Cannon 'blessed' to be drafted by Patriots


Cannon 'blessed' to be drafted by Patriots

By DannyPicard

FOXBORO -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; Marcus Cannon knew the questions were coming. He just didntknow who they would be coming from, or when exactly theyd be asked.

But the 6-foot-5, 358-pound offensive lineman from TCU wasdrafted by the Patriots in the fifth round (138th overall) on Saturday, whichbrought up the uncomfortable topic of Cannons latest health issue.

Cannon was recently diagnosed with a treatable form oflymphoma, which was a reason his stock fell in the draft.

The Patriots, however, liked him enough during his pre-draftworkout with the team, that they decided to select him with their first pick onDay Three of the draft.

It was a blessing, said Cannon in a conference call. Meand my family were pretty ecstatic. After all that weve figured out in thelast couple of weeks, its just a blessing to have this opportunity to play inthe NFL.

Cannon said he hasnt been as emotional about the lymphomarevelation as one would expect. Perhaps thats because it hasnt yet sunk in.

He began treatment on Thursday, and said he doesnt knowwhen hell be finished with those treatments.

I listen to whatever the doctors tell me to do, saidCannon. Ive started treatment. Just listen to them, and just do what they sayand do all my treatment. Thats all I can do.

Im just happy that I got picked up today by the Patriots,he said, when asked how many more treatments hed need. Im just happy to bewith my family. Were going to take it day by day, you know?

When asked how he felt today, health-wise, Cannon said, Ifeel awesome. God blessed me.

This is something that I have to go through, he said. Godwouldnt put this on my plate if this was something I couldnt have handled. Iknew this was going to happen, I was going to have to talk about this the wholetime.

Im just taking my treatment day by day, and whenever Imdone with my treatment, is when I get to go play football.

As for his on-field attributes, Cannon said hes neverplayed guard, but would do so, if asked.

I think I bring a big frame that moves as fast as everybodyelse, or faster, said Cannon. A lot of power. And I bring a good personalityto the team.

Half the teams worked me out at guard, half the teams hadme at tackle. I really didnt care where they put me. Ill play at either oneof them.

Danny Picard is onTwitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on hisstreaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from9-10 a.m. on

Sanu on Patriots' Super Bowl comeback: Lady Gaga's long halftime hurt Falcons

Sanu on Patriots' Super Bowl comeback: Lady Gaga's long halftime hurt Falcons

Three weeks removed from his team blowing a 25-point, second-half lead in the Super Bowl, Mohamed Sanu offered a possible explanation for the Atlanta Falcons losing their edge against the Patriots.

Lady Gaga.

More specifically, it was the half-hour-plus halftime show that interrupted the Falcons' rhythm, the receiver said Friday on the NFL Network's "Good Morning Football."

“Usually, halftime is only like 15 minutes, and when you’re not on the field for like an hour, it’s just like going to work out, like a great workout, and you go sit on the couch for an hour and then try to start working out again,” Sanu said.

Sanu was asked if the delay was something you can simulate in practice. 

"It's really the energy [you can't duplicate]," he said. "I don't know if you can simulate something like that. That was my first time experiencing something like that."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick did simulate it. In his Super Bowl practices, he had his team take long breaks in the middle.

Sanu also addressed the Falcons' pass-first play-calling that didn't eat up clock while the Patriots came back.

"The thought [that they weren't running the ball more] crossed your mind, but as a player, you're going to do what the coach [Dan Quinn] wants you to do." Sanu said. "He's called plays like that all the time."


It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade


It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

The Patriots received a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018 from the Browns in return for Jamie Collins. That's how the trade was described on the league's transaction wire. 

The "condition" of that fourth-rounder? Well, if the Browns received a third-round compensatory pick in 2017, the Patriots would nab that pick instead. 

On Friday, the NFL announced that the Browns had in fact been awarded a third-round compensatory pick, which meant that almost three full weeks after Super Bowl LI, everything was still coming up Patriots.

In actuality, the odds were pretty good all along that the Patriots would get what they got

Cleveland lost Pro Bowl center Alex Mack in free agency last offseason when he opted to sign with the Falcons. Because compensatory picks are based on free agents lost and free agents acquired, and because the Browns did not sign any similarly-impactful free agents, there was a good chance Mack's departure would render a third-round comp pick that would be shipped to New England.

Had Mack suffered a significant injury that forced his play to drop off or limited his time on the field, a third-rounder may have been out of the question, but he played well (named a Pro Bowler and a Second Team All-Pro) and stayed healthy -- lucky for the Patriots -- missing just 17 total snaps in the regular season. 

The Browns comp pick that will be sent to New England is No. 103 overall. The Patriots were also awarded a fifth-round comp pick, No. 185 overall. That was a result of the league weighing the departures of Akiem Hicks and Tavon Wilson against the arrival of Shea McClellin.

The Patriots now have nine selections in this year's draft: One first-rounder; one second-rounder; two third-rounders; one fourth-rounder*; two fifth-rounders; two seventh-rounders.

The third-round compensatory pick acquired by the Patriots carries additional value this year in that it is the first year in which compensatory picks can be traded. A near top-100 overall selection may allow the Patriots to move up the draft board or build assets in the middle rounds should they be inclined to deal. And we know they oftentimes are. 

* The Patriots forfeited their highest fourth-round selection in this year's draft as part of their Deflategate punishment. They acquired a fourth-round pick from the Seahawks last year. Because that would have been the higher of their two selections, that's the one they'll lose. They will make their own fourth-round pick at No. 137 overall.