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Despite recent workouts, Willie McGinest says he’s not coming back as a player … but dropped a major hint for the Patriots 06.11.11 at 11:01 pm ET
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Willie McGinest is a busy guy these days.

The former Patriots linebacker was tutoring some players before the draft, a group that included Fresno State linebacker Chris Carter. He’s involved in several businesses out West. And in addition to his regular work as an analyst on “Total Access” on the NFL Network, he also recently took part in some workouts with the Detroit Lions, workouts that raised the eyebrows of some around the league when he busted out with this statement:

“We’re going to see if I get offered a contract now,” the 39-year-old McGinest told the Detroit Free Press. “After I send this tape out to a few teams, we’re going to see.

“Thank God I was in shape and I was able to do all the stuff,” he added. “It was a different type of workout, though. I’ve never experienced something like this with the Art of Strength. It was less football work, but it was a lot of core conditioning, getting the heart rate up. And talking to (trainer Mike Knight), this is one of those workouts they would implement like one or two days a week out of the other regular stuff you do as a changeup, which was good for me.”

Turns out McGinest isn’t making a return to the game, at least not as a player. On Saturday, McGinest issued the following statement through his publicist, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press which can be seen here and here: ‘€œEven though I looked as good as I did, this number 55 has been retired for three years and plans to stay retired. The only thing that will bring me back is a one day contract with New England to retire as a Patriot.’€

Read More: Chris Carter, Dave Birkett, Willie McGinest,
VOTE: Tell us which free agent the Patriots should go after this offseason 06.10.11 at 1:25 pm ET
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Gotten a lot of feedback from the “Free-Agent Snapshot” series we’ve been running over the last month or so. Here are direct links to the players we have profiled so far:

Defense
Matt Roth
Cullen Jenkins
Mathias Kiwanuka
Manny Lawson
Jason Babin

Offense
Santana Moss
Brad Smith
Billy Yates
Donte Stallworth

We want you to chose No. 10. Below is a list of candidates. If you don’t see your favorite, feel free to add him in the comments section. (Can’t pick a player who is currently on the Patriots’ roster, like Kevin Faulk or Matt Light.) The winner will be profiled early next week.

Read the rest of this entry »

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BenJarvus Green-Ellis tops interesting study from Pro Football Focus 06.10.11 at 12:56 am ET
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The fellas over at Pro Football Focus have put together an interesting study,  measuring a running back by examining the strength of schedule. Author Mike Clay looked at the top 40 rushers in terms of carries, and, in his words, “normalized each player’€™s yards-per-carry and touchdown rate marks to reflect what they would’€™ve been had they played a league average schedule each week of the 2010 season.”

Using that formula, the biggest difference between a running backs’ actual numbers and the adjusted numbers came from Patriots’ running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Green-Ellis started 11 games and led the Patriots with 1,008 yards on 229 carries and an average of 4.4 yards per carry last season. But according to PFF’s study, when you put those same carries against a statistically “average” team, he finishes with 1,109 yards and an average of 4.6 yards per carry, the best differential of any back in the study. Brandon Jackson, Michael Bush, Cedric Benson and Fred Jackson round out the Top 5.

Read More: BenJarvus Green Ellis,
Robert Kraft sounds optimistic, but adds that there’s ‘a lot left to solve’ 06.09.11 at 3:45 pm ET
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Patriots owner Robert Kraft sounded an optimistic note on Thursday afternoon regarding recent talks between the players and owners, but added that there’€™s still ‘€œa lot left to solve’€ when it comes to ending the lockout.

‘€œWe’€™re talking about how we improve the game and how we solve our problems and the only issue is how do we get football back, no other agendas,’€ he told reporters. ‘€œI think thats a very positive thing, but we still have a lot of hard work to do. A lot left to solve. At least we’€™re there talking to one another.

‘€œThe good news for me is both sides care about ‘€” having the union and the players involved there and the owners and the commissioner, we all care about the health of this game long term and thats our sole focus, so building on that is gratifying.’€

The lockout, which will reach its’€™ 90th day on Friday, is the longest work stoppage in NFL history.

Read More: lockout, Robert Kraft,
Ellis Hobbs calls his stint with the Eagles ‘awkward’ 06.09.11 at 1:50 pm ET
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Ellis Hobbs told us the other day that he’s in no hurry to decide on a possible return to the NFL, but it doesn’t sound like the unrestricted free agent is going to be back with the Eagles. Hobbs, who was traded to Philadelphia from New England following the 2008 season in a draft-day deal, lamented that things were simply “awkward” between him and the Eagles over the last two seasons.

“The thing I had in Philadelphia was so fast and so awkward. They had starters there, so it wasn’t the best situation for me, and then, with the injury, it was difficult,” said Hobbs, who suffered a second serious neck injury last season which put his career in doubt. “Everything was very awkward ‘€” they knew of me and my history, but there wasn’t much of a personal relationship there.”

Hobbs added that one of the issues he had was going from a veteran-based team like the Patriots to one focused on younger players like the Eagles.

“They based their structure on being being a younger team, and I was used to dealing mostly with veterans. It’s just a different run organization,” Hobbs said. “It’s not a bad thing, because they win, but when you come from something that was so structured, it was hard to cross over and see things from another perspective. When you are with a team that has Brady, Bruschi, Seymour, Vrabel, Faulk, guys like that, it’s hard to make that kind of adjustment.”

Read More: Eagles, Ellis Hobbs, Patriots,
Patriots’ single-game tickets for 2011 season will go on sale July 15 06.08.11 at 5:41 pm ET
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The Patriots announced Wednesday afternoon that individual game tickets to their home games this year will be made available for sale through Ticketmaster on Friday, July 15 at 10 a.m. Those tickets will be released for sale through Ticketmaster. Visa will once again be the only form of payment accepted for Patriots tickets.

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 ticketmaster.com or by phone by calling 800-745-3000. Once again, all phone and online orders must be made exclusively with a Visa credit or debit card.

NFL and NFLPA issue brief statement on this week’s meetings 06.08.11 at 3:45 pm ET
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The NFL and the players have issued a brief joint statement regarding the meetings they’ve had this week in hopes of reaching an agreement: “NFL owners and players have engaged in further confidential discussions before Chief Magistrate Judge Boylan this week. Those discussions will continue.’€

According to the reports, the following attendees at this week’€™s meetings: Commissioner Roger Goodell and labor committee members Jerry Richardson (Carolina), Clark Hunt (Kansas City), Robert Kraft (Patriots), John Mara (New York Giants) and Dean Spanos (San Diego). Representing the players: DeMaurice Smith, Kevin Mawae, Jeff Saturday, Mike Vrabel, Tony Richardson and Domonique Foxworth.

Read More: lockout, Robert Kraft,
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