By Tom E. Curran
NEW ORLEANS - Bill Belichick embraces the annual NFL Owners Meetings like a shirtless man hugs a cactus. Being told where to be, when, and for how long just doesn't float with him at this point. Nor does some of the back-slapping artifice you can routinely see at this event. (I, on the other hand, love it.) But Belichick did his duty and came to New Orleans. We caught up with him in a hallway at the Roosevelt. Belichick said at the start he wasn't delving into the CBA and, when asked about Brandon Meriweather, signaled he wasn't going there either. ("We're aware of it. We've got nothing to add.")Belichick was tight-lipped when asked about his players, likely not wanting to even give appearance that he may be keeping abreast of their progress during this lockout. "Our last meeting with them was at the end of the season, he said.Other than ripping into the proposed changes to kickoffs, Belichick provided mostly verbal shrugs to the questions posed. Asked about this work stoppage compared to others he's seen since 1975, Belichick said, I guess theyre all different. The other two were during the season. Maybe this will be too, I dont know. Theyre all different, but right now I dont have any control over that. Were just working on what we can work on, which is our draft preparation. He wouldn't weigh in on this year's draft class, or which teams may be better prepared personnel-wise to handle a lockout. Asked about trading picks, elevating Bill O'Brien to offensive coordinator and moving Matt Patricia to safeties coach, Belichick's answer can be distilled to, "Just doing what's good for the football team."
In short, he was short. And you knew he was kidding when asked finally what his favorite part of the offseason has been, "So far, Id say the owners meetings here in New Orleans.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran
It was reported last week that multiple NFL executives are convinced that Darrelle Revis will return to the New England Patriots next season.
Talking with the New York Daily News, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he’d be open to a reunion with the 31-year-old cornerback.
“I would love it,” Kraft said. “Speaking for myself, if he wanted to come back, he’s a great competitor, I’d welcome him if he wanted to come.”
Asked if the team has had discussions with Revis, Kraft said “ask my boy,” in reference to coach Bill Belichick.
Revis spent the 2014 season with the Patriots, helping them win Super Bowl XLIX. He bolted back to the New York Jets the next season, signing a five-year, $70 million contract ($39 million guaranteed).
The Jets released Revis earlier this month after the incident in Pittsburgh. A judge dismissed the charges.
PHOENIX -- The idea that Malcolm Butler could be traded by the Patriots before the start of the 2017 season has been floated for weeks. But if Robert Kraft had his way, he'd like for the hero of Super Bowl XLIX to stick around.
At the Biltmore hotel on Day 2 of the league's annual meetings, Kraft was asked if he anticipated having Butler back in New England for next season.
"I sure hope so," he said. "We have [a first-round tender] out to him, and I know he has the ability to go out in the market and get someone to sign him, and then we either match it or get the first-round draft pick.
"I'm rooting, I hope, he's with us and signs his offer sheet and plays for us. I have a great affection for him. He was part of probably the greatest play in the history of our team, but there are a lot of people involved in that."
The Patriots can't trade any player who isn't under contract, and they can't talk about a trade for a player not on their roster. Therefore, even if the Patriots hoped to deal Butler and get something in return for the Pro Bowl-caliber corner before he hits unrestricted free agency in 2018, it's not something that the owner of the team would be at liberty to discuss with dozens of microphones in front of his face.
The tender offer of $3.91 million for one season is still out there for Butler. He could sign it and play in New England. He could sign it and be traded. For now, Kraft says he's hoping for the former -- and insists that the Patriots didn't have designs on the latter all along.
"I don't want to, in any way, take away from his rights [as a restricted free agent]," he said, adding, "I want to be clear. I hope he's with us."