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Welker: No timetable for return

05.11.10 at 7:45 am ET
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Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker, who is recovering from ACL and MCL injuries to his left knee suffered in the regular-season finale in December, told The Oklahoman newspaper that he is battling to get back on the field but can’t predict when he’ll be able to return to action.

“It’s so early right now, it’s hard to put any sort of timetable on it,” he said. “My main deal is just working hard and putting myself in the best position possible to be ready whenever I’m ready. No telling when that’s going to be or how long it’s going to take, but all I can do is just work hard.”

Welker said he’s trying to make sure he follows the prescribed guidelines so that his injuries are healed before he returns to the field.

“Obviously, this isn’t something you can really just fight through,” he said. “You’ve got to go in stages. You’ve got to make sure you’re doing everything possible to heal the right way and make sure you’re ready to go.”

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Brady scheduled to talk with D&C Wednesday

05.10.10 at 8:05 pm ET
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Just got the heads up that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is scheduled to appear as a guest with “Dennis & Callahan” Wednesday at 7 a.m. Brady hasn’t talked a whole lot this offseason, doing just one in-depth interview since the end of the 2009 campaign. (For the details on that Q&A, which was done with SI.com’s Peter King, click here.)

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Pats sign Taylor

05.10.10 at 4:31 pm ET
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The Patriots today announced the signing of running back Chris Taylor via their Twitter account. Here’s the press release on the move:

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Preseason dates and times locked in

05.10.10 at 1:41 pm ET
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According to Patriots.com, the Patriots preseason scheduled is now locked in. Here are the dates and times for all four games:

Thu. Aug. 12 vs. New Orleans (7:30 p.m.)
Thu. Aug. 19 at Atlanta (8 p.m., FOX)
Thu. Aug. 26 vs. St. Louis (7:30 p.m.)
Thu. Sept. 2 at New York Giants (7 p.m.)

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Brady talks football, his health, his family and his offseason approach

05.10.10 at 1:39 am ET
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Tom Brady has spent most of the offseason shuttling back and forth between Boston and Los Angeles. (AP)

In his first interview of the offseason, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady touches on a wide range of topics, including his health, his offseason workout regiment, the changes brought about by his family and what he thinks about the state of the New England offense.

But first and foremost, Brady would like to let people know the knee is just fine, thank you.

“This is the best I’ve felt in a long, long time,’’ Brady told Peter King of SI.com in this week’s edition of “Monday Morning Quarterback.”

“Last year I was ready for the season,” Brady said, “but this year I’m not doing rehab. I’m just getting ready as normal for the season.”

Brady, who is splitting his time between Boston and Los Angeles with wife Gisele Bundchen this offseason, told King he will back in Foxboro Monday morning to resume work in the Patriots’ offseason program. However, Brady confesses he’s not been a regular part of the offseason program thus far, saying he’s spent two weeks in the program since it started in March.

He acknowledged some fans might question his commitment, especially when they look at his offseason approach in the past. (Brady had been notoriously competitive when it came to making each of the offseason workouts, taking pride in the fact he was awarded one of the best parking spaces in the players’ lot on an annual basis because of his dedication to the program.)

“It’s a balancing act,” he said. “I don’t want the next 10 years to go by and to say I wasn’t there for my sons. I wish I could be there [in Foxboro] the way I was when I was 24, but life is different now. Things actually are much more simple than they’ve ever been. I used to spend every weekend running around with friends. Now I’ve got two great kids, and I love spending time with them. [Son Benjamin] is usually up at 6 in the morning, so that’s when the day starts now.”
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Examining the Patriots’ rookies and their representation

05.06.10 at 8:21 pm ET
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While it is still early — most rookie contracts aren’t completed until June or July — it’s never too early to familiarize yourself with some key participants so you can be ready when contract talks for the 12 Patriots rookies do begin. (For what it’s worth, last year, the first rookie deal completed was fourth-rounder Rich Ohrnberger, who signed on June 16. The last rookie deal done was sixth-round pick Jake Ingram, who agreed to a deal on July 29.)

Here’s a quick thumbnail sketch of the 12 Patriots’ draft picks and their representation, according to the latest information provided by the National Football League Players Association:

Draft Patriots McCourty Football

Devin McCourty was the Patriots' first-round pick, and has expressed an interest to his agents to get a deal done “as soon as possible.” (AP)

First-round pick Devin McCourty: Represented by PlayersRep and Andy Simms. Simms represented defensive lineman Ron Brace in his rookie negotiations with the Patriots last summer. If Brace’s contract was any indication, the cornerback out of Rutgers shouldn’t be a problem getting into camp on time: Brace signed on July 17 last summer, inking a four-year deal, with roughly $2.82 million in guarantees. In addition it’s worth mentioning that McCourty was asked at his introductory press conference about the importance of getting a deal done as fast as possible, and said it’s “very urgent.”

“I’m not used to being a guy who’s not practicing or nothing,” McCourty said. “I told my agents I want to be able to play and get with a team and get going as soon as possible, the first day of training camp I want to be here playing.”

Second-round pick Rob Gronkowski: The tight end out of Arizona is represented by Drew Rosenhaus of Rosenhaus Sports. Contrary to the opinion that many have of him, Rosenhaus has actually worked pretty closely with the Patriots over the years. Recent New England players who have been represented by Rosenhaus include Jabar Gaffney, Chris Hanson and Larry Izzo, as well as current Patriots running back Fred Taylor and cornerback Darius Butler.

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Raiders release Russell

05.06.10 at 5:00 pm ET
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The Raiders released former No. 1 pick JaMarcus Russell on Thursday, ending a tumultuous three-year run where he will have received almost $40 million while producing only seven wins as a starter. The decision came less than two weeks after Oakland acquired Jason Campbell from Washington to take over at quarterback and signifies owner Al Davis finally lost patience with the LSU product who was drafted first overall in 2007. Russell will now likely be considered one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history, joining a group that includes Ryan Leaf.

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