The Patriots are winding down the team's spring work. Thursday the media had its final access to voluntary OTA practice prior to next week's mandatory three-day mini-camp at Gillette Stadium.
The final OTA session brought plenty of news to report, including Malcolm Butler talking about his return to practice action as well as a flurry of roster moves led by the reported signing of veteran free agent backup quarterback Matt Flynn.
The Boston Globe leads things off saying that Bill Belichick's sidelining of Butler for a couple weeks of OTA workouts as punishment for arriving late to Gillette Stadium due to a missed flight "might have gone too far." The Globe notes that Scott Chandler could add an interesting wrinkle to the passing attack in New England, while the paper's Patriots notebook also passes along the reported Flynn signing.
The Globe also has a story on a lawsuit regarding the technology that the NFL used to track players on the field last season.
The Boston Herald says that while he's back on the practice field, Butler isn't a "secondary savior" for the Patriots. New England's assistant coaches had one of their rare meetings with the press this week with the Herald noting that offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has to work with the uncertainty of potentially playing games without Tom Brady to open the coming season.
Due to academic rules and having to finish up his studies at Stanford, second-round pick Jordan Richards just recently arrived in Foxborough but the Herald says he's catching up quickly with his football work. The Herald looks at Devin McCourty as the potential face of the Patriots defense, while the paper's notebook notes the release of veteran tight end Tim Wright, among other roster moves. The Herald NFL notebook has former Patriots running back Stevan Ridley saying his former team "made a mistake" in the Deflategate controversy.
ESPNBoston.com looks at the reported signing of the former Packers backup Flynn and notes that the 2014 Super Bowl winners will get their championship rings on Sunday at an event at the home of owner Robert Kraft. ESPNBoston.com passes along plenty from Chandler after another impressive OTA workout and well as its own observations from the practice field.
CSNNE.com says Chandler is "a hit" with McDaniels. The site says the addition of Flynn shows the Patriots are preparing to be without Brady for at least some period of time. CSNNE.com's ongoing series of the top 50 players of the Belichick era hits on former tight end Christian Fauria at No. 47. On the flipside noted conduit of negativity Mike Felger looks at the dozen worst player of the era.