PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin, second right, holds the diamond-encrusted 2005 Super Bowl ring belonging to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, left , as News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, second left, and Citigroup Chairman Sanford Weill look on during a meeting of American business executives at the 18th century Konstantin Palace outside St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 25, 2005. Kraft showed the ring to Putin _ who tried it on, put it in his pocket and left, said Russian news reports. It isn't clear yet if Kraft, whose business interests also include paper and packaging companies and venture capital investments, intended that Putin keep the ring. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
It's the Ring Thing
The Newswire today is full of stories about how the head of state of one of the most powerful countries in the world has made off with the prized possession of a famous American businessman. If true, the meeting arranged to be a meeting of western investors with the head of Russia over foreign business development may have just turned into something more newsworthy than an international investment pitch.
Reported yesterday by the New York Sun, and seen on an independent Russian News site PI visitors learned of the Super Bowl ring fiasco via the Tipline. The Sun reported that during a visit over foreign investment in Russia, Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, showed his valuable piece of jewelry to the Russian leader only to have Vladimir Putin pocket the prized possession and leave the room.
The Sun reported that Kraft did not wish to give the ring to Putin, only to show it to him. Asking for it back would be difficult considering the protocols involved in diplomatic relations. The Russian news site however had a slightly different take, considering the ring to be a possible gift that Kraft could cleverly pass along to Putin without having it subjected to State Department policy.
In either case, Patriots spokesman Stacey James has confirmed Kraft met with Putin, but cannot confirm the accounts being reported about the ring. Kraft continues his trip overseas and was unavailable for comment.
The original sites where this story broke can be found on yesterday's NEWSWIRE, or on the TIPLINE. Patriots' fans have already had a chance to read the news and talk about it here on the message boards.
Morton In The Fold
The Chad Morton signing became official yesterday, with every news outlet and it's brother reporting on the official release. As a matter of policy, the Patriots do not confirm signings until they release the news on their website. Think that sounds like shameless self-promotion… you're not alone.
Two Draft Picks Sign
The Official Site is also reporting that two more of the Patriots 2005 Draft picks have agreed to terms. 5th-round linebacker Ryan Claridge (UNLV) and 7th-round quarterback Matt Cassel (USC).
Former Chicago Bear, Bryan Anderson was claimed off waivers by the Patriots. After releasing amiable Mike Lorenz (Wisconsin), the Patriots decided that passing up Anderson was too much to resist. According to Lorenz, the Pats were looking to shore up another position due to injuries, yet, the first guy they claim is another lineman. Raises some questions about the truths being told to players who get their release.
More On The Law Man
Peter King in his annual hiatus chose to write about the Patriots' all-pro cornerback Ty Law, and the ongoing search for a new home. Law, as has been reported previously here on PI, has been shopping his services while recovering from the foot injury which sidelined him in 2004.
King reports Law is running and cutting now, something he hasn't been able to do in weeks past. In Law's own words, he's about "85%" healthy" now, a bit further away from the "nearly 100%" his agents claimed.
Law's news can be found here: Ty Law Player Page
Or you can use that nifty tool Scout promotes called the MyHotlist, and add Law, Bruschi, or whomever you want to the list to be alerted by email whenever there's a story, which breaks on Law. Better than a search engine news alert, the Hotlist doesn't send you every story with the word "Law" in it, it will only send you stories about Ty Law.
Final Note: Tom Brady's a Nice Guy
No kidding. Tell Patriot Nation something they don't know. The TIPLINE and NEWSWIRE have stories from Brady's latest visit to a football camp at Williams & Mary, where Brady was mingling with kids who aspire to be the next 6th-round success story.
Brady hung out with his two sisters while dispensing advice to those who dream about one day being in the NFL. The reports generally confirm what 1000's of Patriots fans already know - Tom's a good guy. More impressive than being a good guy, he's a heck of a role model for a successful sports celebrity.
It should continue to be an interesting summer as the team manages to make headlines even during the summer break. Stay tuned to PI, as we'll be here through the July heat and summer doldrums right up to and through the start of Training Camp July 25th (rookies) and July 29th (veterans).
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