Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe writes that in the three years after the Patriots traded him, safety Tebucky Jones played for the Saints (2003-04) and Dolphins (2005), missing the playoffs each season. Now that he's returned to the Patriots, Jones is eyeing a return to the playoffs. "I've kind of missed that," he said yesterday at Gillette Stadium. "I felt like I was in a bad dream and just woke up. My big thing is to win another championship."
Michael Felger of the Boston Herald offers a full transcript of a one-on-one interview with former Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri, who signed a free agent deal with the Indianapolis Colts on March 21.
Michael Felger of the Boston Herald writes that two of the most beloved athletes ever to play in Boston spotted each other across a crowded bar in downtown Boston last night. Adam Vinatieri, lost by the Patriots in free agency to Indianapolis three weeks ago, was there to say goodbye to his fans. David Ortiz, signed Monday to a multi-year extension by the Red Sox two years before the expiration of his contract, was there to pay his respects to the Super Bowl hero. The two hugged, and in one moment it became painfully clear what happens when one team, the Patriots, allows one of its most important players to test the open market, and when another, the Red Sox, never lets it get that far.
Glen Farley of The Enterprise writes that in the wake of Adam Vinatieri's departure to Indianapolis as an unrestricted free agent, the Patriots are hoping Martin Gramatica can deliver for them. Last Thursday the Patriots, who will likely bring in a younger foot to compete with him in training camp, signed the 30-year-old Gramatica to a one-year contract worth $585,000. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' all-time leading scorer with 591 points, Gramatica says he is aware of the footsteps he is following in New England where Vinatieri's franchise-record 1,158 points don't even begin to tell his story. "We all know he is the greatest clutch kicker in NFL history," Gramatica said. "I don't see it as a no-win (situation) because Adam has moved on."
The Providence Journal reports that the Patriots re-signed defensive back Randall Gay yesterday. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Eric McHugh of the Patriot Ledger writes that three years after dealing him to New Orleans for three draft picks, the Patriots reacquired their former free safety, Tebucky Jones last week, inking him to a two-year contract. He returns to a defensive backfield landscape that is unrecognizable. Jones was shipped to the Big Easy following the 2002 season. That 9-7, post-Super Bowl XXXVI campaign was Jones' undoing here. The Patriots' secondary seemed old and slow, and by the time the 2003 season arrived the DB deck had been shuffled with Tyrone Poole taking over for Smith, Rodney Harrison replacing Milloy, and Eugene Wilson filling Jones' shoes. The makeover worked like a charm, but no one should forget just how good that much-maligned 2002 unit was in 2001, when the secondary muffled the mighty St. Louis Rams for three quarters of the Super Bowl before running out of gas and needing a last-minute pick-me-up from Tom Brady and Adam Vinatieri.
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal profiles Ohio State cornerback Ashton Youboty.
Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes. Reiss reports in his blog that University of Florida receiver Chad Jackson had a pre-draft visit with the Patriots. Reiss also offers his latest Patriots mailbag.
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes and commentary.