By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
FOXBORO The Garrett Mills project is back in New England.
A fourth-round pick of the Patriots in 2006, the Pats re-signed the 6-foot-1, 235-pound tight end over the weekend.
He spent most of his rookie season on the injured reserve.
"My skill-set has hopefully gotten better since I was here last," said Mills, who set an NCAA record in 2005 at Tulsa by amassing 1,235 receiving yards -- the most ever by a tight end. "I'm still a similar-type player, but I'm much more experienced and a smarter player."
Since his first stint with the Pats, he has played for Minnesota (2007-2009), Philadelphia (2010) and Cincinnati (2010).
While those teams certainly have had their share of talented players, Mills remembers all too well how well the Patriots seemed to balance success with superstar talent during his rookie season.
"In this locker room, star power is kind of diffused a little bit," said Mills, who had two receptions for 19 yards with the Eagles last season. "And that's a good thing. That's one thing I appreciate about this organization. Everyone's in it to win. It's definitely a team perspective here."
Philadelphia released him on Dec. 21 and he was claimed off waivers by Cincinnati. The Bengals waived him earlier this month.
A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn
Robert Kraft doesn't seem all that concerned about the potential pitfalls of having an NFL franchise in Las Vegas.
The temptations found in that city, he says, can now be found around any dark corner of the Internet. That's part of the reason why he would be supportive of the Raiders if owner Mark Davis chose to move the team to Vegas from Oakland.
He explained his reasoning to NFL Media's Judy Battista at the league's annual spring meetings on Tuesday.
"I think we can put the discipline and controls in [for] whatever anyone might be worried about," Kraft said. "With the Internet and the age of the Internet and what's going on in today's world, it's so much different than when I came in 20 odd years ago. If you'd like to move there and they're supportive and Oakland doesn't do what they should do, I'm behind them."
The comments echoed what Kraft told USA Today earlier this week.
"I came into the league in ’94," Kraft said. "Back then, any exploration of that market was dismissed out of hand. I’m looking where we are today and thinking of the last 10 to 15 years, and the emergence of new media, with Google and Facebook and the like. We’re just living in a different world, technology-wise. The [sports gambling] risks in Vegas are no longer exclusive to Vegas. Whatever the risks, they are no greater [in Las Vegas] than playing a game in New Jersey."
Davis' hope to move the Raiders stems from an inability to get a deal done for a new stadium in Oakland.
"I have given my commitment to Las Vegas," Davis said this week, "and if they can get done what they're talking about doing, then we will go to Las Vegas."
Roger Goodell is doing that damn thing again down in North Carolina this afternoon.
The NFL commissioner -- who once could carry off a press conference with a breezy, in-command air -- came off like a carrot-topped armadillo talking to reporters at the end of the May owner’s meetings in Charlotte.
Defensive, clipped and disingenuous, a monotone-speaking Goodell was asked about Deflategate and Monday’s Congressional report that alleged the NFL had lobbyists trying to pressure concussion researchers into using NFL-approved doctors.
Asked about the appeal for a rehearing of Tom Brady’s case on Monday, Goodell said, “I respect the NFLPA’s ability to appeal if they choose to do that . . . I’m not really focused on that at all.”
Goodell did not answer the second part of the question, whether or not he’d keep Tom Brady off the field if the court case was unresolved.
The answer, one can only presume would be, “Abso-friggin-lutely.”
As for the Congressional report, Goodell had the gall to answer that he “didn’t see the report.”
He then went on to disagree with what was in the report -- meaning his initial response was less than candid.
A few more minutes of short answers and the show was over with nobody much the wiser than when he began.
At the NFL's brief annual spring meeting, which typically lasts about 24 hours, Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft provided some equally brief remarks about his quarterback.
Asked for some comment on Tom Brady's legal situation, Kraft told NFL Media's Judy Battista a version of what he has been saying for the last few months as it relates to Deflategate.
"We've been behind him," Kraft said, "and the whole thing has been mishandled, in my opinion. It's unfortunate, and we hope he prevails."
The NFLPA and Brady's legal team filed a petition to the Second Circuit on Monday requesting that he be granted a rehearing. The Second Circuit reinstated Brady's four-game suspension upon appeal earlier this offseason.