NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell yesterday stifled any hopes of the Patriots' getting back their 2016 first-round draft choice.
There will be no changes to the [DeflateGate] discipline
*- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell *
And it sounds as if New England's Robert Kraft didn't get any support in this effort from his fellow owners, according to The Boston Globe.
"In fact, the topic was never even discussed this week at the NFL owners meetings," the Globe writer reports.
A Boston Herald column insists it's no surprise that Goodell is exercising such power over the Patriots and the rest of the league.
"When one buys an NFL team," writes the columnist, "one agrees that the commissioner is the final arbiter on matters of club discipline. Don't like it? Buy a team tennis franchise or change the league's bylaws…. Only problem there is he'd need 23 other owners to support him. Easier to ask The Donald to support Marco Rubio."
One of the bylaws that did pass at the Annual Meeting was Buffalo's suggestion that short-term IR players not be designated for return at the time they are placed on IR. This would allow teams with multiple players on injured reserve to wait a while and see how the players are progressing in their rehab before determining which one can come back early. An ESPN blog post asserts that Bill Belichick will like having this new flexibility.
A playing rule change that was approved moves the spot of a touchback on a kickoff from the 20 up to the 25. CSNNE.com wonders if this will affect the Patriots' approach to kickoffs in 2016.
The *Globe *also offers a nice synopsis of all the NFC head coaches who discussed their former players who have recently signed with the Patriots.
LB Shea McClellin, late of Chicago, is one of those players, and the Herald writes that McClellin looks like a good fit for New England.
"He certainly fits the profile of others who have landed in New England as underachievers, players who haven't met expectations or simply weren't being used at an optimal position by their former teams, causing them to struggle," the author points out. "He's the kind of reclamation project for which Belichick has become famous."
Oh, and in case you missed it, we now have specific dates for New England's offseason program, OTAs, and mini-camp practices.