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Report: NFL proposing massive changes in dealing with cases of domestic violence 08.28.14 at 4:09 pm ET
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In the wake of harsh criticism for the way it handled the Ray Rice incident, the NFL is hoping to implement sweeping changes in how it deals with domestic violence. In a letter to NFL owners, commissioner Roger Goodell is proposing a six-game suspension for a player’s first offense and a lifetime ban from the league for a second offense.

The letter from Goodell, which was obtained by ESPN, reads in part:

“In the past few weeks, I have reviewed all aspects of our Personal Conduct Policy and met with a wide range of experts (several of whom we have been working with for some time), as well as with the NFLPA and many of you. Those discussions will continue. They have helped us to identify a number of steps that will better communicate our position and strengthen our policies on domestic violence and sexual assault.

“These steps are based on a clear, simple principle: domestic violence and sexual assault are wrong. They are illegal. They have no place in the NFL and are unacceptable in any way, under any circumstances. That has been and remains our policy.”

Goodell continues:

“Domestic violence and sexual assault are wrong. They are illegal. They are never acceptable and have no place in the NFL under any circumstances.

“A first offense will be subject to a suspension of six weeks without pay. Mitigating circumstances will be considered, and more severe discipline will be imposed if there are aggravating circumstances such as the presence or use of a weapon, choking, repeated striking, or when the act is committed against a pregnant woman or in the presence of a child. A second offense will result in banishment from the league; an offender may petition for reinstatement after one year but there is no assurance that the petition will be granted. These disciplinary consequences apply to all NFL personnel.”

The announcement brought this response from the NFLPA:

“€œWe were informed today of the NFL’€™s decision to increase penalties on domestic violence offenders under the Personal Conduct Policy for all NFL employees. As we do in all disciplinary matters, if we believe that players’€™ due process rights are infringed upon during the course of discipline, we will assert and defend our members’€™ rights.”

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

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Where does Gillette stack up against rest of NFL venues when it comes to age? 06.02.14 at 12:57 pm ET
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When Roger Goodell was asked last week about the possibility of Foxboro hosting a Super Bowl, he was incredibly diplomatic, acknowledging the process to land the game was getting “more and more difficult.” What was left unsaid was the fact that when it comes to getting a new Super Bowl, more often than not, you need to build a new facility.

That appears to be something of a long shot, at least as it relates to the Patriots. But while it’s unlikely the franchise would move out of Gillette any time soon — in fact, the Patriots have spent the bulk of the offseason expanding the office space — it did get us wondering about just where Gillette stands when it comes to the comparable age of the NFL venues. Opened in 2002, it’s one of 12 stadiums built and opened in the 2000s that is still in operation. With the opening of Levi’s Stadium this fall in California, it will be ninth-newest on the list of newest stadiums as it heads into its 13th season. By way of comparison, the oldest stadium still in operation is Soldier Field, which opened in 1924 (but underwent a massive renovation roughly a decade ago and reopened in 2003). At this point, MetLife is the only one that has opened in the 2010s — Levi’s will join that group this fall.

Here’s a look at the complete breakdown:

– Built in the 1920s (1)
Soldier Field (1924)

– Built in the 1950s (1)
Lambeau Field (1957)

– Built in the 1960s (2)
O.co (1966), Qualcomm (1967)

– Built in the 1970s (3)
Arrowhead Stadium (1972), Ralph Wilson Stadium (1973), Superdome (1975)

– Built in the 1980s (1)
Sun Life Stadium (1987)

– Built in the 1990s (9)
Georgia Dome (1992), Edward Jones Dome (1995), Everbank Field (1995), Bank of America (1996), FedEx Field (1997), Raymond James (1998), M&T Bank (1998), LP Field (1999), FirstEnergy Stadium (1999)

– Built in 2000s (12)
Paul Brown Stadium (2000), Heinz Field (2001), Invesco Field (2001), Ford Field (2002), CenturyLink Field (2002), Gillette Stadium (2002), NRG Stadium (2002), Lincoln Financial Field (2003), University of Phoenix (2006), Lucas Oil Stadium (2008), TCF Field (2009), AT&T Stadium (2009)

– Built in 2010s (2)
MetLife Stadium (2010), Levi’s Stadium (2014)

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Roger Goodell on Super Bowl in Foxboro: Winning bid to host becoming ‘more and more difficult’ 05.29.14 at 8:43 pm ET
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FOXBORO — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t sound very optimistic Thursday when he was asked about the possibility of Gillette Stadium as a future Super Bowl site.

Speaking with reporters following an appearance at the team’s first Mom’s Football Safety Clinic, the commissioner acknowledged that it’s becoming very difficult to win a Super Bowl bid for several reasons.

“You know, it’s something that … again, the ownership just finished doing that,” Goodell said. “We awarded a Super Bowl to Minnesota, something that if this community decides it wants to do … it’s competitive. This process is getting more and more difficult, because everybody wants one of these events. We had a great experience in New York, and it’s something that we’ll take up with the membership at some point.”

One thing that the commissioner did not mention is the fact that in this environment, it’s almost par for the course that you have to build a new stadium to land a Super Bowl. New Jersey and Indianapolis did it after building new stadiums, while Minnesota’s new place is set to go up shortly. And Atlanta’s appears to be a lock to host in 2019 after their new venue opens in 2017.

As a result — even in the wake of last February’s relatively successful outdoor game at MetLife in North Jersey — it’s likely a long shot that the Super Bowl will be awarded to Gillette, as it’s still relatively new compared to many current NFL facilities.

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

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Roger Goodell: ‘Process is important’ when it comes to case of Jim Irsay at 8:27 pm ET
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FOXBORO — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell angrily answered charges from NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith Thursday, who accused the commissioner of being party to a credibility gap when it comes to disciplining owners and players.

Smith was referring to the recent case involving Colts owner Jim Irsay, who was arrested in March for allegedly operating a vehicle while intoxicated. In addition, Irsay was allegedly in possession of $29,000 and prescription drugs that weren’t in his name, according to police reports. He has yet to be disciplined by the league.

“The commissioner understands that there is a significant credibility gap that exists in the National Football League,” Smith told ESPN. “What troubles our players is the speed and the deliberateness of the punishment that they have seen in the past when it comes to a player. There isn’t the same speed or deliberate action when it comes to an owner, and that’s a problem.”

“That’s ongoing, and like I said before, the personal conduct policy applies to commissioners, owners, players, coaches,” Goodell said when asked initially about Irsay. “It applies to all of us. We all have a responsibility to do things the right way. Yes, it’s ongoing.”

Goodell added that there are “several players” who face murky futures because of ongoing issues. In those cases, the league has yet to rule.

“We’d like to get the facts. We’d like to be thorough. And we’d like to understand them,” he added. “Charges were just filed last week. So … I don’t believe there’s a credibility gap. Judge us when we make our final determination, which we undoubtedly will. And so will everybody else. That’s fair. But don’t make judgments until we’ve had the opportunity to do what’s in the best interest of everyone, which is get the facts.

“Everybody wants process. DeMaurice Smith talks about process all the time. Process is important.”

Read More: DeMaurice Smith, Jim Irsay, roger goodell,
Mike Florio on M&M: Patriots might be better off passing on Aqib Talib and making a run at Darrelle Revis 03.04.14 at 12:05 pm ET
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Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com checked in with Mut & Merloni on Tuesday to discuss news from around the NFL, including speculation that the Patriots might be interested in acquiring Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Florio suggested that Revis could be on the move prior to March 13, when he’s due to receive a $1.5 million check, and a 2014 fourth-round draft pick the Buccaneers sent to the Jets in last year’s trade would become a third-rounder.

“Those two things combined suggest that if there is going to be a move, it’s going to happen by next Thursday or it’s not going to happen at all,” Florio said. “That’s what it comes down to — it’s not going to happen if it doesn’t happen by the 13th. And the question becomes, can some other team persuade the Buccaneers to make the move. Last year it was the Jets wanting to move Revis. This year the thinking in league circles is that there are other teams that would like to shake Revis away from Tampa.”

Two teams Florio mentioned as potential landing spots are the Patriots and Broncos.

“I’ve heard from someone I trust very much the speculation that it is the Broncos and the Patriots who are trying to stir this ‘Revis can be/Revis will be/Revis could be,/Revis should be traded’ idea, to put the idea in the Buccaneers‘ heads to move on from Darrelle Revis. Would the Broncos or the Patriots like to have a shot at him? I believe they would. Does that mean the Buccaneers are ready to trade him? No. ‘€¦ The question is convincing the Glazers [who own the team] to do it. But they’re going to save $16 million in cash if they do it.”

Meanwhile, the Patriots passed on franchising Aqib Talib as they try to determine if it’s worth spending big money to keep the free agent cornerback in New England.

“I think Talib at least is going to get an $8 million-a-year offer, if that’s what [Brent] Grimes is getting from the Miami Dolphins,” Florio said. “And the problem for the Patriots — and this is an Aaron Hernandez offshoot — you can’t give a big chunk of money to a guy with a history of off-field issues less than a year after Aaron Hernandez blew up in your face. You just can’t do it.”

Florio doubted that Talib would take a hometown discount to return to Foxboro.

“Are the days still around where somebody would take less to stay with the Patriots? I don’t know that that vibe exists anywhere except maybe in Seattle. And it would be more somebody taking less to join the Seahawks than someone taking less to stay with the Seahawks,” he said. “So, I think they’re going to have to compete with the highest bidder. And if the Patriots don’t compete with the highest bidder, then he could very well be going elsewhere.

“And when you’re in a position where from a PR standpoint it’s very difficult to give a guy a bunch of guaranteed money on the hope that he doesn’t revert to the things he was doing in Tampa, allegedly or actually. That’s a big risk to take. And other teams don’t have that same PR risk.”

Added Florio: “That’s where this whole Revis thing comes from. When you think about what it’s going to cost to keep Talib on a long-term deal, what the costs are from an off-field risk standpoint, it’s very easy to get yourself to the point where you can justify making a run at Revis. And you throw in the icing on the cake of sticking it to the Jets. Because one of the reasons the Jets traded Revis last year was to get him out of situation where he could walk out the door and sign with the Patriots as a free agent this year. For him to end up with the Patriots would be the ultimate kick in the pants to the New York Jets. And I’m sure that the Patriots would like to be able to pull that off. If they think it’s a good football move, you throw on top of that tweaking the Jets, and they’re not going to feel bad about doing that.”

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Read More: Aqib Talib, Danny Amendola, Darrelle Revis, Julian Edelman
Peter King on M&M: Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito situation ‘sounds almost like it’s the battered-wife syndrome’ 11.08.13 at 1:17 pm ET
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Sports Illustrated’s Peter King made his weekly appearance on Mut & Merloni on Friday to talk about the disturbing situation with the Dolphins as well as Patriots news.

The Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin saga seems to take a new turn every day, with Incognito getting support from teammates after being suspended by the team for his treatment of his fellow offensive lineman.

“It’s too easy to say Incognito ought to be sentenced to 10 years with Miss Manners or something, or to say Martin is wrong — or one of them is wrong, one of them is right. There’s fault on each side,” King said. “Honestly, I can’t get past Incognito and the name-calling. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know what other walk of life, what sort of band of brothers [in which] it’s OK to call a person with one white parent and one black parent a half-N-word. I can’t get past that.”

The Dolphins organization has been criticized for its handling of the matter, but King said management might have been in the dark as to the extent of the problem because Martin apparently was hesitant to address it with anyone.

“That’s the problem here — I don’t know that he ever did. I’m not sure that Jonathan Martin went to any person in the organization,” King said, adding, “It sounds almost like it’s the battered-wife syndrome, where you don’t want to tell anybody because you think that’s just going to make it worse.”

Looking at the future for the players, King said he thinks both will return to the league.

“If Richie Incognito is cut at some point and he serves whatever suspension he’s served either by the Dolphins or the league, if he has the ability to come back at any point this year, in my opinion, I think he’ll be signed by a playoff contender, and I think he’ll play down the stretch,” King said. “There might be some guys who look at him like, ‘We’ll go on the field together, but don’t talk to me. I don’t want to know you.’ But I think that football, and contending in football, and the NFL playoffs, and stories like this, they make strange bedfellows. And I think that a desperate team that might need a guard is going to call him.

“Having said that, you ask about Martin, Martin is one of those guys who, he is going to play football somewhere, and he’s going to be welcomed back by a segment of the locker room, but there’s also going to be a segment of whatever team he goes to who’s going to think he’s a rat. And that’s all there is to it — fair, unfair, whatever. You know that guys in NFL locker rooms now are going to brand this guy as somebody who went outside the family to share his problems and to try to get his problems fixed.

“You and I and any normal person outside NFL locker rooms would say, what kind of help is he going to get, what kind of relief is he going to get telling Richie Incognito, ‘Hey, please stop picking on me.’ Or stop laughing about it, and all that. I think he will go back, but I think it will be a tough road for him.”

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Read More: Jonathan Martin, Peter King, Richie Incognito, roger goodell
Rob Gronkowski has ‘no reaction’ to Aaron Hernandez, Alfonzo Dennard or his back 07.11.13 at 5:54 pm ET
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In Boston to sign copies of his book “Growing up Gronk” Thursday at the Prudential Center, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski held a very brief session with reporters. Not surprisingly, Gronkowski was asked his opinion about the Aaron Hernandez murder case, the arrest of Alfonzo Dennard and the rehab on his surgically repaired back.

Gronkowski, who had back surgery on June 18, was asked two questions about the content of his book before reporters began a series of questions on the controversies regarding the Patriots and behavior in the NFL.

Q: Any reaction on the arrest of your colleague, Alfonzo Dennard?

A: Nah, I got no reaction at all.

Q: What about Aaron Hernandez?

A: I got no reaction at all, just here about the book.

Q: How is your back?

A: I got no reaction about that right now, either.

Q: Looking forward to the season?

A: I can tell you this, I’€™m in great spirits and I’€™m enjoying life a lot more. I can tell you that right there.

Q: Does the NFL have a problem with players off the field, getting in trouble?

A: Ask [commissioner] Roger Goodell.

Q: Do you think there is a problem with players off the field?

A: You have to ask Roger. He’€™s been in the business for a while now, so he’€™ll know, from when he started to where he is now. Roger that.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Alfonzo Dennard, New England Patriots, nfl
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