Belichick has his fax straight

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Belichick has his fax straight

There were a few interesting developments from the last day of Patriots mini-camp, which didn't take place yesterday at Gillette. I say didn't take place, because it didn't take place. Instead, Bill Belichick canceled everything at the last second, fueling speculation that the coach isn't as committed as he's been in the past.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm starting to worry. Anyone have Rod Rust's number?

In Rust We Trust!

Anyway, how do you think Belichick spent his afternoon off: Maybe he and Linda made an early escape to Nantucket? Maybe "VI Rings" was calling his name from the Sound?

Or maybe it was all a trick, and Belichick had the locker room bugged with cameras so that he could study the way each player reacted to the cancellation. Maybe he wanted to see which guys were a little too happy about having the day off, while hoping to see at least a few disappointed faces.

Personally, I want to believe that Belichick spent the afternoon hanging at Chili's with Tom Thibodeau and Tony LaRussa; sitting around a high top, getting awkwardly drunk like the dudes in Hall Pass.

Yeah, let's go with that one. And let's take one more second to marvel at the fact that Belichick actually gave his entire team a Hall Pass. You're a good man, Bill.

Other than that, there was one other highlight from the Pats' non-practice: Apparently, despite all the drama surrounding BountyGate and the return of Drew Brees' mole, the Patriots are in communication with the Saints about teaming up for a few joint practices during Training Camp. Or I guess "communication" is one way to describe it.

Here's what Saints interim head coach Joe Vitt had to say about practicing with the Pats: "I got a fax from Bill Belichick this morning and we're taking a look at that."

Now that's funny. Belichick's working the fax! Why do I get the feeling that at this point every team in the league has one dusty fax machine (labeled: PATRIOTS) left in the corner of their office?

On one hand, I guess it's good that the fax machine is still in heavy rotation at Patriots HQ, because it will make the transition a lot easier for Rust Regime: Phase 2. On the other hand, I know it's a a good thing that Belichick didn't fax over the cancellation of yesterday's practice, because the players would still be out there waiting.

As Belichick watched through his binoculars, ready to cut the first one who walked off the field.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Report: 3 owners unhappy with Kraft's amicus brief on behalf of Brady

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Report: 3 owners unhappy with Kraft's amicus brief on behalf of Brady

Three NFL owners have expressed “extreme disappointment” in Robert Kraft and the Patriots filing an amicus brief on behalf of Tom Brady in the quarterback’s appeal of the Second Circuit Court’s reinstatement of his Deflategate suspension, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report. 

The Patriots filed the brief on Wednesday. 

The owners see the move as a publicity stunt done to appease Brady and the Patriots fans, Cole said, and they don’t believe Kraft did it any seriousness because the issue speaks to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s ability to punish players and undermines the league’s collective bargaining agreement with the players.

If Kraft thought it mattered, he wouldn't have done it, Cole said one owner told him. 
 

Collins, Hightower mum on contract talks

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Collins, Hightower mum on contract talks

FOXBORO – A fleet of Patriots have expiring contracts after this season but Dont'a Hightower and Jamie Collins are the two most prominent on that list.

With the sport being the way it is – a nearly 100-percent casualty rate every season – it’s never comfortable for a player to enter a contract year without knowing his long-term future. And it’s especially uncomfortable for players whose first contracts are expiring because the second NFL contract is usually the bonanza.

Both Hightower and Collins can entertain thoughts of contracts worth more than $50M if good fortune sticks with them.

The question as it pertains to both of these players is whether they get contract extensions this summer or whether they go into the year with contract pressure bearing down and ultimately become free agents.

Neither player was very forthcoming after their OTA practice Thursday.

With Collins, that’s often the case. He’s never been expansive with media. It was very uncharacteristic for Hightower to be so clipped in his answers, though.

Every question posed to Hightower was met with a variation of, “I’m just trying to get better.”

Asked about his contract, Hightower replied, “I ain’t got nothing to do with none of that. I’m just out here trying to get better with my teammates.”

When it was pointed out that Hightower does indeed have say on his contract, he answered, “That might be. But there’s a time and place for everything and I’m just out here trying to get better.

“If I get better I feel like that’ll take care of everything else,” he added. “If I get better each and every day that’s all I can ask for.”

Asked whether he’s at all focused on his deal, Collins replied, “No, I come out here and I handle my business and I let the rest speak for itself … My first priority is me. So I’m gonna handle me."