Curran: Relief, not rejoicing, at lockout's end

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Curran: Relief, not rejoicing, at lockout's end

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - Who won? Who cares? Watching the cluster of media surround De Smith and Roger Goodell on a Washington sidewalk Monday to hear about the glorious end of the NFL Lockout, it was impossible for me to share fully in the revelry. Relief, yes. Rejoice? Yeah . . . ummm, no. Two sides figured out how to share the dough in an almost 10 billion business that's expected to keep on growing in future years. "It's about time . . ." seems more appropriate after 137 days of waiting for the lockout to end. They made a mess and cleaned it up. There was no noble cause that kicked this thing off. There was no giant wrong that needed righting. Players who earn more before their 25th birthdays than most people make in a lifetime of work can return to work. And the billionaires who locked them out so that their cash cow could keep spewing millions every time they squeezed a teat can rest well now. At least Patriots owner Robert Kraft had the wherewithal to begin his remarks Monday with an apology to the fans. And fans, players and fellow owners can go ahead and thank Kraft for being the one owner who -- throughout the process -- banged the drum to get a fair deal for both sides. With his wife in failing health, he kept on swinging that axe at the lockout tree trying to get a long-term deal created that would keep this ugliness out of our faces for the foreseeable future. Monday -- five days after Myra Kraft's death -- Robert was the first one to think of the fans instead of backslapping with the other owners. And when Colts center and NFLPA stalwart Jeff Saturday stepped forward to embrace a spent-looking Kraft and the little giant among American businessmen leaned his head on Saturday's chest it was hard to not feel a lump form in your throat. Who won? Both the owners and the players. And the fans? Well, I guess we can say they didn't lose too much. Except maybe patience and respect. Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Report: Steelers' offer for Dont'a Hightower was bigger than Patriots'

Report: Steelers' offer for Dont'a Hightower was bigger than Patriots'

Dont'a Hightower left money on the table in New York and in Pittsburgh, and instead took a smaller deal to return the New England Patriots, according to CBSSports' Jason La Canfora.

The Jets' offer was previously reported to be $12 million per year, including incentives. La Canfora reiterated that report. But he also detailed Pittsburgh's offer, as the Steelers also outbid the Patriots with over $9 million per year.

Instead, Hightower settled for $8.7 million per season with New England, and will play under Bill Belichick in a Patriots jersey for the sixth season in 2017.

Hightower traveled a great deal during free agency, and ended up garnering interest from the Steelers, Jets, Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins.

The 27-year-old linebacker finished the 2016 season with 65 tackles tackles, 2.5 sacks, two pass deflections and one forced fumble. He also had a game-changing strip sack on Matt Ryan in Super Bowl LI that shifted the momentum of game.

Brian Scalabrine: Celtics starters are top-5 starting group

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Brian Scalabrine: Celtics starters are top-5 starting group

When the Celtics starting 5 players are fully healthy they have a record of 23-7. Brian Scalabrine believes they're in the top-5 best starting group in the NBA and that they would've won 60 games if healthy all season.