Tuesday Morning Patriots Links

Ian Logue
May 25, 2010 at 07:19am ET

No Brady or Gronk, but plenty of storylines at Patriots OTAs
Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski not at the start of the team's OTA's today
NFL notes: Don't be surprised if Deatrich Wise Jr., Derek Rivers rise up for Patriots
New Patriots DL Danny Shelton preps to hit the hill
Patriots center David Andrews excited with his new Georgia Bulldog teammates

Not much to talk about this morning - the Celtics loss to Orlando is dominating the headlines in the Boston Sports world.

Today is day two of the team's Organized Team Activities, although tomorrow is the big day since the media will be granted access - and we'll finally begin getting reports of how the younger players are working with the veterans.  Hence the reason why there's virtually no news to speak of this morning.

Meanwhile in Texas the league is holding the NFL Owners Meeting, where the Globe interviewed Patriots owner Robert Kraft who revealed there are some upgrades coming soon to Gillette Stadium.  According to Kraft the team will be adding high definition video boards in each endzone.

Investing in the Future - Boston Globe
“I think excluding Dallas, they’ll be the largest,’’ Kraft said of the video boards. “They’ll be HD, they’ll give us the opportunity to show a lot more replays, we’ll be showing the Red Zone Channel in-stadium, with great plays at other stadiums, and it’ll continue to improve the in-game stadium experience."

Kraft also told the news paper that the team is looking into creating their version of the Kangaroo TV handheld video devices — which allow fans to review highlights, and check their fantasy rosters and out-of-town scores at their seats.

In other news Patriots guard Logan Mankins is not expected to attend the team's OTA's - which aren't mandatory anyway. Mankins isn't even under contract yet (he hasn't signed the restricted free agent tender he was offered) and it's similar to the Vince Wilfork situation after Wilfork also skipped them before finally reaching a new deal with the team.  The interesting part will be when June 15th arrives and the mandatory mini-camps start.   At that point it could get ugly since if he hasn’t signed the deal by then, New England can drop his RFA tender to 110 percent of last year’s salary ($1.5 million).

Meanwhile for the Fantasy Football people out there, Open Sports posted the 2010 Patriots fantasy preview this morning:

2010 New England Patriots Fantasy Preview - Open Sports

Around the NFL the Milwaukee Sentinal reported that commissioner Roger Goodell sent letters out to the governers in 44 states looking to get a "concussion law" in place to protect young athletes.

Goodell Wants Concussion Law - Milwaukee Sentinal

Somewhat ironic since a report in the Philadelphia Daily News is saying that a congressional committee critized the NFL's equipment, particularly the players' helmets, and claims the league isn't doing enough to protect their players.

US Reps Rip NFL Docs For Not Doing 'What's Best For Players' - Philly Daily News

As you've probably heard, today will likely be a big day for New York City, and the media is buzzing this morning as the league is expected to announce that SuperBowl XLVIII will be played there in 2014.

NY is Fave Today To Land SuperBowl XLVIII - New York Post

Unfortunately don't expect the game to come to Foxboro.  Patriots owner Robert Kraft was reportedly asked about whether or not he'd like to see one eventually be played at Gillette Stadium, but told the Globe yesterday, "That ship has sailed".

Finally the NFL suffered a major defeat in court yesterday.  The Supreme Court Ruled that the league's 32 teams are individual businesses, which may have just saved fans a lot of money on merchandise.

Justices Deny NFL Bid For Anti-Trust Protection as One Unit - USA Today

Obviously there's talk about how this will affect the collective barganing agreement, but there's a slightly bigger story which directly effects the fans.

In case none of you were aware the league put in place a restriction earlier this year and chose not to allow a large number of vendors (both online and brick & mortar retailers) to continue to sell "gameday" merchandise, which included jerseys and sideline apparel.   Only a handful of vendors were picked by the league to continue selling these items, and as a result this severely reduced the number of dealers who could sell them - which obviously reduces competition.

In the end that means higher prices for the fans who want to purchase them - and it will be interesting to see where this case goes since I'm sure it isn't over yet.

That's it for this morning.   We'll have more throughout the day as it becomes available.