By Tom E. Curran
DALLAS - Earlier on Wednesday, I wrote about the enviable position Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is going to find himself in. Just 28 years old, headed to free agency with a no-trade, no-franchise tag clause in his contract at the end of next season. Some team is going to make Fitzgerald even richer than he already is.
Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston tracked Fitzgerald down here in Dallas and got the wideouts thoughts on New England. They were flattering.I think it all starts with the head coach Bill Belichick," Fitzgerald told Reiss. "He does a fantastic job, week in and week out, keeping his guys mentally prepared to go out there and play. Hes the only coach in history to have four seasons with 14 wins, and that alone, speaks volumes of what hes able to accomplish, especially in that AFC East division. I think youre looking at the NFLs strongest division, from top to bottom. If Buffalo played in the NFC West, theyd probably win the NFC West. Thats a strong, strong division and hes found a way to win it eight times. Its astonishing."
Fitzgerald has made mention of his desire to be on a winner. The Cardinals are not headed in that direction. Believe this, the bidding war for his services will be high stakes. It will be interesting to see if the Patriots take a seat at that table.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran
Mike Giardi and Phil Perry report from Foxboro where they discuss Tom Brady addressing the media about cutting his thumb prior to the New England Patriots preseason game against the Chicago Bears.
FOXBORO -- Tom Brady spent part of Tuesday's practice, his first since Wednesday of last week, showing Patriots football reseach director Ernie Adams exactly how he pierced his thumb with a pair of scissors leading up to the Patriots-Bears preseason game.
After that, during the media availability portion of the team's practice, Brady appeared to throw accurately and with good velocity without any sort of bandage or wrap on his injured thumb.
Brady was excused from Sunday and Monday's practices for non injury-related reasons. When asked about his absences during a press conference before Tuesday's practice, Brady replied, "I just had to take care of something. It's good to be back with the team. I missed everybody."
Another notable returnee to the practice field was defensive end Jabaal Sheard, who according to the Boston Herald is dealing with a sprained MCL. Sheard warmed up with the Patriots but then headed to a lower field -- along with Tre' Jackson (on the physically unable to perform list), Danny Amendola (also on PUP), Rob Ninkovich (torn triceps), Malcolm Mitchell (dislocated elbow) and Shea McClellin -- in order to do some conditioning.
Sheard was injured during New England's preseason opener against the Saints and had not been seen on the practice field until Tuesday. Sheard has been present in the Patriots locker room recently and moving without any apparent limp.
Patriots safety Patrick Chung was also on the field and participating after missing the start of Monday's practice.
Shaq Mason, Jonathan Cooper, Rob Gronkowski, Alan Branch, Sebastian Vollmer and Dion Lewis were not spotted Tuesday: Lewis and Vollmer are still on PUP and will not be ready for the start of the regular season; Branch has been suspended by the Patriots since before the Bears preseason game; Mason (hand) and Cooper (foot) are dealing with injuries; Gronkowski has not practiced since suffering an injury against the Bears in a practice last week, but he was spotted walking through the locker room on Tuesday trying to catch his breath and sweating.
At his first practice since the incident, Tom Brady showed Jimmy Garoppolo how he managed to cut himself with scissors prior to Thursday’s preseason game with the Bears.