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Patriots make Julian Edelman signing official

03.18.14 at 4:21 pm ET
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The Patriots announced Tuesday they have re-signed wide receiver Julian Edelman. Here’s a portion of the press release issued by the team:

Edelman, 27, is a veteran of five NFL seasons with New England after joining the team as a seventh-round draft choice (232nd overall) out of Kent State in 2009. The 5-foot-10, 198-pounder has played in 64 NFL games with 24 starts and has 174 receptions for 1,770 yards and 10 touchdowns; 14 rushing attempts for 83 yards; 26 kickoff returns for 563 yards and 107 punt returns for 1,317 yards with three returned for touchdowns. His 12.3 career punt return average is tied for the fourth-highest in NFL history. Edelman has played in seven postseason games with three starts in his career and has 25 receptions for 248 yards and three touchdowns; two rushing attempts for 10 yards; three kickoff returns for 73 yards and 12 punt returns for 141 yards.

Last season, Edelman played in all 16 regular-season games with 11 starts and led the team with career highs in receptions (105), receiving yards (1,056) and touchdowns (6). He also returned 35 punts for 374 yards for a 10.7-yard average. Edelman also played in both playoff contests with one start in the AFC Championship Game and led the team with 16 receptions for 173 yards and one touchdown and returned five punts for 36 yards.

A quarterback in college, Edelman was converted to a returner and a wide receiver as a rookie with New England in 2009.

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Brandon Spikes takes exception to injury claims: ‘A false report’ by Patriots

03.18.14 at 4:17 pm ET
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Brandon Spikes said Monday the Patriots decision to put him on injured reserve at the end of the 2013 season was a “false report,” and added “that’s just how things go” in Foxboro when it comes to injuries.

The linebacker, who signed a free agent deal with the Bills earlier this month after four seasons with New England, made the statement Monday on WGR Radio in Buffalo.

“I know, I heard they put me on IR and stuff like that. That was just a false report,” Spikes said Monday during a radio interview with WGR in Buffalo. “That’s just how things go there. Almost like what happened with (Aqib) Talib and his hip.

“That was just from the labor throughout the season, man. It was just — you know how it is — it’s a tough 16 games. All I needed was rest and rehab.”

Spikes’ claim was the second in a month from a former player regarding how the team manipulates the injury report. When he signed with the Broncos, Talib said he was listed with a hip injury, but he was quick to say he had no such problem.

“The Patriots have their way of reporting stuff, but I haven’t had a hip problem since Tampa,” Talib said. “The injury I had was actually a quad injury. It was reported as a hip injury, but that’s how they do things.”

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Aqib Talib, Brandon Spikes,

Resetting Patriots depth chart in secondary

03.18.14 at 1:42 pm ET
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To this point in the offseason, no position in New England has undergone more of a change than the secondary. The Patriots have lost cornerback Aqib Talib and strong safety Steve Gregory, but they’ve added Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner. Here’s a look at New England’€™s current depth in the secondary.

Cornerback
Darrelle Revis: The veteran corner, signed earlier this month, figures to fundamentally step into Talib’s old spot as the No. 1 corner who will face off against the lead pass catcher on the other side of the ball. If Revis is that guy, he will face an impressive roster of receivers over the course of the 2014 season, including Mike Wallace (Miami), Reggie Wayne (Indy), Keenan Allen (San Diego), A.J. Green (Cincy), Demaryius Thomas (Denver) and Brandon Marshall (Chicago).

Brandon Browner: As of this point, the veteran figures to be in the mix for the No. 2 cornerback spot. Because of suspensions and health problems, he’€™s only played 20 games the last two seasons, and so he could be a little rusty out of the gate, especially considering that he’€™ll be getting adjusted to a new team, as well as the fact that he’€™ll sidelined the first four games of the 2014 season because of a ban for violating the league policy on PEDs. However, providing he stays healthy, there’€™s no reason to think he shouldn’t be a part of the rotation by the midway point of the season.

Alfonzo Dennard: He’s currently in the home stretch of his jail term in Nebraska, and his future when it comes to playing time could be fluid, with much of it tied to Browner’€™s situation. With Browner out for the first four games, however, he figures to be the No. 2 corner, at least for the short term.

Kyle Arrington: Many of his critics were hopeful that with the acquisition of Browner and Revis, the Patriots were going to get rid of Arrington. No dice — he remains one of the better slot corners in the game, and the pickup of Revis allows him to stay in the slot, a position he’€™s become suited to over the years. Barring injury, look for him there again in 2014.

Logan Ryan: For the most part, the Rutgers product had a very good rookie season, finishing with five picks (best on the team) and looking very comfortable over the course of the year. (He was overwhelmed a bit in the AFC title game against the Broncos, but even with his maturation, was probably playing a little over his head in that contest anyway.) With Revis and Browner in the picture, he figures to get most of his work as the nickel back and in sub packages, at least early on. The good thing is that the Patriots spent the majority of the season with five defensive backs on the field, so he should still get some significant snaps, even if he is bumped down the depth chart.
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Read More: Adrian Wilson, Alfonzo Dennard, Aqib Talib, Brandon Browner

Julian Edelman on WAAF: ‘It’s a good day to be back’ with Patriots

03.18.14 at 1:20 pm ET
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Wide receiver Julian Edelman, who agreed to a new four-year deal with the Patriots over the weekend, told WAAF’s Hill-Man Morning Show that he’s happy to be returning to New England after dipping his toes in the waters of free agency. To hear the interview, go to the WAAF audio page.

“It’s a good day,” Edelman said from his California home. “It’s a good day to be back. It’s awesome that I get to be there for another four years.”

Added Edelman: “It’s a great situation how everything worked out. I can’t wait to get started and get back into town and jump on the horse, because we got knocked off last year, and get back to work.”

A native of the San Francisco area, Edelman had a visit with the 49ers last week, but he said his heart was with the Patriots.

“It wasn’t that tough [to decide], to tell you the truth,” Edelman said. “You go on these visits and these trips and everything and you see these wonderful organizations. I got to go home and see the Niners, and I grew up a huge Niners fan, but being in New England for the last five years, that’s just home. That’s just home for me right now. Just the way, the mentality, the team, how everything’s done, the scheme, the players, the locker room, the fans — it’s something that I couldn’t leave. I’m really glad that we were able to work something out and bring me back.”

With the Patriots, Edelman reunites with fellow Northern California product Tom Brady.

“When you get to come to work and play with one of the best, it makes it a lot easier,” Edelman said. “Especially with the kind of player and person Brady — along with a lot of other guys on the team. The teammates were definitely a huge part of that. Having the year that we had last year, we got so close and we overcame adversity and all that stuff. Hopefully we’re going to build on that and do even better.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

On the acquisition of Darrelle Revis: “He’s the best in the league. There’s usually like two or three types of corners in the National Football League. You have guys that are long, lanky, that are good at the line of scrimmage, quicker than fast, long speed, good transition. When he’s healthy he seems to have all that. He’s always very tough to compete against. It’s great to have him join the team.”

On Vince Wilfork reportedly asking to be released rather than rework his contract: “I can’t speak on that. Personally, that’s not my job on this team to make those kinds of decisions and that stuff. Obviously Vince is a great player. He’s a good friend of mine. Of course you want a guy like that around. But I don’t know what’s going on between them.”

Read More: Darrelle Revis, Julian Edelman, Tom Brady, Vince Wilfork

Preliminary contract information for Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell

03.18.14 at 12:48 pm ET
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Here are some contract numbers for both Brandon LaFell and Julian Edelman:

According to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports, Edelman received a four-year deal with $17 million in base salary. In addition, there are roughly $2 million in incentives and $8 million guaranteed.

Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that LaFell’s deal with New England is a base salary of $9 million over three years, with $3 million guaranteed. In addition, his cap hits over the three years of the deal are $2 million (2014), $3.2 million (2015) and $3.8 million (2016).

Read More: Brandon LaFell, Julian Edelman,

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: USC WR Marqise Lee

03.18.14 at 10:12 am ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2014 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’€™s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

MARQISE LEE

Position: Wide receiver

School: USC

Height: 6-foot-0

Weight: 195 pounds

Achievements: 2012 Biletnikoff Award winner, 2012 Paul Warfield Award, 2012 unanimous first-team All-American, 2012 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year

What he brings: Despite his recent history of injuries and smaller frame, Lee has the speed and understanding that allowed him to win the Biletnikoff Award, given to the best wide receiver in the NCAA, as a sophomore. Scouts look at Lee’€™s route-running ability and vision as reasons for why he will still go in the first round of the draft.

Where the Patriots could get him: Lee is likely a top-20 pick, so the Patriots would have to trade up to get him.

Notes: After a standout sophomore campaign, Lee struggled during the 2013 season with injuries. The junior injured his shoulder during training camp before suffering a knee injury in September. He finished the season with 57 receptions for 791 yards and four touchdowns. … Lee, who also competes for USC’€™s track team, owns or shares 22 school records.

Related articles:

ESPN: USC Trojans wide receiver Marqise Lee will enter NFL draft

Los Angeles Times: Marqise Lee’s stats are down, but he remains a top NFL prospect

Video: Here is a highlight reel of Lee’s 2013 season

Read More: 2014 NFL Draft, 2014 Potential Patriots, Marqise Lee,

Brandon Spikes anticipates emotional contest when he meets Patriots in 2014

03.18.14 at 6:30 am ET
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Brandon Spikes is already dreaming about facing his old team.

‘€œIt’€™s going to be emotional for me,’€ the former Patriots linebacker said in his first session with Buffalo reporters on Monday. ‘€œI’ve dreamt about it already. I believe it’€™ll be an emotional game. I’€™ll probably be in tears the entire game. I know it’€™s going to be a battle. It’€™s definitely going to be a battle for all time. I’€™m looking forward to that, and I’€™ll definitely be dreaming about it every night until it comes this fall.’€

Spikes, who was drafted by the Patriots in 2010 and played four years in New England, signed a free agent deal with the Bills as a free agent earlier this month. On Monday, he explained why he decided to leave Foxboro, saying that former Patriots and current Buffalo assistant Pepper Johnson played  major role in his decision-making process.

“He’s a great coach and a great inspiration to the game. He loves the game and he is definitely what I want to be down the road,” Spikes said. “He’s a legendary ballplayer and coach. He just knows the game. I respect him as a man and as a coach.”

One thing that continues to stick in his craw is the perception is that he’s a two-down linebacker, a player who needs to leave the field on third down and other passing situations.

‘€œI played on it if they gave me the opportunity and I delivered when I was out there,’€ he said when asked about his work on third down while in New England. ‘€œObviously, we went to the Super Bowl, and I had one of the best games on third downs even though we lost. That whole entire season when I was given the opportunity and play on third down, I delivered.

“Like I said, that’€™s in the past and now I’€™m just here to change all that. Prove people wrong, if that’s what they’€™d like to say. I’€™m just ready to go play the game I love. Everybody don’€™t have an opportunity to have their dream and play. I’€™m just happy to have this opportunity and be in this situation to play the game I love.’€

That being said, he still takes a lot of pride in his work as a run stopper.

‘€œIf you can stop the run, you’ll make a team one dimensional,’€ he said. ‘€œI know a lot of people are saying the league is passing now and it’€™s pass, but as you can see in the playoffs everybody just starts running the ball. (You need) a run stopper that can take that away like in the playoffs late in the season when the weather becomes a factor and stuff like that. It’€™s big and it seems like the last couple of Super Bowl winners have had a great run game.

“I think that’€™s key — if you can make a team one dimensional and force them to pass, I feel like you have the edge.’€

Spikes inked a one-year deal, but he says that only serves as more motivation.

“My whole life I’ve had something to prove so it just helps put some fuel on the fire,” Spikes said. “It keeps that burning sensation I have inside of me for the game and, like I said, whatever, if they say I have something to prove, I just have to go out there and do it.”

Read More: Brandon Spikes,
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