FOXBORO - Tom Brady lobbied for the return of prodigal wideouts Jabar Gaffney and Donte Stallworth during the offseason but neither man made it past Monday night. Gaffney and Stallworth were among the five players the team released in cutting the roster down to the current league limit of 75. The team also released Tim Bulman and Gerard Warren. A source tells CSNNE's Mary Paoletti that Ross Ventrone was waived injured. Other moves the Patriots included sending tight end Jake Ballard and DL Myron Pryorto the ReservePhysically Unable to Perform list. Rookie free agent OL Markus Zusevics was placed on the ReserveNon Football Injury List. Those players are eligible to return after Week 6. Defensive back Will Allen, S Josh Barrett and FB Spencer Larsen were placed on injured reserve In addition, the Patriots claimed first-year WR Kerry Taylor. Taylor is a 6-foot, 196-pounder out of Arizona State who was on the practice squads of the 49ers and Vikings. The releases of Gaffney and Stallworth leave the Patriots with Brandon Lloyd, Wes Welker, Deion Branch, Jeremy Ebert, Julian Edelman, Jesse Holley and Matthew Slater on the roster. Patriots owner Robert Kraft opined that Stallworth could find his way back. "You never know what moving on means," said Kraft before the team's annual preseason gala. "This is a business where things change so you want to keep good relationships and you never know what can happen. Also, it's a business where you have a very limited budget. You have to be disciplined how you do things. People's skills fade or how they fit into your system is different. We might claim someone today who has some experience or may fit our system. A lot of variables, if I were a straight fanI wouldn't understand it. It's all about putting us in the best position to win."
Even for some of the nation's top athletes, confident 20-somethings with the rest of their (perhaps very lucrative) lives ahead of them, there's a feeling you just can't shake when Bill Belichick walks into the room.
"When you first meet him, you're scared," said Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan, per WBZ. "He's quizzing you. It's like a little test. But after you get done with the test, the quiz or whatever, drawing up the defense, it's pretty cool. They're real down to earth people. Really cool."
Belichick was spotted at Ohio State's pro day getting a closer look at McMillan and his teammates on Thursday. He then headed off to Ann Arbor, Michigan for the Wolverines showcase Friday.
During various scouting trips across the country, the Patriots appear to be showing significant interest in the incoming class of linebackers. Belichick spent some extra time with Vanderbilt's Zach Cunningham -- who's projected to be a first-rounder -- at his pro day. The team reportedly scheduled a meeting with a speedy linebacker from Cincinnati. And Matt Patricia caught up with Notre Dame linebacker James Onwualu once his workouts finished up on Thursday.
As for McMillan, the 6-2, 240-pounder was a second-team All-American and a first-team All-Big Ten choice. He's instinctive, but there's some question as to whether or not he has the strength to hold up inside at the next level.
Tom E. Curran has Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports as a guest to discuss the Aaron Hernandez double homicide trial. Wetzel has been in the courtroom, and wrote this piece about the day Hernandez’s former friend Alexander Bradley testified in court.
After speaking with Wetzel, Curran has Tim Rohan of MMQB.com on to discuss his day with ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
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