Bissonnette critical of Jeremy Jacobs in radio interview

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Bissonnette critical of Jeremy Jacobs in radio interview

Gary Bettman has been the target of scrutiny and angry, pejorative words from the players throughout the NHL lockout process, and from a general public that feels like its watching a replay of a 2004-05 movie they hated the first time around. He was called an idiot by Detroit Red Wings defenseman Ian White, and both he and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly were called cancers to the game by Florida Panthers forward Kris Versteeg.
Not so surprisingly the 30 NHL owners -- or 29 owners if you consider that the league is basically running the Phoenix Coyotes -- that Bettman speaks for have been largely spared the harsh words and insulting jibes during the 67 days and counting of the current lockout. Those owners are the ones that sign the NHL players paycheck and will ultimately becomes their bosses again once the NHL season resumes, and most players are still wary of biting the hand that feeds them.
Coyotes' tough guy Paul Bissonnette has always been a thoughtful, fun personality within the game, and he brought his always-interesting perspective to that whole dynamic during a Wednesday morning interview with Sirius XM Home Ice Radio. It also appears that he isnt going to be playing for the Bruins anytime soon after lighting up Bs owner Jeremy Jacobs, looked at by just about everybody as the hawk-ish owner bloodlessly driving the lockout bus.
"I just try to stay away from carving up anyone. Gary Bettman is just trying to do his job. I know that's against what we're about as far as the players are concerned, said Bissonnette. But I know he's the messenger. If they're going to pay him 8 million to save them hundreds of millions, well there are a lot of people listening that would do the same job for the money he makes.
I'm more upset with a guy like Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs. It just sounds so hypocritical for him to think the last CBA was so awful and how garbage it was, and then go out and sign three of his top guys right before the last one expired. If it was that bad, why rush to sign those guys? Why not wait until the new CBA comes?
The Bs contracts Bissonnette is referring to are the deals Jacobs okayed for Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin immediately prior to the Sept. 15 lockout starting date with at least Seguins six-year deal flying in the face of what the NHL is seeking for player contract rights in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.  

Giardi: Butler's offseason may cut deep, but it's time for him to battle back

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Giardi: Butler's offseason may cut deep, but it's time for him to battle back

This hasn’t been easy for Malcolm Butler. None of it. He’s never been given anything. Hell, at times he’s pissed his future away. But with a tenacity that reminds you of a certain 199th pick in the 2000 draft, Butler has fought his way back, into college, into the pros and, in 2015 and 2016, into the upper echelon of NFL cornerbacks. He’s a two-time Super Bowl champ, making arguably the most memorable play in the history of that game.

He should be drinking in the adulation, savoring an incredible start to his career and a very lucrative future. Instead, he’s in both professional and Patriots purgatory. Free agency beckons but there’s a season to play, and as this is the only professional team he’s known, a burning desire to be recognized as an important piece, not just in the present, but the future of this organization as well.
 
One of his closest friends on the team, Dion Lewis, calls Butler a warrior. “The game means so much to him.”

Another teammate, fellow defensive back Devin McCourty said of Butler, “This is what he does. He competes.”

Duron Harmon insists that the 27-year-old corner has been the same guy he’s always been. Actually, they all say that. But clearly, the coaching staff sees something different, leading to Butler’s demotion Sunday in New Orleans. 
 
Bill Belichick has been short when talking about Butler dating all the way back to the spring. That hasn’t changed now that the games count. He’s dismissed past performance. All that matters is how you’re playing now. Butler has not established that same level. Why? There is no easy answer.
 
The lack of a new contract cuts deeply. The unsettling offseason -- was he going to be a Saint? -- left quite a mark as well. But Butler came back to Foxboro with purpose, reporting for voluntary workouts. He was hell-bent on proving to all -- Belichick included -- that he was still the lead dog, not Stephon Gillmore, despite the $31 million dollars in guaranteed money the organization forked over to the former Buffalo Bill.
 
That strategy worked for a time. Butler was one of the Pats best players in training camp, right up until the joint practices with the Texans midway through August. What happened? Butler doesn’t know. But one mistake became two. His play in the preseason game with Houston was poor. His confidence suffered. He started pressing. That didn’t help. Butler was just as bad at Detroit. The kid that had always answered a knockdown with one of his own, instead wobbled to his feet. The inconsistencies were evident in practice but the "he's-Malcolm-he'll-fix-it" thought process that teammates echoed didn’t prove true, at least not entirely.
 
According to Eric Rowe, the cornerbacks were informed of the role change at the beginning of last week. But other teammates said they didn’t realize Butler wasn’t starting until the walkthrough Saturday. The ensuing fallout wasn’t surprising -- HE’S MALCOLM BUTLER, SUPER BOWL HERO, DAMMIT -- but the worry around the team has been justified because Butler takes things to heart. His swagger comes from the game. That was stripped away prior to the game against the Saints, and even at the beginning of this week, leading into the Texans game. Butler had to get his head right. If his meeting with the media Thursday is an indication, he has.

But the proof is in the play. Butler has always known that. And while his play didn’t warrant a role reduction, another message has been sent by the powers that be in Foxboro. What happens next is all on Butler. His future depends on it.

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Patriots place Vincent Valentine on IR, promote Geneo Grissom

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Patriots place Vincent Valentine on IR, promote Geneo Grissom

FOXBORO -- Anyone hoping to see Vincent Valentine make his season debut got some bad news Friday. 

Valentine, who has been inactive for both of the Patriots' first two games with a knee injury, was placed on injured reserve. ESPN's Field Yates was first to report the news.

With Valentine on IR, Geneo Grissom was added to the roster from the practice squad. ESPN's Mike Reiss had that one first:

Valentine, whom the Pats chose 96th overall in 2016, has not been practicing with the team as he's dealt with the knee injury.

A third-round pick of the Pats in 2015, Grissom was released by the team in September and signed to the practice squad a day later.