with the rest of the front office in Fort Myers for organizational meetings, explained that his current role has a "huge gray area" and that he is simply going to "learn as much as I can."

"I'm going to be involved in a lot of different areas to learn a lot different things -- everything from meetings to player development to things along those lines," he added.

Varitek said he plans on participating some in catching instruction, starting with minor...

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