The saga of the Russian ring was solved yesterday when Patriots owner Robert Kraft issued a statement in response to the speculation by the media that President Putin of Russia misunderstood Kraft's showing his Super Bowl ring to Putin as a gesture that it was a gift and quickly pocketed the ring. The media has suggested that Kraft had not intended to give the ring to Putin. In the statement released yesterday Kraft made it clear that the ring was in fact a gift to the Russian President. "I showed the president my most recent Super Bowl ring. Upon seeing the ring, President Putin, a great and knowledgeable sports fan, was clearly taken with its uniqueness. At that point, I decided to give him the ring as a symbol of the respect and admiration that I have for the Russian people and the leadership of President Putin," said Kraft. This story is reported today by Donovan Slack of the Boston Globe. Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa of the Boston Herald's "Inside Track" also offer their take on the generous gift.
In a USA Today article Jim Corbett of Sports Weekly notes that the Patriots had been in the running for wide receiver Derrick Mason, but the wide-out turned down the offer for a more lucrative deal and signed with the Baltimore Ravens.
An additional *USA Today* article takes a look at the salary cap and discusses how the Patriots structure the contracts of it's players to be more cap friendly. The article also offers Patriots notes.