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Patriots make signing of Marcus Stroud official

03.04.11 at 5:27 pm ET
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The Patriots made official their deal with defensive lineman Marcus Stroud. Though the team did not disclose terms, reported earlier in the week that the deal was for two years.

The 10-year veteran, who is listed at 6-foot-6 and 310 pounds, was cut by the Bills last month, who preferred to go younger and less expensive on their line. Stroud was due to receive $10 million over the next two seasons, including a $1 million roster bonus in March.

The 2001 first-rounder made three straight Pro Bowls while a member of the Jaguars from 2003-05. Last year, he started 14 games and finished the year with 49 tackles and three sacks.

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NFL players and owners agree on seven-day extension for CBA talks

03.04.11 at 2:05 pm ET
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The NFL owners and players have agreed on a seven-day extension in the talks for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The two sides, who are working to avoid the first work stoppage in NFL history since 1987, were initially facing a Thursday midnight deadline, but they agreed that afternoon to a 24-hour extension. Now, both sides have extended that again until next Friday. According to reports, both sides will take the weekend off and get back to talking in Washington, D.C. on Monday.

“This will advise that, at the request of FMCS Director George Cohen, we have agreed to extend the expiration of the CBA for seven days through next Friday, March 11, 2011,” the NFL informed teams in a statement. “During that time, further negotiations will take place under the auspices of Mr. Cohen and his colleagues.”

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, no roster moves will be permitted during deadline extension.

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A preview of Friday’s edition of Patriots All-Access

03.04.11 at 12:38 pm ET
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On Friday’€™s edition of Patriots All-Access, viewers will go behind the scenes at the 2011 NFL scouting combine, airing tonight on WBZ-TV at 7 p.m. and immediately following on

All Access checks out where the Patriots put draft-eligible players through the interview process. In addition, NFL experts weigh in on the Patriots’€™ possible approach to next month’€™s draft, while Brian Lowe chats with Patriots Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio about the combine, the team’€™s scouting approach and the depth of the 2011 draft. And Patriots Football Weekly’€™s Paul Perillo and ESPNBoston’€™s Mike Reiss share their thoughts on the NFL labor negotiations.

Here’€™s a quick video preview:

Read More: Brian Lowe, Mike Reiss, NFL scouting combine, Nick Caserio

NFL owners and players still talking with federal mediator

03.04.11 at 11:49 am ET
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The talks between NFL owners and players convened again on Friday morning in Washington, D.C., with a small sliver of optimism permeating the discussions. According to several reports on Friday, the two sides are angling for a longer extension so they can continue talking before the deadline for the 24-hour extension is up at midnight on Friday.

‘€œIf we can make the kind of progress that you needed to make to have a further extension, that’€™s where we’€™d be looking,’€ NFL lead negotiator Jeff Pash told reporters before heading in to meet with federal mediator George Cohen. ‘€œHopefully, we can make some progress and keep this thing going. That’€™s obviously in everybody’€™s interest. It’€™s been our goal all along and we’€™re going to just keep at it.’€

ESPN reported late Thursday that Cohen had persuaded both sides to agree on a seven- to ten-day extension of the talks.)

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and several league executives arrived at Cohen’€™s offices in the morning, while NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and Kansas City guard Brian Waters showed up about two hours later. Each side had been expected to meet separately with Cohen before any negotiations would be held.

Read More: Brian Waters, DeMaurice Smith, George Cohen, Jeff Pash

Page, Green-Ellis among those tendered by Patriots

03.03.11 at 7:45 pm ET
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The Patriots announced Thursday evening that they have extended tenders to restricted free agents BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Jarrad Page. In addition, the team said cornerback Kyle Arrington was tendered an exclusive rights free agent.

The tenders for Green-Ellis and Arrington were already reported, but the decision to tender Page is an indication that the Patriots like what they have in the defensive back, who was hindered by a calf injury for much of the 2010 season, his first in a New England uniform. In all, Page played in 10 games.

If another clubs signs either Green-Ellis or Page to an offer sheet, the Patriots have seven days to match the offer. If they choose not to match, New England will receive the appropriate compensation from the respective club ‘€” reportedly a second-round pick.

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NFL owners, players agree on 24-hour extension for deadline

03.03.11 at 5:32 pm ET
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In the negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the NFL players and owners have agreed to a 24-hour extension of the deadline, which was originally set for Thursday at midnight. The news, which was first reported by the NFL Network, means that both sides will likely continue talking throughout the day on Friday at the offices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services in Washington, D.C. in hopes of avoiding the first work stoppage in the NFL since 1987.

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Report: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and o-lineman Logan Mankins could lend names to players’ lawsuit

03.03.11 at 3:57 pm ET
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Multiple outlets are reporting Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and offensive lineman Logan Mankins have agreed to serve as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the NFL if the players’€™ association decides to decertify. The duo, as well as quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, would lend their names to the suit similar to the one the NFL filed in 1993 that was headlined by former star Reggie White. (That suit, in many ways, paved the way for NFL free agency.)

However, the decertification hammer still hasn’€™t been dropped by the players. If the NFLPA does file for decertification (something they would have to do by 5 p.m. to have it affect the current CBA) the players would be allowed to file suit ‘€” which would then have the names of the players on it ‘€” against the owners for restricting trade. (Disbanding the union would be necessary because a union is not allowed to sue a party with which it is collectively bargaining.) If the decertification paperwork is filed, it’€™s a bad sign for negotiations ‘€” that would start a chain of events where the whole negotiation would end up in the courts, tying up the talks and almost certainly having long-term affects on the game.

‘€œThat would signal a complete breakdown,’€ said Ron Washburn, who teaches a sports law class at Bryant University and has been following the negotiations closely.

Brady, who serves as the Patriots alternate player rep, has weighed in on union matters before ‘€” he talked last year about one of the major sticking points between owners and player, the possibility of an 18-game schedule.

‘€œI’€™ve taken part in several postseason runs where we have played 20 games. The long-term impact this game has on our bodies is well documented,’€ Brady said. ‘€œLook no further than the players that came before we did. Each player today has to play three years in order to earn five years of post-career health care. Our Union has done a great job of raising the awareness on these issues and will make the right decision for us players, the game and the fans.’€

Read More: Drew Brees, lockout, Logan Mankins, Peyton Manning
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