|03.10.11 at 9:19 am ET|
In the wake of a report that Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather was involved in a shooting in his hometown of Apopka, Fla., late last month, an Orange County Sheriff’s Dept. Spokesman told WEEI.com Thursday morning that Meriweather is not currently part of any investigation: ‘Mr. Meriweather is not officially listed on any police report at this point. There is an ongoing investigation into that incident, but I can tell you he’s not listed at this point. We are having meetings on a number of issues this morning, but nothing as of this time.’
|03.10.11 at 7:40 am ET|
According to Deadspin, Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather allegedly shot two men outside a house party in Apopka, Fla., Feb. 27. The incident, which reportedly includes one of the men getting shot in the head, was being reported by the attorney for the two victims, John Morgan.
The report states that a friend of Meriweather allegedly beat up a woman outside the Blue Jeans Lounge, leading to the woman’s brother to arrive with his own acquaintance. The story states with the brother proceeded to beat up the New England player’s friend in a fight, leading Meriweather to fire a gun at the brother of the woman. The bullet, according to Morgan, grazed the woman’s brother in the face, while hitting the other victim in the head.
According to the report, detectives from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office have made no arrests, but continue to investigate the case. Former Miami football player, and current Florida sports talk radio host, Dan Sileo first mentioned the shooting.
To hear Sileo talk about the report on the Dennis & Callahan Show, click here.
|03.09.11 at 8:52 pm ET|
NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith said Wednesday night that the idea of an 18-game regular season is off the table in the ongoing Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations between players and owners.
Speaking in Washington, D.C. with radio station 106.7 FM ‘The Fan,’ Smith said for the first time publicly that there’s no way the players would agree an expanded season. Smith reiterated those comments shortly afterward in a conversation with SI.com.
‘First of all, the league has never presented a formal proposal for 18 games,’ he said. ‘But more importantly, it’s something that our players don’t want. Eighteen games is not in the best interest of our players’ safety, so we’re not doing it.’
The 18-game schedule is thought to be one of the three major sticking points between the two sides, with the other two points being the redistribution of $9 billion in revenue and the rookie wage scale. (However, Yahoo! Sports reported Wednesday afternoon that the two sides had agreed on the basic framework of a new rookie salary system.)
The two sides are attempting to reach a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and avoid the first work stoppage in NFL history since 1987. The deadline for a new deal is Friday.
|03.09.11 at 4:09 pm ET|
While the NFL players and owners face a Friday deadline in their attempt to get a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in place, the two sides are starting to find some common ground on some relatively smaller issues, according to a story from Yahoo! Sports.
First, they have apparently reached a basic compromise on the idea of a rookie wage scale, which will, in effect replace the current rookie salary cap. First-round picks will sign four-year deals, while the agreement will also limit guaranteed money and signing bonus for draftees. Meanwhile, the league agreed that all players drafted after the first round would be limited to three-year deals, but teams would be allowed to put restricted free agent tags on players after the three years.
Second, players have agreed to language in the new deal that would make it easier for teams to recoup money from players who have been arrested or otherwise gotten in trouble with the law.
|03.09.11 at 3:39 pm ET|
Northwestern defensive end Corbin Bryant will apparently be working out for the Patriots sometime in the coming weeks. Bryant, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound defensive lineman out of Chicago, told the Chicago Sun-Times at his Pro Day on Tuesday that he has pre-draft workouts with the Patriots, Bears and Jaguars ready to go. (Kevin Fishbain of Pro Football Weekly initially had this update on Tuesday night regarding Bryant and the Patriots.)
Bryant, who didn’t start playing football until his senior year in high school, was a co-captain for the Wildcats in 2010 where he was an honorable mention All-Big 10 selection. In his college career, he started 35 games at Northwestern, totaling 4.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for a loss.
|03.09.11 at 2:18 pm ET|
In last year’s draft, five of the 12 picks the Patriots made were players were captains in college: Zoltan Mesko, Jermaine Cunningham, Brandon Spikes, Taylor Price, and Devin McCourty. Patriots coach Bill Belichick said they didn’t necessarily plan it that way ‘ it was more of a happy coincidence.
‘We didn’t go into the draft and say we just want to draft guys who were captains of their team,’ Belichick said after the 2010 draft was complete. ‘But players that are good players, but also have traits such as leadership, work ethic, good communications skills, end up being players who are elected leaders of their team ‘ captains. A lot of times those follow each other.’
Those young players helped shape the new direction of the New England locker room in 2010. And while the state of leadership in the New England locker room isn’t as tenuous as it was at this time last year, the Patriots are always mindful of a players’ resume, and for someone to be named a college captain speaks to their character.
So would they go after captains again this April? Two players who have been linked to the Patriots as possible early picks in this year’s draft ‘ UCLA’s Akeem Ayers and Ohio State’s Cameron Heyward ‘ were captains on their teams last season, with Ayers netting the honors as a junior. Ayers said it was a ‘point of pride’ for him to become a team captain as a junior in 2010, and said he took the job seriously.
‘We had a pretty young team, but at the same time, it just showed how my teammates looked up to me,’ he said of last year’s UCLA team. ‘It made me want to work harder and be a better player for my teammates. I know that if I play well and do the right things it will make people around me better. I just took a lot of pride in that, being a captain as a junior.
‘I started off as more of a lead-by-example player, because I believe that no one is going to follow someone who is not doing the right thing,’ Ayers continued, ‘Running your sprints hard, being on time, hitting the weight room hard, younger guys ‘ freshmen, sophomores ‘ see you doing that, it’ll make it that much easier for them to want to follow my lead and try and tell them to do something. So it’s lead by example, and then, later on, when you become that vocal leader, guys will just follow your lead.’
As for Heyward, it was important for him to be named a captain as well, and sounded like he preferred to be more of a vocal leader ‘ fellow Buckeye Brian Rolle described him as a “screamer” when it came to practice last year at Ohio State. But Heyward also mixes in some of Ayers’ lead-by-example approach as well.
‘I’m hoping I have a little bit of pressure behind me because I want to perform well,’ Heyward said. ‘I wouldn’t have it any other way. If guys are expecting a lot out of me, so be it, because I’m a guy that’s going to produce and give it all I got.’
|03.08.11 at 9:55 pm ET|
In the most exhaustive offseason feature on Patriots running back Danny Woodhead that’s been written thus far, the young running back tells the Omaha World-Herald that his first season in New England was a “whirlwind,” and added that it was a “crazy” year.
Woodhead, a Nebraska native who was signed by the Patriots on Sept. 18, said there wasn’t one defining moment for him that highlighted a remarkable run from Jets’ castoff to New England running back.
‘Just have the opportunity to play football for my job,” he told writer Alex Helmbrecht. “To me, there are a lot of different things and moments that are great to be part of. It’s awesome to be able to do that and you just have to take advantage of that. I’m confident in what I can do but I don’t think I’m arrogant. I have the abilities and anyone who plays in the NFL has to think that way.”