Belichick: 'Great pleasure and honor coaching Brown'


Belichick: 'Great pleasure and honor coaching Brown'

FOXBORO -- As Troy Brown gets ready to officially be inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame this weekend at Gillette Stadium, coach Bill Belichick praised the man that literally defined someone who factored into all three phases of the game.

"On behalf of the team and personally, I'd like to congratulate Troy on his selection to the Patriots Hall of Fame," said Belichick. "It's certainly a great tribute to a player that really deserves the recognition. I had the great pleasure and honor, really, of coaching him.

"He was here in '96, my first year here when I was coaching the defensive backs, working against him every day in practice as a secondary coach. Then as a head coach, just having him on the team in the important role that he had, as a player, captain, a veteran player, and ultimately a player that played in all three phases of the game -- offense, defense, and special teams -- very well. He ahd some very big games.

"He's meant a lot to me. He's meant a lot to this football team and the organization. And congratulations to Troy and his family. It's well deserved."

Brown spent his entire career -- 15 seasons -- with the Patriots after being drafted in the eighth round (198th overall) of the 1993 NFL Draft. He retired as the team's all-time leading receiver with 557 receptions and all-time leading punt returner with 252 career returns. He finished second in team history with 6,366 career receiving yards.

Mike Giardi: Don’t think Patriots will use franchise tag on Dont'a Hightower

Mike Giardi: Don’t think Patriots will use franchise tag on Dont'a Hightower

Mike Giardi discusses the odds that the New England Patriots franchise tag Dont'a Hightower and what he expects the Pats to get if they were to trade Jimmy Garoppolo.

Arizona Cardinals place franchise tag on Chandler Jones


Arizona Cardinals place franchise tag on Chandler Jones

PHOENIX - The Arizona Cardinals, in an anticipated move, have placed a non-exclusive franchise tag on outside linebacker Chandler Jones after failing to reach a long-term deal with the player.

The non-exclusive tag allows the Cardinals to continue negotiating with Jones through July 15. If another team makes him an offer, Arizona can either match it or receive two first-round draft picks.

It's unlikely that any team would express interest in Jones, however, given what it would cost.

Under the franchise tag, Jones would receive about $15 million for the coming season.

Acquired in a trade with New England a year ago, Jones had 11 sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 15 tackles for loss last season

Jones has 25 1-2 sacks over the past two seasons, third-most in the NFL over that span.

The Cardinals' move came two days before the NFL deadline for making franchise designations.

It also came on Jones' 27th birthday, prompting teammate David Johnson to tweet "Happy BDay to `The Man,' `Mr. Franchise' himself.....The one and only."

The franchise tag move came as no surprise.

Club President Michael Bidwill has stated all along that Jones would not be going anywhere, that the team didn't make the trade - sending guard Jonathan Cooper and a second-round draft pick to New England - to keep him just for one season.

"We're not going to mess around with that," Bidwill said in a recent interview on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. "He's a great pass rusher, but if we can't agree to terms that work for us, we're just going to franchise him, and his people know that."

Jones immediately upgraded what had been an average Cardinals pass rush at best. His fellow outside linebacker Markus Golden had 12 1-2 sacks and seven tackles for loss. Together they form one of the better outside pass rush combinations in the NFL.

By all accounts, the contract talks with Jones have been cordial and Jones has said he wants to stay in Arizona.

"I love it here," he said near the end of last season. "I love the vibe that the people give off and I can see myself being here for a long time."

Chandler heads a long list of free agents that the Cardinals must either re-sign or let go. That group includes starters defensive tackle Calais Campbell, safety Tony Jefferson and inside linebacker Kevin Minter.