Will Brace be next off of PUP?

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Will Brace be next off of PUP?

FOXBORO -- With Kevin Faulk and Brandon Deaderick activated from the PUP list for last Sunday's game, all eyes are on defensive lineman Ron Brace, who, according to Patriots coach Bill Belichick on Friday, is "making progress."

"We have some time there," said Belichick when asked if Brace was close to being activated. "I think he's certainly making good progress. We'll see how this week finishes up. But he's getting close."

Brace also spoke prior to Friday's practice at Gillette Stadium. When asked if he'd be activated before Sunday's game against the Giants, Brace said, "You never know."

He seemed unsure as to what Belichick's decision would be.

"I'm just going at it the same each week," said Brace. "If they call my name, I've just got to know it's my job to be ready. So each week, you just come and try to prepare and get ready for each opponent. So if they call my name, I'm going to try and be ready.

"I'm just trying to play catch up with these guys. I feel that each day, I've had some strides towards getting better, so I can say I've been making improvements."

Faulk and Deaderick each came off the PUP list and played in last Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Belichick praised his PUP players on Friday, saying he believes they can all help out the team this season.

"Deaderick's coming along. For all those guys -- Brandon, Kevin, Marcus Cannon, Ron -- it's kind of like training camp," said Belichick. "They've only had a few practices. So a lot of it is extra work, just getting their timing and their technique and their reactions quicker. Seeing all 22 guys is something they haven't been able to do. It's like training camp for them, this late in the season.

"They're definitely all making progress, and Brandon's done a good job. He's working hard, he's getting a lot of snaps. And you can see it a little bit every day. But still, it's a lot of ground to make up. But he's certainly closing the gap."

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."