Were Patriots playing games with Mallett news?

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Were Patriots playing games with Mallett news?

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com

In-season or out, no NFL team sparks more conversation - or speculation - than the Patriots. A head-scratching 2011 NFL Draft brought both. One of the more fascinating bits was what happened with the Ryan Mallett selection. Friday night, with the Patriots' picks at 73 and 74 approaching, Michael Lombardi of NFL Network reported the Patriots were going to take Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett with one of the selections. And they did. Good get by him. Hey, sometimes you get stuff. For instance, as the time wound down on the Patriots at No. 33, I reported on Twitter that the Patriots would not be trading out of that spot as most everyone anticipated they would. But my buddy Greg Bedard of The Boston Globe wondered whether the Patriots played Lombardi. Bedard tweeted he was "almost positive" the Patriotsleaked Lombardi that info on Mallettknowing it would be broadcast into every war room across the league. Thepurpose? Flushing out a team to make a last-ditch effort to swing a deal with New England to take Mallett themselves. It's a sensible theory on a lot of levels. The Patriots controlled that 10-minute span with back-to-back picks and the Mallett news was relayed before the Patriots even took Stevan Ridley at 73. And if someone burst through the proverbial door waving a 2012 first-rounder, who wouldn't jump at that? Peter King got in touch with Lombardi to ask him what he thought of Bedard's theory. "Completely fictional," Lombardi told King. "The Patriots, I'm not speaking for 'em. They wouldn't have brought Mallett in for a visit if they didn't have any interest. It's completely inaccurate. The Patriots were seriously interested in Mallett, and I don't think I was used by them. Not at all."I lean toward Lombardi's opinion, though not solely because they really loved the promise and football intelligence of Mallett. I don't think the Patriots would hang someone out to dry as Bedard supposes they were prepared to do with Lombardi. In fact, I'm almost positive they wouldn't. They mean what they say or they say nothing at all.Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran.

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.