June 2015 - New England Patriots Wiretap

Union Files Complaint Against Patriots On Malcolm Butler Punishment

Jun 25, 2015 7:12 PM

The NFL Players Association has filed a complaint against the New England Patriots for not allowing Malcolm Butler to participate in on-field activities because the cornerback missed a voluntary session on May 26.

The complaint by the union was filed Wednesday and done without Butler's approval following an initial review, sources told ESPN.

NFLPA spokesman George Atallah said Thursday that the union has a responsibility to pursue all violations of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) consistently.


Tags: New England Patriots

Florio: Goodell's Underlings Were Out To Get Patriots

Jun 24, 2015 9:09 PM

Mike Florio believes the NFL acted in a manner to portray the New England Patriots in a negative light with Deflategate.

Florio said that a common thread in all of the league's scandals was that “the NFL reaches a decision early on about what it wants to do, and they start from the ending point, and they work backwards to justify that knee-jerk gut-level reaction that someone at the league office gets.” 

Florio believes it was the failure of Roger Goodell to react decisively in the Ray Rice debacle that enabled those beneath him to seize on this Patriots' situation.

“I think that they deliberately delayed the process of getting the real numbers out because having the false numbers out there kept the Patriots feeling like they were on the ropes when the reality was that they were on ropes that weren’t even there,” Florio said. “We didn’t get the truth until May. That is the one fact that bothers me more than anything in this entire ordeal, and that’s the one fact that causes me to believe that someone was out to get the Patriots. The false information was put out there, or deliberately not corrected.”

Ryan Glasspiegel/The Big Lead

Tags: New England Patriots

Tom Brady Has 10-Hour Appeal Hearing

Jun 23, 2015 11:03 PM

Tom Brady had a 10-hour appeal hearing on Tuesday to determine if his four-game suspension may be reduced by Roger Goodell.

Brady was suspended by the league for his role in the use of deflated footballs in the AFC championship game win over Indianapolis. He arrived at the NFL's Park Avenue offices Tuesday morning, as did attorney Jeffrey Kessler, who is leading Brady's defense.

"I think we put in a very compelling case," Kessler said, adding that no timetable on a decision by Goodell had been given.

No details of the hearing were immediately available but a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter that "Tom Brady's greatest ally today was Tom Brady."

Sources also told Schefter that Brady came off as very genuine, earnest, and persuasive, addressing every issue raised in the league-sanctioned Wells report.

One of the sources called it "an A+ performance."

Rachel Cohen/AP

Tags: New England Patriots, Suspension

Rob Gronkowski Only Living Off Endorsement Money

Jun 23, 2015 2:44 PM

Rob Gronkowski has yet to spend any of the $10 million he's earned on his contract with the New England Patriots over his first five NFL seasons.

Gronk is instead living off his endorsement deals. 

"To this day, I still haven't touched one dime of my signing bonus or NFL contract money," Gronkowski says in an excerpt of his book, which was authored by agent Jason Rosenhaus and previewed on TheMMQB.com on Monday. "I live off my marketing money and haven't blown it on any big-money expensive cars, expensive jewelry or tattoos and still wear my favorite pair of jeans from high school.

"I don't hurt anyone. ... I don't do drugs, I don't drive drunk, I don't break the law. ... [I'm] just looking to have a fun time."

Gronkowski also details how Bill Belichick asked Gronkowski in 2013 about his lifestyle:

"Coach Belichick was standing right next to me and said, 'Rob, you are one of the hardest workers I've seen, and you're always working hard when you're here, but when you're not here ... I don't know about your craziness off the field, the messing.'

"I started laughing and told him, 'The fun stuff makes me grind harder, coach.' He shook his head as he walked off and said, 'Whatever works for you.'"


Tags: New England Patriots

Ted Wells To Attend Tom Brady's Appeal Hearing

Jun 22, 2015 2:23 PM

Ted Wells will be present during Tom Brady's appeal hearing in New York on Tuesday.

Brady is appealing a four-game suspension stemming from Wells' 243-page report, which found that the star quarterback was "at least generally aware" of a scheme to illegally deflate footballs for the AFC Championship Game.


Brady will be represented by the NFL Players Association and its outside counsel, Jeffrey Kessler, during the appeal process.


Wells will be available to answer questions from both Brady's side and commissioner Roger Goodell, who will hear the appeal and ultimately decide whether the suspension will stand, be reduced or vacated.

Chris Mortensen/ESPN

Tags: New England Patriots, Suspension

Patriots Release Fred Davis

Jun 19, 2015 8:07 PM

Fred Davis has been released by the New England Patriots.

Davis joined the Patriots on a one-year deal May 11, four days after being reinstated by the NFL from an indefinite suspension for a second violation of the league's substance abuse policy. When the suspension was announced in February 2014, Davis said he was being punished for taking a supplement that included a banned substance.  

Bill Belichick was asked about Davis on Tuesday.

"Fred's been here through the whole process, the OTAs; it's a different kind of system for him," Belichick said. "He's been out of football for a little while, but [he has] worked hard, very hard, to try to pick things up and learn a new system. He's making progress."

Mike Reiss/ESPN

Tags: New England Patriots, Misc Rumor, Waiver

Matt Flynn Signs With Patriots

Jun 11, 2015 4:46 PM

The New England Patriots have signed Matt Flynn.

If Tom Brady is going to miss games in September under suspension, Flynn would provide a veteran backup option for Jimmy Garoppolo.

Flynn started four games for the Green Bay Packers in 2013. 

Flynn went 24-for-37 for 251 yards and three touchdowns against New England in Week 15 of the 2011 season.

Curtis Crabtree/Pro Football Talk

Tags: New England Patriots, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor, Signing

Patriots Release Tim Wright

Jun 11, 2015 1:08 PM

The New England Patriots have released Tim Wright.

Wright, a 25-year-old tight end, was acquired by the Patriots last August for Logan Mankins.

Wright is an athletic tight end who had just 26 receptions and 259 yards in 2014, but caught six touchdowns.

The Patriots will move forward with Scott Chandler behind Rob Gronkowski at tight end.

Mike Garafolo/FoxSports

Tags: New England Patriots, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor, Waiver

Malcolm Butler Benched For Being Late Due To Canceled Flight

Jun 11, 2015 11:51 AM

The New England Patriots benched Malcolm Butler because he was late for the first organized team activities on May 26th after his flight to Boston the night before was canceled due to weather issues.

Bill Belichick had kept Butler off the field until this week.

The cornerback has been attending all meetings, film sessions and weight-training sessions, and he might be close to returning to practice as early as Thursday, when reporters are scheduled to be present.


Butler is viewing the situation as a lesson learned and in the future intends to fly a day earlier, the source said.

Mike Reiss/ESPN

Tags: New England Patriots

Patriots Release Brandon Spikes Hours After Car Incident

Jun 8, 2015 12:19 PM

The New England Patriots have released Brandon Spikes hours after his damaged car was found abandoned in Foxborough.

Shortly before 3:30 a.m. ET Sunday, police responded to a report of a 2011 Mercedes Maybach in the median strip. Police said they were notified by a representative of the OnStar on-board navigation system that the driver reported hitting a deer.

The Patriots re-signed Spikes, who played for them from 2010 to 2013, to a one-year deal worth a maximum value of $2 million on May 16. The only guaranteed money in the deal was a $25,000 signing bonus.

Mike Reiss/ESPN

Tags: New England Patriots, Misc Rumor

Devin McCourty Doesn't Want To Return To Cornerback
The Patriots now turn to Logan Ryan, Eagles castoff Bradley Fletcher and undrafted Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler.

Marc Sessler/NFL.com

Wes Welker Open To Returning To Patriots
Wes Welker wants to continue his NFL career despite a lack of interest this offseason.

Dan Hanzus/NFL.com