Jacobs: The Cup is on loan

979129.jpg

Jacobs: The Cup is on loan

BOSTON -- Before hockey officially got started in Boston on Saturday night, Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs released a statement and also spoke to the media.

The statement not only apologized for the lockout, but it also let fans know that the organization is serious about a Stanley Cup run this season.

"Like all of you, I wanted nothing more than to have the season start on time in October," said Jacobs in the statement. "Make no mistake -- it should have. The fact that we were unable to reach an agreement until just recently, is a disappointment.

"I want to personally apologize to our fans and others who depend on this team for their livelihood. But these are just words. The best way to make it up to you is to play hard and win."

The Los Angeles Kings are the defending Stanley Cup champs this season. But Jacobs reminded everyone who won it the year before.

"I said last year after our playoff exit that the Stanley Cup is on loan," said Jacobs. "I really meant it.We have a strong team and one that I believe will be very competitive this season. I expect us to contend for the Cup. We have 48 games in 96 days before the playoffs.

"It's no longer a marathon -- it's truly a sprint."

Jacobs believes this Bruins team is well-equipped to win it all again.

"But our advantage -- and it's a significant one -- is that we know how to win," said Jacobs. "I remember asking our players a few years ago how many of them had won the Cup. Just a few of our players raised their hand. Before the start of the last season I asked the same question. Nearly everyone raised their hand.

"We want this for our team. We want this for our fans. We know what victory feels like and we want that feeling again. I can think of no better way to bring our team back together than to focus on our shared goal of winning another Stanley Cup for Boston, New England, and Bruins fans around the world."

As for the effects of the lockout, Jacobs is optimistic that the 3.3 billion in revenue that was lost will be returned by next year. Still, he believes some damage to the game has been done.

"Not permanently, but I think that we've done damage," said Jacobs. "Some of these lockouts make no sense. We really try and make this work. You always lose people in these environments.

"Let me talk about the players' association, let me talk about league situations, and let me make this observation: nobody won. But more importantly, nobody lost at this point . . . This is a game, and we did hurt the game. We didn't just hurt Boston. We hurt the game of hockey."

Some have vilified Jacobs as being one of the main reasons for "hurting" the game of hockey with another lockout. But Jacobs said on Saturday that he was the "last person" that wanted to shut the game down.

"First of all, you're not in a position -- when you're going through all of this -- to defend yourself," said Jacobs. "It really is not constructive to the process.

"I'm coming off winning a Stanley Cup. I've got a sold-out building. I have a financially-sound business. No debt. Ownership for 37 years. I'm the last guy that wants to shut this down, absolutely the last one out there.

"There's a couple of Canadian teams -- I'm not going to name them -- that irrespective are going to be very successful. But, this is a very successful franchise. I don't want this to shut down. Unfortunately, I play in a league with 30 teams. And when I step back and look at what's going on with the broadest sense of the league, I've got to play a role constructively in that way."

Cyrus Jones: I was scared of Tom Brady growing up as a Ravens fan

tom_brady_patriots_0.jpg

Cyrus Jones: I was scared of Tom Brady growing up as a Ravens fan

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady has struck fear into the hearts of many a cornerback during his 15 years as a starter. Apparently that includes corners who haven't even entered the league yet. 

Cyrus Jones, a corner out of Alabama and New England's second-round pick in this year's draft, grew up in Baltimore as a staunch Ravens supporter. When his team squared off against the Patriots over the years, he said that Brady never allowed him to feel confident. 

"I grew up a Ravens fan so anytime we played the Patriots, I definitely was scared of Tom Brady," Jones said after being introduced to reporters by Patriots ownership. "But obviously, you know, he's one of the greatest quarterbacks to step foot into this league, and I'm just honored to be a part of his team.

"He's a winner, and everybody likes winning. I consider myself a winner so I'm looking forward to working with him and trying to get to another Super Bowl and winning."

Jones now joins a cornerback group that will compete against Brady regularly in practice that includes Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan, Justin Coleman, Darryl Roberts and EJ Biggers.

Jones ready to follow in Revis, Law's footsteps with No. 24

cyrus_jones.jpg

Jones ready to follow in Revis, Law's footsteps with No. 24

FOXBORO -- For the Patriots, the No. 24 is held in high esteem when it comes to the cornerback position. Ty Law, a team Hall of Famer, wore those digits for 10 years. Darrelle Revis played just one season in New England, but he helped the team to its fourth Super Bowl title with No. 24 on his back. 

Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft announced on Friday that second-round draft pick Cyrus Jones, a corner from Alabama, would be the latest to sport the number. 

"Cyrus will be wearing a special number to our family, No. 24," Kraft said. "There's a lot of good karma that goes with that number."

Jones was just two years old when Ty Law began his rookie season in 1995, but he said he understood Law's historical significance to the franchise despite their age difference.

"I knew who Ty Law was before I came here," Jones said, "and watched him as a young kid still trying to learn the game. Definitely remember him making a lot of plays on TV."

Of course there have been others who have worn No. 24 since Law and before Jones, including Kyle Arrington, Bradley Fletcher, and most recently Rashaan Melvin. But what Revis did for the Patriots in 2014 is still fresh in Jones' mind, having beaten Jones' hometown team, the Baltimore Ravens, in the Divisional Round of the playoffs before helping the Patriots win Super Bowl XLIX.

"It's definitely a lot of history, guys like Ty Law, Darrelle Revis," Jones said. "Great defensive backs and great players. Two of the greatest players ever to step foot in the National Football League. There's definitely a legacy behind the number, and I want to make my own legacy with the number."

Curran: New deal's a win-win for Amendola and Patriots

patriots-brady-amendola-120615.jpg

Curran: New deal's a win-win for Amendola and Patriots

Danny Amendola’s not going anywhere. The Patriots wideout -- whose 2016 salary of $5 million and cap hit of $6.8 million were sticking out like a sore thumb -- reworked his deal according to a league source.

Amendola, who also reworked his contract in 2015, agreed to a two-year, $7.35 million deal with $750,000 in roster bonuses and incentives. Mike Garofalo of FOX Sports first reported the deal (yay, Mike!!).

In a statement, Amendola said, “It’s an honor to play for this franchise and with this group of guys. We have one goal – to win another Championship and that’s all we care about.”

This is a win-win for Amendola and the team.

Signed as a free agent in 2013 to a five-year, $28 million deal, injuries prevented Amendola from settling into a role until the tail end of 2014. Once he did, he became a valuable alternate weapon to Julian Edelman as opposed to the redundancy as a quick, mid-range little dude.

In the 2014 Super Bowl run, Amendola had 11 catches for 137 yards and three touchdowns in three postseason games. Last year, he caught 65 for 648 yards and three touchdowns and led the league in punt return average (12-yard average on 23 returns).

At 30 and with a playing style and slight build that leads to injuries, Amendola -- despite his recent work -- probably would have had a tough time getting a better deal on the open market.

Meanwhile, given the track record of receiver pickups in New England, it’s very likely a free agent signee with more upside (like Mohamed Sanu or Marvin Jones) would have cost more but contributed less. Having Tom Brady’s trust, an understanding of the program and the ability to catch 60 passes and return punts are hard to overstate.

This redo was something everyone saw as needing to happen. Now that it has, the Patriots pay structure at wideout isn’t out of whack as it was and the team has some certainty going into minicamps about who will be here.

The team now has on its roster (in order of perceived on-field value) Edelman, Amendola, Chris Hogan, Keshawn Martin, Malcolm Mitchell, Nate Washington, Aaron Dobson, Chris Harper, Devin Lucien and De’Andre Carter in the fold.

Washington, Dobson, Harper, Lucien and Carter will fight to stick.