Patriots take elusive Cal RB Shane Vereen, trade 60th

Patriots take elusive Cal RB Shane Vereen, trade 60th

By Tom E. Curran
The highest-drafted member of the Patriots' running back crew came on board around 8 p.m. Friday night. Shane Vereen, a 5-9, 210 pound running back from Cal who bears eerie on-field similarities to Kevin Faulk, was the 56th overall pick in the 2011 draft. Vereen ran for 2,843 yards in three seasons with the Golden Bears and averaged 5.1 yards per carry. He scored 25 rushing touchdowns in his final two seasons at Cal. He's also an able receiver, catching 22 and 25 passes in his last two seasons at Cal. Vereen - cousin of entertainer Ben Vereen - says that former Cal back Jahvid Best is maybe a step or two faster than he is but that he sees a lot of similarities in their games. Here' are some Vereen highlights.Meanwhile, New England made its second trade of the draft at No. 60, taking the Texans' third (78th) and fifth (138) round picks this year. Tom E. Curran can be reached at Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Belichick doesn't rule out possibility of Lewis practicing this week


Belichick doesn't rule out possibility of Lewis practicing this week

Last week, when Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked if his team would have guard Tre' Jackson or running back Dion Lewis available at practice, Belichick said "probably not." For him, that's about as definitive as it gets. 

This week, it's a different story. 

Belichick was asked on Tuesday if the Patriots would "start the clock" on Lewis and Jackson, both of whom have been on the physically unable to perform list since training camp. The Patriots have five more weeks to determine whether or not they would like to have Lewis or Jackson practice. Once they do begin practicing, the clock starts, and the team will have three weeks to activate them. 

"We’ll have to talk with our medical and conditioning staff and kind of get a sense of where everybody is, and then figure that out from when practice starts on Wednesday," Belichick said. "So we’ll take a look at that information and see where we are, and then make a decision on it prior to Wednesday’s practice."

It wasn't a confirmation that either player would practice, but it wasn't "probably not," either.

Brown releases statement: 'I never struck my wife, and never would'


Brown releases statement: 'I never struck my wife, and never would'

UPDATE: The Giants announced on Tuesday afternoon that they have released Josh Brown.

Giants kicker Josh Brown released a statement via ESPN on Thursday

Brown was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list last week after more information about his history of abusing women -- a history he admitted to in documents obtained by SNY -- came to light.

"I am sorry that my past has called into question the character or integrity of The New York Giants, Mr. Mara or any of those who have supported me along the way. I have taken measures to get help so that I may be the voice of change, not a statistic. It is important to share that I never struck my wife, and never would. Abuse takes many forms, and is not a gray area. Through the past several years I have worked to identify and rectify my own behaviors. The road to rehabilitation is a journey and a constant modification of a way of life. My journey will continue forever as a person determined to leave a positive legacy and I embrace the opportunities to show and speak about what has helped me to be that man. In the interim, I am cooperating with the Giants and the NFL. Thank you to everyone that has supported me, I will not let you down."

While Brown apologized to his team, Giants owner John Mara and those who've supported him, he did not apologize to his ex-wife, Molly, or any of the other women who he, in his own words, "objectified," according to an email turned over to police. 

While Brown wanted to make clear he did not strike his wife -- something Molly Brown would dispute, as she has accused him of over 20 physically-violent incidents -- he did not mention the toll taken on victims of emotional or psychological abuse, both of which he has admitted to in journal entries.

While he released a statement, there's still plenty left unsaid.