Patriots looked into acquiring Burress in preseason


Patriots looked into acquiring Burress in preseason

By A. Sherrod Blakely Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn FOXBORO -- Who would you rather have, Chad Ochocinco or Plaxico Burress?

The New England Patriots chose the former, but not before at least giving some thought to bringing in Burress who now plays for the New York Jets.

"We did look at Burress in the offseason," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick acknowledged on his weekly teleconference on Tuesday.

While it's normal procedure for the Pats to pay attention to all free agents, Burress' situation certainly gave many teams reason to consider looking elsewhere.

The 6-foot-5 wideout was released from prison in June after having served nearly two years in jail for violating New York State gun laws.

In November of 2008, Burress, then with the New York Giants, was at a nightclub where he had a gun tucked into his sweatpants. The gun slipped from his waistband and shot him in the thigh.

He was sentenced about a year later.

While Burress is still shaking some of the rust off from such a lengthy time away from the game, there's no question he is still a player the Patriots have to be concerned about heading into Sunday afternoon's matchup with the Jets.

"He hasn't played in a while, until this year," Belichick said. "There's plenty to go off of this year."

Belichick added, "kind of what we normally see from him; strong, physical guy. Can go up and get the ball. Even if he's covered, he's probably not covered. He's capable of going up and taking the ball away from the defender."

This season, Burress has 10 catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Ochocinco has seven catches for 113 yards and no touchdowns.

When asked how seriously did they look into acquiring Burress, Belichick responded, "I don't know."

He added, "We look at everybody, but we don't get everybody. Things come together somehow. We'll work with what we got, and they'll work with what they got and see how it goes on Sunday."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Trump wishes Kraft good luck, says Brady called to congratulate him

Trump wishes Kraft good luck, says Brady called to congratulate him

President-elect Donald Trump made sure to thank a few of his supporters from New England -- particularly those at 1 Patriot Place -- during a speech on the eve of his inauguration to the nation's highest office. 

Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady all earned shout-outs from Trump. Kraft was one of many Trump donors present for a dinner at Washington, DC's Union Station, where he was singled out by the soon-to-be-president. 

"In the audience we have somebody that's under no pressure whatsoever because he's got a great quarterback named Tom Brady and a great coach named Belichick: Bob Kraft," Trump said. "Good luck, Bob.

"Your friend Tom Brady just called. He feels good. He called to congratulate us. He feels good. Good luck. You're going to do great."

Trump gave one extra nod to Belichick, who he says taught him to out-work his competition. 

"I out-worked everybody," Trump said. "I think I out-worked anyone who ever ran for office. I learned that from Belichick."

Patriots sign TE Rob Housler to future contract

Patriots sign TE Rob Housler to future contract

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have signed free-agent tight end Rob Housler to a future contract. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound target last played for the Bears but was released at the end of training camp.

Housler won't be eligible to participate with the Patriots during the postseason, but he will be available for the offseason program and training camp leading up to the 2017 campaign. 

Housler taken in the third round by the Cardinals with the 69th overall selection in 2011. In 65 career games, he has 109 catches for 1,166 yards and one touchdown. 

The Patriots may have been intrigued by Housler's skill set last summer when he caught one pass for 52 yards -- making two Patriots defenders miss in the process -- during a preseason game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots and Bears held joint training camp practices in August that would have given Patriots coaches and scouts a closer look at everything Housler has to offer as a player. 

Housler was one of the better athletes at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2011, running a 4.55-second 40-yard dash (fastest among tight ends), posting a 6.9-second three-cone drill, and recording a 37-inch vertical leap.

Bill Belichick and his staff hit big on a future-contract signing two years ago when a running back with a significant injury history was available to scoop up at the behest of then-assistant to the coaching staff Michael Lombardi. Since then, the Patriots still have never lost with Dion Lewis in uniform.