A few Tuesday notes to pass along regarding the Patriots:
- The recently launched New England Patriots license plates are turning out to be a hot commodity. Nearly 700 of the plates were sold over the internet as of Friday, March 11 (in addition to the thousands that were pre-ordered), representing the most successful special plates launch ever over the internet, according to a spokeswoman from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. Proceeds from the sales of the plates, which were made available to the public beginning on March 8, benefit the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation. For more information or to order plates, visit http://www.mass.gov/rmv/express/plates.htm.
- Several current Patriots have again benefited from the NFL's "performance-based pay" program. According to a recent report by ESPN's Len Pasquarelli, Patriots rookie cornerback Randall Gay earned $145,000 and center Dan Koppen earned an additional $135,000 this season as part of the program that compensates players whose playing time in a given season is disproportionate to their salary. The payments are calculated based on the number of downs played by the individual in relation to the team's total downs. Gay, an undrafted rookie free agent who started nine games, earned $230,000 in base salary in 2004. Koppen, a fifth-round pick by the Patriots in 2003 who has started 31 of his 32 NFL games, had a base salary of $305,000 according to NFLPA figures. The program, which originated in 2002 as part of the extension to the collective bargaining agreement and is funded through league revenues, continues through 2007. Koppen ($101,521) and offensive tackle Tom Ashworth ($82,583) also benefited from the program in 2004.
- Ty Law Tour: Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that former Patriots cornerback Ty Law, who was released last month, spent last Thursday meeting with Steelers head coach Bill Cowher and some of his defensive assistants. Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star reports that Law also met with Chiefs' officials yesterday. Law, 31, is also scheduled to meet with Cleveland, the New York Jets, Oakland and Dallas.
- Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest will appear in studio on NFL Total Access at 7 p.m. ET tonight on the NFL Network. The show is hosted daily by Rich Eisen with analysts Terrell Davis, Lincoln Kennedy and Rod Woodson. Patriots fans can email questions to the show at TotalAccess@nfl.com.
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