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Notes: Albert Haynesworth practices with Patriots

07.31.11 at 12:26 pm ET
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FOXBORO — After passing his conditioning test, newly acquired defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth hit the field with the Patriots in Sunday morning’s walkthrough. Judging by the sluggish pace of the very light practice, it’s probably safe to say the conditioning test was probably more telling/interesting than anything on the field Sunday morning. With the team working in shorts, Haynesworth worked with his fellow defensive linemen in the session. The first real look at him in action, so to speak, will come in Sunday afternoon’s session, which promises to be faster-paced. Here are a few other notes from the morning:

‘€¢ Haynesworth was in his familiar No. 92 uniform. He has worn the number since his days as a Tennessee Volunteer.

‘€¢ Not spotted participating in practice were Kyle Arrington, Shane Vereen, Brandon McGowan, Kevin Faulk, Sammy Morris, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Eric Kettani, Marcus Cannon, Logan Mankins, Nate Solder and Steve Williams. While the likes of Solder, Dowling and Vereen simply have yet to ink their rookie contracts, others cannot yet practice due to their new contracts technically keeping them out presumably until Aug. 4. Mankins, who signed his franchise tender this week was in attendance, as he watched the practice but did not take part in anything.

‘€¢ Pats director of player personnel Nick Caserio said before the session that the Patriots are encouraged by where things stand with Cannon, an offensive lineman dealing with non-Hodgkins lymphoma whom the Pats drafted in the fifth round in April. Cannon is signed, though he has yet to practice with the team. “I think he’s still kind of going through his process,” Caserio said. “He looks great. He’s done everything that he’s been asked to do to this point. I think we’re all optimistic. I don’t think were going to rush into anything, and I think we’re going to let that timetable sort of run its course. He’s here. He’ll be here. I think there’s a few more steps for him along the way that he’s going to take care of, but Marcus has been great. He’s doing great, he’s in good spirits, so we’re optimistic.

“The most important thing is for him to be healthy, and that’s of the utmost importance. Whenever we get to that point when he’s ready to go, we’ll begin working with him, but it’s good to have him here. It’s good for him to be around the team. It’s good for us to be around him here a little bit. He’s moving in the right direction, and certainly things look promising to this point, but you don’t want to jump ahead too far.”

‘€¢ The session was moved back half an hour due to team meetings running a little long, causing it to run from around 10:30 to 11:30 rather than the scheduled 10 a.m. start. It shouldn’t impact the start time of the afternoon session, which is set to run from 2:30-5 p.m.

Read More: 2011 training camp, Albert Haynesworth, Marcus Cannon, Patriots camp

Report: Plaxico Burress signs with Jets

07.31.11 at 10:09 am ET
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ESPN Insider Adam Schefter reported Sunday that the Jets have signed Plaxico Burress to a one-year, $3 million contract.

Burress has been out of the NFL since late 2008, when he accidentally shot himself in the leg at a New York city nightclub. A grand jury indicted Burress in August 2009 on two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a firearm, and one count of second-degree reckless endangerment. Burress was released from prison on June 6 and was quickly reinstated to the NFL.

Burress had been a very productive wide receiver before the gunshot wound ended his 2008 season and took him out of football for two years. He caught over 1,000 yards four times from 2001 to 2007 and averaged over seven touchdown receptions per season over that stretch.

Read More: 2011 NFL Signings,

Agent for Tony Carter alleges cornerback is healthy, was cut before he left for training camp

07.30.11 at 10:05 pm ET
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The agency representing cornerback Tony Carter ‘€” who was released by the Patriots earlier this week for reportedly failing his physical ‘€” said Carter is healthy and was cut before he even left his home in Florida for training camp.

The tweet read as follows:

Tony was informed of his impending release by the New England Patriots head coach PRIOR to his departure for camp

TONY WAS INFORMED OF HIS RELEASE PRIOR TO DEPARTING FOR TRAINING CAMP, HE DID NOT REPORT TO THE FACILITY AND AT NO TIME WAS EXAMINED FOR AN ENTRANCE PHYSICAL.

Tony took the call about his release as he was packing to report for camp for an on time departure from his apartment in Orlando, Florida where he spent this off-season training.

Tony was, and continues to be 100% healthy.

Tony is still thankful for his time with the Patriots football club, and looks forward to the next steps of his career.

The 25-year-old defensive back joined New England’s practice squad last September and was promoted to the 53-man roster for the last three games of the 2010 season.

Read More: 2011 training camp, Patriots camp, Tony Carter,

Patriots add two old faces in McGowan and White, drop a rookie

07.30.11 at 6:03 pm ET
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The Patriots announced Saturday afternoon that they have re-signed veteran defensive back Brandon McGowan and linebacker Tracy White, and have released rookie linebacker Anthony Leonard.

The return of McGowan and White will provide the New England special teams unit with a dependable pair of veterans. The 27-year-old McGowan, who joined the Patriots in 2009, was on injured reserve for all of 2010 with a chest injury. The 5-foot-11, 210-pound McGowan has amassed 181 tackles, two interceptions, 10 passes defensed, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries over his six-year career, including 66 total tackles, 10 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 2009. He currently projects as a special teamer and backup safety.

The 30-year-old White is a nine-year veteran who came to New England in 2010, and evolved into a special teamer last year, finishing with 18 special teams tackles for the Patriots in 2010.

As for Leonard, there seems to be some question about his future. The rookie free agent out of West Virginia, who was originally signed on July 27, initially tweeted that he was being placed on injured reserve ‘€” which was quickly removed ‘€” then he added: “A Detour sign is not a “dead end”… It’s directions to the rite path.” Bottom line there? He could be in the team’s future plans. Last season with West Virginia, he started all 13 games and finished third on the team with 70 tackles, including 6.5 for a loss.

Read More: 2011 training camp, Anthony Leonard, Brandon McGowan, Patriots camp

We have contact for the 2011 Patriots and Mike Wright leads the way

07.30.11 at 5:53 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Perhaps no one symbolizes the bridge between the NFL training camp environment before and after the new collective bargaining agreement than Mike Wright.

And there was the Patriots nose tackle – nearly nine months after suffering what would be a season-ending concussion – back on the field on Saturday for all 2 1/2 hours, going through the drills, as the Patriots had their first full practice of camp in full pads.

It is annually one of the days coaches look forward to every summer, getting their team back on the field in practice with their pads on and get the players on the field hitting each other, building game conditioning.

“It’€™s good to be out here in pads,” Pats coach Bill Belichick said after practice. “I thought we had a good workday this morning, had a couple of good lead up days to it the past couple days. I think the players, even though it’€™s certainly challenging to come out and practice in this heat in pads and all that. But I think as football players you look forward to getting out in pads and playing football and so we did some of that today and that was what we needed.

“We’€™ve got a lot of mistakes that we’€™ve got to correct and move on and a few things we’€™ve got to get straightened out but I think we’€™re hopefully headed in the right direction and we’€™ll just take it day-by-day. It’€™s going to be a long process; we’€™ll just evaluate each day and try to make the most of our opportunities.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2011 training camp, Bill Belichick, football, Mike Wright

Aaron Hernandez lets Chad Ochocinco off easy

07.30.11 at 5:06 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Aaron Hernandez ‘€” even though he’s just entering his second season in the NFL ‘€” knew full well that the first question he was going to get asked Saturday wasn’t about the health of his hip or what he’s doing to avoid a sophomore jinx.

As Hernandez came off the field it was about a particular uniform number he wore in 2010 and won’t be in 2011.

The No. 85 now belongs to Chad Ochocinco, and Hernandez did not even hold Ocho over a barrel for it. But he joked that perhaps he had a little remorse after handing it over just to be a good teammate.

“I don’€™t know, we’€™re playing at a high level, so all of us have a decent amount of money, but I definitely should have, but I didn’€™t and it was just a welcome to the team,” Hernandez said. “I’€™m glad to have him. Hopefully we can get some big things out of him this year, like everybody else. And I thought he may look better and play better in 85 since that’€™s his last name, so why not give it to him.

“As soon as he came in, I saw him smiling. I knew he was going to talk to me about the number. I already knew as soon as they took him that there was a chance he would to want the number. I obviously could have been like, ‘€˜No, I don’€™t want to give it up,’€™ but I’€™m not that type of person. There was 81, the jersey I wanted when I came here, but [Randy] Moss had it so it actually worked out perfectly.”

Told that Ocho was willing to let him drive his Prius for the number, Hernandez seemed ‘€” well ‘€” underwhelmed.

“Maybe the Lambo,” referring to Ocho’s famous matte black Lamborghini.

So, Hernandez gets a new number, the No. 81, which belonged to Randy Moss at this time last year. Jeremy Ross had it at the start of camp this year but that lasted all of two days.

“No, I wasn’€™t giving up 85 unless I could get a decent number,” Hernandez said.

As for the important stuff, Hernandez said that his hip, injured last December against Green Bay, has healed nicely from surgery in February and is ready for the NFL rigors.

“I’€™m doing good,” Hernandez said, adding that the coaching staff was sure to take it slow in the first couple of days to make sure he was ready. “I feel good. I feel ready to play. Just taking it slow. Making sure I’€™m healthy because of the lockout. They weren’€™t keeping an eye on me, so they didn’€™t really know where I was at. But I feel good, I’€™m ready to go.

Hernandez believes there will be no long-term effects of the hip injury. In other words, he’s ready to go full speed.

“Yeah, I’€™m not a doctor but I hope so,” he said.

Read More: 2011 training camp, Aaron Hernandez, Chad Ochocinco, Jeremy Ross

Colts sign Peyton Manning to extension

07.30.11 at 4:09 pm ET
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Peyton Manning finally got his new deal on Saturday, as Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted: OFFICIAL—-WE HAVE A DEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Irsay also tweeted the terms of the deal, which will pay the four-time NFL MVP $90 million over five years. The owner noted that the contract was “cap friendly” and will pay Manning $69 million in the deal’s first three years.

The $18 million a year is equal to what reigning MVP Tom Brady makes and puts him next to the Patriots quarterback as the two highest-paid players in the league. An 11-time Pro Bowler, Manning is set to enter his 14th season since being drafted first overall by the Colts in the 1998 draft.

Read More: 2011 NFL Signings, Jim Irsay, Peyton Manning,
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