Newswire: Stevenson Signs, Draft News & More

News from around the web includes: AFC East pre season preview; The New England Patriots sign offensive tackle Dan Stevenson; Cincinnati Bengals choose Virginia's linebacker Ahmad Brooks; New England Patriots honors local doctor and the search for a new commissioner narrows.

-- The New England Patriots may be stronger than people give them credit. A report by states that the demise of the Patriots may be a bit over exaggerated. It is evident that the loss of David Givens, Willie McGinest and Adam Vinatieri will hurt the Patriots. The secret to the Patriot's success will lie in their schedule and with the return of injured players.

-- The New England Patriots signed offensive guard Dan Stevenson on Thursday. The sixth-round draft choice was the top offensive lineman for Notre Dame last year. His signing comes two days after the Patriots signed DB Willie Andrews. The Patriots have 10 draft picks from the 2006 NFL Draft.

-- In what is being called mild surprise, the Cincinnati Bengals chose Virginia's troublesome linebacker Ahmad Brooks. TFY Draft Preview is reporting that the Bengals selected Brooks in the third round of the supplemental draft. It's understandable that head coach Marv Lewis took a chance on another player with a questionable background -- Brooks was dismissed from Virginia -- because he knew Odell Thurman would be suspended at the start of the season.

In related news, Thurman has reportedly violated the league's substance abuse policy and will miss the first four games of the season. The last game of his suspension is atgainst the Patriots on October 1st in Cincinnati. Thurman will not see the field for the Bengals until after their bye (Oct 8), which means he not play his first game until week 6 against the Buccaneers.

-- The New England Patriots Charitable Organization honored Dr. Paul Klainer for his many charitable contributions. According to the Village Soup, the award acknowledges extraordinary dedication, leadership and commitment in the community. Klainer is the medical director of the Mid-Coast Health Net and the Knox County Health Clinic.

-- With only five weeks before Paul Tagliabue's retirement, there are more than a dozen candidates for his job. According to the Associated Press the job will more than likely come down to Roger Goodell, the league's chief operating officer; Jeff Pash, its in-house counsel; and Rich McKay, the Falcons' general manager. It is speculated that things will be clearer in 10 days and we should have a new commissioner by Aug. 9.

-- Jeff Backus has agreed to 6-year deal with Detroit Lions. "I'm very appreciative to the Lions and the Ford family for getting this done," Backus told The Associated Press. "I'm looking forward to continuing my career in Detroit and helping to turn this organization around."

-- The Philadelphia Eagles signed fourth-round draft pick Jason Avant to a four-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday. Avant played his college ball for Michigan.


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


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