Newswire: Hochstein and Branch

News from around the web includes: New England Patriot wide receiver Deion Branch a no show at practice; Patriot offensive lineman Russ Hochstein signs extension; Ex Patriot wide receiver Bethel Johnson excited about his trade; Patriot quarterback Tom Brady joins ex Presidents for golf and Philadelphia Eagles's Brian Dawkins content to play his best.

Newswire Items 6/7/06

-- When wide receiver David Givens signed a free agent contract with the Tennessee Titans earlier this off-season, there was a question as to the position New England Patriot wide receiver Deion Branch would take when his turn for a new deal came . A hint of that came to light this week, as Branch was a no show at the Patriot's passing camp. Sources close to Branch told the Boston Herald that his attendance for next week's minicamp is also up in the air. Branch is in the last year of his rookie contract and is looking for a deal in the $12 million dollar range.

-- The New England Patriots have signed versatile offensive lineman Russ Hochstein to a two-year extension worth about $1.8 million according to ESPN. Hochstein has played all 3 interior lineman positions along with tight end and fullback. The Patriots are partial to linemen that can play multiple positions.

Patriots Insider reported that Hochstein's agent, Joe Linta, told that the two-year $1.8 million deal included a $400,000 signing bonus and incentives (sub req'd) based upon playing time which could increase the value of the deal.

-- Sometimes a fresh start is enough to kick start a career. Ex New England Patriot wide receiver Bethel Johnson will get that chance with his trade to the New Orleans Saints. "I'm excited to get a fresh start and a new opportunity," Johnson tells the Boston Globe. On the opposite end of the trade, defensive lineman Johnathan Sullivan joins the Patriots roster. Both players fell out of favor with their respective teams and the change of scenery might be just what the doctor ordered.

Patriots Insider also reported that both Johnson and Sullivan could benefit from the change of scenery.

-- Ex Presidents Bush and Clinton made an unannounced golf outing Tuesday at the Cape Arundel Golf Club. Reports indicate they were golfing with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz. The Boston Globe reports that Brady caused as much of a stir as the ex Presidents did. It appears that everyone wants to see Brady.

-- Philadelphia Eagles' Brian Dawkins is in the last year of his contract but is not planning on holding out or otherwise cause any problems. Dawkins tells the Associated Press that whether he is in the first or final year of his contract he intends to work hard and give his best no matter the circumstances. That should be music to the ears of the Eagles after last season. Terrell Owens disrupted the teams' chemistry with demands for a new contract just one year after signing a seven year $48.97 million deal. The Eagles finished 6-10 last season.

-- Robert Taylor, former defensive end for the New York Giants, died due to complications following surgery for colon cancer. Taylor played in the 1963 NFL championship game. He was 68.

These articles and more can be found in Wednesday's Newswire


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