Banta-Cain: 'It's been a fun ride' with Patriots

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Banta-Cain: 'It's been a fun ride' with Patriots

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - You knew news of Tully Banta-Cain's sports hernia surgery was not going to go over well with the Patriots. The injurywas there at the end of last season and he could have had surgery to correct it then. Instead, the outside linebacker opted to see if it improved during the lockout. It didn't. So he went under the knife last week. Now the outside linebacker drafted by the Patriots in the seventh round in 2003 suffers another cut. He will be released by the Patriots on Thursday.In a text message, Banta-Cain told me, "It was a fun ride. Countless memories of New England for life. Thanks for everything. TBC." That Banta-Cain was going to be laid low until at least September and miss virtually all of training camp after the lockout couldn't have helped his cause. Neither did the fact he carried a cap hit of more than 4.5 million and that -- when the Rule of 51 kicks in on August 4 -- he was going to be dead weight during his convalesence. Cutting Banta-Cain means the team's salary capwill still get hit with a portion of the signing bonus they gave him last March when Banta-Cain signed a four-year, 13 million deal. That figures to be about 2 million. We're still trying to figure out whether the Patriots reached an injury settlement with Banta-Cain based on the hernia that was there at the end of last season. Or is the fact Banta-Cain said it got worse during the lockout grounds for the Patriots to say it was an injury sustained while he wasn't their responsibility. The chance exists that the Patriots may try to re-sign Banta-Cain when he's healed but his brief text did have an air of finality to it. The Patriots are not well armed at outside linebacker. Jermaine Cunningham, Rob Ninkovich, Eric Moore and Marques Murrell are in the mix. Markell Carter was a sixth-round pick in April. Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Kraft won't hold a grudge over Deflategate, but he also won't forget it

Kraft won't hold a grudge over Deflategate, but he also won't forget it

Haters gonna hate. Robert Kraft knows that, and he's not going to hold a grudge because of it. But he won't forget, either.

The New England Patriots owner appeared on the latest episode of HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" for an interview with Andrea Kremer that aired Tuesday night, and he was as candid as any member of the organization has been throughout the Deflategate saga.

“I really don’t hold grudges,” Kraft admitted in the interview, per WEEI. “I mean, I remember everything, but I move on . . . Envy and jealousy are incurable diseases. The haters still hate. And I understand it, and we’ll do our best to keep them in that position.”

And while Kraft isn't holding grudges, he still recognizes the negative impact the controversy left on Tom Brady's pristine reputation.

“He’s just not the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL,” Kraft began. “He’s an amazing human being. And is genuine. And as nice as everybody thinks he is, he’s nicer. And to see anyone attack him as an individual or his integrity. And that just wasn’t fair.”

Bennett says he is 'just chilling' and hasn't given free agency 'a ton of thought'

Bennett says he is 'just chilling' and hasn't given free agency 'a ton of thought'

Will Martellus Bennett be back with the Patriots next season?

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says it's "a real possibility" Bennett leaves given the asking price and potential offers.

Less than an hour later, the unrestricted free agent sent out a tweet responding to speculation about his future.

Bennett, who will 30 years old in March, had seven touchdowns in 19 games in his first season with the New England Patriots.