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Patriots release defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick

05.13.13 at 5:16 pm ET
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The Patriots released Brandon Deaderick Monday afternoon, cutting ties with the defensive lineman who was a seventh-round pick of New England in 2010.

Deaderick is a veteran of three NFL seasons with the Patriots after originally joining the team out of Alabama in 2010. The 6-foot-4, 305-pounder, has played in 34 games with 14 starts and has registered 51 total tackles, five sacks and two forced fumbles. He has also played in six postseason games, adding 11 tackles and one sack. Last season, he played in 14 games with five starts and registered 14 tackles, one sack  and two forced fumbles.

Part of a positional rotation on the defensive line the last few years — he actually started five of the last six games of the 2012 season, and played roughly 50 percent of the snaps in that stretch — his release could be tied to the fact that the Patriots added CFL exports Armond Armstead and Jason Vega, as well as veteran defensive lineman Tommy Kelly this offseason.

In addition to the release of Deaderick, the Patriots announced that they had cut wide receiver Andre Holmes. Holmes, 24, was signed to the New England practice squad on Jan. 8. He originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Vikings out of Hillsdale in 2011. The 6-foot-4, 223-pounder, was released by Minnesota after training camp in 2011 and was signed to the Cowboys practice squad. Holmes was signed to the Dallas 53-man roster late in the 2011 season, but was inactive for the final four games of the season. He made the Dallas 53-man roster out of training camp in 2012 and played seven games, registering two receptions for 11 yards.

In addition, the Patriots added veteran free agent offensive lineman Tyronne Green and rookie free agent R.J. Mattes. Green, 27, is a veteran of four NFL seasons with the Chargers (2009-12) after joining the team as fourth-round (133rd overall) draft pick out of Auburn in 2009. The 6-foot-2, 316-pounder, has played in 41 NFL games with 28 starts at both guard positions. Last season in San Diego, Green started 13 games at left guard. Mattes, 23, was a four-year starter at both guard and tackle at North Carolina State. The 6-foot-6, 313-pounder was named a second-team All-ACC as a senior in 2012.

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For a change, Patriots coaching staff should have familiar look

05.13.13 at 2:31 pm ET
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Bill Belichick has always maintained that the only thing in the NFL that’€™s permanent is change, but barring a sizable late-spring surprise, for the first time since Belichick took over in 2000, the Patriots will not have a significant offseason alteration to their coaching staff.

Last year, the coaching changes (an annual event around Foxboro) were announced on May 10, so you never say never. But with the first steps of preparation for the 2013 underway — the rookies recently finished up their minicamp, and the teamwide OTAs and minicamps are set for later this month and early next month — the current staff would appear to be pretty locked in going forward.

The Patriots almost always have one of the smallest coaching staffs in the NFL, and this season will likely be no exception — including Belichick, they currently have 17 coaches on staff. (By way of comparison, that’€™s the fewest total in the AFC East: the Jets have 20 coaches, while the Bills and Dolphins have 21 each.)

It’€™s a group that includes coordinators Josh McDaniels (offense) and Matt Patricia (defense) coming back for the second straight year. If both stick — and again, there’€™s no reason to think otherwise — it’€™ll mark the first time since 2007-2008 seasons where the Patriots will have the same coordinators in place in back-to-back years. They’€™ll join a crew of assistants that includes Pepper Johnson (linebackers), Patrick Graham (defensive line), Chad O’€™Shea (wide receivers) and George Godsey (tight ends).

They will join several veteran coaches who are regarded as some of the best in the game in their particular area, a group that includes Ivan Fears, who will be going into his 12th season as New England’€™s running backs coach; special teams coach Scott O’€™Brien, who will be going into his fifth season with the Patriots and his 23rd overall year in the NFL; and Dante Scarnecchia, New England’€™s offensive line coach who took over his current duties in 1999 and has been working in the NFL in various capacities since 1982.

When you consider the stability inherent in the Patriots’€™ power structure, it’€™s remarkable when you consider the amount of turnover the Patriots have had on their coaching staff. Part of it is the transitory nature of the business, while some of it has to do with New England’€™s run of success over the last decade-plus.
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Bengals hope to take a page from Patriots with two-tight end approach

05.13.13 at 11:58 am ET
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Since they arrived as rookies in 2010, the Patriots have been able to utilize the dynamic skill set of tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez in a way that has kept defensive coordinators struggling to keep up. When healthy, the combo has created havoc for opposing teams, as New England has effectively presented two-tight ends sets that are difficult to defend, particularly when faced with the prospect of a steady and consistent running game.

So it was no surprise to hear this weekend that other teams have started studying how to best utilize two young tight ends in passing games of their own. This offseason, the Bengals added former Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert as a first-round pick, joining an offense that also already had Pro Bowler Jermaine Gresham. On the surface, it’s easy to make the physical comparisons: Eifert is a more physical presence like Gronkowski, while Gresham is more of a fluid, pass catcher — a tight end in a wide receivers’ body.

Speaking with reporters over the weekend, Cincinnati offensive coordinator Jay Gruden was reticent to make any sort of comparisons to the Gronkowski-Hernandez combo, saying that, “We’re not the Patriots. We’re the Bengals and we’re going to do what we do with our players.” But he did allude to New England’s two-tight approach later, and added that how much the Cincy offense will resemble the Patriots is up to the rookie.

“If Tyler is a good blocker, that puts us in a good advantage in the run game,” Gruden told Dan Pompei of The National Football Post. “That’s what New England does so well. They get teams to match up nickel with them and they can run the ball effectively out of that two tight end set. They have an extra big body blocking. Tyler has a long way to go to prove he’s a good blocker. Training camp will help him. Coach [Jonathan] Hayes has been around tight ends for a long time and is a great tutor for him.”

Patriots agree to terms with OG Tyronne Green

05.13.13 at 11:00 am ET
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The Patriots have agreed to terms with offensive guard Tyronne Green, according to Green’s agents. The 6-foot-2, 316-pounder was a fourth-round pick of the Chargers in 2009, and he started 28 career games for San Diego, including 13 at left guard last year.

The move certainly makes sense from a depth perspective, as New England lost Donald Thomas this offseason — the primary backup to starting guards Logan Mankins and Dan Connolly. In a perfect world for the Patriots, Green would step into the role Thomas occupied last season as someone who provide depth at either guard spot or start in a pinch. Expect him to battle Nick McDonald for playing time right out of the gate.

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By the numbers: Taking a look at some new Patriots veterans and their digits

05.10.13 at 6:30 pm ET
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Last week, we took a look at what some of the numbers for the Patriots rookie class. Now, with the help of the Patriots website, we know what numbers some of the new veterans will be wearing, as well as news on one number change. With the understanding that these numbers can change between now and the start of the regular season — Andre Carter and Dont’€™a Hightower are examples of two guys who changed their digits between the spring and start of the season — here’€™s a look at who is currently wearing each number, and some of the recent history behind those digits:

Danny Amendola: 80. A good start to Amendola’€™s career in New England by landing Troy Brown‘€™s number. (Of course, it didn’€™t help those who wore the number in the wake of Brown’€™s retirement, a group that includes Jeremy Ebert and Visanthe Shiancoe, so who knows if it’€™ll help.) But seeing a fearless, undersized receiver in the slot should at least help Tom Brady feel familiar.

Kyle Arrington: 25. The slot corner wore No. 24 for the first few years of his career in New England, but may have been persuaded to switch to Patrick Chung‘€™s old number after new Patriots defensive back Adrian Wilson promised a warehouse full of diapers to the new father if he would give up No. 24, his old number with the Cardinals.

Jake Ballard: 88. The tight end was on the shelf for the entire 2012 season after suffering a knee injury, but it’€™s been a favorite of popular guys in the locker room over the last decade-plus: Sam Aiken (2008 and 2009), Kyle Brady (2007) and Christian Fauria (2002 through 2005) have all worn the number.

LeGarrette Blount: 29. The newcomer and former Boise State (and Tampa Bay) running back inherits No. 29 with the Patriots. The last guy to wear the number was defensive Sterling Moore. In addition, defensive back Tony Carter, old pal Shawn Springs and Lewis Sanders all wore the number the last few years.

LaVelle Hawkins: 83. Fair or not, lofty expectations come with this number, which has been one of Brady’€™s faves over the last 10-plus years. Hawkins, a recently-signed free agent wide receiver inherits No. 83 from Wes Welker, who had the number from 2007 through 2012. Prior to that, Deion Branch had No. 83 from 2002 through 2005. Good luck living up to that standard, Mr. Hawkins.

Michael Jenkins: 10. A good, under-the-radar number for New England receivers. Tiquan Underwood had it in 2011, while Jabar Gaffney had it from 2006 through 2008. Kevin Kasper had it for a spell in 2004.

Mike Kafka: 8. Kafka, who currently sits as the No. 3 quarterback on the depth chart, takes over the No. 8 from Brian Hoyer, who wore it as the No. 2 quarterback in New England from 2009 through 2011. Punter Josh Miller also had it from 2004 through 2006.

Tommy Kelly: 93. The No. 93 was worn with distinction by defensive lineman Richard Seymour from 2001 through 2008 before he departed for Oakland via a Labor Day weekend deal in 2009. Defensive end Andre Carter also did the number proud, switching to No. 93 after spending the 2011 preseason with No. 68.

Kenbrell Thompkins: 85. This number has had an uneven run the last couple of years — Brandon Lloyd had it last season, and Chad Johnson had it in 2011. Aaron Hernandez had No. 85 in his first season in the league before switching to No. 81 in a trade with Johnson prior to the start of the 2011 season. Tyson DeVree (2008) and Doug Gabriel (2006) also wore No. 85.

Leon Washington: 33. Like No. 24 and No. 80, No. 33 has a special place in recent Patriots history, as running back Kevin Faulk had it from 1999 through 2011. Faulk reportedly have Washington his permission to don the number.

Adrian Wilson: 24. As we said earlier, Wilson wrangled the number from Arrington. Ty Law was the most memorable No. 24 in franchise history, as he wore it from 1995 through 2004.

Running down Patriots rookie class and their representation

05.10.13 at 8:00 am ET
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With draft picks throughout the league starting to sign contracts, it’s not too early to look at the Patriots draft class and their status. To kick off New England’s signing season, here’s a look at each draft pick, their respective representation, some information on their agency’s history (possibly involving the Patriots), as well as contractual information from the same pick from the 2012 draft. The information is based on the latest paperwork filed with the NFLPA.

Second round (52nd overall): OLB Jamie Collins, Southern Miss: Collins is repped by James “Bus” Cook and Donald Weatherall. Cook is perhaps most famous for serving as the agent for former quarterback Brett Favre, another Southern Miss product. (With that in mind, it was interesting to hear Collins talk about receiving career advice from Favre as part of the pre-draft process. Saying he was just trying to “get the scoop on how things go” during the predraft process, he went fishing with Favre, and he said the quarterback texted him multiple times during the pre-draft process.)

The 52nd overall pick in the 2012 draft was linebacker Zach Brown out of North Carolina, who was taken by Tennessee. Per Rotoworld, he signed a four-year, $3.858 million contract that was worth $2,201,413 guaranteed — a $1,246,036 signing bonus and Brown’s base salaries in years one and two. 2013: $565,377, 2014: $740,754, 2015: $916,131.

Second round (59th overall): WR Aaron Dobson, Marshall: Dobson’s agents are Isaac Conner and Chad Speck. The 59th overall pick in 2012 was defensive end Vinny Curry — also out of Marshall — who was selected by the Eagles. According to reports, Curry signed a four-year, $3.23 million deal that included a $807,950 signing bonus and has base salaries of $493,720 (2013), $697,440 (2014) and $751,160 (2015).

Third round (83rd overall): CB Logan Ryan, Rutgers: One of three picks out of Rutgers, Ryan is represented by Neil Schwartz and Jonathan Feinsod, who are perhaps best known for their work with Bucs cornerback Darrelle Revis. They have worked with the Patriots on behalf of a handful of clients over the years, including running back Mike Cloud. The 83rd pick in 2012 was wide receiver Mohamed Sanu — also out of Rutgers — who signed a four-year deal with the Bengals. According to Rotoworld, that deal was worth $2,713,252. The contract included a $563,252 signing bonus, and base salaries of $490,000 (2013), $590,000 (2014) and $680,000 (2015).

Third round (91st overall): DB Duron Harmon, Rutgers: According to the Sports Agent Blog, Harmon is repped by Rodney Edwards of Goal Line Sports. Edwards has represented several former Patriots in the past, including defensive linemen Bobby Hamilton, George Bussey and Myron Pryor. Last year’s 91st overall pick was Southern Miss tackle Lamar Holmes, who went to the Falcons. Holmes signed a four-year, $2.633 million contract that included a $533,600 signing bonus.

Fourth round (102nd overall): WR Josh Boyce, TCU: Boyce is represented by Carter Chow (the son of well-known college football assistant Norm Chow) who works as part of the firm Yee & Dubin, which reps well-known Patriots like Tom Brady and Julian Edelman. (In fact, Boyce was able to connect with Brady when he cae to Foxboro on a visit using the fact that they have the same agency as an ice-breaker.) Kirk Cousins was taken by the Redskins with the 102nd overall pick in the 2012 draft, and the Michigan State product signed a four-year, $2.5 million deal with Washington.

Seventh round (226th overall): DE/OLB Michael Buchanan, Illinois: Buchanan has Fletcher Smith as his agent. Last year’s 226th pick was center David Molk out of Michigan, and he signed a four-year, $2.16 million deal with the Chargers.

Seventh round (235th overall): LB Steve Beauharnais, Rutgers: Beauharnais is represented by Brian McLaughlin and Mook Williams of Symmetry, which is headquartered out of Boston. The Patriots also had the 235th pick of the 2012 draft, and chose wide receiver Jeremy Ebert out of Northwestern. Ebert signed a four-year contract worth a total of $2.148 million, which included a $48,200 signing bonus.

Read More: Aaron Dobson, Duron Harmon, Jamie Collins, Josh Boyce

Ryan Clark: Tom Brady toughest QB out there

05.10.13 at 12:35 am ET
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Earlier in the week, he made headlines for suggesting that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady “sees ghosts” when he’s pressured, but Steelers safety Ryan Clark said Thursday that “ghosts or no ghosts,” Brady is still the best in the business.

“I have to go with the greatest living American, and that’s Tom Brady,” Clark told ESPN when asked about the toughest quarterback he has to face. “You know, I said what I said, and I do believe it, and it’s true. But when this guy has the opportunity to set up and throw the ball to his receivers, there’s nobody better at pinpointing guys out and making plays for his team.”

Check out the video below for his full statement:

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