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Patriots reportedly cutting ties with running back Thomas Clayton

08.03.11 at 12:34 pm ET
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The Patriots have informed running back Thomas Clayton he will be released by the team, according to multiple reports. Clayton, a 5-foot-11, 222-pounder out of Kansas State, has put in multiple stints on the New England roster, but the 27-year-old was the odd man out after rookies Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley joined the team after signing their deals. Clayton has seven career carries for 17 yards.

Read More: 2011 training camp, Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley, Thomas Clayton

Fantasy Football 2011: Analyzing the big moves

08.03.11 at 9:36 am ET
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In this article, we will analyze most of the significant NFL player moves (and there have been many!) for fantasy purposes. This does not include players who stayed with their original teams. The last week or so has been confusing enough as it is.  Our take on those situations and some of the smaller moves can be found in our full player rankings at Rotobahn.com.

Kevin Kolb to the Cardinals

Kevin Kolb’€™s value goes up as he is once again a starting quarterback. The man is also very rich, but the big story here is that Larry Fitzgerald is back. The best receiver in the game over the last five years was subjected to some of the worst quarterback play you will ever see. That he was able to post the stats that he did is a testament to just how great a player Fitzgerald is. As expected, we are bullish on Larry’€™s chances to return to the ranks of the statistical elite in 2011.

Matt Hasselbeck to the Titans

This is a great move for the Titans, and it’€™s very significant for fantasy as Hasselbeck could change the trajectory of a few Titans players. First off, you have to like this move for Kenny Britt, who will benefit from having a solid vet to work with. And, unlike Kerry Collins, Hasselbeck still has game. The Hasselbeck signing is also big for Chris Johnson, who will now have some room to run … if he ever gets into camp.

Reggie Bush to the Dolphins

This is a sleeper story. Bush has morphed into a fantasy riddle over the last few years, and he missed the bulk of 2010 with a freak leg injury that has fully healed. The thing to watch here is what Miami does with its roster between now and week one. If no other significant backs are added, then this backfield will be split in some way between Bush and rookie Daniel Thomas out of Kansas State. Over the long haul, we expect the rookie to become the feature back, but in the short term, the veteran back might be leaned-upon. This could make Bush a nice sleeper who can be had very late in drafts this year. It’€™s worth noting that Bush is an accomplished goal-line back.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2011 Fantasy Football, Chad Ochocinco, Kevin Kolb, Matt Hasselbeck

Notes on Raheem Brock, Matt Light, Ty Warren

08.02.11 at 10:41 pm ET
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Three more Patriots notes worth passing along on this Tuesday evening:

‘€¢ The Patriots will reportedly bring in veteran defensive lineman Raheem Brock for a visit on Tuesday, according to Shalise Manza-Young of The Boston Globe. Brock is a 33-year-old who has spent nine seasons in the league ‘€” eight in Indianapolis and one in Seattle. While Brock saw a drop in playing time last year (his first with the Seahawks), he did end the year with a career-best nine sacks. The 6-foot-4, 274-pound Brock is one of two reported veterans who have come in for a look this week ‘€” Tommie Harris got a look from the Patriots earlier this week before he signed a deal with the Colts late Tuesday night.

‘€¢ The least surprising announcement of the day came when the team announced that veteran left tackle Matt Light had officially re-signed. Light, who reportedly agreed to a two-year deal worth as much as $12 million, was at practice on Tuesday afternoon, chatting with owner Robert Kraft and teammate Logan Mankins. Here’s part of the announcement from the team:

Light has played in 140 games with 138 starts since joining the Patriots as a second round draft pick (48th overall) of the 2001 draft out of Purdue. In his ten seasons with the Patriots, Light has been a part of eight division eight division champions, four conference titles and three Super Bowl crowns. He has helped the New England offense finish in the Top 10 on offense six times, including a streak of four straight seasons in the Top 10. Light has been named a member of the AFC Pro Bowl squad three times (2006, 2007 and 2010).

‘€¢ Former Patriots defensive lineman Ty Warren has agreed to terms with the Broncos on a two-year, $10 million contract, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Warren, who was released last last week by New England, missed all last season with a hip injury, but helped the 2003 and 2004 Patriots’ win Super Bowl titles. The 30-year-old Warren is a 6-foot-5, 300-pounder who has played both end spots. His career-best season came in 2006 when he had 84 tackles and 7.5 sacks.

Read More: 2011 training camp, adam schefter, Logan Mankins, Matt Light

Patriots lose safety Jarrad Page in free agency

08.02.11 at 9:18 pm ET
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Safety Jarrad Page, who spent last season with the Patriots, has signed a free agent deal with Philadelphia. Page, 26, was acquired by New England prior to the start of the 2010 season and played in 10 games for the Patriots, starting one. He was slowed for much of the season because of a calf injury.

Page tweeted the following message Tuesday night after the news was first broken by Jay Glazer of Fox Sports and the NFL Network:

Wanna say THANK U so much to the fans of New England for taking me in and getting behind me last year. Great fans and great organization. Can’t wait to get to Philly and get back to football. I can feel the love from the fans already. Can’t wait to make em proud!!

Read More: Jarrad Page, Jay Glazer,

Matt Roth, Chris Morris reportedly make visits to Foxboro

08.02.11 at 8:58 pm ET
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FOXBORO ‘€” According to a tweet from John Clayton of ESPN, the Patriots held a workout with former Browns linebacker Matt Roth on Tuesday.

The 28-year-old Roth is a 6-foot-4, 275-pounder out of Iowa who is known as a solid presence against both the run and the pass. He played the majority of the last two seasons in Cleveland after being claimed off waivers in November of 2009. He had 3.5 sacks last year for the Browns after having four and five in 2010 and 2009, respectively.

He has a real familiarity with the responsibilities of an outside linebacker in a Bill Belichick-style 3-4 ‘€” since college, Roth has played almost exclusively for former Belichick lieutenants. As a collegian, he was with Kirk Ferentz at Iowa. In the pros, he’€™s also had stints with in Nick Saban (Miami) and Eric Mangini (Cleveland), which would likely mean an easy transition in New England.

In addtion, it was reported that center Chris Morris had a visit with the Patriots on Tuesday. Morris, 28, is a 6-foot-4, 305-pounder who has been in the league for the last five seasons, four with Oakland and one with Carolina.

Read More: 2011 training camp, Chris Morris, Matt Roth,

Some quick thoughts on Patriots’ Tuesday afternoon practice

08.02.11 at 8:30 pm ET
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FOXBORO ‘€” It was an eventful practice session for the Patriots on Tuesday afternoon, their eighth of training camp.

‘€¢ The following players were not on the field at the start of the session: Kyle Arrington, Brandon McGowan, Kevin Faulk, Sammy Morris, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Eric Kettani, Ryan Wendell, Logan Mankins, Matt Light, Nate Solder and Steve Williams. Arrington, McGowan, Faulk, Morris, Light and Mankins all have new contracts, which means they are allowed to be on the field but they can’€™t practice until Aug. 4.

(However, Light and Mankins strolled on to the field midway through the practice, and the two spent a significant portion of practice watching things with owner Robert Kraft. Given the recent history between Mankins and Kraft, it was interesting to see them together for an extended stretch and appear to have a very friendly conversation.

In addition, the following players were in shorts and sweats: Josh Barrett, Matt Katula, Tracy White, Marcus Cannon, Mike Berry, Brandon Deaderick, Kyle Hix, Myron Pryor and Ron Brace. (White also has a new deal, which means he cannot participate in practice until later this week.)

‘€¢ For the first time, rookies Shane Vereen and Ras-I Dowling were on the field ‘€” their deals were done Tuesday morning. They got big reps for much of the day, and did not appear out of their element. At first glance, Dowling certainly appears to be a very physical cornerback, using his size (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) to his advantage. Vereen did not stand out in any particular form or fashion, but this was his first day, so I wouldn’€™t read too much into that. He and fellow rookie running back Stevan Ridley did get some good reps (most of the veteran running backs are still not practicing, with the exception of Danny Woodhead), and Ridley showed an impressive burst when running with the starting offense.

‘€¢ As was the case when he was under center in the earlier stages of camp, rookie quarterback Ryan Mallett showed off a strong arm, but appeared to struggle when it came to putting some touch on the ball. He fired rockets at close range to tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, but there was too much mustard on them and they ended up going incomplete. (Mallett later made a nice pair of connections to tight end Carson Butler.)

‘€¢ More special teams work on Tuesday afternoon, and the unquestioned star was punter Zoltan Mesko, who delivered some absolute bombs that ended up going 70 yards or more. Brandon Tate, Julian Edelman and Taylor Price all worked as punt returners, while Pat Chung and Woodhead also got time as punt protectors. It’€™s incredibly early, but Mesko appears primed for a big season.

‘€¢ The combination of Tom Brady and Wes Welker appear to be in midseason form. There were two plays that really illustrated how well the two operate together: One came on a goal-line passing drill where Brady lofted one just out of the reach of Chung ‘€” who was in coverage ‘€” and dropped it right into Welker’€™s arms. The second was on a deep ball down the right sidelines to Welker, another ball that just barely beat the defender (in this case, cornerback Jonathan Wilhite) and landed neatly in Welker’€™s grasp; two perfectly thrown balls.

‘€¢ For the quarterbacks, there was the return of the bucket drill ‘€” easily the most popular drill in camp for the fans and media ‘€” but no one was able to sink it from long distance. (Only Mallett got close, clunking one off the side of the barrel from about 40 yards away.) In other quarterback news, backup Brian Hoyer showed a headiness in a 7-on-7 skeleton passing drills when Patriots coach Bill Belichick was using a blocking pad to distract the quarterbacks. On one occasion, Belichick tossed the pad right at Hoyer and bopped him in the head, but the quarterback was able to maintain his composure and deliver a nice pass to Price.

Read More: 2011 training camp,

Albert Haynesworth hints at why he might just be a perfect fit with these Patriots

08.02.11 at 8:00 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Beyond the predictable questions about his his questionable past with the Titans and the Redskins, Albert Haynesworth wanted Patriots fans to know one thing when he spoke to reporters for the first time Tuesday afternoon – I won’t try to kill your quarterback anymore. Tom Brady doesn’t have to worry but the other quarterbacks in the league are fair game.

“Yeah, you know what? The first thing, I said ‘€˜Hey Tom, what’€™s up?’€™ And he was like, ‘€˜Hey, you’€™re not going to be hitting me anymore,’€™ So it’€™s kind of funny,” Haynesworth said.

Haynesworth has a much better tie to the Patriots on the defensive side of the ball, naturally.

“I went to the Pro Bowl with Vince [Wilfork]. And the funny thing is, when were at the Pro Bowl, I said ‘€˜Man, what if we were on the same team?’€™ And he said ‘€˜Oh dude, that would be crazy.’€™ He said, ‘€˜No way that’€™s going to happen.’€™ But shoot, two, three years later, here we are.

“That’€™s going to be scary. It’€™s going to be scary for other teams.”

Funny Haynesworth uses that description because no doubt that’s how Brady felt in the preseason of 2009 when the Patriots paid a visit to Landover, Md. to battle the Redskins and Mr. Haynesworth.

Brady was making his first appearance back from reconstructive knee surgery in 2008. Haynesworth – in his first game with the Redskins since signing his seven-year, $100 million deal – got a clear path to Brady and crushed him, landing squarely on his shoulder. Brady’s knee would be fine that season in 2009 but he had to deal with an aching throwing shoulder all season. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2011 training camp, Albert Haynesworth, Bill Belichick, Chad Ochocinco
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