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NFL Makes Rule Change Because of the Patriots

NFL Makes Rule Change Because of the Patriots

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- The New England Patriots gained a crucial first down against the Baltimore Ravens in their playoff game in January when running back Shane Vereen lined up as an ineligible slot receiver to confuse the Ravens. If they try that again next season, they will be penalized five yards.On Wednesday, the NFL passed a rule making it illegal for an offensive player wearing an eligible number between 1-49 and 80-89 to lineup outside of the tackle box and report as ineligible. If that were to happen next season, the violating team would be penalized for illegal substitution."Whatever it is, it is," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. "It would affect a lot of other plays, the spread punt formation and stuff like that. Whatever the rule is, it is."According to competition committee co-chair Jeff Fisher, many teams felt there needed to be a rule in place to stop the kind of substitution the Patriots used in the playoffs. Fisher himself said without change, "this may get out of hand."

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Tim Tebow Works Out for Eagles, but Team Doesn’t Plan to Sign Him

Tim Tebow Works Out for Eagles, but Team Doesn’t Plan to Sign Him

Jared Wickham/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Tebowmania experienced a sudden jolt on Monday as Tim Tebow surprised the NFL world by working out for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Despite the workout, ESPN is reporting the Eagles have no plans to sign the former Heisman Trophy winner.

Tebow last appeared in an NFL regular season game when he was with the New York Jets back in 2012. He did spend time with the New England Patriots in 2013, but was cut before the regular season started.

A true media magnet, Tebow was one of the greatest college football players of all time while he was with the Florida Gators.

He was a first-round pick by the Denver Broncos back in 2010, and even led the team to a division title in 2011. Despite his success, his erratic and unorthodox style never quite fit in the NFL, and he's been unable to gain many opportunities to continue his pro career at the quarterback position.

Tebow completed 47.9 percent of his passes for 2,422 yards with 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions during his pro career, while rushing for 989 yards and 12 scores.

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Revis Returns to the Jets

Revis Returns to the Jets

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After spending the last two seasons with the New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, cornerback Darrelle Revis is returning to the New York Jets, according to ESPN.ESPN reports Revis receives a five-year, $70 million contract -- $39 million guaranteed. That makes him the highest-paid cornerback in NFL history.Revis, 29, helped the Patriots win their fourth Super Bowl of this century last season.

I want to thank the Pats and Pats Nation for an unbelievable year. NEW YORK I'm coming home. #revisisland #jetnation pic.twitter.com/KQE3Yc1orz

— Darrelle Revis (@Revis24) March 11, 2015

The Patriots could have picked up a $20 million option on the four-time All-Pro for the 2015 season but declined. Revis then became a free agent at 4 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday before agreeing to join the Jets.During Revis' six seasons with the Jets, he made four Pro Bowls. The phrase "Revis Island" was also created referring to his ability to shut down an opposing teams' best receiver. In 2013, Revis was traded by the Jets to Tampa Bay for first and fourth-round picks. Revis then signed a six-year, $96 million contract with the Bucs. He stayed in Tampa for only one season before joining the Patriots. Revis played in all 19 games for the Pats last season, recording 53 tackles, 18 passes defended, three interceptions, and one forced fumble.

 

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Patriots Decline $20 Million Option on Revis

Patriots Decline $20 Million Option on Revis

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(FOXBORO, Ma. ) -- Darrelle Revis is free to sell his services to the highest bidder once again.

The New England Patriots declined a $20 million dollar contract option on the All-Pro cornerback Monday, allowing Revis to enter free agency.

Revis's original team, the New York Jets are believed to be very interested in reuniting with their 2009 first round pick.  The Jets traded him in 2013 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a first-round and what would eventually be a fifth-round selection. The Jets selected defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson with the first-rounder in 2013.

The Patriots continue to actively negotiate with Revis after recently re-signing defensive back Devin McCourty to a five-year, $47.5 million contract. 

New England filed tampering charges against New York in January after Jets' owner Woody Johnson stated he would "love for Darrelle to come back."

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Report: Patriots Re-Sign Devin McCourty

Report: Patriots Re-Sign Devin McCourty

iStock/Thinkstock

(FOXBORO, Ma.) -- The New England Patriots are keeping the lynchpin of their secondary at home in Gillette Stadium.

Devin McCourty has agreed to a five-year, $47.5 million dollar contract with the Super Bowl champions, with $28.5 million guaranteed, according to multiple NFL sources.

"To me, it was just hitting certain numbers I wanted. I felt like myself, my agents and the Patriots worked together. We got it done," McCourty told the Boston Herald. "I think it was no secret. I told everyone I wanted to be back. It was a business, and I felt the business side got done."

McCourty, 28, has had eight interceptions and five forced fumbles over the past three seasons.

With one key member of the Patriots secondary secured, the attention shifts to Darrelle Revis, who the New England can exercise a $20 million dollar roster option on until Monday. If the team declines the option, Revis will become a free agent.

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Vince Wilfork Becomes Free Agent, Pats Deny Option

Vince Wilfork Becomes Free Agent, Pats Deny Option

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(FOXBOROUGH, Mass. ) -- Veteran defensive end Vince Wilfork announced on Thursday that he will be a free agent when the new league year starts on Tuesday.

The Patriots decided not to pick up the option on Wilfork and was due a $4 million roster bonus on March 10.

"I'm in a good place," Wilfork wrote in his statement. "I have a great relationship with the Patriots organization. Please know how blessed my family and I have been to be able to play 11 years in New England for an amazing organization. "

"New England has been and always will be my home," Wilfork continued. "I will take my time, think things through, take into consideration many things, but mainly my family and see where life goes from there. ...But regardless, remember, I will always remain a New Englander, a Patriot forever."

Wilfork won two Super Bowl titles during his 11 years with New England.

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ESPN: Patriots Attendant Attempted to Put Unapproved Football in AFC Championship Game

ESPN: Patriots Attendant Attempted to Put Unapproved Football in AFC Championship Game

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The New England Patriots have won Super Bowl XLIX, but the "Deflate-gate" non-troversy plods along.

According to "Outside the Lines," 48-year-old Jim McNally, a Patriots locker room assistant, attempted to insert a non-approved kicking ball into the AFC Championship game.

The referee assigned to the game, Walt Anderson, followed standard procedure by marking footballs during pre-game inspection.  McNally attempted to hand a non-marked football to alternate official Greg Yettle on the sideline during the game.  

Yettle found the practice to be odd, as locker room attendants do not have ball handling responsibilities during the game.  Yettle then informed Mike Kensil, the NFL vice president of football operations, who was residing at the stadium in the press box.

The NFL is currently investigating the incident.

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Report: Wes Welker Considering Retirement

Report: Wes Welker Considering Retirement

Hyoung Chang/Denver Post

(DENVER, Co.) -- After twelve years of professional football, Wes Welker is considering walking away from the game.

The Denver Broncos wide receiver is undecided about his future after a season in which he suffered his latest concussion and saw a significant decline in his on-field production, according to Fox Sports' Mike Garafolo.

Welker was suspended two games after a positive drug test revealed amphetamines in his system. 

In the preseason, Welker suffered his third known concussion and his role was reduced after free agent signee Emmanuel Sanders flourished with the Broncos. 

Last season Welker caught 49 passes for 465 yards and two touchdowns across 14 games. Through his career with the Dolphins, Patriots and Broncos, Welker has totaled 890 catches for 9,922 yards and 50 touchdowns.

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Patriots’ LeGarrett Blount Explains Marshawn Lynch Shirt

Patriots’ LeGarrett Blount Explains Marshawn Lynch Shirt

David Dermer/Diamond Images/Getty Images(NEW ENGLAND) -- During the New England Patriots' Super Bowl victory parade in Boston, running back LeGarrette Blount was seen holding up a t-shirt mocking Seahawks running back, Marshawn Lynch.

Pictures went viral of Blount holding up a shirt that read "B***h Mode" with the No. 24.  

Blount took to Twitter to explain his actions.

"About this shirt...Just so ppl know, I have 100% respect for @MoneyLynch and how he plays the game. There's a reason he's called #BeastMode," he wrote.

In the Patriots win over the Seahawks, Blount carried the ball 14 times for 40 yards.

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Pete Carroll Denies Reports About Changing Final Play of Super Bowl

Pete Carroll Denies Reports About Changing Final Play of Super Bowl

Whitney Curtis/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll denied all reports that he changed the final goal-line play in Sunday's Super Bowl loss against the Patriots from a run play to a pass.

Carroll and the Seahawks will be seeing Malcom Butler's game-sealing interception play over and over again, until they get back to work next season.

"There was not a thought about running it, and then I changed the play," Carroll said Monday when reports said that he went with a throwing play so Marshawn Lynch wouldn't get a chance at the MVP. "That did not happen."

Carroll said that he didn't have any problem with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell's call.

"There's no reservation in [the call], and don't make it out like there is," Carroll said Monday. "First off, Darrell is an incredible playcaller. He's done a fantastic job. We are so lucky to have him. He has been absolutely instrumental in what we have done. He is an awesome guy on our staff and crucially important to our future, as well."

"And let me say this, too," Carroll continued.  "We don't ever call a play thinking we might throw an interception.  I don't ever think that, just like [the 11-yard TD pass to Chris Matthews] with six seconds to go in the half. We go with what we know. There was not a thought in my mind that we would make a mistake on [the interception] play. It was a tremendous play by the guy on the other side."

Carroll gave credit to Butler for making the play on second down, but wouldn't second-guess himself.

"One of those downs we were likely to throw the ball and maybe two of those downs," Carroll said, "depending on how we had to save the clock to get in all of our plays. It wasn't just run the ball. That wasn't what the thought was."

Seattle has opened up as the favorite to win Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco.

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Brady Wins 3rd Super Bowl MVP

Brady Wins 3rd Super Bowl MVP

Jim Rogash/Getty Images(GLENDALE, Ariz.) -- After leading the New England Patriots to a Super Bowl XLIX victory over the Seattle Seahawks, quarterback Tom Brady was named Super Bowl MVP for an NFL record third time, tying Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana.

Brady completed 37 of 50 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns, including an 8-for-8 65-yard drive late in the fourth quarter to give the Patriots the lead with two minutes remaining in the game.  The drive would ultimately end up putting the Pats ahead for good.

Tom Brady joins Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to win four Super Bowl titles.

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Seahawks Are Early Favorites for Super Bowl 50

Seahawks Are Early Favorites for Super Bowl 50

Scott Boehm/Getty ImagesGLENDALE, Ariz. -- Despite losing Super Bowl XLIX to the New England Patriots, the Seattle Seahawks are early favorites to hoist the Lombardi Trophy next year.

According to The Westgate Superbook and the William Hill sports book, the Seahawks are 5-1 favorites to win Super Bowl 50 heading into the NFL offseason.  The Patriots, who defeated the Seahawks 28-24, in Super Bowl XLIX, are 6-1 favorites to win next year's Super Bowl.

Other notable teams are: Green Bay Packers (7-1), Denver Broncos (8-1), Indianapolis Colts (12-1), and the Dallas Cowboys (14-1). The Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers are both at 20-1 odds to win.

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Belichick Collects 4th Super Bowl as Head Coach

Belichick Collects 4th Super Bowl as Head Coach

Jim Rogash/Getty Images(GLENDALE, Ariz.) -- With his team's victory over the Seattle Seahawks Sunday night, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has joined Chuck Noll in a very exclusive club: the only head coaches in NFL history to win four Super Bowl titles.

Belichick's legacy consists of leading the Pats to nine AFC Championship games and four Super Bowl victories in six appearances, all in a 13-year span with New England.

In Belichick's 20-year coaching career, he has a regular season record of 211-109, and a 21-9 postseason record.

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Patriots Owner Wants Apology if No Findings in Deflate-Gate

Patriots Owner Wants Apology if No Findings in Deflate-Gate

iStock/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) -- New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft says the NFL will owe the team an apology if its investigation into deflated footballs doesn't find any wrongdoing on his team's part.

"If the Wells investigation is not able to definitively determine that our organization tampered with the air pressure on the footballs, I would expect and hope that the league would apologize to our entire team and, in particular, coach [Bill] Belichick and Tom Brady for what they have had to endure this past week," Kraft said during an news conference on Monday.

Attorney Ted Wells, along with NFL executive vice president Jeff Pash, are heading up the investigation.

The league found that 11 of the 12 footballs used during the Patriots' 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game were not inflated by the minimum level of 12.5 pounds per square inch, according to ESPN. In that game, Brady passed for 226 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

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ESPN: 49ers Name Mangini Defensive Coordinator

ESPN: 49ers Name Mangini Defensive Coordinator

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The San Francisco 49ers signed Eric Mangini to a three-year contract as their new defensive coordinator, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.Mangini served as the 49ers tight ends coach last season, but has experience coaching defenses. He served as the New England Patriots' defensive backs coach from 2000 to 2004 before becoming their defensive coordinator in 2005.Mangini takes over for Vic Fangio, who is now the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears.Mangini also has five years' experience as a NFL head coach. He spent three seasons with the New York Jets and two with the Cleveland Browns, compiling a 33-47 record while making one playoff appearance.

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Seahawks’ Lane Doesn’t Think Gronkowski’s “That Good”

Seahawks’ Lane Doesn’t Think Gronkowski’s “That Good”

Elsa/Getty Images(RENTON, Wash.) -- Many people would probably tell you that New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is one of the main reasons the Patriots have been so successful this season, but Seattle Seahawks starting nickleback Jeremy Lane isn't one of them."I actually don't think he's that good," Lane said. "He's OK. He does have a big body. But from what I've seen on tape, he doesn't like you putting your hands on him. So if we put our hands on him and shake him up a little bit, he won't catch that many balls."Gronkowski finished this season with 82 catches, 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns, but Lane believes if he hits Gronkowski at the line of scrimmage, the 6-foot-6, 265 pound All-Pro will have problems being productive."It's definitely an issue with him from watching tape," said Lane.The 24-year-old Lane has played in seven games for the Seahawks this season, compiling 23 tackles, three passes defended and one forced fumble.

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Deflate-gate: Patriots Coach Says He Has ‘No Explanation’ for Under-Inflated Balls

Deflate-gate: Patriots Coach Says He Has ‘No Explanation’ for Under-Inflated Balls

Leon Halip/Getty Images(FOXBOROUGH, Mass.) -- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said on Thursday that he was "shocked" when he heard that the NFL found 11 of 12 footballs deflated that were used in their 45-7 AFC Championship game win over the Colts on Sunday.

Belichick said that the organization is still cooperating with the NFL as the investigation continues.

"When I came in Monday morning I was shocked to learn of the news reports about the footballs," Belichick said.  "I had no knowledge whatsoever of the situation until Monday morning."

"I would say I've learned a lot more about this process than I knew or talked about it in the last 40 years," Belichick continued.  

Belichick said that when the team practices, he makes sure that they play with the worst footballs.

"We never use the condition of the footballs as an excuse," Belichick said.  "We play with whatever or kick with whatever we have to use and that's the way it is."

Belichick said that the team would take the steps to avoid footballs being below the NFL standard.

Footballs, which are weighed before the game, must be inflated to no less than 12.5 pounds per square inch.

"The National Football league is investigating the situation," Belichick said.  "We have cooperated fully, quickly, and completely with every request they have made."

The Patriots are preparing for a Super Bowl showdown with the defending champion Seattle Seahawks. 

Chicago Bears equipment manager Tony Medlin will organize the football process for the Super Bowl.

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Report: Eleven of 12 New England Patriots Game Balls Were Under-Inflated

Report: Eleven of 12 New England Patriots Game Balls Were Under-Inflated

Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- The New England Patriots had 11 of their 12 allotted game footballs during Sunday’s AFC Championship game under-inflated, ESPN reports, citing league sources.

The NFL's spokesman declined to address the report.“We are not commenting at this time,” said Greg Aiello, the NFL’s senior vice president of communications.According to ESPN’s report, the footballs used by the Patriots were reportedly under-inflated by two pounds per square inch. Footballs, which are weighed before the game, must be inflated to no less than 12.5 pounds per square inch.A deflated ball could be easier for the quarterback to grip in bad weather, like in Sunday's rain at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. New England won the game 45-7.Each team provides 12 new Wilson Official NFL footballs for referees to check before games, with additional balls available for backup or at the away team’s discretion. The minimum disciplinary action for tampering of a football is a fine of $25,000, according to the NFL’s game operations manual.The controversy around “deflate-gate” has taken attention away from the Super Bowl, which features the Patriots playing against the Seattle Seahawks.

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Patriots Wilfork Rescues Motorist After Sunday’s Game

Patriots Wilfork Rescues Motorist After Sunday’s Game

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(FOXBOROUGH, Ma.) -- New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork has had a few moments this season that have been defined as heroic.

After Sunday's win over the Indianapolis Colts, Wilfork had a truly heroic moment when he helped pull a woman out of her car after it overturned on Route 1 outside of Gillete Stadium.

"Some good times and I was just lucky to help, that was it," Wilfork said. "I don't want anything from it. If I saw it a million times, I'd do it a million times."

The accident occurred shortly before 1 a.m. Monday morning when Wilfork and his wife noticed the overturned car.  After calling for police assistance, Wilfork climbed onto the car and pulled the woman out with one arm.

Police then arrested the woman for driving under the influence of alcohol and negligent operation of a vehicle.

Teammates of Wilfork found out about the story through news reports Monday afternoon.

“You’re not really surprised with a guy like Vince,” wide receiver Matthew Slater said. “He’s been a pillar here in this franchise and a character guy, and really when you get to know the man, he’s all about giving back. He has such a big heart, and he cares about the people in this community.”

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Chuck Pagano: ‘Did Not Notice’ Deflated Footballs

Chuck Pagano: ‘Did Not Notice’ Deflated Footballs

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Colts head coach Chuck Pagano said on Monday that he "did not notice" any deflated footballs that were being played with in their 45-7 loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday.

The NFL has opened up an investigation into whether the Patriots used deflated game balls in their win.

"That's something for the league to handle," Pagano said.  "It's not my place to comment on it."

The league's rulebook says game balls must be inflated with between 12.5-13.5 pounds of air. 

"If any individual alters the footballs, or if a non-approved ball is used in the game, the person responsible and, if appropriate, the head coach or other club personnel will be subject to discipline, including but not limited to, a fine of $25,000," the rule states.

New England will take on the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl 49 in Arizona on Feb. 1.

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