Belichick mum on Brady, Wilfork

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Belichick mum on Brady, Wilfork

FOXBORO -- Any time Tom Brady misses practice, it's news. When Vince Wilfork is out as well, it's cause for concern in New England.

Both missed practices this week because of "non-injury related" reasons. They were back on the practice field Friday, surely to the relief of Patriots fans everywhere.

But was there ever a real worry that Brady and Wilfork wouldn't play Sunday against the Broncos? Bill Belichick, predictably, didn't relinquish much information on why the two most well-known Patriots captains were out.

"We list them (on the injury report) based on the way they are," Belichick said plainly.

Well, were they sick? Do illnesses need to be listed on the injury report?

"Yeah, sure," Belichick answered.

OK, then.

Belichick wouldn't say if he was simply resting two of his stars for the stretch run of the season. Whatever the reason was that they didn't practice, Belichick wasn't saying.

"There could be a lot of reasons," he said." "Personal reasons. A guy could have to go to a funeral. Maybe he has a family issue that he needs to attend to. Maybe it's what you said. I don't know. If it's not injury related, it's not injury related. If it's injury related, then we list it.

"I don't know what you guys are looking for," Belichick told reporters. "If a guy has an injury, then we list the injury. If he doesn't have an injury, then we say it's not injury-related. What am I missing here? I'm confused."

Belichick summed up his thoughts on the situation by relaying a general principle held throughout Foxboro when it comes to addressing players' personal issues.

"You know, we don't talk about players' personal situations," he said. "If they want to talk about it, if there is something to talk about whatever it is . . . It's personal. I don't think that necessarily has to be shared with the rest of the world. Could be, but it doesn't have to be."

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."