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Report: Patriots, Bears were close to a deal that would have sent Greg Olsen to New England

02.08.11 at 3:11 pm ET
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The Patriots and Bears were reportedly close to a deal going into draft weekend last year that would have sent tight end Greg Olsen from Chicago to New England  for a second-round pick, according to a story in Tuesday’s Chicago Tribune. Instead, the Patriots decided to draft Rob Gronkowski out of Arizona in the second round and Florida’s Aaron Hernandez in the fourth round.

The decision not to make the trade and draft the two rookies turned out to be a great one for New England ‘€” while Olsen was an important part of the Bears offense in 2010, catching 41 passes for 401 yards and five touchdowns, the rookie duo of Hernandez and Gronkowski combined for 87 catches for 1,109 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Greg Olsen, Rob Gronkowski,

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: UConn RB Jordan Todman

02.08.11 at 9:00 am ET
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Jordan Todman

Position: Running back

School: Connecticut

Height: 5-foot-9

Weight: 193 pounds

Achievements: Big East Offensive Player of the Year (2010), Second team All Big East (2009)

What he brings: Todman brings tremendous speed and should post one of the better 40-yard dash times among running backs at the combine. An experienced kick returner in his first two seasons at UConn, he only returned two kicks last season. Even so, his athleticism makes him a good option to help out in that area in the NFL. Todman decided to declare for the draft before Randy Edsall’s departure for Marlyand, but at any rate, it seems a team might get a bargain on him as a result of him choosing against a stock-boosting senior campaign. Read the rest of this entry »

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NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Hawaii WR Greg Salas

02.07.11 at 3:46 pm ET
By   |   Comments will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2011 NFL draft.

Greg Salas

Position: Wide Receiver

School: Hawaii

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 210 pounds

Achievements: Third-Team All-American (2010), First-Team All-WAC (2009, 2010), Two-time WAC Player of the Week, led WAC in receiving yards (2010). All-time school leader with 4,345 yards receiving.

What he brings: An ideal package of size, toughness and reliability. Salas does not have elite speed — a 4.6 40 is not a ticket to the first round — and won’t ever be a deep threat in the NFL. His only chance to stick is as a slot receiver, a role he excelled at for Hawaii (as Davone Bess did before him).

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Greg Salas, Potential Patriots,

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady unanimous winner of NFL MVP

02.06.11 at 12:45 pm ET
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was named the unanimous winner of the Associated Press MVP for the 2010 season on Sunday afternoon. It’€™s the first unanimous selection, and second MVP honor of Brady’€™s career.

Brady finished the season with 3,900 passing yards and led the NFL with 36 touchdown passes and only four interceptions. He also finished the regular season with a streak of 335 straight pass attempts without an interception to set an NFL record, and went 11 straight starts without an interception.

“It is always flattering to be chosen for such a prestigious award,” Brady told the Associated Press. “But I also look at it as a team award, as nothing in football gets accomplished without the mental toughness and determination of every player and coach associated with that team.

“I am very humbled to be a part of an organization where winning comes first, and our goals are based around the success of the team.”

Overall, Brady led the NFL in 2010 with a 111.0 passer rating, the second time in his career that he finished the season with a passer rating over 100. The 111.0 passer rating is the fifth best all-time. Brady also set an NFL record by throwing at least two touchdowns without an interception in each of the final nine games of the year, and had at least one touchdown in all 16 regular-season games.

“I feel our team really grew together over the course of the season. It was a privilege to be a part of this team,” Brady said, according to The Associated Press. “My only disappointment is that we couldn’t take advantage of our opportunity in the playoffs, but hopefully we learn from that and use it as motivation toward accomplishing our goals for next season.”

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Curtis Martin comes up short in bid for 2011 NFL Hall of Fame class

02.05.11 at 8:03 pm ET
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Cornerback Deion Sanders and running back Marshall Faulk led a class of seven new inductees into the NFL Hall of Fame. Those two first-time eligible players were joined in this year’s class by tight end Shannon Sharpe, defensive end Richard Dent, linebackers Les Richter and Chris Hanburger and NFL Films founder Ed Sabol.

Former Patriots and Jets running back Curtis Martin, a finalist for this year’s Hall of Fame class, was not selected for entry into Canton. He reportedly made the cut from 15 to 10, but did not make the next round of cuts from 10 to five Hall of Fame inductees.

Sanders, who recorded 53 interceptions in his 14-year career, is regarded as one of the best — if not the best — cover corners of all time. He also proved a dynamic kick and punt returner and occasional wide receiver during his career with the Falcons, 49ers, Cowboys, Redskins and Ravens.

Faulk, the NFL Rookie of the Year in 1994, Offensive Player of the Year from 1999-2001 and league MVP in 2000, was an impact rusher and receiver, finishing his career with over 12,000 rushing yards and more than 6,000 receiving yards. In 1999, he became the second running back ever to go over 1,000 rushing and receiving yards, and he recorded a then-NFL record 26 touchdowns in 2000.

Martin, who started his career with three straight seasons of more than 1,000 yards rushing with the Patriots before jumping to the Jets as a free agent after the 1997 season, had 14,101 rushing yards in 11 seasons, the fourth most yards on the ground in NFL history.

For more on this year’s Hall of Fame class, click here. For complete Patriots coverage, visit

Read More: chris hanburger, Curtis Martin, Deion Sanders, Ed Sabol

Leigh Bodden confident he will recover

02.05.11 at 10:52 am ET
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The Patriots lost cornerback Leigh Bodden before the season started, depriving the Pats of their most experienced player at the position. Bodden told reporters in Dallas that he expects to make a full recovery from a tear in his rotator cuff.

“I have the most confidence in the world; I’m going to have my best season next year,” Bodden told reporters of his recovery. “I’m rehabbing it good, I’m lifting on it. It’s been five months. … “If I was playing in the Super Bowl and had to play, I would play … I feel great. It’s strong. I’ve been lifting on it, not too much heavy weights, but the stability is good.”

The 29-year-old, who entered the season projected as the Patriots’ top cover corner, said that he suffered the injury on his second play during an Aug. 26 preseason game against the Rams. He tried to play through it, and lamented that he likely made the injury worse, resulting in his season-ending surgery in September.

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Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty finishes second in NFL DROY voting to Suh

02.04.11 at 8:16 pm ET
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Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty finished a distant second to Detroit defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh in the voting for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year voting on Friday.

There’€™s no shame, however. At least McCourty got a vote ‘€” in fact, McCourty, who finished the season with seven interceptions, was the only defensive rookie other than Suh to receive a single tally ‘€” in fact the defensive back got two. Meanwhile, Suh nabbed 48 of the 50 votes, becoming the first Lion to grab the honor since Al Baker in 1978.

As for McCourty, he started all 16 games for the Patriots and finished the season with 82 tackles, one sack, two forced fumbles and 17 passes defensed. He tied for second in the NFL and led all rookies with seven interceptions on the season, recording four of them over three consecutive games (Weeks 11-13). The seven interceptions by a Patriots rookie are second only to the eight by Mike Haynes in 1976. In addition, he was named second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press.

‘€œDevin’€™s really been a consistent player for us all year, from the first rookie minicamp after the draft to all through the season,’€ Patriots coach Bill Belichick said late in the 2010 season. ‘€œIn the spring, spring workouts, training camp, preseason, he’€™s really the same guy every day ‘€” very alert, attentive, very professional. You wouldn’€™t know he’€™s a rookie. He acts and prepares like he’€™s been doing it for five or six years.

‘€œHe’€™s very attentive. He understands a lot of little things. When you give him a coaching point, he understands that it doesn’€™t apply to everything (and) it may only apply to one particular situation or one little thing. But when that comes up again, he’€™s usually on it. He’€™s made a lot of improvement.’€

Read More: Al Baker, Bill Belichick, Devin McCourty, Mike Haynes
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