There has been no lack of storylines this offseason in New England.
Free agency and trades have dominated the news. Now, some of the focus has turned to preparations for next month's NFL Draft. And today, there is even a bit of insight into what will be a major story this coming September in regards to a high-profile guest at the Patriots 2017 home opener and Super Bowl banner-raising ceremony.
The* Boston Globe* looks at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell confirming at his press conference at the NFL’s annual meeting in Arizona that he plans on attending New England’s Thursday night opener. While Bill Belichick skipped out on meeting with the media at the Arizona meetings, the Globe notes that the rest of the AFC coaches had plenty of praise for New England’s offseason transactions coming off a Super Bowl title.
In actual league business, the Globe writes about NFL owners voting to ban the leaping technique that the Patriots and other teams used to block field goal and PAT attempts. The Globe has the rest of the rules changes and information from the league meeting. The *Globe *notes that Chris Long signed with the Eagles.
The Boston Herald cites a source in reporting that the Patriots will “not even consider” drafting Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, whose punching of a woman in a restaurant in 2014 was caught on videotape. The Herald also writes about Goodell’s plan to be at the Patriots 2017 opener, his first trip to Foxborough since the start of the Deflategate scandal.
Boston Herald columnist Ron Borges has an interesting, creative spin on Belichick skipping out on Tuesday's AFC coaches’ breakfast, the only coach not in attendance.
The Providence Journal says Jimmy Garoppolo is still the center of the talk regarding the Browns search for a QB. The ProJo writes that the Patriots busy offseason has other coaches across the league on high alert.
ESPNBoston.com describes the Patriots offseason approach this spring as being more about known values. ESPNBoston.com notes that Shea McClellin, New England's resident leaper on field goal/PAT blocks, offering a humorous response to the NFL banning the play. ESPNBoston.com breaks down Belichick's attire and attendance at Florida’s pro day.
ESPN also has a source saying the Patriots have removed Mixon from the team’s draft board. ESPN says that New England’s financial commitment to Stephon Gilmore was the biggest surprise of the free agency period in the AFC East.
WEEI.com passes along ill-informed, bombastic ESPN bomb thrower Bomani Jones declaring that Tom Brady couldn’t play another six or seven years without taking performance-enhancing drugs. WEEI.com writes that the Patriots lack of early-round draft picks is not a problem for New England.
CSNNE.com passes along Rex Burkhead’s former coaches throwing plenty praise at the Patriots newest running back addition. CSNNE.com has Browns head coach Hue Jackson making it clear the team would not trade the No. 1 overall pick for Garoppolo.
NFL.com has Mike Mayock’s update positional rankings of draft prospects, though as always many of the top-5 lists include more than five players.
NESN.com ranks the Patriots top draft needs after the initial wave of free agency.