1. The penalties came out for the habitual line crossing Ravens organization after they violated the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) during offseason practices and threatened the integrity of the game. This is the second time the John Harbaugh administration in Baltimore has violated the CBA.
This is a reasonable slap on the wrist for a clear violation of the CBA and the whole issue was wrapped up in a week. This is how it should be.
2. You know how you don't handle an investigation? It's been five months since Al Jazeera America released a report that linked five NFL players to Human Growth Hormone (HGH), including the recently retired Peyton Manning.
That's absolute insanity, when you look at the "integrity of the game", along with the names involved. Manning, Clay Matthews, and Julius Peppers are some of the giants in this league over the past decade or two. This is extremely important and the league hasn't done a thing.
3. To put in context, the league commissioned and issued the Wells Report, and handed down a penalty to the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady in less than four months time. The league has had an extra month to deal with these allegations and they've done nada.
4. And speaking of DeflateGate, Bleacher Report's Jason Cole reports that three owners are upset with Patriots owner Robert Kraft for siding with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), but probably not for the reason you would think.
The owners believe Kraft is doing a "publicity stunt" to show Patriots fans and Brady himself that he supports the franchise. They claim that if Kraft really thought the NFLPA had a shot to win, he would not have sided with them to weaken the CBA. So they draw the conclusion that Kraft is doing lip service to the Patriots fans and is "disingenuous" since the appeal has no chance.
Which, to be fair, sounds possible. I would like to think Kraft is being genuine, and I don't think anyone can doubt that he cares about Brady and the franchise, but I think a calculated decision to submit an amicus brief to regain fan support, with potentially little negative fallout shouldn't surprise anyone.
5. Our friends over at The Phinsider has constructed an All AFC East roster and I'd be curious to see your thoughts on the matter. I think it's pretty well done.
The following Patriots make the team: Tom Brady, Dion Lewis, Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett, Sebastian Vollmer, Rob Ninkovich, Jamie Collins, Dont'a Hightower, Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan, Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Stephen Gostkowski, Matthew Slater, and Bill Belichick.
Remember that this is a full 53-man roster. The Patriots get shut out at defensive tackle, but that's because this division is stacked, and Vollmer is the lone offensive lineman.
While I'd suggest Jabaal Sheard over Ninkovich, they actually put Ninkovich as an outside linebacker. Sheard is the only Patriots player I'd say they left off.
What do you think?
6. We're having a nice little debate on the Patriots prospects at center, and whether Bryan Stork or David Andrews will be the guy in 2016. ESPN's Mike Reiss has a nice nugget in a post where he implies that Andrews saw more time with Brady than Stork did in the first open practice.
There's an obvious caveat that this is very early and Belichick loves mixing and matching at this point in the year, but it's a note that shouldn't go unnoticed. Andrews is a real competitor at center.