Newswire: Pre-camp News & More

News from around the web includes: The New England Patriots sign 4 rookies; Patriots strong safety Rodney Harrison and center Dan Koppen won't open training camp; The Patriots starting left guard Logan Mankins ready to play and wide receiver Deion Branch mulls over his options.

Newswire Items 7/26/06

-- The New England Patriots have signed four more of their rookies to contracts. Wide Receiver Chad Jackson a Florida alum signed a four year deal. Linebacker Jeremy Mincey also from Florida has signed a three year deal. Tight end David Thomas from Texas and kicker Stephen Gostkowski from the Memphis also signed but the length of their contracts are not known. According to Patriots Insider, the Patriots have also signed former San Diego Charger free agent wide receiver Keron Henry.

-- New England Patriot starting safety Rodney Harrison tore three ligaments in his left knee early in last year's campaign. Center Dan Koppen tore his rotator cuff on Nov 13th. A report by the Patriot Ledger says that both are on the 'Physically Unable to Perform' (PUP) list, but either can return to the active roster at any time. The others on the 'PUP' list include cornerback Randall Gay, offensive tackle Nick Kaczur and fullback Patrick Pass.

-- The New England Patriot's starting left guard Logan Mankins is ready to play this season. Mankins was only 1 of 4 rookies to start all 16 games last season. Mankins tells the Boston Globe. "Last year, the beginning was rough because you're having all these things thrown at you, you really have to learn on the fly." He is projected as the starting left guard on the Patriots 2006 depth chart.

-- New England Patriots starting wide receiver Deion Branch is mulling over his options regarding training camp. The fine for holding out has increased from $5000/day to $14,000. But in a new wrinkle, the Boston Globe reports that there is language in the CBA that could allow a team to try and recoup part of the signing bonus of any player who does not meet their contractual agreements. Branch has not completely decided on what course of action he will take come Friday morning -- the start of the Patriot's training camp.

In another report from the Globe, Branch has decided that the offer he's been presented with by the team isn't worth accepting and will skip the start of traing camp. The offer Branch reportedly received is less than the guaranteed money former teammate David Givens will earn from the Tennessee Titans. Brach is holding out for a contract like Reggie Wayne's (Colts) $40 million deal with its $13 million signing bonus.

-- The Patriots waived defensive back Gemara Williams. He was signed by the Patriots as an undrafted rookie free agent on May 8th of this year. Patriots Insider reports that Williams' departure leaves 8 CBs roster.

-- A report by the Boston Herald provides a position by position analysis of the Patriots defense.

-- The success of a team can be measured by the strength of both the offensive and defensive lines. A report by ranks the offensive line of each of the 32 NFL teams.

-- Five former New England Patriots have laced up their cleats in a flag football game to aid in raising money for a local football program.

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


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