Hernandez: We're going to come out firing


Hernandez: We're going to come out firing

FOXBORO -- Aaron Hernandez has been one of Tom Brady's most consistent receivers throughout camp. He has caught every catchable pass, and he's added a few spectacular grabs for good measure.

Even though Brady's overloaded with talented receiving options, he's often looked the way of his smaller, quicker tight end. During one stretch on Wednesday, Brady found Hernandez on four straight passes, the last one resulting in a touchdown.

Despite his training camp success, Hernandez knows his connection with Brady is still a work in progress.

"I'd say we're still at the beginning," he said. "We gotta keep getting our timing down, and he's gotta start reading me, and I gotta read him and know what he wants. He has to know what he wants me to do and stuff like that. But we keep improving everyday and we're gonna get on point and we're gonna come out this season firing."

Hernandez has been used a lot. He's been in at tight end, in the slot and split out wide, but he says he's feeling good. Why? Because he doesn't have to go through the rigors of double sessions.

"With all them new rules, I love it," he said. "It's saving me. Two practices beats up on your body. Bill Belichick regardless is gonna find a way to beat up on us, so regardless we're gonna be tired."

But he hasn't looked it. For the last two days, he's shared the stage with two of the best tight ends in the league: Rob Gronkowski and Saints tight end Jimmy Graham. While both of those players have been solid, Hernandez has found the ball in his hands more consistently than either of his counterparts. During 11-on-11 work, six of Brady's 10 completions ended up in Hernandez's hands.

Hernandez was asked to compare himself to Gronkowski and Graham after their second joint practice.

"Good player, obviously," he said of Graham. "The whole league knows about him, and that's about it. We're all good players, we're all different and all got different qualities, but I say, it is what it is.

"I say we're different players and we do different things. Graham and Gronk are similar in their playing type and I have a different type of way I approach defenders and approach the game. I think we all have different qualities that are real good."

Hernandez's quickness, sure hands and precise route-running have all been on display during camp, and as a result he has been one of Brady's most active targets.

Kraft on possible Patriots reunion with Revis: 'I would love it'

Kraft on possible Patriots reunion with Revis: 'I would love it'

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.

Kraft says intention is not to trade Butler: 'We hope he's with us'

Kraft says intention is not to trade Butler: 'We hope he's with us'

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."