Pats mix praise, exasperation when tagging Mankins

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Pats mix praise, exasperation when tagging Mankins

By TomE. Curran
CSNNE.com
The Patriots issued a statement after applying the franchise tag to Logan Mankins. And when I say, "the Patriots," that's what I mean. The quote - which mixed high praise followed by apparent agitation with a lack of progress in getting a deal done - wasn't attributed to anyone. Mighta come from someone with the last name Kraft. Mighta come from a guy with the initials BB. Maybe BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead fashioned it. Whatever. Here's the nice portion: "Logan Mankins is a tremendous player. He has been a fixture on our offensive line since we drafted him in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft and he remains an important part of our future plans."And here's the exasperated portion: "Unfortunately, we have not been able to reach a long-term agreement, despite many attempts and proposals by both sides. That remains our objective in utilizing the franchise designation and we are hopeful that Logan will be a Patriot for many years to come." It's important for the Patriots to note that their objective is to get a long-term agreement done. The purpose of the tag is not to restrict movement and keep players from cashing in as unrestricted free agents. The purpose is to get a workable deal for both sides in place. Expect the NFLPA to challenge the Patriots' right to apply this tag. And they have a point. Franchise tags can be handed down during a window which begins 20 days before a new league year begins. There is no 2011 league year currently since there is no collective bargaining agreement in place. So how can the Patriots franchise a player in a year that doesn't exist? Well, they just did.Whether that holds up if and when the NFLPA challenges their right to do that is another story. Still, the franchise tag isn't going away so, even if the court tosses the Patriots' right to use it, once a new CBA comes down, teams needing to use the tag will undoubtedly have a window in which to do so. Mankins is one of the best interior linemen in football. He was an All Pro in 2010 despite playing in only nine games. At the Pro Bowl last month, he said he'd be unhappy if he was franchised. Voila. Of course, Mankins has been unhappy before. Last season, he was a restricted free agent. He turned his nose up to the 3.1 million tender offer, insisting he had been promised a long-term deal. The Patriots made offers that, according to sources, would have made Mankins one of the highest-paid guards in the league. And while Mankins may have been a better player than those paid more handsomely, giving a restricted free agent a long-term deal should have some benefits for the employer. But Mankins stood firm even as his tender offer was halved. He waited until after the seventh game and wound up playing for less than 900,000 in 2010. The tag the Patriots applied is "non-exclusive" meaning Mankins and his agent Frank Bauer are free to negotiate with other teams to get a deal done. Any team wishing to sign Mankins would have to cough up two first-round picks as compensation, unless the Patriots were willing to settle for less. They could be. But the most likely scenario is Mankins plays for the estimated 10.1 million this year (guaranteed) and then the process begins anew next March. Tom E. Curran canbe reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Jim Breuer reads purported Jastremski email to Toucher and Rich

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Jim Breuer reads purported Jastremski email to Toucher and Rich

On Toucher and Rich, comedian Jim Breuer reads an email he says he received from a man he met at a Mexican resort who said he was John Jastremski, a key figure in the Patriots’ Deflategate saga. 

Watch the video for more. 
 

Breuer identifies picture as Patriots staffer Jastremski: ‘Absolutely’ him

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Breuer identifies picture as Patriots staffer Jastremski: ‘Absolutely’ him

Toucher & Rich try to get to the bottom of comedian Jim Breuer's ‎Deflategate story. Breuer IDs a picture of Patriots equipment staffer John Jastremski as the man he met last year at a resort in Mexico who told him he was the key guy in the controversy.

Watch the video for more. 

Before first open OTA practice, a quick look at Patriots media policy

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Before first open OTA practice, a quick look at Patriots media policy

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will hold their third OTA session of the spring on Thursday. It will be the first that is open to the media and will run for about two hours starting at 10:55 a.m. 

Because the Bills made headlines this week with their media policies during OTAs, below is a quick reminder of what is allowed and what isn't at Gillette Stadium during OTAs.

The policies have gone essentially unchanged since last year. Live tweeting or blogging during the practice is prohibited during a closed practice like Thursday's, but tweets following the session are allowed. (During practices that are open to the public, like training camp sessions with fans in attendance, some live updates are permitted.)

Here are the rules in detail, courtesy of the Patriots media relations staff . . . 

Media attending practices during OTAs are asked to cooperate in observing the following practice policies:

1. Please do not report on strategy. This includes describing formations, personnel groups, first-team/second-team groupings and non-conventional plays.

2. Live streaming of any video during practice or open locker room periods to the Internet or any other social media platform while on team premises is prohibited. 

3. Please do not quote, paraphrase or report the comments made by coaches or players during a practice session.

4. Please do not provide any live report updates during practice, this includes tweeting, blogging or posts to any social media platforms.

5. Please do not report on players who line up in positions different from the one listed on the roster.

If there are any questions regarding these policies during a practice session, please ask for clarification from a Patriots media relations representative in advance. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

The Bills irked the Pro Football Writers Association earlier this week when it unveiled its new media policy for OTAs. 

The team has prohibited referencing plays run or game strategy, including trick plays or unusual formations. It has also banned media members from reporting on personnel groupings, sub-packages, players who are practicing with individual units (first-team, second-team, goal-line offense, nickel defense, etc.), special plays, who is rushing the passer, dropped passes, interceptions, quarterback completion percentage and other statistical information.

PFWA president Jeff Legwold wrote an email to the Associated Press this week that called the policy "a vast overreach of the guidelines in the [NFL’s] current media policy" and "not only unnecessary, it is not in compliance."