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Patriots.com News Blitz - 6/26/2007

"I think we're making players more aware of the standards of behavior. We're giving them more tools and resources to make sure they can make those decisions," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after briefing all 255 members of the 2007 draft class at the rookie symposium on the NFL's stricter conduct rules.

Tim Reynolds of *The Associated Press * reports that Goodell spent about 20 minutes with this season's draftees discussing the stricter conduct policy that was released in April. The rookie symposium teaches incoming NFL players about how to handle finances, relationships and life after football. The NFL's new conduct policy is the emphasis of this year's symposium.

An article by Jason Cole of *Yahoo Sports * also discusses the rookie symposium and offers player reaction to the new NFL conduct policy, including Patriots rookie safety Brandon Meriweather, who comments on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's speach on player conduct. "The man means business," said Meriweather. "If you get in trouble now it's because you don't care."

Former Patriots and current Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Deion Branch offers his take on the Asante Samuel contract talks in an article by the *Boston Herald's * John Tomase. Branch offers a unique perspective on the Samuel contract talks, as he was faced with a similar situation that ultimately led to his trade to the Seahawks for their first-round pick. "Our situations are the same as far as holding out, but they're two different examples. I was due about $1 million. He's due $7.8 million. The most important thing I tell him is to do what's in his heart. If he feels holding out is the right thing, then that's what he should do."

Justin Harper of The Oklahoman offers a great story on Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker's journey to the NFL. Harper writes that Welker has an uncanny ability to pull every ounce of effort from his 5-9, 185-pound frame. Throughout his journey from college to the NFL, Welker was tagged as too-short, too-slow. But the truth is, aspects of Welker's athletic talents rank among the best in the NFL.

SI.com ranks the top 25 NFL wide receivers. New England Patriots wideout Randy Moss made number 10 on the list.

Call to the Hall
More than 40,000 fans have cast their vote for the next Patriots Hall of Fame player. Have you cast your vote yet? The finalists are running back Ron Burton (1960-65), tight end Ben Coates (1991-99), and wide receiver Stanley Morgan (1977-89).

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