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WEEI NFL Power Rankings: Pre-training camp edition

07.09.15 at 9:45 pm ET
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Tom Brady and the Patriots are slotted into the No. 3 spot in this week's Power Rankings. (Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

Tom Brady and the Patriots are slotted into the No. 3 spot in this week’s Power Rankings. (Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

The defending champion Patriots enter the pre-preseason third in the WEEI Power Rankings. Much of the offense remains intact, but the departures of Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, Vince Wilfork and Kyle Arrington can’€™t be overlooked. The Seahawks lost Byron Maxwell, but upgraded the offense with the addition of Jimmy Graham, giving them the No. 1 spot. With Aaron Rodgers at the helm, the Packers will continue to keep defensive coordinators up at night.

The Cowboys creep into the top five, despite the loss of workhorse running back DeMarco Murray. The Broncos will remain out of the top 10 until Peyton Manning proves he can throw a ball farther than 20 yards. Chip Kelly and the Eagles are the hardest team to gauge, since they were successful last year, and decided to turn their roster over at most of their skill positions.

Leave your comments and opinions below.

1. Seahawks — The defending NFC champions were 1 yard away from back-to-back Super Bowl championships, but Pete Carroll out-thought himself and the rest is history. With the addition of Jimmy Graham, expect Marshawn Lynch to have more room to work.

2. Packers — The Packers have the best QB in the game, and would have been in the Super Bowl if Ha-Ha Clinton Dix didn’t fallen asleep on a crucial two-point conversion in the NFC championship game.

3. Patriots –€“ The defending Super Bowl champs lost six key contributors to free agency. Bill Belichick will have to use smoke and mirrors in the secondary to get another AFC East title.

4. Cowboys — The loss of Murray (2,261 yards from scrimmage and 449 touches) will hurt, but the offense is still bursting with talent (and a great O-line.) Also, Tony Romo got the monkey off his back won a playoff game.

5. Steelers — The Steelers went 8-2 down the stretch last season and saw Le’€™Veon Bell and Antonio Brown emerge as true playmakers. However, all eyes will be on new defensive coordinator Keith Butler, who replaces the legendary Dick LeBeau.

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Roger Goodell: Ruling on Tom Brady suspension appeal ‘could be as soon as next week’

07.09.15 at 9:44 am ET
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Tom Brady‘s appeal of his four-game suspension was heard June 23 and commissioner Roger Goodell’s ruling of the appeal may be coming soon.

Speaking to CNBC’s Julia Boorstin at the annual tech and media conference hosted by investment bank Allen & Co. in Sun Valley, Idaho, Goodell says a ruling could “come as soon as next week.”

Goodell was spotted walking with Patriots owner Robert Kraft on Wednesday, but Goodell tells Boorstin the two were not talking about Deflategate.

The Patriots are set to open training camp July 30.

Read More: Deflategate, roger goodell, Tom Brady,

Rob Gronkowski in upcoming book: ‘I thought [Tom Brady] didn’t like me’

07.09.15 at 9:32 am ET
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Rob Gronkowski‘s new book, “It’€™s Good to be Gronk,”€ comes out Tuesday, but some quotes from the book were revealed via the Boston Herald on Thursday. The book is co-written with author Jason Rosenhaus.

While quarterback Tom Brady and the tight end have a great relationship now, it has come a long way from what it was when Gronkowski was drafted 40th overall by the Patriots in the second-round of the 2010 NFL draft.

“€œTom Brady, the legendary quarterback that I had been watching on TV since middle school actually introduced himself to me,”€ Gronkowski writes. “€œI couldn’€™t know it at the time, but that would end up pretty much the nicest he was to me over the entire year. … If I made a mistake, Tom would blast me. In the meeting rooms he was super tough on me. I thought he didn’€™t like me.”

The 211-page book covers all things Gronkowski-related, including his college days at the University of Arizona, battling injuries and his offseason partying lifestyle.

“I’€™m no Boy Scout, I’€™m a Gronk,” he writes. “€œNobody, and I mean nobody parties like my crew, Party Rockers. … We don’€™t do drugs, that’€™s for people who don’€™t know how to party straight. We don’€™t hurt people or look for any trouble. All we do is get wild, dance like madmen and have a very fun time.”

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Tom Brady 3rd behind J.J. Watt, Aaron Rodgers in NFL ‘Top 100′ of 2015 while Rob Gronkowski is 10th

07.08.15 at 11:10 pm ET
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Tom Brady finished No. 3 in the 2015 NFL Network "Top 100" players poll. (Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

Tom Brady finished No. 3 in the 2015 NFL Network “Top 100″ players poll. (Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

Tom Brady was good enough to overcome the Deflategate controversy, win his third Super Bowl MVP and capture his fourth Super Bowl title but that was only good enough to hold steady at No. 3 in the NFL Network’s annual “Top 100″ players’ poll, unveiled Wednesday night.

Brady finished third behind NFL defensive player of the year J.J. Watt and Packers quarterback and 2014 NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers.

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski made one of the biggest leaps in the poll, rising 31 spots to finish at No. 10 overall while giving the Super Bowl champs the distinction of being the only team with two players in the Top 10.

The NFL Network, in its video, highlighted Brady’s remarkable run to a fourth Super Bowl title but made no mention of the Deflategate controversy that swirled around him and the team on their way to the championship.

“I think Tom Brady started out slow but you look at him from Week 7 on, [he was] probably the best player in the league,” said Broncos corner and former Brady teammate Aqib Talib, who Brady beat, 43-21, at Gillette Stadium on Nov. 2.

Watt becomes the first defensive player to finish No. 1 in the Top 100 since the NFL Network series began in 2011. Watt joins Tom Brady (2011), Rodgers (2012), Adrian Peterson (2013) and Peyton Manning (2014) as those who have finished atop the prestigious list among fell players.

Eagles running back DeMarco Murray finished No. 4 for his historic season with the Cowboys, and Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning rounded out the top five. Lions “Megatron” receiver Calvin Johnson dropped four places and finished sixth this year.

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Read More: New England Patriots, NFL Top 100 players 2015, Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady

Robert Kraft and Roger Goodell spotted at billionaires summit

07.08.15 at 7:39 pm ET
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A photo posted by CNBC sports business reporter and field producer Jess Golden on Twitter of Patriots owner Robert Kraft and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell walking at a billionaires getaway is making the rounds.

The occasion?

The two presumably are attending an annual tech and media conference hosted by investment bank Allen & Co. in Sun Valley, Idaho.

The event is known as “billionaire’s summer camp” as Elon Musk (Tesla), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Barry Diller (IAC), Rupert Murdoch (News Corporation), Jack Dorsey (Twitter), and Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook) have already made their arrival at the Sun Valley Resort.

No word from either camp as to what will be discussed. Goodell is expected to hand down his decision later this month on Tom Brady‘s appeal of his four-game suspension for his role in Deflategate.

Red Sox owner John Henry was also spotted with wife Linda Pizutti at the retreat resort/conference.

Read More: Boston Red Sox, Deflategate, John Henry, New England Patriots

Brandon LaFell out of walking boot, ‘looking forward to starting camp’

07.08.15 at 6:13 pm ET
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Brandon LaFell

Brandon LaFell

Patriots wide receiver Brandon LaFell had one of the better first seasons in New England of any wide out in recent memory, catching a career-high 74 passes for 953 yards and seven touchdowns to go along 13 catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns in the postseason.

Although there was no reported injury following the season, LaFell missed all offseason camps and was spotted wearing a walking boot on his left foot. But any concerns of him missing any time once training camp rolls around were put to an end on Wednesday.

“Just a few lingering injuries that happened in the late part of the regular season that I just played through throughout the playoffs,” LaFell told Sirius XM NFL Radio. “Finally got some time off to let my body heal up properly. I’m out of the boot now and I’m just looking forward to starting camp.”

Despite the foot injury, LaFell said he spent the offseason looking to build on a successful first season as a Patriot, saying he stayed “within the playbook” and continued to “pick [Tom] Brady‘s mind and try to get better.”

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Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski among NFL Network’s top 10 players of 2015

07.07.15 at 1:50 pm ET
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Where will Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski land on the NFL Network’s top 100 players of 2015 list?

The network’s “The Top 100 Players of 2015″ weekly series will conclude Wednesday, July 8 where the top 10 list will be unveiled. The network released the names of the top 10 players and Brady and Gronkowski are both on the list.

The other members of the top 10 are: Marshawn Lynch, Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning. J.J, Watt, Antonio Brown, Calvin Johnson, DeMarco Murray and Aaron Rodgers. The order of the top 10 will be revealed in two, one-hour episodes at 8:00 and 9:00 EST.

Julian Edelman was on the list at No. 91 and Darrelle Revis No. 17.

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