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It appears LeGarrette Blount is no longer in Patriots’ 2017 plans

04.24.17 at 7:26 pm ET
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LeGarrette Blount likely will not be returning to the Patriots. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

LeGarrette Blount likely will not be returning to the Patriots. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

With the move of signing restricted free agent running back Mike Gillislee on Monday, it seems the Patriots no longer have a spot for LeGarrette Blount.

As it stands now, the team has a running back depth chart of Gillislee, Dion Lewis, James White, Rex Burkhead, D.J. Foster and Brandon Bolden. With at least four backs ready to contribute, there isn’t a need or a fit for Blount.

The Patriots reportedly had a contract offer on the table for Blount, but he didn’t sign it. It would appear the Patriots offer wasn’t what Blount was looking for. Coming off a 18-touchdown season, the 30-year-old likely expected to get more offers and for more money, but it doesn’t seem like that’s happened.

With Blount not signing a deal, the Patriots did what they usually do and moved on to the next best thing and that was Gillislee.

So, where might Blount play next season? The Giants seem like a good possibility as they need a running back and Adrian Peterson seems likely to sign with the Saints. (The Giants were connected to Peterson as well.)

Blount’s impact in New England should not be lost, as besides his 18 touchdowns last season, he also contributed to the 2014 season when the Patriots captured Super Bowl XLIX. In 3.5 seasons with the Patriots, the running back ran for 2,917 yards and 34 touchdowns.

Read More: LeGarrette Blount,

Resetting Patriots 2017 draft picks following Mike Gillislee transaction

04.24.17 at 4:21 pm ET
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Bill Belichick and the Patriots have six selections in the draft as of now. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Bill Belichick and the Patriots have six selections in the draft as of now. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots officially acquired former Bills running back Mike Gillislee on Monday, as the Bills did not match their offer on the restricted free agent.

Since he had the lowest tender, the Patriots needed to give up a fifth-round draft pick in return and it will be No. 161 overall.

This now means the Patriots have six total picks in this week’s draft, their lowest number in the Bill Belichick era (they also had six picks in 2002).

Obviously, this could change over the course of the week and on draft day, but here are the current picks the Patriots have.

Round 3 – No. 72 overall
Round 3 – No. 96 overall
Round 4 – No. 131 overall
Round 5 – No. 181 overall
Round 6 – No. 200 overall
Round 7 – No. 239 overall

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: 2017 nfl draft,

RB Mike Gillislee now member of Patriots with Bills refusing to match offer

04.24.17 at 4:01 pm ET
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Mike Gillislee is now a member of the Patriots. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA Today Sports)

Mike Gillislee is now a member of the Patriots. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA Today Sports)

It appears the 2017 Patriots backfield is set.

According to the Bills, they have refused to match the Patriots’ $6.4 million offer on Mike Gillislee meaning he is now a member of the team.

The Bills will get pick No. 163 from the Patriots, as he had the lowest tender placed on him.

Gillislee was a restricted free agent and will join the Patriots for the next two seasons. This comes after last season when the Bills also didn’t match the Patriots’ offer on receiver Chris Hogan.

Although they are not the same type of back, it appears Gillislee will assume most of LeGarrette Blount’s role from a year ago. The 26-year-old finished last year with 101 carries for 577 yards and eight touchdowns. His 5.7 yards per carry were the best in the NFL.

The Patriots now have Gillislee, Dion Lewis, James White and Rex Burkhead on their running back depth chart. This may be one of Bill Belichick’s most versatile running back group in his 17 years with the Patriots.

Gillislee is the only true in between the tackles back and figures to get most of the carries in obvious running situations.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Mike Gillislee,

Aaron Hernandez’s family to receive copies of suicide notes

04.24.17 at 1:53 pm ET
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Aaron Hernandez's suicide notes have been released to his family. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Aaron Hernandez’s suicide notes have been released to his family. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

A Bristol Superior Court judge ordered copies of the suicide notes of Aaron Hernandez to be released to his family after attorney George Leontire filed a motion Monday morning for the family to “know their loved one’s final thoughts” prior to his funeral Monday afternoon.

Speaking to reporters, via the Boston Globe, Leontire said having access to copies of the notes is a “necessary as part of the grieving process.”

Leontire wrote to the court, “the family has the right, during this grieving process, to know their loved one’s final thoughts” and that Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez had legal standing to demand them as the personal representative of his estate.

The notes reportedly were written to Jenkins Hernandez and their four-year-old daughter. There was a third note, which reportedly was written to his gay prison lover.

Hernandez’s private funeral is being held Monday afternoon in his hometown of Bristol, Connecticut.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez,

Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski among several current, former Patriots planning on attending Kentucky Derby

04.24.17 at 12:06 pm ET
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Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are scheduled to attend the Kentucky Derby. (Jamie Rhodes/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are scheduled to attend the Kentucky Derby. (Jamie Rhodes/USA Today Sports)

The Kentucky Derby will once again have several current and former Patriots in attendance.

The Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby Eve Gala, the premier gala at the Derby, has released its celebrity guest list. Some notables include: Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Wes Welker, Matt Cassel, Mike Vrabel and Larry Izzo.

Brady has been attending the event for years and it appears he will be linking up with some old teammates and good friends.

Other celebrities on the list include Bill Belichick’s good friend Kid Rock, Tracy Morgan, Katie Couric and Aaron Rodgers.

The Derby is set for May 6.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady,

Report: Even with long-term deal with Saints agreed upon, Malcolm Butler likely staying with Patriots

04.24.17 at 10:48 am ET
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Don't expect Malcolm Butler to be going anywhere. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

Don’t expect Malcolm Butler to be going anywhere. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots will likely have one of the best cornerback duos in the league next season.

According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the Saints and Butler have agreed on a long-term contract that would make him among the highest-paid cornerbacks in the game, but all sides believe a trade is improbable at this point. The Patriots are said to be wanting more than the Saints are willing to give up.

Butler will now likely team up with Stephon Gilmore as the two corners in the Patriots secondary.

The 27-year-old visited the Saints as a restricted free agent, but the Patriots control his rights since he signed his tender and thus control where he goes.

Of course it’s still possible a deal happens if the Patriots lower their demands or the Saints change what they are offering, but at this point it doesn’t seem like a deal will be happening.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Malcolm Butler,

Aaron Hernandez jurors didn’t know about Odin Lloyd murder conviction

04.24.17 at 10:19 am ET
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Aaron Hernandez's death was ruled a suicide last week. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

Aaron Hernandez’s death was ruled a suicide last week. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

When following the Aaron Hernandez double-murder trial, it was impossible to not consider the life sentence the disgraced ex-NFL star was already serving for the 2013 shooting of Odin Lloyd. But multiple members of the jury were unaware of his violent past.

In an interview with the Boston Globe, jury forewoman Lindsey Stringer said she only learned about the Lloyd conviction in an informal post-trial conversation with Suffolk Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. LockeA technology director in her mid-30s who relocated to Boston four years ago, she was “vaguely aware” of Hernandez, but couldn’t place him. Jurors are prohibited from reading media coverage about their case or talking about their work.

“Jurors are basically living two different lives,” Stringer told the Globe. “There’s your life at the courthouse, where you’re under intense scrutiny from everyone all the time while you’re there, and then you go home to your regular life and you can’t talk about anything. ‘How was your day?’ ‘Umm . . . fine.’ ”

When the trial ended, Stringer found out several of her peers didn’t know about Hernandez’s first-degree murder conviction, either. It’s likely Hernandez’s attorneys didn’t want those with strong feelings against their client to serve on the jury, which would explain why many jurors were ignorant of his criminal record. The selection process to sit on the jury consisted of a 52-question survey, which asked respondents what they thought of people with tattoos or folks who frequent night clubs.

The prosecution’s case largely rested on Alexander Bradley, a flawed witness who’s serving a prison sentence for shooting up a club in Hartford. Bradley claims Hernandez shot him in the eye during an altercation in February 2013 –– seven months after Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado were murdered in Boston.

Stringer, who stresses the jury didn’t declare Hernandez was “innocent,” said it was difficult to believe Bradley’s version of events. The prosecution offered him immunity to testify against Hernandez, and there were several inconsistencies in his story.

“Then and now, it’s very difficult to sort through what the actual truth is of the matter,” she said. “I’m a person who might be really naive, but I really wanted to believe that every person coming through that courtroom as a witness was telling the truth. … And I don’t think that was the case for several witnesses. But I’ll never know.”

The defense repeatedly attacked Bradley’s character, saying he was the one who pulled the trigger in the drive-by shooting. The case appeared to resonate with members of the jury, who couldn’t agree on Hernandez’s level of involvement.

After the trial concluded, Stringer started to sift through the press coverage she was ordered to avoid. She hoped Hernandez would become a steady presence in his four-year-old daughter’s life, even if he remained behind bars. But those wishes were halted last week when she read about Hernandez’s suicide at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley.

“It’s just very sad and tragic, and I really just pray for the Furtado and de Abreu families and for Aaron’s daughter,” she said.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez,
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