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Patriots tickets will go on sale July 15

06.26.14 at 11:13 pm ET
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The Patriots announced Thursday a limited number of individual game tickets for the 2014 season will be put on sale for the general public on Tuesday, July 15 at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster.

When those tickets are sold, it will mark the 21st consecutive season that the New England Patriots have sold out every game prior to the start of the season. The streak began in 1994, the year Robert Kraft and his family purchased the franchise. Prior to 1994, home games that were not sold out were blacked out in the local market.

The Patriots will enter the 2014 season with a 216-game sellout streak and expect that streak to extend to 226 games by the end of the regular season. The streak includes preseason, regular season and postseason games since the regular season home opener in 1994.

All ticket orders will be processed through Ticketmaster — tickets will NOT be sold at the Gillette Stadium Ticket Office. Ticket orders can be completed online at or by phone by calling 800-745-3000.

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Deconstructing Patriots roster by age, 2014 edition

06.25.14 at 10:00 pm ET
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Tracking the overall age of the Patriots roster is something we’ve done a few times over the last couple of years, and with New England now between the spring workout sessions and training camp, it’s a good a time as any to measure the state of the current Patriots roster, which sits at 90 players. It’s important to remember that these numbers will change between now and the start of the regular season — the team-building process will inevitably bring some shuffling of personnel, while the roster has to be cut from 90 to 53 prior to the start of the year.

As for how these numbers stack up against the rest of the league, if our abacus holds up over the next few days, we should have an answer for you soon. But as it stands right now, here are a few things that stand out about the New England roster from an age perspective:

— The current average age of the Patriots roster is 25.3 years old — the same total at this time last year. Here’s a breakdown by position:

3 quarterbacks — average age: 28
(Last May — average age: 28)

5 tight ends — average age: 24
Last May — average age: 25)

14 offensive linemen — average age: 25.7
(Last May — average age: 26)

8 running backs — average age: 23.5
(Last May — average age: 25)

11 wide receivers — average age: 24.8
(Last May — average age: 25)

4 special teamers — average age: 25.25
(Last May — average age: 25)

6 cornerbacks — average age: 25.8
(Last May — average age: 25)

11 defensive backs — average age: 24.1
(Last May — average age: 25)

16 defensive linemen — average age: 25.5
(Last May — average age: 25)

12 linebackers — average age: 24.9
(Last May — average age: 26)

— The oldest player on the roster is quarterback Tom Brady, who will turn 37 in August. The youngest player is rookie offensive lineman Cameron Fleming, who is 21 and will turn 22 on Sept. 3 of this year. The 16-year differential is the largest age discrepancy on the New England roster since Junior Seau (age 40) and Patrick Chung (age 22) occupied the same roster in 2009.

— Thanks in large part to the fact that Brady is the oldest player on the team by more than three full years — defensive lineman Tommy Kelly is the second-oldest at age 33 — it’s no surprise that the oldest average position for the Patriots is quarterback, which is 28 years old. It’s the third consecutive year Brady will be the oldest player on the New England roster. (The last time Brady wasn’t the oldest player on the New England roster was at the end of the 2011 season, when offensive lineman Brian Waters, defensive lineman Shaun Ellis and running back Kevin Faulk were all on the team at the time, and all older than the quarterback.) We’ve noted this on other occasions, but it’s worth repeating that if Brady can lead the Patriots to another Super Bowl win, he’d be only the fifth quarterback in NFL history to win a Super Bowl after his 35th birthday: Johnny Unitas (37 when he led the Colts to a win in Super Bowl V), Roger Staubach (35 when the Cowboys won Super Bowl XII), Jim Plunkett (36 when the Raiders won Super Bowl XVIII) and John Elway (37 and 38 when he led the Broncos to Super Bowl XXXII and XXXIII titles).

— The youngest positional grouping is at running back, where the loss of the 27-year-old Le Garrette Blount in free agency played a role in allowing the youngest position on the team in September 2013 at 24.25 even younger — the eight running backs currently on the roster have an average age of 23.5, with rookie Roy Finch the youngest player among the backs at 22.

— The Patriots currently have 11 wide receivers on the roster, and their average age is 24.8 years old. That continues a youngish trend that started at the end of the 2012 season — early that season, the Patriots receivers averaged more than 30 when the team added Deion Branch and lost Greg Salas. That average eventually leveled off at roughly 28 years of age that season. Last year, with the loss of Branch and Wes Welker and the addition of youngsters like Josh Boyce, Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins, that number dropped to 25. Now, it stands at 24.8, with Dobson and Jeremy Johnson still just 22 years old. (Dobson will turn 23 next month.) That average will likely rise as the regular season draws closer — most of the back end of the roster guys who will likely be cut loose are on the youngish side — but not by much.

— On defense, the most interesting numbers are at linebacker. Despite the fact that the Patriots lost twentysomethings Brandon Spikes and Dane Fletcher in free agency and added the 30-year-old James Anderson, New England saw the biggest overall dip in average age on defense at linebacker. Last May, the group averaged 26 years old — this time around, they have an average age of 24.9.

— The team currently has nine players on the roster age 30 or older: Brady, Kelly, Vince Wilfork, Will Smith, Logan Mankins, Dan Connolly, Rob Ninkovich, Stephen Gostkowski and James Anderson — four of them are defensive linemen. At this time last year, the Patriots had 11 players on their roster 30 or older.

Julian Edelman talks Darrelle Revis, Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady with NFL Network

06.25.14 at 10:08 am ET
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Julian Edelman appeared on NFL Network’s “Total Access” Monday night, and talked about a wide variety of topics, including Darrelle Revis, Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Here are a few quick highlights:

On Revis:

“Darrelle is one of the best corners in the NFL and he showed that in camp. He did very well. He’€™s a very instinctive player. He’€™s great in the locker room, I like competing against him every day, and it’€™s good to have a player like that.’€

On Gronkowski possibly playing in Week 1:

“Well, I’€™m not a doctor or trainer or anything. I see Gronk in the locker room, he’€™s working hard, doing what he’€™s trying to do. But when Gronk’€™s on the field, he’€™s probably one of the best tight ends in the NFL. It’€™s always great to have him out there and hopefully he will be.”

On Brady wanting to play until he’s 40:

“It wouldn’€™t surprise me. Knowing him the way I know him, I am sure he’€™s just focused on this year. You’€™re going to have to ask him that. The guy is in here, working hard, preparing to the fullest ability, taking care of his body. So you know that he’€™ll definitely have a shot to do it.”

On whether Belichick has watched his “Burgertyme” and “Smoothie Tyme” videos:

“You know, I’€™m sure he did. Because they kind came off his original, I think it was called the Bill PB&J [show] with the two pieces of bread in between with double layers of peanut butter. So I think we actually stole the concept from Bill Belichick.”

On what he remembers from the Patriots’ Week 12 win over the Broncos after being down 24-0 at the half:

“I remember we won. That was a good memory. That we won that one. No, but seriously — at halftime, we couldn’€™t have done anything worse than what we were putting on the field in the first half. We kind of just took it as, ‘We can’€™t get any worse than what we did so let’€™s go out there and just play each series the way we have to and just try to string a couple of consistent drives up,’ and we were able to do that. We played complimentary football in the second half, and came out with the win.”

Click here for video of his Q&A.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Darrelle Revis, Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski

Aaron Hernandez’s double-murder trial scheduled for May

06.25.14 at 9:16 am ET
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Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez on Tuesday was tentatively scheduled by a judge to go on trial in May for the 2012 drive-by shootings of two men.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado after a nightclub encounter in Boston. The trial is set to begin May 28.

Hernandez’s lawyers asked Judge Jeffrey Locke to issue a gag order prohibiting anyone involved in the case to comment outside the court because of the intense media coverage of the murder case.

Attorney James Sultan said during the hearing in Suffolk Superior Court that the defense is concerned Hernandez won’t receive a fair trial because of the widespread media coverage of his indictment in the double-murder as well as the other murder case against Hernandez in the 2013 death of Odin Lloyd. The trial on Lloyd’s death is set to begin in October.

“I think it’s incumbent upon all of us … to do whatever we can to safeguard Mr. Hernandez’s constitutional right to a fair trial and a jury that has not been poisoned by unfairly prejudicial pretrial publicity,” Sultan said.

Prosecutors opposed the request, calling it “unreasonable” and “unwarranted.”

Read More: Aaron Hernandez,

Aaron Hernandez’s lawyers fight search warrant, ask for raw news video from 2013 search

06.24.14 at 9:27 am ET
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Lawyers representing former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez argued in a court filing Monday that photos and videos show a state trooper didn’t have a copy of the search warrant and supporting affidavit when entering his home in 2013. Instead, according to the attorneys, another officer appeared to be holding the warrant.

The lawyers, who are representing Hernandez in his two murder cases, are asking a judge to approve a subpoena for news media copies of raw footage of the incident.

Hernandez is due in court Tuesday for a hearing in a Boston case in which he is being accused of the 2012 drive-by killings of two men.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez,

Patriots sign first-round pick Dominique Easley

06.23.14 at 2:44 pm ET
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The Patriots announced Monday that they have signed their first-round draft pick, Florida defensive lineman Dominique Easley.

The 22-year-old was selected with the 29th overall pick after playing just three games as a senior for the Gators due to a knee injury. The 6-foot-2, 288-pound Martin finished his Florida career with 81 tackles, 5 1/2 sacks and one fumble recovery in 32 games (26 starts).

The Patriots also announced the signing of rookie free agent Chris Martin, an offensive lineman from Central Florida.

Martin, 24, signed with Texans on May 16 but was released 11 days later. A 6-foot-5, 305-pounder, Martin was named to the All-American Athletic Conference second team as a senior after starting 11 games at right tackle and two at left tackle.

Read More: Chris Martin, Dominique Easley,

Numbers game: Tom Brady can move up several all-time statistical lists in 2014

06.23.14 at 1:43 pm ET
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When it comes to covering the NFL, one of the greatest single resource tools is the statistical database at Pro Football Reference. And sparked by the discussion regarding whether or not Adrian Peterson has a legitimate shot at catching Emmitt Smith for the all-time rushing record, we decided to take a look at where Tom Brady stands — at least statistically — when it comes to measuring his individual numbers against some of the best in the game.

Career passing touchdowns — 359, fifth overall.
Like most of the rest of the categories, he’s a step or two behind Drew Brees. In this case, Brees has 363 career passing touchdowns, fourth on the list. However, Brady and Brees should be able to pass Dan Marino within the next two years, as the former Miami quarterback is third  all time with 420. Meanwhile, Brett Favre (508) and Peyton Manning (491) are at the top of the list.

Career passing yards — 49,149, seventh overall.
He’ll likely pass Warren Moon (49,325 career passing yards) relatively early in the season to move into sixth place. Brees is fifth overall at 51,081, and he will almost certainly add to that total in 2014. He and Brady should pass John Elway this year, as the former Broncos QB is fourth overall at 51,475 career yards. After that, it gets a little dicey — the top three are far removed from the rest of the field, at least at this point. Favre is first overall with 71,838 yards, Manning is No. 2 at 64,964, while Marino is third at 61,361. Again, once Manning, Brees and Brady are all done, they will all be in the Top 5 all time, provided they stay on their current pace.

Career passes completed — 4,178, fifth overall.
Brady is part of a top five of Favre (6,300, first), Manning (5,532, second), Marino (4,967, third) and Brees (4,481). Assuming that Brees is going to keep slinging it for at least the next three years, it appears unlikely Brady could pass him, but the Patriots quarterback could pass Marino between now and the end of his career, which would likely have him fourth when he decides to call it a career.

Career passing attempts — 6,586, good for ninth overall.
Brady figures to pass Vinny Testaverde for the eighth spot some time in the first month of the season, as he’s only 115 attempts behind Testaverde. In fact, he could rise a couple of notches on this list, as Drew Bledsoe (6,717, seventh) and Moon (6,823, fifth) are within reach this season. Of course, he probably won’t leapfrog Brees, who is sixth overall at 6,799. For comparisons sake, Favre (10,169) and Manning (8,452) are 1-2.

Career interceptions — 134, 70th overall
When you’re talking about the Brady/Brees/Manning group, one area where he’s better than his contemporaries (although you could say it’s because he’s attempted fewer passes) is interceptions. Among current active quarterbacks, Manning has 219 career picks (19th place on the all-time list), while Brees is second at 177 (38th in NFL history). Eli Manning is third with 171 (43rd on the all-time list), Jon Kitna is fourth with 165. Brady is seventh with 134 career interceptions, 70th overall. Again, by way of comparison, Favre is tops with 336 career interceptions, 59 more than George Blanda, who is second overall at 277.

Career completion percentage (minimum 1,500 pass attempts) — 63.4 percent, 11th overall
One statistical area that’s hard to define is career completion percentage. PFR has a minimum of 1,500 pass attempts needed to qualify, so you see quarterbacks on this list that might not necessarily be considered elite-level signal callers. However, it’s still a good indication of a quarterback’s decision making skills and his comfort level in the offense. At this point, Brady has a 63.4 percent career completion rate, which is 11th on the all-time list. Chad Pennington is the all-time leader with a 66 percent completion rate. Compared to the other lists — including Brady — nine of the top 12 quarterbacks on the list are still active, with Brees (65.9 percent, second), Aaron Rodgers (65.8 percent, third) and Manning (65.5 percent, fourth) rounding out the active quarterbacks who are currently in the top five.

Read More: aaron rodgers, Brett Favre, Chad Pennington, Dan Marino
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