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Patriots among teams proposing handful of rule changes

03.19.14 at 3:52 pm ET
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There have been 13 new rules proposals made by the NFL’s competition committee, according to league spokesman Greg Aiello, with four of them specifically proposed by the Patriots.

1. Move kickoffs to the 40-yard line.
2. Make personal fouls reviewable.
3. No overtime in preseason games.
4. Extend the goalposts five yards higher. (Proposed by the Patriots)
5. Move the extra-point line of scrimmage to the 25-yard line. (Proposed by the Patriots.) The competition committee is — separately — proposing one preseason game this year where the extra-point snap will take place from the 20.
6. Add six cameras to all boundary lines to supplement TV camera angles. (Proposed by the Patriots.)
7. Allow any officials decision to be challengeable. (Proposed by the Patriots.)
8. Exend “roll-up” block fouls to include blocks from the side, not just from the back.
9. Allow replay communication from field to booth to include a representative from the officiating command center at league office.
10. Make the recovery of loose ball reviewable, and reorganize the replay section of rulebook.
11. Allow clock to run on quarterback sack at all times of game.
12. Elimination of the 1-yard pick zone. Pass interference enforced from line of scrimmage.
13. Simplify the enforcement spot of penalties, such as defensive penalties on loss or on change of possession.

In addition, there were seven bylaws proposed to modify roster cutdowns times (going from 90 to 53), number of players, and increase injured reserve/designated for return. And the use of racial slurs, baiting words, derogatory comments on sexual orientation would be enforced under current rules.

The issues will be taken into consideration for owners to consider at the annual meetings later this month in Florida.

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Oregon State DE Scott Crichton

03.19.14 at 9:38 am 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 2014 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’€™s time for the Patriots to make a selection.


Position: Defensive end

School: Oregon State

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 273 pounds

Achievements: 2013 second-team All-Pac-12, 2012 first-team All-Pac 12, 2011 honorable mention All-Pac 12

What he brings: Scouts point out that Crichton is well built for his position and has a good initial reaction off the snap. They warn, though, that Crichton also lacks flexibility, sometimes causing him a problem when he needs to change direction.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 2

Notes: Crichton had 47 tackles, including 7.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss, in 2013. He led the team with 17.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks in 2012 while making 44 tackles. He set a school record for forced fumbles in a season with six in 2011, when he amassed 74 tackles, six sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss. … Crichton, 22, made a name for himself at the combine by discussing how he decided to enter the draft with one year of eligibility remaining at Oregon State to help his family financially.

Related articles: Family drives Scott Crichton’s will to succeed in the NFL Film study: Anthony Barr, Kyle Van Noy, Scott Crichton, Trent Murphy

The Oregonian: Oregon State’s Scott Crichton: NFL combine 2014 preview

Video: Here is a video of Crichton during Oregon State’s game against Utah in 2013.

Read More: 2014 NFL Draft, 2014 Potential Patriots, Scott Crichton,

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Arkansas C Travis Swanson

03.18.14 at 6:43 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 2014 NFL draft. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’€™s time for the Patriots to make a selection.


Position: Center

School: Arkansas

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 318 pounds

Achievements: 2013 first-team All-America, 2013 second-team All-SEC

What he brings: Considered the best center in the draft, Swanson has ideal size, strength and athleticism to be a starting center in the NFL. He will be able to match up with the bigger nose tackles in the NFL. Swanson doesn’t have elite speed or lateral quickness, but he has above-average athleticism. The 318-pounder is considered strong in the run game and known for being alert.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 3

Notes: Swanson started four years at Arkansas and started all 50 games in which he appeared. He was named a captain during his final two years. … He snapped to current Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallet during the 2010 season. … He was an honor roll student in the fall of 2011.

Related articles:

Associated Press: Swanson lays foundations for success at Arkansas

Times Record: Ex-Hog Swanson confident at NFL combine

Video: Here is Swanson getting interviewed after a Senior Bowl practice.

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Report: Patriots have inquired about Eagles WR DeSean Jackson

03.18.14 at 5:40 pm ET
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The Patriots have inquired about Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson, according to a report from Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.

Citing a league source, the report says the Eagles have taken inquiries on Jackson from the 49ers and Patriots. It’s believed that Philadelphia is seeking “at least a third-round pick and potentially more” for Jackson.

The 27-year-old had 82 catches for 1,332 receiving yards and nine touchdowns last season for the Eagles. In his six seasons in the NFL, he had 356 catches for 6,117 yards and 32 touchdowns, and 57 carries for 373 yards and three rushing touchdowns.

It’s important to remember that “inquired about” is a broad, wide-ranging term that could range anywhere from deep, substantive talks to a 30-second phone call that may or may not have included laughter on the other end of the line. It’s also worth mentioning that Jackson — just two years into a five-year, $51 million extension — is slated to make $10.25 million in base salary in 2014. So make of the report what you will.

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Patriots make Julian Edelman signing official

03.18.14 at 4:21 pm ET
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The Patriots announced Tuesday they have re-signed wide receiver Julian Edelman. Here’s a portion of the press release issued by the team:

Edelman, 27, is a veteran of five NFL seasons with New England after joining the team as a seventh-round draft choice (232nd overall) out of Kent State in 2009. The 5-foot-10, 198-pounder has played in 64 NFL games with 24 starts and has 174 receptions for 1,770 yards and 10 touchdowns; 14 rushing attempts for 83 yards; 26 kickoff returns for 563 yards and 107 punt returns for 1,317 yards with three returned for touchdowns. His 12.3 career punt return average is tied for the fourth-highest in NFL history. Edelman has played in seven postseason games with three starts in his career and has 25 receptions for 248 yards and three touchdowns; two rushing attempts for 10 yards; three kickoff returns for 73 yards and 12 punt returns for 141 yards.

Last season, Edelman played in all 16 regular-season games with 11 starts and led the team with career highs in receptions (105), receiving yards (1,056) and touchdowns (6). He also returned 35 punts for 374 yards for a 10.7-yard average. Edelman also played in both playoff contests with one start in the AFC Championship Game and led the team with 16 receptions for 173 yards and one touchdown and returned five punts for 36 yards.

A quarterback in college, Edelman was converted to a returner and a wide receiver as a rookie with New England in 2009.

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Brandon Spikes takes exception to injury claims: ‘A false report’ by Patriots

03.18.14 at 4:17 pm ET
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Brandon Spikes said Monday the Patriots decision to put him on injured reserve at the end of the 2013 season was a “false report,” and added “that’s just how things go” in Foxboro when it comes to injuries.

The linebacker, who signed a free agent deal with the Bills earlier this month after four seasons with New England, made the statement Monday on WGR Radio in Buffalo.

“I know, I heard they put me on IR and stuff like that. That was just a false report,” Spikes said Monday during a radio interview with WGR in Buffalo. “That’s just how things go there. Almost like what happened with (Aqib) Talib and his hip.

“That was just from the labor throughout the season, man. It was just — you know how it is — it’s a tough 16 games. All I needed was rest and rehab.”

Spikes’ claim was the second in a month from a former player regarding how the team manipulates the injury report. When he signed with the Broncos, Talib said he was listed with a hip injury, but he was quick to say he had no such problem.

“The Patriots have their way of reporting stuff, but I haven’t had a hip problem since Tampa,” Talib said. “The injury I had was actually a quad injury. It was reported as a hip injury, but that’s how they do things.”

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Resetting Patriots depth chart in secondary

03.18.14 at 1:42 pm ET
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To this point in the offseason, no position in New England has undergone more of a change than the secondary. The Patriots have lost cornerback Aqib Talib and strong safety Steve Gregory, but they’ve added Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner. Here’s a look at New England’€™s current depth in the secondary.

Darrelle Revis: The veteran corner, signed earlier this month, figures to fundamentally step into Talib’s old spot as the No. 1 corner who will face off against the lead pass catcher on the other side of the ball. If Revis is that guy, he will face an impressive roster of receivers over the course of the 2014 season, including Mike Wallace (Miami), Reggie Wayne (Indy), Keenan Allen (San Diego), A.J. Green (Cincy), Demaryius Thomas (Denver) and Brandon Marshall (Chicago).

Brandon Browner: As of this point, the veteran figures to be in the mix for the No. 2 cornerback spot. Because of suspensions and health problems, he’€™s only played 20 games the last two seasons, and so he could be a little rusty out of the gate, especially considering that he’€™ll be getting adjusted to a new team, as well as the fact that he’€™ll sidelined the first four games of the 2014 season because of a ban for violating the league policy on PEDs. However, providing he stays healthy, there’€™s no reason to think he shouldn’t be a part of the rotation by the midway point of the season.

Alfonzo Dennard: He’s currently in the home stretch of his jail term in Nebraska, and his future when it comes to playing time could be fluid, with much of it tied to Browner’€™s situation. With Browner out for the first four games, however, he figures to be the No. 2 corner, at least for the short term.

Kyle Arrington: Many of his critics were hopeful that with the acquisition of Browner and Revis, the Patriots were going to get rid of Arrington. No dice — he remains one of the better slot corners in the game, and the pickup of Revis allows him to stay in the slot, a position he’€™s become suited to over the years. Barring injury, look for him there again in 2014.

Logan Ryan: For the most part, the Rutgers product had a very good rookie season, finishing with five picks (best on the team) and looking very comfortable over the course of the year. (He was overwhelmed a bit in the AFC title game against the Broncos, but even with his maturation, was probably playing a little over his head in that contest anyway.) With Revis and Browner in the picture, he figures to get most of his work as the nickel back and in sub packages, at least early on. The good thing is that the Patriots spent the majority of the season with five defensive backs on the field, so he should still get some significant snaps, even if he is bumped down the depth chart.
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Read More: Adrian Wilson, Alfonzo Dennard, Aqib Talib, Brandon Browner
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