Patriots

Bill Belichick hams it up on NFL Network during combine

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Bill Belichick hams it up on NFL Network during combine


It seemed fair to assume that Bill Belichick would spend the entire offseason with a scowl on his face, but he sure was chummy for at least a few minutes Monday. 

Belichick, who's never been one to embrace media appearances, was plenty affable while on with Rich Eisen and Mike Mayock during the NFL Network's combine coverage. 

The appearance began with Belichick effusively commending the work done by Mayock and the network for providing coverage to fans and teams. He also gave Eisen a check for St. Jude Children's Hospital. 

"I know how hard it is to do a draft board for one team, and that's hard," Belichick said. "You're doing it for 32 teams." 

Belichick recalled interviewing Deion Sanders at the combine while he was with the Giants. Belichick said he asked Sanders how he'd feel about going to a team that already had Lawrence Taylor as its face, to which Sanders responded fans would just have to get used to Sanders being the focus instead. 

Lastly, Belichick said that the Lions set themselves up well by hiring former Pats defensive coordinator Matt Patricia as their head coach. 

"They're going to work hard, I guarantee you that," Belichick said. "Matt's as hard a working guy as I've ever been around. He grinds it. He's smart, too. He put together those rockets there in college. I can't even get my cell phone on." 

Is Robert Kraft "biggest name" charged in prostitution case, after all?

Is Robert Kraft "biggest name" charged in prostitution case, after all?

Those waiting for the other shoe to drop in the Florida prostitution scandal may be stuck holding their breath.

ESPN's Adam Schefter prompted massive speculation Friday by mentioning on "SportsCenter" he was told Robert Kraft is "not the biggest name involved" in a Jupiter, Fla., bust that resulted in the New England Patriots owner being charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution.

The list of "bigger names" than Kraft, the owner of arguably the most visible franchise in North American sports, isn't a long one. So, who the heck was Schefter referring to?

Turns out those close to the investigation are wondering the same thing.

From Deadspin's interview with Palm Beach County state attorney's office spokesman Mike Edmonson:

Deadspin asked Edmondson about a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter saying he’d been “told that Robert Kraft is not the biggest name involved down there in South Florida.” Edmondson responded: “Nobody around here has any idea what [Schefter] is referring to.

Police released a list Friday of 25 people facing charges for their alleged involvement in a human trafficking ring run out of several Florida day spas. Kraft was the only notable public figure on the list, but police added they've identified at least 100 men suspected of paying prostitutes for sex as part of their months-long investigation.

That means it's still possible another high-profile figure gets connected to the scandal. But according to Edmonson, it's also possible we've already seen the biggest bombshell.

Kraft strongly denied any illegal activity in a statement Friday afternoon, but a warrant for his arrest is expected to be issued Monday, so we likely won't have closure on this case for some time.

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Antonio Brown rumors: Patriots still in Steelers' "no-trade zone"

Antonio Brown rumors: Patriots still in Steelers' "no-trade zone"

The Pittsburgh Steelers reportedly are doing everything they can to avoid an Antonio Brown revenge game.

The Steelers would prefer to trade their All-Pro wide receiver to an NFC team for "competitive reasons," ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported Friday.

But if Pittsburgh has to deal with an AFC team, it certainly won't be the Patriots -- New England and the other three AFC North teams are "no-trade zones" for Brown, Fowler reported.

The MMQB's Albert Breer and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac also reported the Steelers have no interest in dealing Brown, who officially requested a trade following a Tuesday meeting with ownership, to their top AFC nemesis in New England.

Pittsburgh general manager Kevin Colbert even suggested as much publicly, albeit in less definitive terms.

"I mean, when you're trading away a player like this who could determine your own record and your own Super Bowl potential, of course you want to not trade him to teams that might be a factor," Colbert said Wednesday, via ESPN.

"But if those teams step up and say, 'Look, we'll give you the best picks or the best players,' then we have to make that judgment. OK, yeah, they're a competitor, but what they're giving us far exceeds what these other folks are willing to do. So will we be selective? It depends on what the compensation is."

The Patriots have beaten Pittsburgh in five of their last six meetings, so it'd be a shock if Colbert agreed to give Tom Brady one of the best offensive weapons in the NFL.

As such, New England also would prefer Brown get dealt out of harm's way to the NFC instead of a potential AFC contender like the Indianapolis Colts.

But if Patriots fans need a big-name receiver to dream about this offseason, we'd suggest Odell Beckham Jr., because Brown almost certainly isn't heading to New England.

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