Patriots

Report: Antonio Brown won't be placed on the Commissioner's Exempt list

Report: Antonio Brown won't be placed on the Commissioner's Exempt list

The New England Patriots were already getting Antonio Brown ready to play in Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins despite questions about his potential availability. But now, it's looking likely that he will suit up.

According to Dan Patrick, Brown will not be placed on the Commissioner's Exempt list.

Brown is the subject of a civil lawsuit filed against him on Tuesday accusing him of rape and sexual assault. There was some buzz about the potential of Brown being placed on that exempt list, but as of Thursday, the NFL hadn't indicated that they were going to discipline Brown. And now, it looks like they're choosing not to.

That means that the only thing holding back Brown from playing on Sunday will be his knowledge of the Patriots offense. He may not play a full complement of snaps, but the Patriots appear ready to get him on the field.

Of course, Brown isn't out of the woods yet. The NFL's investigation of this matter is ongoing, and his accuser will meet with the NFL next week. It seems likely that until the investigation reaches a conclusion, Brown's week-to-week availability will be in question.

UPDATE (10:45 a.m. ET): ESPN's Adam Schefter is also reporting Brown won't be placed on the commissioner's exempt list, adding the NFL has officially opened its investigation into Brown's case.

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Members of Patriots bid farewell to Dante Scarnecchia via Instagram

Members of Patriots bid farewell to Dante Scarnecchia via Instagram

Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia announced his retirement Tuesday, and he can't believe how far he's come.

“I’m 72 years old, I feel like it’s time," Scarnecchia said, according to Ian Rapoport. "It’s been an unbelievable career, I would’ve never expected anything close to this. We’ve been blessed for a 1000 different reasons."

Talking about his "unbelievable career," multiple former and current Patriots bid farewell to Scarnecchia via Instagram -- wishing him nothing but the best in retirement.

Damien Woody, who spent his first five NFL seasons with the Patriots, had some high praise for Scarnecchia -- "this man taught me more about the game than I could ever imagine."

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Just saw the report that #Patriots OL coach Dante Scarnecchia is retiring. First let me say that it was a privilege to play and be coached by this man. From my predraft visit, where we sat through and watched the worst game of my college career (Syracuse), to my last game in a Pats uniform, this man taught me more about the game than I could ever imagine. Never relenting on the details, I always used to wonder why he was so damn hard on me my first couple yrs in the league and looking back on it...he did me a HUGE favor! That foundation is what carried me for 12 yrs in the #NFL and beyond. I want to thank coach from the bottom of my heart for helping turn a young pup from BC into a pro on and off the field...LUV!#patriotsnation

A post shared by Damien Woody (@damienwoody) on

David Andrews, who was unable to play last season due to blood clots, was also among the first people to thank Scarnecchia for all he's done in New England.

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Former Patriot, Trent Brown, also bid his former coach a farewell and even included the goat emoji because Scarnecchia simply is one of the greatest offensive line coaches in NFL history.

Scarnecchia has been with New England in a slew of different roles since 1982, and has been the offensive line coach since 1999.

He'll be greatly missed by not only members of the Patriots organization, but fans as well.

 

 

End of an era: Dante Scarnecchia to retire having made immense impact on Patriots dynasty

End of an era: Dante Scarnecchia to retire having made immense impact on Patriots dynasty

MIAMI — It's the end of an era in New England. While there is still no determination on Tom Brady's future whereabouts, we do know that another Patriots staple will not be roaming the sidelines at Gillette Stadium in 2020.

Dante Scarnecchia is retiring. 

The longtime offensive line, who will turn 72 next month, has been with the team in a variety of capacities since 1982. He began as a special teams and tight ends coach, departed briefly for a stint in Indianapolis, and has been back since 1991.

He's coached all three phases, and even taken on head-coaching duties when he was asked late in the 1992 season. But Scarnecchia has developed what might one day be considered a Hall of Fame résumé as the offensive line coach in New England. 

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Since 1999 — first under Pete Carroll, then under Bill Belichick — Scarnecchia has directed the offensive line group in Foxboro. He retired following the 2013 season and stayed away from the game for two years before getting back into it in 2016. He's won five Super Bowl rings coordinating the blocking schemes that protected Tom Brady. 

Throughout his career, he's been lauded by players and fellow coaches alike for his unyielding work ethic and his attention to detail. The hours he's put in — oftentimes on off days or after practices — have helped mold everyone from first-round picks to undrafted free agents into championship players.

It was under Scarnecchia that Stephen Neal went from a wrestler who'd never played offensive line to a Super Bowl-winner. Both Nate Solder and Trent Brown have fallen into record-setting free-agent contracts in recent years after working with Scarnecchia.

"You really see that and how detail-oriented he is, and how much he puts into it each week," center David Andrews told me back in September. "It's really impressive. He makes sure, for us, there's no stone unturned. That's what makes us go out there and play really confident. We feel so prepared. 

"Whatever they throw at us is nothing we're not prepared for. Maybe we haven't seen it. Maybe it's a new wrinkle. But somewhere, somehow we've been prepared for it. Whether it's the techniques we've learned, or the communication, or just the overall schemes and how we want to run our offense."

Andrews added: "He's definitely a demanding coach for sure. But I think there's two sides of him, and I think that's what makes him so special and loved and respected by not only us as players but the whole team. 

"He cares for us. He has our back. He sticks up for us. We're all in it together . . . He includes himself in that. I think that means a lot to you as a player."

Scarnecchia has had a pair of assistants in recent years who've helped him coach his linemen. Coaching assistant Cole Popovich has worked with that group, but more recently those duties fell to Carmen Bricillo, who was in his first year with the Patriots in 2019. The Patriots typically like to promote coaches from within, making Bricillo and Popovich among the leading candidates to fill Scarnecchia's role. 

No matter who it is, it is the end of an era for the Patriots.