Patriots News and Notes 4/28
--With the NFL announcing April 23 that it had reached a legal agreement to speak with former Patriots video assistant Matt Walsh, New England subsequently issued its own statement. Walsh is expected to turn over any materials he might have relating to the Spygate scandal by May 8 and is scheduled to meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on May 13.
"The New England Patriots are pleased to learn that Matt Walsh is finally willing to come forward to meet with the NFL," the Patriots said in a written statement. "We are eagerly anticipating his honest disclosures to Commissioner Goodell next month and the return of all the materials he took during his time of employment. We fully expect this meeting to conclude the league's investigation into a damaging and false allegation that was originally levied against the team on the day before this year's Super Bowl.
"It is important to note that there has never been a confidentiality agreement restricting Matt Walsh and no legal protections were ever necessary for him to speak to the NFL, to media outlets or to anyone else regarding his employment with the Patriots. He demanded to be released from responsibility for his statements, and after a frustrating and lengthy negotiation period, a settlement has finally been reached. Walsh has been granted a significant number of privileges through this agreement, none of which the Patriots or the NFL were obligated to give.
"At all times, we cooperated fully with the league's investigation and stand by our initial public statement from Saturday, Feb. 2, 2008: 'The suggestion that the New England Patriots recorded the St. Louis Rams' walkthrough on the day before Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002 is absolutely false.'
"The Patriots' organizational focus at this time is on the NFL Draft and preparing for what we hope will be an exciting 2008 season. We will have no further comments regarding Matt Walsh at this time."
--WR Jabar Gaffney had an interesting take on the endless "Spygate" controversy, not long before the league finally reached a legal agreement to speak with former Patriots video assistant Matt Walsh.
"Don't care. That was the issue way back in whenever, Week 1," Gaffney said. "Matt Walsh, he's coming forward with what he had from back when, whenever. We just take care of our business. That stuff (rumors) that's out there, we don't pay it no mind. It doesn't reflect us one way or the other. We know we work hard and we go out and prepare. That's the same approach we always take and we'll continue to take from here on."
--LB Junior Seau has yet to announce a decision on his playing future. But Patriots head coach Bill Belichick cautioned not to read anything into the fact that the team drafted an inside linebacker with the No. 10 pick as the move isn't tied into Seau's role or future with the team moving forward.
"That's not really a factor," Belichick said when asked if he'd spoken with Seau or if his status was a consideration in the draft.
They Said It: "We certainly wanted to get younger and faster on defense, but I have been saying that for the six years." -- Bill Belichick addressing the media following the second day of the draft, a weekend that saw the Patriots add five defensive players.
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