Patriots free up a pair of roster spots, release Fletcher, Davis


Patriots free up a pair of roster spots, release Fletcher, Davis

FOXBORO - Dane Fletcher, who tore his ACL covering a punt in Thursday's preseason game against the Saints, has been released by the Patriots. So too has wide receiver Britt Davis, who injured his shoulder against the Saints. League sources confirmed both moves which were initially reported by and Davis reached an injury settlement with the team, according to ESPNBoston. The moves open up two roster spots for the team as it prepares for its second preseason game next Monday against the Eagles. Roster additions could be in the offing. The Patriots have been thin along the offensive line with veterans Brian Waters (excused absence), Sebastian Vollmer (back) and Logan Mankins (available to return to full pads on Tuesday) sidelined. With that in mind, they worked out former Packers tackle Chad Clifton this week. Both Fletcher and Davis will have to pass through waivers in order for the Patriots to re-sign them. Given Fletcher's contributions to the team over the past two years, it's likely they're hoping he makes it through without anyone putting in dibs on him. That's no certainty, though. The Patriots showed that earlier this offseason when the Giants released tight end Jake Ballard after microfracture surgery. It was the Giants' intention to re-sign Ballard and put him on injured reserve once he cleared waivers, but the Patriots put a claim in on him.

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivered a video message last week at the funeral of Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a Maine native and former UConn track athlete killed in Somalia on May 5.

Bill Speros of The Boston Herald, in a column this Memorial Day weekend, wrote about Milliken and Brady's message.   

Milliken ran track at Cheverus High School in Falmouth, Maine, and at UConn, where he graduated in 2001. Milliken lived in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife, Erin, and two children.  He other Navy SEALs participated in a training exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011 where he met and posed for pictures with Brady.

Speros wrote that at Milliken’s funeral in Virginia Beach, Va., Brady's video offered condolences and thanked Milliken’s family for its sacrifice and spoke of how Milliken was considered a “glue guy” by UConn track coach Greg Roy.

Milliken had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning four Bronze Star Medals and was based in Virginia since 2004.  He was killed in a nighttime firefight with Al-Shabaab militants near Barij, about 40 miles from the Somali capital of Mogadishu. He was 38.

The Pentagon said Milliken was the first American serviceman killed in combat in Somalia since the "Black Hawk Down" battle that killed 18 Americans in 1993. 

In a statement to the Herald, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said: “It was an honor to host Kyle and his team for an exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011. It gave new meaning to the stadium being known as home of the Patriots. We were deeply saddened to hear of Kyle’s death earlier this month.

“As Memorial Day weekend approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by patriots like Kyle and so many others who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect our rights as Americans. Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt appreciation are extended to the Milliken family and the many families who will be remembering lives lost this Memorial Day weekend.”