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Roger Goodell to attend New England Patriots’ opener

Rowe was acquired for only a conditional fourth-round pick, giving the Patriots a much-needed cornerback who could take snaps on the outside. Van Noy and Bennett cost even less, with New England simply moving down in Day 3 of the draft in order to snag those two from Detroit and Chicago, respectively.

The acquisition of Van Noy came five days before the Patriots shocked the NFL world in October by dealing away star linebacker Jamie Collins to the Cleveland Browns. The Collins trade was difficult to understand at the time, but Belichick reportedly felt with conviction that dumping Collins was addition by subtraction.

After convening with President Donald Trump, New England will have met with three Presidents (George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Trump) since 2002.

It remains to be seen how many members of the organization will visit the White House. At least six Patriots players from the 2016 season — Martellus Bennett, LeGarrette Blount, Alan Branch, Dont’a Hightower, Chris Long, Devin McCourty — have publicly stated they will not attend.

Asked about the potential pitfalls facing young players in Las Vegas due to the Raiders’ future relocation, Goodell pointed to the league’s Personal Conduct Policy.

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“I think we have an obligation to do that with all 32 teams,” Goodell said. “My experience is that 21-year-olds can find trouble in a lot of different places, by the way. That’s one of the reasons we have focused so much on our personal conduct policy. It’s educating, helping players make better judgments, giving them better information so they avoid problems. These are the types of things that have been very effective.”

He was barred from this year’s NFL under a conduct policy, but has made the rounds since then, meeting with the Broncos, Raiders and Chargers, among other clubs. Lions GM Bob Quinn said at the combine that Mixon was on Detroit’s draft board.

Per the Herald, Patriots owner Robert Kraft declined to address Mixon specifically this week, but said his policy on domestic violence goes back to 1996, when he demanded a Patriots draft pick, Christian Peter, be released days after the draft when he learned of domestic-violence allegations against Peter.

Despite all the pregame chatter and anticipation of a high-scoring shootout in , the Patriots would be wise to play this game at a snail’s pace. Sure, we’ve seen Tom Brady carve up defenses with surgical precision throughout this season, but the Falcons’ biggest vulnerability could be their suspect defense.

The NFL’s 25th-ranked defense surrendered 104.5 rushing yards per game during the regular season and struggled against teams committed to playing power football. Granted, the league has fewer teams that lean on the run these days, but the Falcons’ loss to the in Week 10 might’ve exposed the unit’s fatal flaw. In a 24-15 win, the Eagles rushed for 208 yards with Ryan Mathews topping the century mark (109 yards) on 19 carries and Wendell Smallwood adding 70 yards on 13 attempts. Studying the All-22 Coaches Film, I was surprised at how effective the Eagles were running the ball — between the tackles, as well as on the edges — from run-heavy and spread sets. Mathews, in particularly, gashed the Falcons’ defense on an assortment of runs.

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