Patriots re-sign Underwood, release Gronkowski

582542.jpg

Patriots re-sign Underwood, release Gronkowski

The Patriots officially announced the release of defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth Tuesday evening. Believe it or not, the team report puts the transaction second on the list behind the re-signing of wide receiver Tiquan Underwood.

Underwood was in New England for less than a week before being released September 3; he's remembered mostly for his old school high-top fade. Last year with Jacksonville Underwood got action in three games as a special teams player. He's likely been brought back by the Patriots to fill a similar role.

Also announced were the releases of tight end Dan Gronkowski from the 53-man roster and offensive lineman Thomas Welch from the practice squad. Gronkowski was used by the Patriots for blocking, which, with the return of Sebastian Vollmer, is a job handled lately by Nate Solder and the offensive line.

Welch played in three games, starting one, for New England this season.

Report: Celtics offer Pacers deal for Paul George

Report: Celtics offer Pacers deal for Paul George

The Celtics reportedly have offered the Pacers a deal to acquire star forward Paul George.

According to Adam Kaufman of WBZ News Radio and 98.5 The Sports Hub, the Celtics offered the Pacers the first-round pick they received from the 76ers, either the 2019 Grizzlies or Clippers’ protected first-rounder, Jae Crowder and a money filler.

Kaufman also noted Avery Bradley could be on the move as well for financial reasons.

The C's, as reported by The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski, are also working to sign Gordon Hayward this summer.

Blakely: Ainge's patience may hand Celtics a double payoff

Blakely: Ainge's patience may hand Celtics a double payoff

BOSTON -- When it comes to public opinion, Danny Ainge has never been one to be consumed by it or let it trickle into a decision he was thinking about for the roster.
 
So you can understand why the "What are they doing?" cries from Celtics Nation when he traded away the No. 1 overall pick earlier this month never resonated with him.

MORE ON GEORGE/HAYWARD


And you can understand why Ainge, when the Chicago Bulls became serious about moving Jimmy Butler on draft night, never put forth a competitive offer even though he had more than enough trade chips to do so.
 
He has patiently waited for his vault full of assets to increase, like blue-chip stocks, to a point where they had real value to a team open to moving a superstar talent to Boston.
 
That time appears to be now, with the Celtics well-positioned to add not one but two All-Stars in Utah’s Gordon Hayward and Indiana’s Paul George.
 
The Celts are pursuing both simultaneously, knowing they have to secure Hayward first in order to arrange to have enough salary-cap space to make a trade with the Pacers for George.
 
Not surprisingly, the first move in this 1-2 step is the hardest.
 
Boston will have to convince Hayward, who played for Celtics coach Brad Stevens at Butler and was named to his first All-Star team in February, to bypass an extra year and about $40 million --- which he could get by staying in Utah -- to sign here. The advantage the C's have, in addition to the lure of playing for his ex-college coach, is that the path towards the NBA Finals is a lot more realistic with them than with the Jazz, who are on the rise but not quite close enough to where they are a legitimate threat to the NBA champion Golden State Warriors.
 
Meanwhile, the Celtics are coming off a season in which they finished with the best record in the East and advanced to the Eastern Conference finals. They also return the core from last year's team, led by two-time All-Star Isaiah Thomas.
 
It’s likely that at least one member of the team’s core will be included in a trade for George, a pending free agent whose representatives informed the Pacers he was not going to sign a long-term contract with Indiana and that his preferred destination for 2018-19 (and beyond) was his hometown Los Angeles Lakers.
 
The Lakers don't have the kind of assets the Pacers are hoping to secure for their four-time All-Star. The Celtics, however, are in position to potentially overpay for George and not have it devastate their growth in both the short and long term. They also feel that once they get him here, they can convince him to stay . . . and, indeed, some people in George's camp feel Boston is a better landing spot than Los Angeles.
 
However, the key in all this is Hayward, who will also get a strong pitch from the Miami Heat.
 
Complicating this even further for the Celtics has been the salary cap coming in at just $99 million as opposed to what most anticipated would be a couple million dollars more.
 
“It is hard,” Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, told CSN’s Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely recently regarding the salary cap for this season. “With the cap going down, it’s a little bit of a jolt. It doesn’t seem like a lot and every team has to deal with this. But we were planning pretty close to the dollar, to have a good team this year but to max cap space flexibility going into the offseason.”

In order for the Celtics to pull this off, it likely means they will have to part ways with at least one of their core players to ensure there’s enough cap space.
 
But considering what they could look like roster-wise on opening night, having to trade a player because of the decreased salary cap is the kind of the collateral damage that the C's can live with.