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Aqib Talib on Tom Brady-Peyton Manning debate: ‘You’ve got to go Peyton Manning’ 05.28.14 at 10:59 am ET
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Who’s the better quarterback: Tom Brady or Peyton Manning? It’s the popular question that has consumed football fans for the last decade and has led to countless heated debates on TV and radio and even in the workplace.

Aqib Talib thinks he knows the answer.

The former Patriots cornerback, who signed a six-year, $57 million deal with Manning’s Broncos this offseason, told NFL Network that he thinks Manning — the reigning MVP — is a better quarterback than his former teammate in New England.

“You’ve got to go Peyton Manning,” said Talib, who was named the No. 79 overall player in the 2014 in the network’s Top 100 players series. “Tom is a good friend of mine … what’€™s up Tom, baby?

“[Manning] had an awesome year. He tore it up. He like set the record for touchdowns. He beat Tom in the AFC championship. You’ve got to give it to Peyton. Tom knows — that’€™s my dog, man, he knows.”

Talib said it’s “definitely a different scenery” in Denver.

Another cornerback likely to join Talib on that list is Patriots newcomer Darrelle Revis, whom the Patriots opted to sign on a one-year deal rather than give Talib a long-term contract.

“[Bill Belichick] sure didn’t want to give me that money, so hey, man, he gave it to Revis,” Talib said. “It is what it is.’€

Talib also commented on Wes Welker, who ended the corner’s season in the AFC championship game with a big hit in the middle of the field that infuriated Belichick.

“Man, me and Wes, we’re good, man. It’€™s a football play, man,” Talib said. “It just so happened it happened on a stage in the AFC championship game. I watched the play 1,000 times. I’€™m sure Wes didn’t do it on purpose.”

Read More: Aqib Talib, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady,
Reports: Patriots cleared of wrongdoing regarding injury reports 04.25.14 at 8:26 am ET
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The Patriots have been cleared of any potential wrongdoing when it comes to injury reports, according to multiple media outlets.

Both Aqib Talib and Brandon Spikes took their shots at the franchise on the way out the door, saying that the team played fast-and-loose with how it reports injuries. However, an NFL spokesman said the Patriots were acting within the rules regarding Talib and Spikes.

“It was determined that the Patriots complied with the injury report procedures regarding both players,” NFL Senior Vice President of Communications Greg Aiello wrote in an email to ESPN.

“€œI know, I heard they put me on IR and stuff like that. That was just a false report,”€ Spikes said shortly after he signed with the Bills. “€œThat’€™s just how things go there. Almost like what happened with 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. 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.

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

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Aqib Talib, Brandon Spikes,
Takeaways from our Thursday afternoon talk with Devin McCourty 04.24.14 at 9:43 pm ET
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FOXBORO –€” In addition to the news the defensive backs continue to try and build some semblance of chemistry, here are three other takeaways from our Thursday afternoon chat with Devin McCourty.

1. There’s no update on a new deal.

McCourty is going into the final season of a contract he signed as a rookie in 2010, but isn’t sweating his future.

“I don’t even worry about it,” he said when asked about his contract situation after 2014. “I just focus on playing football and let everything else (get) handled by my agents and the team and all that.”

2. It means something to him that he’s associated with Rutgers.

While everyone in the New England locker room displays some level of pride in their school, McCourty has been a tremendous advocate for Rutgers over the last few years. He’s maintained a high profile on campus, coming back frequently for Pro Days and workouts. (He lamented that he didn’t make it back for Pro Day this spring.) He said Thursday that it’s important for him to keep his ties to his alma mater.

“For me, it’s key, because I think that university played a huge part in my life,” he said of Rutgers. “Some of my best friends, I met there. One of the good things is that every time we go back we get to reconnect and have some fun. I just love the program. Just seeing them, now moving to the Big 10, I got to check out one of the spring practices. It’s an exciting time for them. I know they’re ready to go. I just love being a part of it. Just anything I can do to help, I’m always there to help out.”

McCourty was asked about the current group of pre-draft prospects from Rutgers, including wide receiver Brandon Coleman.

“He’s probably the most interesting (one),” McCourty said of Coleman. “The thing I loved about him is his work ethic. I remember one summer, I went back there and we were just doing 1-on-1s and 7-on-7s with those guys and he was going each time. If one of the NFL guys got up there, he would go just to get the work. I’m happy for him, getting a chance to live out his dream.

“Really, all those guys,” he added. “They work hard there. I know whether it’s here or somewhere else, those guys will land somewhere and they’ll work their butt off trying to keep a job.”

3. The only thing constant in the NFL is change.

With the addition of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner and loss of Aqib Talib and Steve Gregory, the secondary has undergone the most personnel changeover to this point in the offseason. McCourty talked about the changes:

On Gregory: “Steve is a smart football player. A guy who is always in the right spot. A guy who is a playmaker. He was big for us the last two years when he was here. He made plays. He’d kind of that older figure who has a lot of knowledge and had a lot of football games under his belt and has been able to just push us the right way. It just stinks a little bit — but that’s the business of football. Since I’ve been here, we’ve always had guys coming in and guys going, so, nothing new. Just wish him the best and hope he lands with another team.”

On Talib: “The same thing. A very good football player who has played very big for us in the last two years. But the business is the business. You just wish him the best in Denver — not that good, of course. But hope he does well. We’re happy for him.”

Read More: Aqib Talib, Brandon Browner, Brandon Coleman, Darrelle Revis
Ty Law: Hall induction would be ‘icing on the cake’ as far as career with Patriots 04.16.14 at 7:24 pm ET
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For Ty Law, it’€™s the chance to bring a legendary career full circle.

The cornerback, who is one of three finalists for the Patriots Hall of Fame, admitted Wednesday that when it came to how things ended with the franchise, it was a less than ideal scenario.

After playing 10 years with New England, he left as a free agent following the 2004 season. He ended his career with brief stints with the Jets, Chiefs and Broncos (and retired following the 2009 season), but it was a bittersweet final act for one of the best defensive backs of his era.

“€œI’€™d be the first one to admit now, I’€™m older, wiser, more mature, that if I could have done something all over again, I would have tried my damnedest to stay in New England and finish my career,” he said on a conference call with New England media.

“€œNot that I have any regrets about the teams that took me in as far as the New York Jets, Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs — I’€™m thankful for the opportunity. I think I said this early in my career; I would have loved to start and finish my career with the Patriots. Unfortunately that didn’€™t happen, but if I had to do it all over again, I would have made more effort to stay a Patriot.”

Now, Law has the opportunity for a final farewell. It was revealed Wednesday that he’€™s one of three finalists for the Hall of Fame, a class that includes cornerback Raymond Clayborn and former coach Bill Parcells. (Fans can vote on the finalists for the next month at Patriots.com.)

Law was a three-time Super Bowl Champion (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX), a four-time Pro Bowl player (1998, 2001, 2002, 2003) and a two-time All-Pro (1998, 2003) during his tenure with the Patriots. Law tied Clayborn’€™s career franchise-record with 36 interceptions and finished with the most interception-return yards in team history with 583

Law, who said he was “€œspeechless”€ when he was informed that he was a finalist, said, ‘€œit would mean a lot’€ if he gets the nod.

“€œIt will put the icing on the cake, as far as my playing career with the Patriots, and give some validation to me that I’€™m appreciated by the fans, they still care for me and they show me that with my business on and off the field and it just puts a stamp of approval [from] Patriot Nation,”€ he said. “€œI’€™m really humbled by that to even be considered with the great Bill Parcells and Raymond Clayborn, who was such a great player and spent so much time in New England. I’€™m honored just to be considered and on the list with those two guys.”
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Read More: Aqib Talib, Bill Parcells, Patriots Hall of Fame, Raymond Clayborn
Resetting list of Patriots and their own free agents 04.09.14 at 1:04 pm ET
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With Matthew Mulligan agreeing to a deal with the Bears on Tuesday, here’s an updated look at the Patriots 2014 free agent class. If you’re scoring at home, of its 12 free agents, New England has retained four and lost five, while three remain on the market.

Long snapper Danny Aiken: Signed a one-year deal to return to New England.
Running back LeGarrette Blount: Signed a two-year deal with Pittsburgh.
Defensive end Andre Carter: Free agent, but has expressed an interest in returning.
Wide receiver Austin Collie: Free agent.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman: Signed a four-year contract to return to New England.
Linebacker Dane Fletcher: Signed a one-year deal with Tampa Bay.
Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui: Signed a two-year deal to return to New England.
Tight end Matthew Mulligan: Singed a one-year deal with Chicago.
Linebacker Brandon Spikes: Signed a one-year deal with Buffalo.
Offensive lineman Will Svitek: Free agent.
Cornerback Aqib Talib: Signed a six-year deal with Denver.
Center Ryan Wendell: Signed a two-year deal to return to New England.

Read More: 2014 nfl free agency, Andre Carter, Aqib Talib, austin collie
Updates on Patriots rules proposals, Michigan’s Jeremy Gallon working out for New England and other notes from league meetings 03.25.14 at 2:57 pm ET
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ORLANDO — A few picked-up pieces to report from the NFL’s annual meetings in Central Florida:

1. The proposal to extend the goal posts by an extra five feet “seems likely to pass” when voted on Wednesday, according to Judy Battista of NFL.com. An initiative sponsored by Bill Belichick and the Patriots, the coach said Tuesday that the idea of doing it certainly seems like a no-brainer. “Virtually every kicker at the combine can kick them over the top of the goal posts [and] some of those guys aren’€™t even going to be in the league,” Belichick said Tuesday morning when asked about the idea. “I’€™d say every kicker can do that.” In addition, the other three proposals proposed by the Patriots are also scheduled to be voted on by the owners Wednesday.

2. In other end-zone related news, the league announced Tuesday it will penalize players who dunk on the goal posts in 2014. In the past, the league has cracked down on group celebrations, as well as using the football as a prop, so it would appear that this is the next step in the process. In addition, it was announced Tuesday that the NFL officiating department will help referees rule on instant replay reviews starting next season. Referees will now be allowed to consult with director of officiating Dean Blandino and his staff — who will be monitoring games from the league offices in New York — to help determine whether a call should be upheld or overturned.

3. This doesn’t have anything to do with the goings on in Florida, but according to a league source, wide receiver and special teams coaches from New England were in Ann Arbor on Tuesday to work out wide receiver Jeremy Gallon. The 5-foot-8, 187-pound Gallon has put up impressive numbers over the last two years with the Wolverines, including 89 catches for 1,373 yards and nine touchdowns in 2013. He also posted good numbers as a return man, compiling 589 yards on 27 kick returns in 2010, and 192 yards on 31 punt returns in 2011.

4. Broncos coach John Fox was asked about the courtship process that brought former Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib to Denver, as well as comment on his thoughts on Talib as a player.

“œWe had an offer on the table to [Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie]. They were working through it. I don’€™t get involved in this stuff’€”this is agents and [Director of Football Administration] Mike Sullivan. It’€™s scholarships with price tags,” Fox said. “We obviously are an appealing place but the reality is it comes down to the contract, usually. We were all over that and then it flipped and we were very pleased to get Aqib.”

On Talib as a player: “€œHe’€™s long, he’€™s fast, he’€™s quick, he’€™s tough. The only real negative is he had some off-the-field issues early in his career. I knew him even when I was in Carolina and he was in Tampa. I knew their coaches there pretty well. You get a pretty good feedback on players when you’€™re in the division’€”even on other teams. I knew how he grew, got married, started a family and matured.”

5. Reports continue to link running back Maurice Jones-Drew to the Patriots, with one story saying that Jones-Drew was going meet with the Patriots, Steelers, Dolphins and Jets this week in Orlando. (Jones-Drew has already apparently met with Pittsburgh, but has not received an offer from the Steelers.) It remains to be seen how all of this will play out — given the Patriots depth at running back, as well as the current state of the market, you would have to think they’d be more inclined to bring back LeGarrette Blount at a cut rate price instead of likely investing more in Jones-Drew. (Jones-Drew could also sit out until the summer to see if the market shifts and he’s able to play one team against each other in hopes of reaching the reported $3 million annually he’s seeking.) But it’s certainly a situation that bears watching going forward for Patriots fans — even if he doesn’t land in New England, two of the three other teams reportedly in the hunt for the diminutive back are in the division.

Read More: 2014 nfl annual meetings, Aqib Talib, Bill Belichick, Dean Blandino
Resetting latest on Patriots and their own free agents 03.20.14 at 3:53 pm ET
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Just over one week into free agency, here’s a status update on each of New England’s free agents:

Long snapper Danny Aiken: Signed a one-year deal to return to New England.
Running back LeGarrette Blount: No updates.
Defensive end Andre Carter: Carter has left the door open for a possible return — he expanded on his feelings in a recent interview with ESPN — but he remains in limbo, at least at this point.
Wide receiver Austin Collie: No updates.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman: Signed a four-year deal to return to New England.
Linebacker Dane Fletcher: Signed a one-year deal with Tampa Bay.
Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui: Signed a two-year deal to return to New England.
Tight end Matthew Mulligan: No updates at this time, but a league source has expressed to WEEI.com some optimism the Maine product could return to the Patriots in 2014.
Linebacker Brandon Spikes: Signed a one-year deal with Buffalo.
Offensive lineman Will Svitek: No updates, but like Mulligan, league sources expressed a belief that the Patriots would welcome him back at a fair market rate.
Cornerback Aqib Talib: Signed a six-year deal with Denver.
Center Ryan Wendell: No updates.

Read More: 2014 nfl free agency, Andre Carter, Aqib Talib, austin collie
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