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02/22/2010 - 11:04pm
Reports: Panthers won't tag Peppers

According to multiple reports, the Carolina Panthers do not plan to use the franchise tag this year on defensive end Julius Peppers. Charlotte’s WCNC-TV and ESPN reported Monday evening that the 30-year-old Peppers — who was hit with the franchise tag last season — will not be tagged for a second consecutive year by the team, which will leave him as one of the most attractive available players when free agency begins March 5. The 6-foot-7, 290-pounder has been one of the premier pass rushers over the last decade, compiling 81 sacks, including 10.5 sacks or more in five of the last six seasons with the Panthers. For more Patriots news, check out our football blog, It Is What It Is.
 


02/22/2010 - 1:57pm
Daisuke reports no back pain

After throwing 25 times from 60 feet and 90 feet, respectively, Daisuke Matsuzaka reported that he had no soreness in his back and plans on not taking any time off from his throwing program. "The plan for now is for me to throw every day," Matsuzaka said through translator Masa Hoshino. "It's not like the time I went on the D.L. last year when it was a shoulder issue where we did incorporate some rest. This time being a back issue I really couldn't get into my natural delivery, but I felt I was able to do that today. I was able to focus on that, work on that, and I think that was the biggest thing for me today."

 

Matsuzaka, who had experienced some back pain during a throwing session last Friday, reiterated that the current plan puts him about a week behind the schedule originally mapped out for the pitcher. "We'll see how I feel tomorrow and as long as I don't have any unusual soreness ... it's tough to say for sure...

02/22/2010 - 1:55pm
Bracket 101: A-10-tion, please

Bracket 101 examines the week that was in college basketball and gives you a list of 16 teams that are poised to dance their way into the Round of 16 in the 2010 NCAA tournament. This week, Bracket 101 takes a closer look at the resurgence of the Atlantic 10, which has been somewhat of a forgotten conference over the past several years. With that said, 2010 has brought some national attention, and respect, back to the A-10. In addition to a look at the A-10, this week's Heat Check section features Boston University's John Holland. Check out Bracket 101 as Selection Sunday is now only three weeks away!


02/22/2010 - 1:53pm
Bianca Wilfork comments on tag

While there was no immediate comment from Vince Wilfork or his agent Kennard McGuire in the wake of the Patriots announcement of the franchise tag this afternoon, Wilfork’s wife Bianca Tweeted an update shortly after the news broke in a series of statements from her verified account:

“In regards to the many calls and emails i am receiving in response to the franchise tag we figured this would be the easiest way to addr[ess] … The franchise tag has been applied. After six years of dedicated service i do understand this is a business … With that being said it is my hope that the tag is applied for its true purpose … For the purpose of alotting more time for us to continue our talks and be able to reach along term agreement. … Only time will tell what the final result will be.”

For more on this story, check out our football blog,...

02/22/2010 - 1:49pm
Pats statement on Wilfork situation

A short time ago, the Patriots issued a statement on the franchise tag designation on Vince Wilfork. Here is the full text of that announcement:

The New England Patriots announced that they are utilizing the franchise designation on nose tackle Vince Wilfork in an effort to continue negotiating a long-term agreement. The franchise designation was first used by the Patriots in 2002 when the team applied it to retain the rights to Adam Vinatieri. The designation was later removed when the two sides agreed to a three-year contract extension.

A statement from the Patriots: “A long-term agreement with Vince Wilfork has been the team's top contractual priority for some time. Unfortunately, despite numerous conversations and proposals, the goal has not yet been realized. Vince is a tremendous player for our team and remains a significant part of our future plans. It is because of Vince's importance to this organization that we have...

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