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Vegas over/under on Tom Brady suspension: 3.5 games

05.11.15 at 11:11 am ET
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According to online betting site BovadaLV, it is more probable than not that Tom Brady will receive a multiple-game suspension following the release of the Wells Report last week.

Brady is believed to have had at least a limited knowledge that his team’s footballs were being deflated under the legal limit in the AFC championship game against the Colts, and in other games last season. Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL have yet to hand down a decision on Brady’s future, but it appears a suspension is likely.

Bovada has set the over/under on the length of Brady’s suspension at 3.5 games. The odds that he will get at least a one-game suspension are 1-to-10. The likelihood of a suspension-free punishment are equal to the odds of a season-long suspension, 5-to-1.

While the betting world awaits the verdict handed down by Goodell, Bovada has removed all of its futures bets on the Patriots.

“Considering they were the third-highest favorite to win the Super Bowl, the co-favorite for the AFC conference, and an overwhelming favorite to win the AFC East, we are taking them down until we hear the official word on if Tom Brady gets suspended,” Bovada sports book manager Kevin Bradley told Bloomberg. “If Brady does get suspended, it will have a huge impact on all of these odds.”

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Patriots set to release CB Kyle Arrington

05.11.15 at 10:46 am ET
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The Patriots have informed cornerback Kyle Arrington that he will be released, according to a league source.

The veteran, who was acquired by the team in 2009, has served as New England’s primary slot corner over the last few seasons. The 5-foot-10, 196-pounder had his best season with the Patriots in 2011, when he finished the year with seven picks and 66 tackles. In his six seasons with New England, he had nine interceptions and 291 tackles.

While there is a chance that Arrington could return at a reduced rate, the move continues an offseason of change at the cornerback spot for the Patriots, who have already seen starters Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner leave in free agency, as well as the release of veteran Alfonzo Dennard.

The news was first reported by Mike Reiss of ESPN.

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Reports: Patriots sign troubled TE Fred Davis

05.11.15 at 9:16 am ET
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Veteran tight end Fred Davis, who was suspended all of last season after violating the league’s substance-abuse policy for a second time, has signed with the Patriots, according to multiple reports.

Davis, 29, played his entire six-year NFL carer for Washington, peaking in 2011 when he had 59 receptions for 796 yards in 12 games. The 6-foot-4, 247-pounder suffered an Achilles tendon tear in 2012 and finished with 24 catches for 325 yards and no touchdowns in seven games that season. In 2013 he had just seven receptions for 70 yards and one touchdowns in 10 games.

Over his career he has 162 catches for 2,043 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Shortly after he was suspended by the league in 2014, Davis was arrested for DUI. He also was arrested and accused of threatening to hit an ex-girlfriend that summer. Additionally, he was ordered to pay $20,000 in damages to a woman after he threw liquid and a bottle at her at a Washington nightclub in 2011.

The Patriots already have a crowded field at the position, including Rob Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui, Tim Wright, former Bills player Scott Chandler and sixth-round draft pick A.J. Derby.

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Family Man: Rookie DT Malcom Brown brings an uncommon maturity to Patriots

05.10.15 at 11:47 pm ET
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Malcom Brown was taken 32nd overall by the Patriots. (Chris Covatta/Getty Images)

Malcom Brown was taken 32nd overall by the Patriots. (Chris Covatta/Getty Images)

Barring a surprise addition between now and the start of the regular season, Patriots first-round pick Malcom Brown will be the youngest player on the roster this season. The defensive tackle out of Texas, who was born in 1994, will be the first 21-year-old to play for New England since cornerback Sterling Moore in 2011.

To give you some sort of frame of reference as he might relate to some of his teammates, Brown was less than a year old when Drew Bledsoe threw 70 passes to upset the Vikings at Gillette Stadium that memorable fall afternoon in November 1994. He is the first player in franchise history born later than 1993. And he had just turned 8 the day before Tom Brady and the Patriots beat the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.

In that case, maybe you can chalk up his post-selection enthusiasm (“You’re about to get the best player you’ve ever drafted, so just be ready for when I touch the field,” he said when asked if he had a message for Patriots fans) to simple youthful exuberance. But at the same time, the 21-year-old is not your run of the mill millennial. He’s married (his wife is named Faith), and he has two children (Rayna and Mayah).

According to Texas defensive coordinator Vance Bedford, the level of responsibility and commitment he’s had to display at an early age as a family man has helped accelerate his learning curve on the football field.

“Having a family has helped him grow up even more,” said Bedford, who said that Brown has an “old soul, like a guy that dates back to the ’70s and ’80s.”

“I’m real big on family — I love my family,” Brown said shortly after he was drafted. “I made a decision to get married and I really wanted that. It’s just somebody to take care of and I’ve done that and I had a child. I’m going to take care of my responsibilities. Every responsibility that I have, I’m going to take care of.”

“Having kids and a great responsibility at home, he [showed] that same kind of responsibility here when he [came] to get ready for a game,” Bedford said of Brown. “He takes both those responsibilities very seriously and it shows in how he lives his life and plays the game.

“He’s a great character guy,” Bedford added. “He knows who he is, he’s settled, he has children, and he does the little things right. When we’re not around, we know what he’s doing. Why? Because it’s important to him, he’s a family man. On the football field, he’s another coach on the field. He was a great leader for us.”

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Don Shula: ‘We didn’t deflate any balls’

05.10.15 at 11:09 am ET
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Don Shula. (Getty Images)

Don Shula. (Getty Images)

Yet another shot from hall of fame coach Don Shula has been fired across the bow of Bill Belichick and the Patriots.

Speaking as a guest of honor at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Miami Dolphins, Shula said his Dolphins of the early 1970s that went to three straight Super Bowls, won two back-to-back Super Bowls (1972, ’73) and posted the only perfect season NFL history did things the right way.

In his speech, he took a clear shot at the Patriots, drawing laughs from the crowd.

“Our record in those 50 years was always done with a lot of class, a lot of dignity, a lot of doing it the right way. We didn’t deflate any balls,” Shula said.

Afterward, he was asked by local reporters to expand upon his comments.

“I coached for 33 years and I’ve never once in that 33-year period of time ever even talked or heard anyone talk about the air in the football,” Shula said. “So I’m not going to start talking about the air in the football.”

Shula’s comments comes days after the release of the Ted Wells report, detailing the investigation into alleged illegal tampering with game footballs before and during Patriots’ 45-7 win over the Colts in the AFC championship game at Gillette Stadium.

Punishment of Tom Brady is expected to be announced this week by the NFL.

Read More: Deflategate, Don Shula, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots

Sunday NFL Notes: Silence from Colts in wake of release of Wells Report

05.10.15 at 5:30 am ET
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Indy GM Ryan Grigson, the guy who was apparently the whistleblower when it came to Deflategate, hasn't commented publicly about the matter since the Wells Report was released Wednesday. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Indy GM Ryan Grigson, the guy who was apparently the primary whistleblower when it came to Deflategate, hasn’t commented publicly about the matter since the Wells Report was released Wednesday. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

1. There were no major comments from the Colts this week in the wake of the release of the Wells Report. The man who apparently set the whole thing in motion — Indy GM Ryan Grigson — hasn’t issued a statement on the matter. The same is true for  Colts owner Jim Irsay. Coach Chuck Pagano, who oversaw the start of spring minicamp this week in Indy, was asked about the situation and the possibility of punishment for the Patriots, and had only a brief comment: “Really, we’ve moved on and our focus is these young guys, our draft choices, the (college free agents), the tryout guys and evaluating these guys and seeing exactly what we have.”

2. Tom Brady‘s promise this week that he will have more to say about the Wells Report after he gets a chance to fully digest the contents got us to thinking about the next time we might see him again. On most occasions, the first media access with Brady in the spring comes in the run-up to his annual Best Buddies charity event, and that usually includes a pre-event promotional Q&A with WEEI, as well as a brief session with the media at halftime of his celebrity touch football game at Harvard Stadium. This year’s ride is scheduled to take place on May 30 (the game is usually the night before), and that could give the quarterback plenty of time to look at the report and draw some conclusions before speaking later this month. Something to consider as the story continues to play out.

3. There’s no definitive statement on whether or not the league would recognize a consecutive games-played streak if it was interrupted by a suspension — our guess is that it would bring that streak to an end — but if Brady has to sit for at least one game to start the 2015 season, it would bring an impressive streak to a conclusion. Brady has started every game for the Patriots since the beginning of the 2009 season — 96 consecutive starts, tied for most among all active quarterbacks with Joe Flacco, Eli Manning and Philip Rivers in that time. However, Brady has also started 12 postseason contests in that same stretch, which would make it 108 consecutive starts for the quarterback, the most in the NFL since 2009. For what it’s worth, however, he’s still far removed from the overall leaders at his position when it comes to total consecutive starts. Eli Manning (167 straight regular-season starts, a streak that began in 2004), Rivers (144) and Flacco (112) all lead Brady’s 96 straight starts overall.

4. A great case of “what might have been” has sprung up over the last 48 hours, as Brandon Marshall told ESPN 1000 on Friday that he was nearly a member of the Patriots before the 2014 season. Shortly before the wide receiver signed his $30 million extension with the Bears in May, according to him there were trade talks between Chicago and New England that would have brought him to New England. He ended up signing with the Bears (in an odd ceremony on “The View,” of all places) before being dealt to the Jets this past offseason, but the idea of the occasionally combustible Marshall with the Patriots for the 2014 season would have been fascinating theater, and not just because he has a bit of a history with Darrelle Revis, and the two would have spent the season as teammates. Would Brandon LaFell have ever become such a key part of the passing game? Would he have rubbed some people in the organization the wrong way with his penchant for bluntness? And how would his presence ultimately impacted the way teams go about defending New England, particularly some of the other targets in the passing game? All food for thought.

5. Following up on a pre-draft post about the Patriots and their occasional preference for selecting college captains, we can update the information to include the 2015 draft. In the last five years, New England has made 48 draft picks, and 24 of them have been college captains, including second-round pick Jordan Richards, fourth-rounders Trey Flowers and Shaq Mason and seventh-round selection Darryl Roberts from this year’s draft. While first-round selection Malcom Brown isn’t included as part of that group, after hearing from Texas defensive coordinator Vance Bedford this week, it’s hard not to think of Brown holding some sort of leadership role with the Patriots in the coming years. “He’s a great character guy,” Bedford said of Brown. “He knows who he is, he’s settled, he has children, and he does the little things right. When we’re not around, we know what he’s doing. Why? Because it’s important to him, he’s a family man. On the football field, he’s another coach on the field. He was a great leader for us.” (Prior to this year, several notable Patriots’ draft picks who would go on to become key pieces of their success were college captains, including Devin McCourty, Bryan Stork, Stevan Ridley and Dont’a Hightower.)

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Patriots sign third-round pick DL Geneo Grissom

05.09.15 at 5:41 pm ET
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The Patriots announced the signing of defensive lineman and third-round pick Geneo Grissom on Saturday.

This now leaves only first-round pick Malcom Brown and fifth-round pick Joe Cardona as the only players not yet signed.

Here is the release from the team:

Grissom, 22, was selected by the Patriots in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft with the 97th selection overall out of Oklahoma. The 6-foot-4, 252-pounder, played in 39 games with 11 starts and registered 88 tackles, eight sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. Last season, he played in 10 games with seven starts and tallied 39 total tackles and 3 ½ sacks. Grissom was named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention as a senior in 2014.

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