The news every NFL team was waiting for finally came late Thursday afternoon when the league office was notified that players around the league have ratified the new 10-year collective bargaining agreement, allowing all players to officially report to their teams and begin practicing.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed via twitter that commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith will sign the document on Friday morning at 11 a.m. ET in front of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Aiello also confirmed the player ratification via Twitter: Our office was notified at 4:54 pm ET that the players have ratified the new 10-year CBA.
Word came just one week before the opening of the preseason schedule for NFL teams like the Patriots, who open their preseason schedule on Aug. 11 at Gillette Stadium against the Jaguars.
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FOXBORO -- Before practice Thursday afternoon outside Gillette Stadium, Patriots coach Bill Belichick confirmed the signing of first-round pick Nate Solder. Solder, a left tackle out of Colorado, was taken with the 17th pick overall in April's draft and was one of three remaining unsigned first-round picks in the NFL before Thursday.
With Solder agreeing to terms of a deal reportedly four years in length, the Patriots have signed all nine draft picks, and all are in camp.
Solder, who was drafted to provide depth behind 11-year veteran Matt Light, was signed just in time for him to be on the practice field on Thursday, the first day of practice under the new NFL calendar year.
J.D. Drew, who has been on the disabled list since July 26 with a left shoulder impingement, has yet to begin a hitting program, according to Red Sox manager Terry Francona.
“He’s not swinging the bat yet,” Francona said. “Hopefully in the next couple of days, he’ll start doing that and start that progression. He’s been working out like crazy doing the treadmill and shagging balls and all that. But he hasn’t started hitting yet.”
Francona added that Drew was feeling better but simply wasn’t at the point in his recovery that he could begin taking cuts at the plate.
Drew was hitting just .219 with four home runs and 19 RBI in 77 games this season. He had lost his starting spot in right field to Josh Reddick, who is hitting .341 with four home runs of his own as well as 21 RBI in just 42 games, and hadn’t played in a game since July 19 before the latest DL trip. A week ago...
Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek will be the man behind the plate for Erik Bedard's debut in Boston on Thursday against the Indians. The captain becomes the 19th person to catch a Bedard outing in the southpaw's eight years in the majors. Bedard was 4-7 with a 3.45 ERA for the Mariners this season before being dealt to the Red Sox seconds before the July 31 trade deadline. When Varitek isn't catching pitches from the newest addition to the Boston roster, he'll be hitting eighth in the lineup. The 39-year-old is riding a five-game hitting streak at the plate, during which he's gone 5-for-19 (.263) with two home runs, three RBI and four runs scored.
Varitek and the rest of the Sox starting nine will face former friend Justin Masterson, who is pitching in Fenway as a visitor for just the second time since he was dealt on July 31, 2009 in the trade that brought Victor Martinez from Cleveland to Boston. In Masterson's last 11 starts, he is 3-3...
According to Aaron Wilson on Scout.com, the Patriots have signed 17th overall pick Nate Solder. The offensive tackle was the last of the team's draft choices to ink a rookie deal, and it would seem that by signing he will be able to practice with the team on Thursday.
Solder stands at a 6-foot-9 and 307 pounds, but the former tight end is considered raw and might not see significant time as a rookie given that starting tackles Matt Light and Sebastian Vollmer are both back.
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Dale, Michael and Jerry dig into the details of this draft for the Patriots with ESPN's Mike Reiss.
Giardi and Price discuss the Tom Brady appeal getting overturned and Roger Goodell's victory tour. The guys can't believe the victory lap and some of his behavior. The more you listen to him, the more frustrating his behavior becomes.
Giardi and Price break down how the teams in the AFC East altered their futures after the NFL Draft weekend.
Jeff Goodman calls Mike and Rob to drop a ton of knowledge on the upcoming NBA Draft and some of the names available. Sorry fans - he doesn't see Kevin Durant or any big-named free agents coming to Boston and thinks they'll end up making the third pick this season. He also says that there is NO WAY he would trade next year's Brooklyn pick because the draft will be very deep. He discusses the chances of trading with Philly for Okafor, why he like Kris Dunn so much and much more.
Brad Stevens makes his first appearance on the Dale and Holley with Thornton show. We discuss the Atlanta series and what went wrong, and where the Celtics go from here.
Ian Thomsen of NBA.com joined Sam Packard and Jared Weiss to discuss the next moves for Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics with the NBA Draft Lottery rapidly approaching. They discussed the crazy ending to Game 2 of Thunder vs Spurs and picked the player they would build their pretend new franchise around.
Mut recaps the Sox 10-3 win over the Rockies.
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox left fielder Blake Swihart after he had two triples as part of a Red Sox 10-3 win over the Colorado Rockies
Roger Clemens joined the broadcast on a night where the 1986 Red Sox were honored before the game at Fenway Park
DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
Butch is joined by two-thirds of the Sunday Skate show in DJ and Pete. The guys discuss the problems with Bruins including leadership and grit, who should stay and who should go and if Claude is to blame.
The guys go to battle with a caller who claims to be a Worcester attorney that would like to defend the role judge Andrew Mandell had in letting Jorge Zambrano back on the streets shortly before he killed a police officer.
Gary Tanguay, Gerry Callahan, and Kirk Minihane discuss the intel from TurtleBoySports.com which describes awkward judicial relationships between an Uxbridge judge, his daughter Ashley Losapio, and Losapio's boyfriend Giancarlo Zambrano, twin brother of cop killer Jorge Zambrano
A report says that late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle exaggerated his accomplishments during the Iraq War. Does it affect hero status for one of Gerry's all-time favorite people?
The guys discuss the absolute thrashing the Cleveland Cavaliers handed the Toronto Raptors last night.
Ted Olson, joins the guys to talk about how he and Tom Brady plan to attack the latest court ruling.
Glenn, Lou and Christian start the show by talking about the Red Sox retiring Wade Boggs' number. They also touch on the brief filed by the Patriots yesterday.
We discuss Wade Boggs, his attitude, legacy and decision to wear his NY Yankees ring on the night the Red Sox honored the 1986 team.
We discuss OMF"s interview with Ted Olson, the Amicus brief filed by the Patriots, and whether or not fans are sick of this fight and just want it to end, or if fighting to the bitter end is the right choice.
Inspired by Wade Boggs, we look at him and four other guys who's value wasn't realized until they were long gone.
Jerry is joined by Graig Murphy to talk stand up comedy. Until Graig pretty much hijacks the podcast to tell his side of the "Big Show Unfiltered" story.
Ben and Russ preview the Champions League Final between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid. Who we want to win, who we think will win, and why. We also talk about our wishes for the USMNT.
The Dennis and Callahan malcontent is joined by former WEEI personality Pete Sheppard to talk about his past involvement with the station and his current gig in New Hampshire. You'll be glad to hear Pete hasn't changed one bit.
Ken Laird and Paul Chartier are officially the new producers of the Dennis and Callahan Show as Lucy Burdge bails out of the race, perhaps due to money concerns.More from this show