Patriots among many paying respects to Myra Kraft

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Patriots among many paying respects to Myra Kraft

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @mary_paoletti

The funeral for Myra H. Kraft, wife of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, was held on Friday, July 22.

Service attendance was massive, but a number well short of all those touched in some way by her passion and generosity.

New England players of present and past fame were there to pay respects, from Tom Brady to Troy Brown (her "favorite Patriot").

Separate sides of the NFL labor battle -- DeMaurice Smith and Roger Goodell -- came together on a matter more important than football.

And famous faces from outside the sports world, like Donald Trump and Governor Deval Patrick, took time to look in on the memorial.

She was a celebrity, not for her name, but for the scope of her philanthropy. The funeral's program -- white with Tiffany blue trim -- describes, at its heart, the woman mourners knew.
During her 40-plus year career as an active philanthropist, Myra served on and chaired boards and committees for virtually all of the city's major non-profit organizations. The one position of which she was most proud was becoming the first woman to serve as Chair of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston in their 110-year history.

But the first pages showed more intimate scenes.

Myra standing between her four sons: Jonathan, Daniel, Joshua and David.

Myra sitting with her eight grandchildren: Jessica, Alison, Harry, Rebecca, Sadie, Anna, Jacob, and Joey.

Frozen in black and white, holding her youngest in front of a tree where the three elder boys perched, Robert looking on.

She sorted clothes, watered Marigolds. And in three different frames from three different eras, she stood beside her husband -- ever smiling, ever his blushing bride.

Robert walked behind the coffin as his grandchildren bore it to the hearse. He laid a kiss on the closed door between him and his wife before the hearse left for the cemetery.

His sweetheart needed him one last time.

Mary Paoletti can be reached at mpaoletti@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Arizona Cardinals place franchise tag on Chandler Jones

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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.

Mayock: If I'm Cleveland, I'd be 'stoked' to land Garoppolo for No. 12 pick

Mayock: If I'm Cleveland, I'd be 'stoked' to land Garoppolo for No. 12 pick

NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock quarterbacked a marathon conference call with reporters from around the country on Monday in order to shed some light on the prospects who will compete at the combine later this week. One thing that stood out? He's not ready to crown anyone in this year's crop of draftable signal-callers.

As a result of the dearth of pro-ready talent at quarterback, Mayock recognized Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo as perhaps the top target for any quarterback-needy team. Garoppolo might interest the Cleveland Browns in particular, Mayock noted, because of the number of picks they have near the top of the draft.

"In my opinion," Mayock said, "if I'm the Cleveland Browns and I've got No. 1 and No. 12, if I came away with either [defensive end Myles] Garrett or [defensive tackle] Jonathan Allen at No. 1, and gave up the 12th pick in the draft to get Garoppolo? I would be stoked.

"I would feel like I had a difference-maker on defense and we had a quarterback on offense. Now let's get to work. We got five in the first 65 picks. Let's get to work. From my perspective, especially looking at the quarterbacks this year, if they gave up No. 12 and could get Garoppolo, I'd be all over that."