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Source: Patriots add Jonathan Crompton to practice squad

11.02.10 at 4:34 pm ET
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The Patriots have signed quarterback Jonathan Crompton to the practice squad, according to a league source. The 23-year-old Crompton was a fifth-round pick of the Chargers in 2010 out of Tennessee, but was cut before the start of the regular season. Last season with the Vols, the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder completed 58.3 percent of his throws for 2,800 yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

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Reports: Randy Moss has officially been waived

11.02.10 at 4:15 pm ET
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According to multiple reports, wide receiver Randy Moss has officially been placed on waivers by the Vikings.

Moss, who was traded from New England to Minnesota on Oct. 6, had one catch for eight yards last Sunday in the Patriots’ 28-18 win over the Vikings. After the game, Moss delivered a memorable monologue, saying he missed playing for New England and complimenting Patriots coach Bill Belichick. In addition, Moss reportedly stayed in New England after the contest, not flying back to Minnesota with the team.

Minnesota coach Brad Childress reportedly told the team in a Monday meeting the Vikings were going to release Moss, but the team wasn’t able to complete the paperwork until Tuesday.

‘€œThis decision was made based on what we thought was in the best interests of the Minnesota Vikings, both in the short and long term. We wish Randy the best as he moves forward in his career,’€ said Childress in a statement issued by the team Monday evening.

Now, teams have 24 hours to claim the receiver, with the team that has the worst record getting first crack at landing him. The Patriots, who at 6-1 have the best record in the NFL, will have the last chance to claim him.

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Complete Bill Belichick Q&A, 11/2

11.02.10 at 1:48 pm ET
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Thanks to the Patriots’€™ PR staff, here’€™s the complete transcript of the conference call between Bill Belichick and the local media from earlier Tuesday afternoon:

BB: Well, we are starting to dig into the Browns here and they have played a lot of good football teams and they’€™ve really taken them all right down to the wire, of course other than New Orleans ‘€“ they handled them. It was a very convincing win over New Orleans, which is kind of scary in itself, of course, down in New Orleans. [They are] a real physical team, tough, hard-nosed, running football team. [They are] tough on defense, good in the kicking game, have some young players that have stepped up. [Josh] Cribbs is a major threat, of course. They don’€™t give up a lot of points. [Peyton] Hillis has done a real good job for them, running the ball, breaking tackles, keeping them in short-yardage situations with his first and second-down carries and then converting on third down. They are going to play very competitively. They are a good, tough football team. It is going to be a challenge for us to go up there and deal with this type of team, playing at home, coming off a big win they had against the Saints. I’€™m sure they will be ready to go with the extra week of preparation and the momentum they had from that big win last weekend.

Q: Was there that something you saw in the Saints game that hadn’€™t translated to the other games that led them to win so easily?
BB: I think they played like they normally do; they played a good, solid, tough football game, but they had some big plays in the kicking game and that gave them some great field position which ended up in some bonus points that really tilted the game pretty heavily in their favor. They did a real good job on offense, defense [and] special teams. Of course they had the two returns on defense, the throwback, [and] the fake punt, so when you put those really four big scoring and field position change plays into that New Orleans game, it is a close game and it really broke it open.

Q: Following up on today’€™s announcement that Logan Mankins has reported to the team, do the Patriots have a roster exemption?
BB: That transaction hasn’€™t been turned in yet. That won’€™t and wouldn’€™t happen until later on today, but I would expect it, though, yes.
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Logan Mankins is officially back in the building

11.02.10 at 1:18 pm ET
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The Patriots made it official Tuesday afternoon, announcing left guard Logan Mankins has returned to the team.

Mankins, who had stayed away from offseason workouts, training camp and the first seven games of the regular season because he was unhappy about his contract situation, has apparently signed his $1.54 million tender, and is on the premises at Gillette Stadium.

‘€œIt’€™s good to have him back with the team. He’€™s part of the team now,’€ Patriots coach Bill Belichick said in a conference call, praising the two-time Pro Bowler for his toughness, intelligence and dependability. ‘€œBeen a great player for our team. ‘€¦ Good to have him back with us. [He'€™s a] great player and person for our football team. He’€™s tough, he’€™s smart, he’€™s dependable. You just can’€™t have too many guys like that on your football team. We’€™re glad he’€™s back.’€

‘€œHe’€™s in the building,’€ said director of player personnel Nick Caserio. ‘€œIt’s good that he’€™s here. (But) he’s no different than any other player on the team, in the building ‘€” they’€™ll start to prepare for opponent and we’€™ll make a decision on who play. Logan has been good player for us, he’€™s been solid, reliable, has a lot of the traits we look for.’€

Asked about Mankins’€™ physical condition, Belichick suggested only that the team would treat the offensive lineman on a ‘€œday-to-day’€ basis. He coach declined to discuss the degree to which he had been in touch with Mankins during his holdout.

‘€œI don’€™t want to get into any of that. It doesn’€™t matter right now,’€ said Belichick. ‘€œWe have a big game on Sunday. That’€™s where our focus is. I don’€™t want to rehash anything that’€™s happened in the past. That’€™s all behind us.’€

Mankins was originally selected by the Patriots in the first round of the 2005 draft out of Fresno State. During his five seasons with the Patriots, he has started 80 regular-season games and nine postseason games. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2007 and 2009, and was selected to the Associated Press All-Pro second team in 2007 and 2009.

The 6-foot-4, 310-pounder would have been an unrestricted free agent under the rules of the old Collective Bargaining Agreement. But when the owners opted out of the old deal, it meant only players with six seasons of professional experience in the NFL were granted unrestricted status. That meant Mankins was still bound to the Patriots, forced to sign a free agent tender if he wanted to play.

However, by signing now, Mankins assures himself a chance at becoming an unrestricted free agent ‘€” he had a deadline of Nov. 16 to sign his tender and report by in order to accrue the service time he’€™ll need to reach unrestricted free agency next year.

Belichick said he expected to receive a roster exemption, meaning the Patriots would not have to release someone right away.

In place of Mankins, the Patriots have been primarily utilizing backup Dan Connolly at left guard for the first seven games of the season. There is a question as to how quickly Mankins could return to elite status, as well as how much trouble he might have dislodging Connolly ‘€” who has played well for the first seven games ‘€” from his starting spot.

However, the return of Mankins, a two-time Pro Bowler, should provide even greater depth for an offensive line that has allowed only 12 sacks through seven games, tied for seventh-best in the league.

‘€œThe guys are jumping for joy having another playmaker like that come back to us. We’€™re kind of excited about it,’€ said running backs coach Ivan Fears of Mankins’€™ return. ‘€œWe can’€™t wait to see what he’€™s like on the practice field.’€

Read More: Bill Belichick, Dan Connolly, Ivan Fears, Logan Mankins

Statement from Patriots on the return of Logan Mankins

11.02.10 at 12:25 pm ET
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The Patriots issued an official statement on the return of Logan Mankins on Tuesday afternoon. Here’s the full text of their announcement:

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. ‘€“ The New England Patriots announced today that G Logan Mankins has reported to the team.

Mankins was originally drafted by the Patriots in the first round of the 2005 draft out of Fresno State. During his five seasons with the Patriots, Mankins has started 80 regular-season games and nine postseason games. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2007 and 2009 and was selected to the Associated Press All-Pro second team in 2007 and 2009.

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Belichick confirms return of Mankins

11.02.10 at 12:22 pm ET
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The Patriots confirmed that guard Logan Mankins has returned to the team. While there has not yet been a roster move to add Mankins, head coach Bill Belichick said that he expected that move to take place today.

“It’€™s good to have him back with the team. He’€™s part of the team now,” Belichick said in a conference call, praising the two-time Pro Bowler for his toughness, intelligence and dependability. “You just can’€™t have too many guys like that on your football team. We’€™re glad he’€™s back.”

Asked about Mankins’ physical condition, Belichick suggested only that the team would treat the offensive lineman on a “day-to-day” basis. The Patriots head coach declined to discuss the degree to which he had been in touch with Mankins during his holdout.

“I don’€™t want to get into any of that. it doesn’€™t matter right now,” said Belichick. “We have a big game on Sunday. That’€™s where our focus is. I don’€™t want to rehash anything that’€™s happened in the past. That’€™s all behind us.”

Mankins had held out for the first eight weeks of the season, but he will return for the duration of the season in order to earn the necessary service time to qualify for unrestricted free agency following this season.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Nick Caserio,

What does the return of Logan Mankins mean for the Patriots?

11.02.10 at 12:47 am ET
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With the news that Logan Mankins will reportedly return to the Patriots this week ‘€” two weeks earlier than the Nov. 16 deadline for him to gain the full year accrued toward free agency ‘€” here are five quick thoughts on what it all means:

1. How much can he contribute for the rest of the 2010 season? Mankins has missed all of the spring practices, organized team activities, minicamps, training camp, the preseason and the first seven games of the regular season. While initial reports indicated he could technically play as early as next week against the Steelers, any expectations should be minimal for at least the next couple of weeks because of the amount of time he has missed.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick has said on several occasions that you cannot get into football shape by running around a track ‘€” there is no substitute for being on the field and getting reps in practices and games. As a result, don’€™t expect to see Mankins on the field until the end of the month (Thanksgiving against Detroit?) at the absolute earliest as the Patriots try and get him as many reps as possible.

2. Even with his lengthy absence, Mankins remains a popular figure in the New England locker room. When he strolls back into Gillette Stadium this week, it shouldn’€™t be an awkward situation as has been the case with many other holdout situations. But once he gets up to speed, how soon does he get on the field?

Mankins, a two-time Pro Bowler, certainly faces an uphill challenge to try and unseat the man who replaced him in Dan Connolly. Connolly has done a more than adequate job stepping into the starting spot at left guard, considering he was the Patriots third choice at the position, behind Mankins and Nick Kaczur, the latter of whom struggled with a back injury and was placed on season-ending injured reserve earlier in the season. In addition to his work on the offensive line, Connolly has also drawn raves from Belichick for his play on special teams as well as his work at fullback.

“We have asked Dan to do a lot,’€ Belichick said Monday when he was asked about Connolly’€™s progress. ‘€œHe has played left guard obviously, but has also played fullback in our short-yardage and goal-line packages. [He'€™s a] smart guy. [He'€™s a] good technique player. He has really improved a lot over the time he has been here. He has gotten a lot of playing time this year and has continued to improve. So he is doing a solid job.”
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Read More: Bill Belichick, Dan Connolly, Dan Koppen, Jahri Evans
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