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Brady tells Kraft he's willing to play six or seven more years

Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft shared a part of his recent conversation with Tom Brady Monday during the owner's meetings in Phoenix. 

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"As recently as two, three days ago, he assured me he'd be willing to play six, seven more years at the level he performed," said Kraft. "There's no one that would be happier than I, and our fan base... There's one player at the age of 40 who had one good year (Brett Favre) for the Vikings but he didn't do so well before. 

"I think Tommy's sustained excellence is just unbelievable and it's a lifestyle. You know, he's in training now. It's not like he's stopped. He works out. I remember after our first Super Bowl in '01, going down in the training room in the old Foxboro Stadium, three days after we won and he's in there with the music blaring working out, so he's really dedicated and the thing that's amazing about him is to this day, he hasn't changed as a human being in terms of how he relates to people but also how he works out, and the only thing that's probably changed is how he eats. I'm not sure avocado ice cream is right for me, but if I could look like him and perform half as well, I guess I'd do it." 

When asked about the future of Brady's backup, Jimmy Garoppolo, Kraft deferred to Bill Belichick's expertise. "I charge him to handle all football matters," said Kraft. "We're privileged to have the greatest quarterback in the history of the game and it looks like he's playing pretty solid and he's off the charts in my opinion and we're lucky to have him.

"That's the most important position on the team, needless to say. I don't think anyone can say, 'You've got too much depth at that position,' and I've charged Bill to make those decisions and I'll leave that with him." 

Malcolm Butler, the center of speculation regarding a possible trade with the Saints, remains an unrestricted free agent who has the option to sign a one-year offer sheet from the Patriots. 

"I hope he's with us and signs his offer sheet and plays for us," said Kraft. "I have a great affection for him and he actually was part of probably the greatest play in the history of our team, but there are a lot of people involved in that, on both sides."

When asked if the intention was to trade Butler, Kraft quickly said, "No," but also made it clear that he didn't want infringe on Butler's rights and re-stated his hope Butler returned with the Patriots in 2017.

As for Commissioner Roger Goodell, and whether he's welcome at the Patriots season opener in September? 

"I think I'll let you all ask him that," said Kraft. "Look, he's commissioner of the league. As we all know, he has the right to go wherever he wishes to go and if he wanted to come he's welcome to come. We're happy that we're celebrating our fifth banner and he can decide whether he wants to be there." 

Tom Brady's missing Super Bowl jersey found in Mexico

The FBI and NFL security said on Monday that they found a jersey stolen from the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady after his team won the Super Bowl last month in Mexico.

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Along with the jersey, worn during Brady during Super Bowl LI, authorities also recovered a second jersey worn by Brady during the Patriots’ 2015 Super Bowl XLIV victory against the Seattle Seahawks, NFL officials said in a statement.

“The items were found in the possession of a credentialed member of the international media,” according to the NFL.

Houston police Chief Art Acevedo praised his department’s work in finding the jersey, which was traced to Mexico.

Diario La Presna, the newspaper of the Mexican Editorial Organization, said on Twitter that the case involved the former director of the newspaper. A statement on the connection was expected Monday.

Few details were immediately available in the investigation.

The story made headlines across the country after Brady noticed his jersey was missing from the locker room after the historic Super Bowl win.

“I put it in my bag and then came out and it wasn’t there anymore,” Brady said at the time. “So it’s unfortunate because that’s a nice piece of memorabilia. So if it shows up on eBay somewhere, someone let me know. Try to track that down.”

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Former NFL star Dwight Clark announces he has ALS

Dwight Clark, a wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers during the team’s heyday in the 1980s, disclosed Sunday that he has a debilitating illness.

The Mercury News said Clark was diagnosed in 2015.

The newspaper said Clark, a two-time Super Bowl winner, said in a note: “I have ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Those words are still very hard for me to say.”

Clark played nine seasons for the 49ers and was one of Joe Montana’s favorite targets. He had 6,750 receiving yards in his career, which is third on San Francisco’s all-time list, behind Terrell Owens and Jerry Rice.

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In the 1982 NFC Championship game, with less than a minute to go, Montana rolled to his right and threw a ball that most thought he was trying to throw away. But Clark jumped high and hauled it in, and the play was immediately anointed, “The Catch.” Sports Illustrated ranked it No. 33 on the list of 100 greatest plays of all-time.

The news comes on the same day the family of football legend and Hall-of-Famer Gale Sayers announced he has dementia.

Johnny Manziel says he's engaged

As former NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel continues his quest to rejoin the league, he has also been working on aspects of his personal life.This week, he made a major announcement: Manziel said he's engaged to girlfriend Bre Tiesi.TMZ was the first to announce the news Friday, and ESPN's Adam Schefter confirmed it. Manziel reportedly popped the question during a romantic Paris trip.

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Johnny Manziel and @bre_tiesi got engaged tonight. She knows his goal is to get back to the NFL and she has been supportive and helpful.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 11, 2017

Tiesi is a model and actress. She has been romantically involved with Manziel since 2016, and supports his goal of returning to the NFL. Manziel posted photos of the happy pair this week on Instagram, withe the caption, "When you know, you know."

When you know, you know @bre_tiesi A post shared by Johnny Manziel (@jmanziel2) on Mar 4, 2017 at 6:18pm PST

Manziel has been working on resolving his legal issues, and according to the Bleacher Report, there is renewed interest in the former Browns quarterback from NFL scouts.

Jimmy Garoppolo’s Instagram ‘farewell’ may have been a hack

News of New England Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's apparent departure spread Friday morning after a message was posted to the player's Instagram account, but now multiple reports are saying he was hacked.

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Early Friday morning Garoppolo appeared to post a message on his Instagram account that said, "So grateful for my time in New England. Peace out Boston."

The post's validity was called into question shortly after it appeared online.

Spoke to someone close to Jimmy Garoppolo who had no knowledge of any trade and believes it's a hack. Alas, it's 5:26 am now & we're all up— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 10, 2017 <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

Shortly after news began to spread, multiple reports surfaced citing sources close to Garoppolo who said he had no knowledge of any trades and believes he was hacked.

The team said it does not respond to speculation or social media posts and only makes comments when a move is official.

But rumors have been swirling for weeks.

Garoppolo’s stock rose last season after he started two games when quarterback Tom Brady was suspended.

He was injured in the second game against the Dolphins, but threw three touchdown passes before he left the game.

The Instagram post on Garoppolo's account was live for only a few hours before it was deleted Friday morning.

Washington's John Ross unofficially breaks 40-yard dash record at NFL Combine

Washington Huskies wide receiver John Ross said he would bring his blazing speed to the NFL Scouting Combine, and he didn't disappoint.Ross ran an unofficial 4.22 40-yard dash on Saturday, which, if confirmed, would set a new record. Running back Chris Johnson, now with the Arizona Cardinals, ran a 4.24 in 2008, according to the NFL.

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HERE IT IS FOLKS. #NFLCombine— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) March 4, 2017

JOHN ROSS RAN A 4.22— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) March 4, 2017

Ross did come up limping after his impressive performance.

He emerged as one of the PAC-12's most dangerous wide receivers in 2016, according to the NFL. He had over a 1,000 receiving yards and scored 17 receiving touchdowns last season for the Huskies.

Former Miami Dolphins CB Will Allen gets 6-year prison sentence

A federal judge in Boston on Wednesday sentenced former Miami Dolphins cornerback Will Allen to six years in prison — and denied his request to remain free until after his Columbia University-bound son graduates from high school.

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Allen, 38, was convicted of running a Ponzi scheme that raised money from investors who thought their cash was being loaned to pro athletes. Allen’s co-defendant, Susan Daub, 56, also was sentenced to six years.

According to a report by Law360, Allen told the judge that his intentions to run a legit company went awry after a concert with Wyclef Jean flopped.

“I don’t doubt that you began this venture with good intentions,” U.S. District Judge William Young told Allen. “But you’re in denial, sir. The crimes here are the crimes of fraud. Lying.”

Allen’s public defender requested a 30-month sentence, while federal prosecutors wanted at 78-month term.

Police: Raven’s safety Matt Elam arrested with drugs, cash, jewels in Miami Beach

Baltimore Raven’s safety Matt Elam was arrested on drug charges Saturday night in Miami Beach, Miami-Dade police said.

The 2013 first-round draft pick is facing a series of drug possession charges, including possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana, possession with intent to sell and possession of a controlled substance.

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Elam, 25 and a native of West Palm Beach, was pulled over for speeding through Miami Beach in a Range Rover, police said. During the traffic stop officers found an armed passenger in the Rover and a Gucci bag full of marijuana, cash and jewelry, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Police found more than 4 ounces of marijuana, six Oxycodone pills, almost $950 in cash, a Rolex watch and other jewelry in the vehicle, according to the newspaper.

Elam wasn’t expected to return to the Ravens’ roster anyway. He’s officially a free agent in just a few weeks.

BREAKING: Ravens safety Matt Elam arrested after police find 126 grams of Marijuana and 3 grams of Oxycodone in his vehicle.— Ravens Nation (@RavenNationLIVE) February 26, 2017

“We are aware of the arrest of Matt Elam,” a team spokesperson said. “Matt is not in our plans for the 2017 Ravens.”

The All-American left Florida for the NFL draft after his junior year. He suffered a number of  injuries and didn’t play much after his first season.

Following his arrest on multiple charges, #Ravens say this on FA safety Matt Elam: "Matt is not in our plans for the 2017 Ravens." Oh.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 26, 2017

The police records for #Ravens S and pending FA Matt Elam, arrested on multiple charges at 3:45 am today in Florida— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 26, 2017

UNCC quarterback, brother of Panthers tight end, arrested on rape charges

University of North Carolina at Charlotte quarterback Kevin Olsen was arrested on rape charges Sunday, police said.

Kevin Olsen in jail, records show. Charges of 2nd degree forcible rape, cyberstalking, assault on female, 2nd degree force sex offense.— Blake Hanson (@BlakeWSOC9) February 20, 2017 <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

Olsen is the younger brother of Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen.

Kevin Olsen was arrested on charges of second-degree forcible rape, cyberstalking, assault on a female and second-degree forced sex.

The Charlotte 49ers were Olsen’s fourth team since September 2014.

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Out of high school in Wayne, New Jersey, Olsen committed to the Miami Hurricanes but left after being suspended from the team several times and failing a drug test.

Olsen never played at Miami after being charged with a DUI and possession of a fake or stolen ID in September 2014.

Olsen transferred to Towson, in Maryland, where he was kicked off the team in March 2015 for violating team rules.

Olsen played football in the fall of 2015 for Riverside California City College.

He played well there and signed with the Charlotte 49ers in December 2015.

Olsen won the 49ers' starting quarterback position last spring.

However, he appeared in just six games last season.

He lost his starting quarterback job halfway through the season.

UNCC Charlotte football coach, Brad Lambert, said he and the university are aware of his quarterback's Kevin Olsen's arrest.

UNCC released this statement:

The University administration has been in close communication with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department regarding its arrest of student-athlete Kevin Olsen Sunday afternoon.The allegations in this incident took place off campus. This incident occurred a week after a separate, unrelated case of alleged on-campus sexual assault involving acquaintances. Olsen has been suspended from Charlotte Athletics, and the University is reviewing the case consistent with its disciplinary procedures. Due to the ongoing CMPD investigation and federal protections on student information, the University will have no further comment on the investigation at this time.

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