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Pats add Brown to rookie free agent class

04.25.10 at 1:03 pm ET
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In addition to the group that’s already in the fold, the Patriots have agreed to a rookie free agent deal with Notre Dame safety Sergio Brown. Brown’s deal was confirmed via the Twitter feed of his agent as well as Brown himself. A 6-foot-2, 205-pounder, his college coach was current New England safeties coach Corwin Brown. Here’s a quick highlight film of Brown — he’s No. 31 for Notre Dame.

In addition to Brown, the current group of confirmed rookie free agents and minicamp invitees reads as follows:

RB Pat Paschall, North Dakota St.
DE Dane Fletcher, Montana St.
WR Bryan Anderson, Central Michigan
DL Kyle Love, Mississippi St.
DL John Wise, Illinois

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Brady hanging at UCLA spring game

04.25.10 at 11:50 am ET
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Looking for a Tom Brady update? Zoltan Mesko probably is. Anyway, according to this story, Brady was at the UCLA spring football game over the weekend, hanging out with wide receiver Wes Welker and soccer star David Beckham. Brady apparently spent a portion of the game throwing passes to Beckham’s young sons. (UPDATE: Check out pictures of Brady and Beckham here.)

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McLaughlin scooped up by Ravens

04.25.10 at 1:49 am ET
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Mike McLaughlin had to wait a little bit longer, but the former Eagle landed a contract with an NFL team. (AP)

BC’s Mike McLaughlin had to wait three days and seven rounds to get a phone call about his NFL future.

The former Eagles linebacker wasn’t selected in the 2010 draft, but it didn’t take very long for the Baltimore Ravens to jump all over the undrafted free agent.

“[John] Harbaugh actually called me three or four times towards the end of the draft,” said McLaughlin, who also had interest from the Lions, Rams, Chiefs and Browns. “Even my agents were saying they’ve never seen a team go after a free agent like that. With that being said, I’m pretty happy.”

McLaughlin said he made the decision to sign with the Ravens before the draft ended.

Baltimore only held seven picks in this year’s draft, with its last selection coming at No. 194 overall in the sixth round, and McLaughlin said the Ravens were one of the teams he spent a lot of time with before the draft started.

McLaughlin has been working on two other positions, long snapper and fullback, to go along with his linebacker duties, and he said the Ravens were impressed with all of the things he could bring to a football team.

“He was working me pretty hard,” McLaughlin said of his conversation with Harbaugh. “He knows that I’ll be a contributor to the team. He was good. He was pretty honest. He wasn’t even really talking to me about the team. He said, ‘You know what, this is going to be the best fit for you to make a team and come in and play in the NFL.’ He’s right.

“There is always the flip side to it. If they really wanted me that bad, they could have drafted me. But I trust him. I could just tell they liked me and they really want me there. Harbaugh was calling me a ton as soon as they got their pick in when they were done for the rest of the draft.”

While he was happy with the end result of the day — especially when he saw his old teammate Matt Tennant get drafted by the Saints (158th overall) in the fifth round — the waiting was hard on him.

“I definitely saw some inside linebackers go that I thought I could go ahead of,” McLaughlin said. “I don’t want to say some of the stuff I was saying at the TV today, but it’s fuel for the fire. I’m going to remember it when I’m in camp.”

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Report: Pats invite wrestler to minicamp

04.24.10 at 11:32 pm ET
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The Patriots have invited Illinois wrestler John Wise to attend minicamp, according to WGEM-TV in Quincy, Ill. The 24-year-old Wise played college football for two seasons with Western Illinois as a defensive tackle before transferring to Illinois and becoming part of the wrestling team. New England has taken chances on wrestlers before — offensive lineman Stephen Neal was a collegiate wrestling champion, while Jermail Porter had a brief stint with the Patriots last season.

Wise does have an impressive high school football resume. He was named Male Athlete of the Year in 2003 and 2004 for his high school football accomplishments. He was named second team all-conference defensive lineman in 2003, first team all-conference linebacker in 2002 and first team all-conference defense in 2001. He was the team captain of his high school football team for two years.

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NDSU running back signs free agent deal with Pats

04.24.10 at 10:38 pm ET
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North Dakota State running back Pat Paschall has signed a free agent deal with the Patriots, the school announced Saturday night. Paschall, a 5-foot-11 senior from St. Louis, finished No. 1 in rushing in the NCAA Division 1 FCS, averaging 140 yards per game. Paschall finished the season with 1,397 yards and 16 TDs on 207 rushes for an average of 6.75 yards per carry, and he became the first Bison player to earn first team Sports Network, Associated Press and AFCA Coaches Division 1 FCS All-America honors.

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NFL not the priority for free agent Sicko

04.24.10 at 10:36 pm ET
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It’s usually a good story when players from local schools get a chance in the NFL, especially ones with smaller football programs. It seemed UNH tight end Scott Sicko would follow past Wildcats David Ball and Ricky Santos as small-time standouts who got their chance to compete for a spot on an NFL roster following the draft as a priority free agent.

Priority is the operative term, it turns out, as the senior from Stillwater, N.Y., decided Saturday night that if NFL teams didn’t want him in the draft, he didn’t want them in free agency. Sicko announced that he has decided to pursue further education rather than continuing with football.

“If I were to be drafted I would have had more confidence of a much longer career in the NFL,” Sicko told the Times Union in Albany. “I have to look at my life and decide what will make me the happiest. And the thing that will make me the happiest now and in the long run is to pursue my education.”

Make no mistake: this isn’t a case of a kid who wasn’t wanted quitting the process to save face. Sicko would have had an NFL job — the Jaguars, Jets and Cowboys all attempted to sign him, with the Cowboys employing the full-court press by attempting to have a deal in place for when the draft ended, but Sicko’s mind was made up.

“Some people will think I’m absolutely out of mind, and I and understand it,” he told the paper. “I completely see where they’re coming from.”

The 6-foot-4, 250-pound history major had 22 touchdowns over the last three years at UNH. He is set to graduate in May and pursue graduate school with hopes of becoming a history professor.

“I’m definitely going to say ‘What if …?’ ” Sicko said. “It’s not the asking of the question that’s the important thing. It’s the answering of the question that is the important thing.”

New Hampshire running back Chad Kackert, who had 25 rushing touchdowns in his UNH career, has signed with the Jaguars.

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Patriots sign Montana State star, according to school

04.24.10 at 10:12 pm ET
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The Patriots have signed Montana State product Dane Fletcher to a free agent deal, according to the official Twitter feed of the school’s athletic department. A 23-year-old, the 6-foot-1, 237-pounder was the defensive MVP in the Big Sky last fall, when he registered 17 tackles for loss. A defensive end in college, he projects as an outside linebacker at the next level.

Here’s a quick highlight video. I especially like the beginning, where it looks like he’s breathing fire.

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