Patriots locker room observations: No limp for Hernandez

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Patriots locker room observations: No limp for Hernandez

FOXBORO -- The news of Kellen Winslow's release may be a sign that Aaron Hernandez's injured left ankle is making progress.

On Thursday, Hernandez walked around the Patriots locker room barefoot and without any kind of noticeable limp. He missed practice for the second straight day on Thursday, however, and he will likely need more time before he's running and cutting.

Still, no boot, no limp. Both good signs for the Patriots.

Here are a few other quick observations from Thursday's media session:

Trevor Scott has been busy lining up ticket requests as he gets ready to head to Buffalo this weekend. The defensive end was born in Potsdam, New York and played his college ball at the University of Buffalo. Scott said he was a Giants fan growing up, but many of his friends are "die hard" Bills fans. In college, he got to first hand the passion with which the entire city of Buffalo follows its teams.

"The Bills or the Sabres, every time those guys are playing," Scott said, "they're pretty rowdy about it."

Patriots players preparing to face Harvard-educated Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick were asked to name the smartest players in New England's locker room.

Rob Ninkovich went with Rob Gronkowski.

"Mathematics, if I have anything going wrong with my car, Gronkowski fixes it right away," Ninkovich said with a smile.

Matthew Slater went with his old roommate: center Ryan Wendell.

"He knows a little bit about everything," Slater said. "Go visit with him. You'll see he's a bright guy."

Gillette Stadium caterers wore black-and-white striped shirts today. Perhaps a statement that they're happy to see the NFL's officials returning to work? Maybe, but probably not.

Bruins don't extend qualifying offer to Joe Morrow

Bruins don't extend qualifying offer to Joe Morrow

With free agency just around the corner, the Bruins have officially cut ties with former first-round pick and last bastion of the Tyler Seguin trade, Joe Morrow.

The 24-year-old Edmonton native arrived in Boston along with Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser in exchange for Seguin when he was shipped to Dallas, and now all of those players have moved on from Boston as well. Boston does still carry Jimmy Hayes on their roster, a player traded from Florida in exchange for Smith, as a last remnant of the Seguin deal, but it isn't expected to be too long before Hayes moves on from Boston as well.  

The B’s announced on Monday afternoon that they hadn’t extended a qualifying offer to Morrow, as well as P-Bruins power forward Colton Hargrove, as a restricted free agent, and that both B’s youngsters were now free to sign with any of the 30 NHL teams as free agents.

The Bruins extended qualifying offers to restricted free agents in Noel Acciari, Linus Arnesson, Austin Czarnik, Zane McIntyre, David Pastrnak, Tim Schaller, Ryan Spooner and Malcolm Subban, and will retain the associated team rights with all of those players. Negotiations are ongoing between the Bruins and Pastrnak continue over a long term deal that would put him in the same $6 million plus per season level as teammate Brad Marchand, but one source with knowledge of the negotiations indicated it’s “not close” to being a done deal.

Some RFA’s like Spooner and Subban might not necessarily fit into the long term plan for the Black and Gold, but they need to maintain their rights if they hope to trade them as valued assets down the line.

Morrow never put together the talent that made him a former first-round pick while he was in Boston, and totaled just one assist in 17 games for the B’s before playing well in five playoff games after getting pushed into duty due to injuries. In all Morrow finished with two goals and nine points along with a minus-8 rating in 65 games over three seasons in Boston, but could never string together an extended run of consistent play at the NHL level.

With the Bruins in the market to bring on another left-shot defenseman into the Boston fold this summer, it was pretty clear that the time had come to move on from Morrow while allowing him to potentially develop as an NHL D-man elsewhere. 

Tom Brady claims No. 1 spot on NFL's top 100 list

Tom Brady claims No. 1 spot on NFL's top 100 list

The NFL Network revealed the final 10 players on its annual Top 100 list Monday night and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady finished in the No. 1 spot.

On NFL.com, the Top 100 list is described as the answer to the question, "Who are the top 100 players in the NFL today?" If that's the criteria -- and not simply performance in 2016 -- then Watt's complaint actually doesn't hold much water. If he's healthy, no one would argue that he's one of the best 35 players "in the NFL today."

Several Patriots players made the cut on this year's list: Rob Gronkowski (No. 23), LeGarrette Blount (No. 80), Julian Edelman (No. 71), Dont'a Hightower (No. 94) and Malcolm Butler (No. 99). 

Brady was also voted in as the No. 1 player back in 2011.