Weekend Quick Hits
Free agent defensive lineman Mike Wright re-signed with the team on Friday the Patriots announced. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Wright has been a versatile backup playing multiple positions on the defensive line since April 2005, when the team signed him as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Cincinnati. The 6-foot-4, 295-pound defender has appeared in 38 games with 5 starts for the Patriots. Leg injuries cut short his 2005 and 2007 seasons, forcing him to finish each on the reserve/injured list. Wright has his best season as a pro in 2006, when he started 4 of the 16 games he appeared in.
In three years, Wright has managed 75 tackles (51 solo), with 1.5 sacks, and one forced fumble. He also has 2 fumble recoveries and 9 special teams tackles.
Case Against Moss Dismissed
News broke this week that the lawyer for Rachel Washington petitioned the court to remove the restraining order against Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss. Washington, a long time acquaintance of Moss, had her lawyer file the action against the Patriots receiver during New England's historic record-setting run. The order was removed and the case dismissed.
Moss' lawyer, Richard Sharpstein, responded in a report published by the Boston Globe:
"Randy is thrilled that the restraining order has finally been dismissed, and that there has been acknowledgement that these injuries were not intentionally inflicted. It's his intent to submit this as a claim to his insurance company and Ms. Washington has agreed to cooperate in presenting her records to the company so that she is fairly compensated for her injuries. He is pleased this has finally been put in its proper perspective."
Darrell Thompson, Ms. Washington's lawyer, also responded per the Globe:
"My client acting solely on the advice of her former attorney filed for the temporary restraining order against Mr. Moss. She has decided that such restraining order is unnecessary and has requested the order be dismissed. Because the injuries sustained were not the result of any malicious intent by Mr. Moss, a claim for her damages will be submitted to his insurance company."
The comments by both attorneys indicate that though the case is dismissed, the verbal wrangling may not be. In either case, putting the lawsuit in the past allows the team, and Moss to move forward without further it being a future distraction.
NFL Close To Deal To Obtain Spygate Information
In keeping with the legal theme: Matt Walsh - the central figure in allegations that the Patriots videotaped the St. Louis Rams walk through for Super Bowl XXXVI - may be about to receive the legal protection he's been clamoring for ever since going public with a claim that he had information supporting the videotaping claim. Published reports indicate the NFL and the legal representatives for Walsh (a former Patriots employee) are closer to a deal which would allow Walsh to share any information he has in the matter.
Spygate - as it's widely called now - began when the Patriots were caught videotaping the signals of the New York Jets in the first game of the 2007 NFL season. The tape, which was confiscated and later leaked to Foxsports.com, showed evidence that the Patriots had violated league rules by taping coaching signals during the game. The NFL was swift to act, stripping the Patriots of their first round pick in this year's Draft, and fining Bill Belichick $500,000 and the team and additional $250,000. Commissioner Roger Goodell indicated that he believed the unprecedented level of punishment was a appropriate based on the knowledge available at the time, but reserved the right to dole out future punishment if more information became available.
Senator Arlene Spector has been dogged in his pursuit of Walsh's testimony and the NFL's pursuit of the patriots. Criticized for potentially abusing his position in government in his pursuit of Walsh's testimony and threatening to expand the investigation into the league's antitrust exemption, Spector has defended his actions as being part of the duties he's charged with in protecting his constituency. A quick perusal of the Patriots Insider Newswire suggests more than a few non-Patriots media outlets have had enough and wonder openly if Spector has anything better do to in office than to push a personal agenda.
Spector has consistently pushed for access to the Walsh information. With such a galvanizing topic as cheating by a professional football club, the more information made available to the fans the better. With Walsh's information, the end may be nearing in this protracted debate over allegations against the Patriots.
Spygate II Lawsuit Over?
More legal wrangling for the Patriots, only this time it's good news.
The lawsuit brought against the Patriots that accuses New England of cheating in the 2002 Super Bowl, may be over, permanently.
The attorneys involved asked to have the case dismissed without prejudice - meaning it can be reopened later if more evidence surfaces. The lawsuit - based on Matt Walsh's public comments about taping the walk-through against the Rams - alleged that the Patriots committed numerous crimes including fraud, breach of contract, racketeering and other charges.
Bill Belichick denied the videotaping, and a Boston Globe report quotes other sources with knowledge of the situation as saying the allegations are completely false. The attorneys based in Kentucky with co-attorneys in New Orleans sought class action status and remunerations for damages suffered as a result of the Patriots actions. Without evidence from Walsh to support their claim, the lawsuit no chance of going forward.
The Cincinnati Enquirer spoke to one of the attorney's involved in the case after the dismissal request was made. "We haven't given up on the case yet," said Hugh Campbell, one of the Northern Kentucky lawyers who brought the case. "We are taking a back seat here." But if good credible evidence comes out, we would continue to bring an action."
Depending upon what the NFL digs up when Matt Walsh finally speaks on the record, the whole Spygate I and II situations may finally subside and fans can get back to realizing that the Patriots didn't win the Super Bowl three out of four seasons by luck or cheating, the players on the field actually have some talent.
Until then, all eyes and ears are tuned into the topic that just won't go away.
Patriots free agent defender Eugene Wilson has reportedly found a new home with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers according to published reports. Wilson was reportedly not in the mix to return to Foxborough. He drew interest from a number of teams around the league including the Jets, Giants, Titans among others.
Former Patriot Dan Klecko signed on with the Philadelphia Eagles, reportedly to become a fullback with the team. Klecko, spent three seasons with the Patriots before being released and picked up by the Indianapolis Colts. A defensive lineman with New England, Klecko also saw action at tight end and fullback in short yardage situations Klecko caught a touchdown pass against the Patriots in the Colts victory over New England in the AFC Championship game two seasons ago.
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