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Patriots will visit Donald Trump at White House on April 19

03.23.17 at 2:03 pm ET
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Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick are set to return to the White House on April 19. (Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports)

Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick are set to return to the White House on April 19. (Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots officially will be the first sports team to visit Donald Trump at the White House.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer announced the president will welcome the team to White House on April 19.

Following the Super Bowl win, six Patriots said they would not attend the ceremony including Martellus Bennett, Dont’a Hightower, Alan Branch, Chris Long, Devin McCourty and LeGarrette Blount.

Not all were for political reasons.

President Trump has a good relationship with owner Robert Kraft, as he was even on Air Force One with him this past weekend.

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick both supported President Trump around the election with the coach writing him a letter and Brady calling him two days before the election.

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Donald Trump, Robert Kraft, Tom Brady

NFL personnel man ‘convinced’ Patriots will sign Darrelle Revis

03.23.17 at 1:41 pm ET
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Despite the fact that he won a Super Bowl with the Patriots, Darrelle Revis left no doubt as to where his allegiance lies these days. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Darrelle Revis could potentially return to the Patriots. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Maybe there was actually something to the rumors of Darrelle Revis returning to the Patriots last weekend.

Speaking with CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, a NFL personnel man said he’s convinced the cornerback returns to the Patriots for the 2017 season.

“We did our work on him. He can still play,” the personnel man told La Canfora. “He can cover. He doesn’t have that long speed anymore; he’s not going to cover a No. 1 receiver deep. But he can cover in tight spaces and he has great instincts. The film is not as bad as some would have you believe. He’s a perfect fit in that quarters scheme Belichick runs, and they have the kind of safeties who can help him out, too. We’re convinced he’s going back to New England. It just makes too much sense.”

The Patriots could have a need at cornerback if Malcolm Butler indeed goes to the Saints.

After being released by the Jets before free agency, he’s still getting paid $6 million from the Jets for the upcoming season, so a team that signs him doesn’t need to give him a huge contract. Perhaps, Bill Belichick sees that as value and takes a chance, but Revis had his worst season as a pro last year and reportedly was out of shape most of the year.

For how signing Revis doesn’t make sense for the Patriots, here’s a column from earlier in the week.

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Patriots coaches on scouting trail Thursday, including Bill Belichick at Ohio State

03.23.17 at 1:22 pm ET
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There are a number of big school pro days on Thursday, so the Patriots coaching staff was out in full force.

Bill Belichick himself was at Ohio State, catching up with good friend Urban Meyer, as well as Greg Schiano, who is also on staff. Joining Belichick was his son Steve, the Patriots’ safeties coach.

It was a big turn out with a number of other NFL head coaches including Sean Payton, Todd Bowles and John Harbaugh.

Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia was also on the scouting trail, as he was spotted at Notre Dame’s pro day.

Other pro days held on Thursday include: Stanford, Missouri and Utah.

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ESPN names new NFL studio hosts, including replacements for Chris Berman

03.23.17 at 1:06 pm ET
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ESPN's NFL programming will have a new look this upcoming season. (Chuck Cook/USA Today Sports)

ESPN’s NFL programming will have a new look this upcoming season. (Chuck Cook/USA Today Sports)

ESPN’s NFL programming will have a new look this upcoming season.

With Chris Berman transitioning into a new role, Suzy Kolber, Samantha Ponder and Trey Wingo will assume his previous host responsibilities on ESPN’s NFL studio shows, the network announced on Thursday.

Kolber will now host the entire Monday Night Football pregame show from the site of each week’s game. Ponder is the new host of Sunday NFL Countdown, and Wingo will now host all three days of the annual NFL draft telecast.

“We have three exceptional hosts in Suzy, Sam and Trey, who will usher in this new era of NFL studio coverage on ESPN,” said Stephanie Druley, ESPN senior vice president, studio and event production. “They each have a unique style and approach, yet they all share a passion for the game of football that is evident to viewers. We look forward to this group being the face of our NFL studio coverage for many years ahead on ESPN.”

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Read More: Chris Berman, Samantha Ponder, Suzy Kolber, Trey Wingo

Martellus Bennett blasts NFL on Twitter for making players watch video on how to celebrate properly

03.23.17 at 11:49 am ET
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On Wednesday, it was learned the NFL is cracking down again on celebrations and to help with this will show proper ways to celebrate in videos shown to NFL teams during training camp.

This will be included in the video that goes over new rule changes for the upcoming season.

Former Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett didn’t appear thrilled with the idea, going off on the NFL on Twitter Wednesday afternoon.

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Roger Goodell: Dean Blandino will have final say with all instant replay decisions

03.23.17 at 10:26 am ET
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Roger Goodell said Dean Blandino will make the final call with instant replays this season. (Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports)

Roger Goodell said Dean Blandino will make the final call with instant replays this season. (Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports)

The NFL will change the way it reviews plays this season.

Instead of having the referee go off the field and look under the hood at replays, the referee will now get handed a tablet on the field where they can review the play with the assistance of a command center in New York.

Appearing on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike Thursday morning, commissioner Roger Goodell said Dean Blandino will ultimately have the final say with all replays.

“We’re going to centralize the replay back here in New York,” Goodell said. “We want the referee’s input. … He can look at the play, be in communication back in our office with Dean Blandino, and Dean Blandino will have the final decision. We think that will move it much quicker.”

Goodell also said referees will be told to announce the replay decision immediately in the stadium, rather than waiting for the end of a commercial break. This will help speed up play.

“We want to get going. We want to be ready to play,” Goodell said.

The decision to have Blandino be in charge of calls may not go over well with everyone around the league, including referees.

In 2015 an anonymous referee told ESPN current on-field referees weren’t too fond of Blandino.

“The animosity is starting, because he’s having to make the tough decisions and he is a company man and he’s not siding with the officials. The officials kind of feel that, ‘Well, you’ve never been on the field,’” the official said. “It’s a tough position. It’s a no-win situation.”

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Malcolm Butler on Instagram: ‘Nothing changed but the change’

03.22.17 at 4:14 pm ET
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2017 appears to be the year of cryptic social media posts and Malcolm Butler is the latest.

The Patriots cornerback posted a picture of himself Wednesday with the caption: “Nothing changed but the change” #BLESSED.

Butler currently is a restricted free agent with a first-round tender, so he’s on the books for $3.91 million. He wants more money and a long-term deal.

He even visited the Saints last week to discuss a long-term deal, so there’s a thought maybe the post could be indicating the two sides came to an agreement and now it will be up to the Patriots to decide what to do next. They could match the Saints’ offer and keep Butler, work out a trade, or not match at all and let him go to New Orleans where they would get the Saints’ No. 11 overall pick.

Or, this could just be nothing.

Here is the post.

“Nothing changed but the change” #BLESSED

A post shared by Malcolm CB Butler (@mac_bz) on

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