Patriots adding defensive end Andre Carter


Patriots adding defensive end Andre Carter

By Tom E. Curran Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
The Patriots have made another move to bolster their pass rush. They have added Andre Carter, a former seventh-overall pick, who was with the Redskins the past five seasons.
The team confirmed Monday that the deal has been completed.
Carter tweeted Sunday night, "I am proud to announce that I will be playing for the New England Patriots for the 2011 season. Thanks you for your prayers and support."Carter, 32, is a classic 4-3 defensive end who had 11 sacks for Washington in 2009. Last year, Washington switched to the 3-4 and Carter played left outside linebacker. He started just five games and had 2.5 sacks. Drafted one pick behind Richard Seymour in 2001, he hasn't missed a game since 2004. He had 36 sacks from 2005 through 2009. With the addition of the versatile defensive lineman Shaun Ellis earlier Sunday and former Bear Mark Anderson earlier in the week, the Patriots keep loading up on would-be pass rushers. Between those players, Albert Haynesworth (a teammate of Carter's in Washington), Vince Wilfork, Mike Wright, Eric Moore, Jermaine Cunningham, Rob Ninkovich and Marques Murrell, the Patriots are firing bodies - many of them large - at what has been a shortcoming for their defense the past few seasons. It's going to turn into an interesting numbers game as this preseason moves along, especially with the fleet of young defensive tackles (Kyle Love, Myron Pryor, Ron Brace and Brandon Deaderick) the team also is currently carrying. The team also made a couple of minor moves, releasing first-year corner Thad Turner and placing rookie free agent offensive lineman Kyle Hix on injured reserve.

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Kraft, Pats still bitter: NFL 'really messed this up badly'

Kraft, Pats still bitter: NFL 'really messed this up badly'

It's been almost two years exactly since the Deflategate saga began during the AFC title game between the Colts and Patriots on Jan. 18, 2015.

Since then, Robert Kraft has expressed his displeasure at how the whole thing was handled by the league -- particularly as it relates to the treatment of quarterback Tom Brady -- on multiple occasions. And according to a story in the New York Times, that feeling hasn't subsided.

"Sometimes, the league really messes up, and I think they really messed this up badly," said Kraft . "But we’ve all agreed to subjugate our right to disrupt everything.

"I mean, we can, but we’re a partnership. There’s jealousy, there’s envy, there’s stupidity. Sometimes, life is unfair, and you have to suck it up and move on and not use it as an excuse."

Brady served his four-game suspension to start this season, and Kraft opted to accept the league's punishment for the team following the 2014 season: They were docked two draft picks (a first and a fourth) and fined $1 million.

The piece includes Kraft's thoughts on President-elect Donald Trump ("Loyalty is important to me, and he has been a wonderful friend," Kraft said), as well as comments from others on how Kraft has handled his situation ("I think Bob has exhibited disagreement, but he’s also very capable of making and influencing change," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said). 

You can read the full piece here.

Bell excused from Steelers practice for 'personal reasons'


Bell excused from Steelers practice for 'personal reasons'

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have had perfect attendance at each of their last two practices. The Steelers, on the other hand, have been working with less than a full deck.

All-Pro running back Le'Veon Bell has been conspiculously absent from Pittsburgh's practices each of the last two days. On Wednesday, he was listed on the injury report as a non-participant due to non-injury related reasons. On Thursday, coach Mike Tomlin announced that Bell had been excused from practice due to "personal reasons."

Tomlin added that Bell will be ready to go against the Patriots on Sunday so it seems as though the team is painting this as a nothing-to-see-here situation. And it probably is. Whether or not Bell practices at all this week won't necessarily have any bearing on the AFC title game; if he's healthy, he'll be a factor. 

If for some reason he doesn't follow up his 170-yard performance against the Chiefs with another strong game, however, people will wonder how his preparation was impacted by missing out on the first two of his team's on-the-field sessions this week.