Here is the Cliffs Notes version of the entire 243-page Ted Wells Deflategate report (.pdf) released by the NFL on Wednesday concerning the Patriots intentional underinflation of footballs used in the AFC Championship game.

The Basics

– Report focuses on footballs used during AFC Championship game, which Patriots won 45-7 over the Colts
– Footballs used during games are required to be between 12.5 and 13.5 PSI
– At halftime, 11 Patriots footballs measured under 12.5 PSI, while four Colts footballs measured within the acceptable range
– Report concludes it was “more probable than not” that the Patriots employees deliberately circumvented the rules
– Employees Jim McNally and John Jastremski deliberately let air out of the footballs after they were inspected by the head referee
– It is more probable than not that Tom Brady “was at least generally aware” of the employees’ actions in letting air out of the footballs Continue reading NFL’s Ted Wells #DeflateGate Report (CliffsNotes Edition) »

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La'el Collins

According to The Advocate, the Patriots have shown interest in LSU offensive lineman La’el Collins, who was questioned in connection with the killing of his pregnant ex-girlfriend.

The 21-year-old Collins, who was likely to become a first-round pick, spoke to detectives last Monday morning, days before the NFL Draft. When news broke Tuesday, his stock fell, and he went undrafted. Continue reading Patriots Interested in LSU’s La’el Collins, Who Was Questioned in Murder »

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The Patriots added eleven players over the weekend during the NFL draft. They also added several undrafted free agents after the conclusion of the draft Saturday night. Early on, the Patriots went with a defensive focus with their first four picks (and seven out of eleven total picks) were on that side of the ball. New England spent all of their offensive picks on day three, picking two guards and a tight end. One long snapper was also picked by the team.

With the loss of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner this offseason, the Patriots have chosen to invest more in their front seven and hope to generate pass rush to force turnovers instead of forcing coverage sacks and turnovers due to lock down secondary play. This shift began with Revis and Browner leaving, continued with the Jabaal Sheard signing, and was added to on draft weekend. Three of the Patriots first four picks were defensive lineman or pass rushers including first round pick Malcolm Brown. Brown, a behemoth defensive tackle out of Texas, should instantly contribute to the Patriots interior pressure on both passing and rushing downs. Dominque Easley is a bit of a wild card, if he can come back healthy in 2015 he and Brown could combine to create a young, formidable defensive tackle duo. Defensive end Geneo Grissom, a third round pick, is somewhat comparable to Jamie Collins, a high level athlete who couldn’t quite find a niche on a college defense. He is not as talented as Collins, but could add some depth behind the Patriots budding star linebacker. Trey Flowers could end up being a steal at defensive end as well. He was picked at the top of the fourth round and very well could end up going at the end of the second or in the third. Continue reading Patriots 2015 Draft Picks Review »

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1. NFL Draft:

* If I’m Tampa I throw up in my mouth when I see Jamis Winston mocking people with the picture of himself celebrating the draft with crab legs

* Who were the advisors to the 14 underclassman who declared for the draft but didn’t get drafted

* Sign of a program’s decline – Boston College players drafted in the first five rounds – ZERO (haven’t had a player drafted in top three rounds in three years)

2. Red Sox:

* I’m glad to see that Napoli’s much talked about surgery to help him sleep has helped his hitting

* John Farrell’s updated career record 334-339

* Hanley Ramirez is on pace for 65 home runs / 143 RBI Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: NFL Draft, Red Sox and Pandas »

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Congratulations on your MLB debut, Blake! Now, here's some unsolicited advice from an unqualified advisor... (Boston Herald)

There is nothing positive about losing the top two catchers on your depth chart. Christian Vazquez lost the 2015 season to Tommy John surgery, and his replacement as the starting catcher, Ryan Hanigan, will be out until at least the All-Star break.

But if there’s a silver lining, it’s that Boston Red Sox fans get to see the anticipated debut of top prospect Blake Swihart in the major leagues. After watching his first career start against the New York Yankees, though, I do have a piece of (unsolicited) advice for the rookie if he wants to have a successful career with the Red Sox.

Dearest Blake…

Continue reading A Piece of Advice for Swihart after his Red Sox Debut »

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According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Patriots plan to sign former Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner as an undrafted free agent and convert him into a wide receiver.

The Patriots pulled off the same experiment beautifully with Julian Edelman, who was a quarterback in college with Kent State. Continue reading Patriots to Sign Another Michigan QB (Devin Gardner), Convert Him to WR »

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Boston Red Sox catcher Ryan Hanigan looks at his hand as he leaves in the seventh inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, May 1, 2015, after being hit by a pitch from reliever Tommy Layne which first hit New York Yankees batter Mark Teixeira. Red Sox manager John Farrell said Hanigan sustained a broken knuckle that will require surgery and cause a "lengthy" absence. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Red Sox catcher Ryan Hanigan has had surgery to repair a fractured finger on Saturday and is expected to miss at least two months.

“He had surgery today,” manager John Farrell said. “There were some pins inserted. It’s going to be a lengthy recovery time. I wouldn’t anticipate him back before the All-Star break.”

The Red Sox called up top prospect Blake Swihart — perhaps earlier than they had anticipated — to fill the void. Swihart and Sandy Leon will split catching duties moving forward.

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