FAULK GETS SENTENCED
--RB Kevin Faulk pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of simple marijuana possession July 8, according to a report on the Website of television station KATC. The Lafayette (La.) court appearance came after Faulk was cited for marijuana possession in his home state in February while attending a concert.
Faulk was reportedly sentenced to one year of probation and will have a five-month jail term suspended. He's also on the hook for a $300 fine, a $250 drug test fee and court costs. According to KATC he will also do 40 hours of community service by speaking to students at a Lafayette Parish about drugs.
--DB Willie Andrews was released July 1 following his second arrest of the offseason. Andrews was taken into custody for allegedly waving a handgun at his girlfriend. He'd previously been arrested in Lowell, Mass., on Feb. 5 for possession of marijuana.
Andrews returned four kicks last season, including one for a 77-yard touchdown. One of the team's core special teams players he also chipped in with eight tackles in kick and punt coverage. He'd spent two seasons with the Patriots as a seventh-round pick out of Baylor in 2006.
BIG BEN GETS HIS DUE
--TE Ben Coates was elected by fans as the 13th member of the Patriots Hall of Fame, the team announced July 7. Coates, who played in New England from 1991-99, beat out fellow finalists C Jon Morris and RB Jim Nance.
In his nine seasons with the Patriots the five-time Pro Bowler caught 490 passes for 5,471 yards and 50 touchdowns. He caught a then franchise record 96 passes in 1994, a record for tight ends.
Coates will be inducted at the first enshrinement ceremony at the soon-to-open
Hall at Patriot Place Presented by Raytheon later this fall.
"I feel great about it. It feels great to have the fans make the choice," said Coates in a release. "The other nominees were great competitors and I am honored to be the inductee. I guess it was my time, and what better time to be inducted than the year the team is opening The Hall at Patriot Place."
TWO SIGNED, FIVE TO GO
--LB Bo Ruud, the team's sixth-round choice in April's draft, became the second New England draftee to sign with the team when he inked a deal July 1. Ruud, a versatile tackle machine and film rat out of Nebraska, joins fifth-round pick Matthew Slater as the only draft picks to sign with training camp two weeks away.
They Said It: "He chose money over championships, and that's the way it goes sometimes." -- WR Wes Welker to the AP about All-Pro CB Asante Samuel's free-agent flight to the Eagles this spring.