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Agent: Patriots sign sixth-round pick Jemea Thomas

05.17.14 at 12:14 am ET
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The Patriots locked down the fifth member of their rookie class Friday night, as the agency for defensive back Jemea Thomas announced that the Georgia Tech product has signed with New England.

The 5-foot-9, 192-pound Thomas, who was drafted in the sixth round by the Patriots, played all four years at Tech as a defensive back, starting the final 28 games of his career on defense. As a junior, he finished second on the team with 86 tackles and four interceptions. In 2013, he started all 13 games as a senior, and led the team in solo tackles (73), total tackles (88) and pass break-ups (8). He had 9 interceptions in his last three seasons as a collegian.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Thomas has some positional versatility in that he could play in the slot, outside, or at safety at the next level.

“I think he has some versatility — he’€™s smart, he runs well, he’€™s a tough kid, he’€™s a good tackler. I think that there’€™s definitely a place defensively to have a player like that,” Belichick said of Thomas shortly after he was drafted. “Logan Ryan was different, but had some similarities to that last year where he played outside, he played in the slot, played some snaps at safety.

“We’€™ll see how much Jemea can do there. He’€™s done all those things in the past, plus he’€™s been a good special teams player. We’€™ll see exactly what that role is. Maybe he becomes very good at one thing or maybe he becomes a versatile player that is able to do multiple things. We’€™ll have to see, but it looks like he’€™s got the ability to compete at all three of those spots ‘€“ safety, nickel corner and on the perimeter. He’€™s an interesting guy.”

Thomas joins fourth-round draft choices Cameron Fleming (offensive line) and James White (running back), sixth-round draft choice Zach Moore (defensive end) and seventh-round draft choice Jeremy Gallon (wide receiver) as rookies who have already signed their initial contracts.

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Churchill Downs: We overpaid Wes Welker $15K after he won at Derby

05.16.14 at 9:08 pm ET
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Remember this picture of a happy looking Wes Welker handing out $100 bills after the receiver cashed in at the Kentucky Derby earlier this month? Turns out, the former Patriots wide receiver made the money as the result of some error on the part of Churchill Downs, and the racetrack said Friday it wants its money back.

TMZ is reporting Welker was overpaid by almost $15,000 and wants the money, adding that the track  claims it was due to a machine malfunction, and has sent the wide receiver a letter looking for the loot.

Welker went on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Friday and said they’ll have to “get in line.”

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Patriots officially announce signings of 4 draft picks, acquisition of LB Darius Fleming

05.16.14 at 6:15 pm ET
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The Patriots announced several personnel moves Friday afternoon, including the official signings of fourth-round draft choices Cameron Fleming (offensive line) and James White (running back), sixth-round draft choice Zach Moore (defensive end) and seventh-round draft choice Jeremy Gallon (wide receiver). In addition, the Patriots also signed second-year linebacker Darius Fleming and three rookie free agents ‘€“ safety Jeremy Deering (Rutgers), linebacker James Morris (Iowa) and long snapper Tyler Ott (Harvard).

Here’s a portion of the announcement issued by the team on the moves:

Darius Fleming, 24, was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the fifth round (165th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame. The 6-foot-2, 255-pounder, missed his first two NFL season due to injury. Over a four-year career at Notre Dame, he finished with 157 total tackles. He was released by San Francisco on May 12.

Cameron Fleming, 21, was selected by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft with the 140th selection overall out of Stanford. It was the third of three 2014 fourth-round selections by the Patriots. The 6-foot-6, 318-pounder started all 39 games that he appeared in for Stanford and earned All-Pac 12 Conference second-team honors last season.

Gallon, 24, was selected by the Patriots in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft with the 244th selection overall out of Michigan. The 5-foot-8, 184-pounder was a four-year letterman, who appeared in 51 games at wide receiver and as a punt and kick returner. Gallon holds the school record for receiving yards in a single season with 1,373 yards in 2013.
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Report: Patriots sign fourth-round pick Cameron Fleming

05.16.14 at 3:25 pm ET
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The Patriots have signed fourth-round draft pick Cameron Fleming, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.

The 6-foot-5, 323-pounder is a two-time honorable mention All-Pac 12 pick who made his bones as a right tackle at Stanford ‘€” he started 28 games at the position the last two years. He graduated with a degree in aeronautics and astronautics, and was selected with the 140th overall pick by the Patriots.

“(He’s a) big kid that played against a lot of good competition out there, played against a lot of good players on a good football team,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said of Fleming shortly after he was drafted. “They run the ball a lot. They run a very conventional offense compared to what some of the offenses are in college football, so you can kind of see him do a lot of the things that we see in the National Football League.”

Fleming is the second member of the Patriots draft class to sign — Zach Moore agreed to a four-year deal on Thursday.

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Legal analyst Harry Manion on D&C: ‘You can stick the fork in Aaron Hernandez’

05.16.14 at 10:10 am ET
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Boston attorney and legal analyst Harry Manion checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning to discuss the Aaron Hernandez situation.

On Thursday, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley announced that a grand jury has indicted Hernandez for the murder of two men outside a Boston nightclub in 2012. The former Patriots tight end already is in jail awaiting trial on murder and weapons charges related to the shooting death of Odin Lloyd last year.

Investigators have been working on the 2012 double murder since receiving a tip after Hernandez was arrested last summer. Manion said the delay in charging Hernandez likely will be worth it.

“Here’s what I think happened: It took them a while to get everybody to roll,” Manion said. “They rolled his accomplice, obviously. They rolled the guy who gave him the gun. And they have survivors. This is just an avalanche of evidence — forensic and testimonial.”

Added Manion: “They have the motive — fight in a bar, disagreement in a bar; there’s the motive. They have the car at the scene; the car is tied to Hernandez. They have the murder weapon tied to Hernandez. Wait ’til they start rolling out the forensics after the arraignment showing all the forensic evidence tying it to Hernandez. And the survivors are going to be compelling, especially the guy that got shot. Even the two guys that ran, they’re going to be compelling witnesses at trial. You can stick the fork in Aaron Hernandez.

“Honestly, I’ve been thinking about it since I knew the indictment was being returned very shortly. I’ve been thinking about how the players and the team must have felt knowing that they were a teammate and professionally connected with a homicidal sociopath who was among them and was part of them and then goes out and does these kinds of unbelievably premeditated, heinous, not spur of the moment, not heat of passion, not, ‘Look, we got in a fight and the gun went off.’ This is, ‘I’m going to track you down and shoot you.’

“He’s an advertisement for the death penalty if there ever was one. A wealthy, famous, homicidal sociopath with every resource known to man, every opportunity, ability. And to to commit these kinds of crimes — allegedly. Listen, he’s presumed innocent until he’s found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. But that doesn’t prevent all of us in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to review the evidence ourselves, to see what the evidence says, and it shouts guilty on both counts.”

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Patriots rookie DL Zach Moore officially signs his deal

05.16.14 at 7:00 am ET
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Zach Moore‘s agent Blake Baratz tweeted out a picture of New England’s sixth-round pick signing his rookie deal with the Patriots on Thursday.


Moore is the first member of New England’s draft class to sign a contract.

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Patriots release TE Tyler Beck, LS Charley Hughlett

05.15.14 at 4:26 pm ET
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The Patriots announced Thursday they have released rookie tight end Tyler Beck and long snapper Charley Hughlett. Here’s a portion of the statement issued by the team on the moves:

Beck, 23, appeared in 49 games during his four-year career at Bowling Green and caught 25 passes for 348 yards and three touchdowns. The 6-foot-2, 257-pounder caught 10 passes for 177 yards for a 17.7 yards per catch average as a senior in 2013.

Hughlett, 23, originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Dallas Cowboys out of Central Florida on April 30, 2012. The 6-foot-4, 251-pounder was released by Dallas on Aug. 27, 2012. He was re-signed by Dallas on Jan. 7, 2013, and released for a second time on May 29, 2013. He handled all long snapping duties for four seasons at Central Florida.

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