The New England Patriots released the following statement Friday afternoon regarding Matt Light's retirement.
On Monday, May 7, 2012, the New England Patriots will host a press conference to formally announce the retirement of Matt Light after a stellar 11-year NFL career. The press conference will be held at The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon starting at 10:30 a.m. Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft will be on hand. Drafted in the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft, over the next 11 years Matt Light appeared in 175 games, starting 173 at left tackle for the Patriots, including five Super Bowls and six AFC Championship games. He earned Pro Bowl honors three times and was selected to the New England Patriots 50th Anniversary Team. In 2002, he started the Light Foundation, through which he continues to conduct his many philanthropic endeavors (for more information visit http:www.mattlightfoundation.org). In 2005, he earned the New England Patriots Ron Burton Community Service Award, which is presented annually to the Patriots player who makes the greatest contributions both on the field and in the community.
The Patriots pulled off a rare deal with a rival on Tuesday.
According to ESPN, they've sent tight end A.J. Derby to the Broncos in exchange for a fifth-round pick.
Derby played in 33 offensive snaps over four games this season for the Patriots. A sixth-round draft choice in 2015 out of Arkansas, Derby spent most of his rookie season on injured reserve.
One of the stars of the preseason for the Patriots, Derby caught 15 passes for 189 yards in four exhibition games. A former college quarterback for Iowa and Arkansas, Derby was named a practice player of the week by the Patriots when they were hurting for healthy signal-callers early in the season during Tom Brady's suspension.
The deal leaves the Patriots somewhat thin at the tight end position. They now have now true tight ends behind Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett. They do, however, have fullback James Develin, who meets with tight ends on a daily basis. On the practice squad, the Patriots have another fullback in Glenn Gronkowski.
In Denver, Derby will compete with tight ends Virgil Green, Jeff Heuerman and John Phillips for time.
The Patriots acquired Kyle Van Noy, who was the Lions’ 2014 second-round pick and starting linebacker this season, on Tuesday.
Why former Pats executive Bob Quinn would send a starter East for what is reportedly just a conditional draft pick is something we’ll try to ferret out.
The Patriots were no doubt interested because they lost Jonathan Freeny to IR with an injury, rookie Elandon Roberts is an undersized thumper (Van Noy is 6-3, 252) and Shea McClellin is well, just… there so far.
Van Noy has two years remaining on his rookie deal so -- provided he shows something -- he could be around awhile. The move -- one week before the trade deadline -- is a familiar one from the Patriots who added players like Jonathan Casillas and Akeem Ayers in 2014 prior to their Super Bowl run.
This story from last season indicates that Van Noy’s lack of production in his first two seasons with the Lions was merely a matter of circumstance.
Perhaps. We’ll find out soon enough. Meanwhile, the name Van Noy made me perk up because I remembered him as having a central role in the excellent book The System by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian.
Read the excerpt on Van Noy here. It will give you a better understanding of the road he’s traveled.