Patriots captains send thanks to U.S. Army Captain


Patriots captains send thanks to U.S. Army Captain

U.S. Army Captain Nassar G. Jabour Jr.'s homecoming party wasn't a surprise. He was thrilled but ready to see over 60 of his friends and relatives gathered at a downtown Lawrence pub to celebrate his safe return from Afghanistan.

Still, the group did get one big surprise over on the "diehard" Patriots fan.

Tom Brady, Jerod Mayo, and Vince Wilfork all expressed thanks and well wishes to Jabour via a video assembled by Patriots PR. And everyone at the bar got to see it.

"Never in a million years could I have expected that. I expected the party, but I couldn't ask for anything more," he told the Eagle-Tribune.

"My parents are awesome! They are so great. And now I got that (the video) for the rest of my life."

The team's response was to a letter sent by Jabour's mother, Michele N. Struffolino.

Struffolino briefed the Patriots on her son's nine years of service in the Army, including his years at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.While she said her son dedicated his life to serving his country, she also stressed her son's commitment to being a future Pats season ticket holder. He put his name on the Pats waiting list seven years ago.While Jabour was in Afghanistan, his contact with family over the Internet during the football season usually involved "calming and enjoyable conversations (about the Patriots) in the midst of stress," Struffolino said.

The letter was sent in May. Two months later Struffolino was able to give her son the video, an autographed photo of Brady, and a letter from Patriots VP of media relations Stacey James describing the DVD.

"three of our captains extending thanks to your captain."

You can read more about Jabour's special night here.

Mike Giardi: Don’t think Patriots will use franchise tag on Dont'a Hightower

Mike Giardi: Don’t think Patriots will use franchise tag on Dont'a Hightower

Mike Giardi discusses the odds that the New England Patriots franchise tag Dont'a Hightower and what he expects the Pats to get if they were to trade Jimmy Garoppolo.

Arizona Cardinals place franchise tag on Chandler Jones


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.