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New England Patriots Links 2/16/11 - Matt Light Not Hopeful Labor Agreement Will Be Reached Before March 4 Deadline

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Karen Guregian reports Patriots player rep Matt Light hopes he's wrong, but he doesn't see a labor agreement in place before the deadline and is troubled by all the jobs that will be lost by a work stoppage.

"I never assume anything, but I think everybody feels as though there’s not going to be a deal done by (midnight March 3), so I don’t see it happening," said Light, who was at Boston’s Tico restaurant last night for a celebration of the accomplishments of the Greg Hill Foundation in its first 260 days. "I just hope I’m wrong."

"Look, at this point, believe nothing that you hear and none of which you see. I just think it’s a bad state right now," Light said. "It’s a bunch of people who are arguing over points that have nothing to do with what’s at the heart of the matter. Unfortunately, all the players and fans and everyone that’s affiliated through the NFL in some way and some shape, they’re all being affected by it. And that’s a lot of people. That’s not just the players. That’s not just the owners. That’s a huge industry that’s wrapped around a lot of good people (who) at the end of the day just want to see a deal get done."

"I don’t think anyone is naive enough to believe the players just want more money. We’ve never asked for more money ever," he said. "So if that is the only message we can get out, that’s the only one we need to say. It doesn’t do any good to bash each other. The players have never asked for more money than what they’ve gotten. They’ve definitely been asked to give back 18 percent, so that’s pretty much that simple."

Tim Britton notes Devin McCourty spoke at The Hall at Patriot Place and was asked about the labor uncertainty surrounding the 2011 season.

"The owners know the fans love watching the game. The ratings get higher and higher," said McCourty, who took a labor class at Rutgers. "Like all labor negotiations, it'll probably come down to the end."

The cornerback, entering his second season with the Patriots, isn't letting the possibility of a lockout affect his off-season work.

"It's weird, but like Coach Belichick said, you know football's going to come at some point," McCourty said. "I'm attacking it.... I think they'll get it done, and as a professional athlete, it's our job to keep training and be ready."

One thing he doesn't want to see, though, is an 18-game regular season. "I know how I feel as a rookie after 16 games," he said. "I hope we don't have to play 18 games. That'll hurt."

Karen Guregian reports Stephen Gostkowski believes he'll be booming the ball deep into the end zone again, after he tore the quadriceps muscle right off the bone of his kicking leg.

"The rehab has been going well. I’ve been doing what (the trainers) say, and taking it step by step,’’ Gostkowski said yesterday after addressing 25 students from Silver Lake Regional Middle School as part of the NFL and National Dairy Council’s in-school nutrition and physical activity program.

"When I start kicking again, it’s (going to be) a feel kind of thing. But they’re confident I should feel no effects here in a little while and I should be ready to go.’’

"There’s no real time frame as far as actual kicking a ball. I’ll kick a soccer ball around just to feel the load on my leg,’’ he said. "But to when I start my normal season procedures, I have no idea, because I’m in their hands and doing what they tell me to do. Right now, if I feel like I could go out and kick 100 field goals, it might not be what they feel is best for me. So I just hand it over to the people who know a lot more than me, and do what they say.’’

TEAM TALK

LOCAL LINKS

  • Mike Reiss reports Devin McCourty was the featured guest at the Patriots Hall of Fame speaker series last night, entertaining the crowd with stories of his draft preparation, behind-the-scenes happenings with the team and more.
  • Mike Reiss adds CB Devin McCourty's impressive season included seven interceptions, two DROY votes, fractured ribs, one Pro Bowl berth and a bad taste left in his mouth (from the playoff loss).
  • Jeff Howe reports Devin McCourty admits to finishing the season with a fractured rib he suffered in week 14 against Chicago.
  • Tom E. Curran recaps Devin McCourty's appearance at The Hall at Patriot Place. The Pats Pro Bowl corner is ready to commit to working out hard on his own as a lockout looms.
  • Tim Britton reports it has been a wild year for Devin McCourty, who went from a surprise first-round pick to the Pro Bowl. His goal for 2011? "Getting better."
  • Tony Massarotti thinks it's time for Logan Mankins to forgive and forget. He may not like the way negotiations have gone, but continued stubbornness will only hurt him more.
  • Mike Reiss answers his weekly reader mailbag: A month into the Pats' offseason, it's time to discuss intriguing options.
  • Mike Reiss looks at the two mock draft selections for the Patriots from the Sporting News and offers his analysis.
  • Jeff Howe offers 20 thoughts exclusively about wide receivers. Drafting WRs with a top-10 pick is a waste.
  • Mike Rodak focuses on who would be a free-agent fit for the Patriots at each position: Offensive tackle.
  • Jeff Howe thinks Nnamdi Asomugha is an easy choice for the top free-agent CB, but Chris Houston may be the best free-agent fit for the Patriots.

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