In case you didn't know, the collective bargaining agreement that was agreed upon between the NFL owners and the players association was already up and running, you were wrong. On Thursday, both sides agreed to ratify the agreement and the NFL lockout has now been officially been put to rest.
With the CBA now up and rolling, veteran free agents who have already signed contracts could now hit the practice field. For the Patriots, this meant that several players who had been sitting on the sidelines could now join their teammates for a full practice.
The "new" group of Patriots on the field today for practice included runningback BenJarvus Green-Ellis, left tackle Matt Light, left guard Logan Mankins, defensive end Tracy White, safety Brandon McGowan, runningback Sammy Morris, cornerback Kyle Arrington and defensive lineman Steve Williams. Certainly a big group of very valuable pieces to last year's team.
Also joining the Patriots today was first-round pick Nate Solder, who agreed to terms with the Patriots earlier in the day on a four-year contract. Solder will likely back up veteran Matt Light this season at left tackle.
Here are some news and notes from the day it was at Patriots Training Camp:
Rookie Runningback Shane Vereen, Others Sidelined With Injuries
After joining the Patriots yesterday for practice, rookie runningback Shane Vereen came up lame and left practice on Wednesday with an apparent hamstring injury. Vereen's injury doesn't seem serious, it just seems the Patriots are being cautious in the situation.
Others that were not on the practice field included cornerback Ras-I Dowling, linebacker Josh Barrett, ofensive lineman Kyle Hix, offensive lineman Marcus Cannon and defensive linemen Myron Pryor, Ron Brace, and Brandon Deadrick. Dowling, Barrett and Hix spent the majority of their time on the sidelines received medical attention on the sideline. Meanwhile, Cannon is on the active/NFI list while Pryor, Brace and Deadrick are all on the active/PUP list.
Even though both of these players just got here, wide receiver Chad Ochocinco and defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth are constantly under the Boston media microscope.
Ochocinco seemed to struggle during practice today as he dropped about a half a dozen passes from quarterback Tom Brady today. Meanwhile, Haynesworth joined a small group of rehabbing players after practice and walked off with team trainers after practice was over. Nothing serious, but keep in mind it was Haynesworth's first day facing off against pro-bowl left guard Logan Mankins.
Patriots Bring In A Former Jet DE For A Workout
In a market full of bargains, the Patriots continued their search for a potential 3-4 or 4-3 defensive end as they brought in former New York Jet Shaun Ellis for a workout on Thursday.
Ellis had always been a solid pass rusher during his 12 seasons in the NFL, as he recorded 4.5 sacks last year with the Jets. Ellis had tremendous success against the Patriots offensive line in the playoffs, as he added had two sacks in the Jets stunning playoff win over New England last season. Ellis would certainly be a nice addition to the Pats 3-4 attack.
Bill Belichick Soundbite Of The Day
When asked about the potential use of a 4-3 defensive rather than a 3-4, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick responded with a typical Belichick-like response; he pinned it on the media.
"Honestly, I think that’s something that is a media fabrication. There are a lot of different alignments out there. You see 4-3 teams use odd spacing. You see 3-4 teams use even spacing. You have 11 players, you can put them in various positions. Whether you want to put it on the pre-game depth chart as one thing or another, I think is a little bit overrated." (via WEEI)
Patriots left guard Logan Mankins re-joined the Patriots today and told the media that he and owner Robert Kraft are "cool" and on the same page.