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Why the Patriots forfeited their third-round pick in 2021 NFL Draft



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The Patriots have 10 picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, but they could have had 11.

New England clearly won’t be hurting for draft picks this year, but the franchise did have to forfeit its third-round draft pick. Oddly enough, the Patriots still own a pick in the third round as a compensatory selection. The franchise was rewarded that after the loss of free agents Tom Brady, Jamie Collins, Ted Karras, Danny Shelton and Kyle Van Noy.

But New England’s assigned third-round pick was forfeited as punishment by the league for the franchise’s role in taping the Bengals’ sideline during their Week 14 game against the Browns in 2019. In addition to the lost draft pick, New England was also fined $1.1 million.

We’ll go into more detail regarding the lost draft pick below.

MORE: Follow all the Patriots 2021 draft picks here

Why did the Patriots forfeit their pick?

The Patriots won’t get their assigned NFL Draft pick in the third round after their television crew was caught filming the field and the Bengals’ sideline during a 2019 game against the Browns. The incident took place during Week 14 of the 2019 season, and the Patriots faced the Bengals in Week 15, leading to speculation that they were trying to gain an advantage for their matchup.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick denied any involvement in the scandal.

“I have no involvement in this and no knowledge of it. I really don’t have any idea what exactly is going on,” he said in 2019. “I can tell you that we’ve never, as a coaching staff, and I’ve personally never used any video footage at all of anything that those production people have done, other than what’s shown on public television or something like that.”

The team also released a statement explaining the situation.

Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer obtained the footage from the Patriots.

What happens when an NFL Draft pick gets forfeited?

Nothing really happens when an NFL Draft pick gets forfeited, as is the case with the Patriots in the 3rd round. The pick simply just does not exist. The Patriots would have drafted 77th overall, or the 13th pick in the third round. But that pick is just taken out of the equation, and all of the other picks simply move up. There is no skipped selection, the draft just moves up.

It’s also worth noting the Vikings have a forfeited pick in the seventh round. The Vikings’ pick was forfeited as punishment for a salary cap violation involving a 2019 practice squad player.

The Raiders (sixth round) and Saints (seventh round) were initially punished and forced to forfeit their draft picks, but those punishments did not show up in the league’s official draft order.

How many forfeited picks have the Patriots had?

This year isn’t the first time the Patriots have had to forfeit a draft pick. The most notable situation, of course, was the Spygate scandal from 2007. The Patriots were forced to forfeit their 1st-round draft pick in 2008 after illegally filming coaching signals from an unauthorized location against the Jets.

The Patriots were also punished for their role in Deflategate. New England lost two draft picks — a first-round pick in 2016 and a 4th-round pick in 2017.

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Twitter reacts to Russell Westbrook’s NBA-record 182nd career triple-double



Twitter reacts to Russell Westbrook's NBA-record 182nd career triple-double

Russell Westbrook made history Monday night, notching his 182nd career triple-double — and moving past Oscar Robertson for the all-time NBA record.

Robertson’s record lasted 47 years, from 1974 through Monday night when a fourth-quarter rebound in front of a reduced-capacity crowd in Atlanta gave Westbrook sole possession of the record. It took him 12 years to surpass Robertson’s record after he achieved his first triple-double (17 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds) in 2009 as a rookie with the Thunder.

MORE: Jaylen Brown injury update: Celtics star out for rest of season with torn wrist ligament

Monday’s triple-double was Westbrook’s 36th of the year. That insane output is helping him average, for the fourth time in his career, a triple-double over the course of the season. The previous such campaigns came in 2016-17 through 2018-19.

Westbrook finished with 28 points, 21 assists and 13 rebounds in the Wizards’ 125-124 loss to the Hawks; the loss dropped Washington to 32-37 on the season, but the team still ranks 10th in the Eastern Conference standings. The Wizards’ playoff hopes pale in comparison to the history Westbrook made, however.

He even made sure to get the game ball from officials so he could be certain to commemorate the historic achievement.

Here are some of the best reactions to Westbrook’s history-making feat:

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Kenny Mayne’s ESPN cover letter was perfect precursor to his incredible career



Kenny Mayne's ESPN cover letter was perfect precursor to his incredible career

ESPN’s Kenny Mayne, one of the most recognizable talents in sports broadcasting, is leaving the network, he announced on Monday.

The 27-year ESPN anchor broke the news on Twitter, describing his exit from the worldwide leader in sports as a “salary cap casualty.” Naturally, he could only include some of the dry humor that helped him become a beloved presence in the studio and on millions of sports fans’ TVs.

MORE: ESPN anchors get emotional over laid-off co-workers: ‘We are all hurting’

The longtime “SportsCenter” host’s final day will be on May 24, bringing to an end a 27-year stint at ESPN that began in 1994. His absence will undoubtedly be noted among fans who appreciated his humor and presence in ESPN’s studios — but his Monday announcement is as good a reason as any to remember the incredible cover letter that first landed him the gig in 1994.

Mayne sent a short and sweet cover letter to ESPN’s John Walsh in 1994, offering him three checkboxes in the former’s bid to land a job with ESPN:

Unsurprisingly, Mayne made Walsh smile. Walsh wouldn’t be the last person to smile at Mayne’s humor and creativity.

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Jaylen Brown injury update: Celtics star out for rest of season with torn wrist ligament



Jaylen Brown injury update: Celtics star out for rest of season with torn wrist ligament

The Celtics will have to fight for a playoff spot without one of their most important players.

Boston announced Monday night that All-Star forward Jaylen Brown has suffered a torn scapholunate ligament in his left wrist and will miss the rest of the 2020-21 season. He is expected to undergo surgery later this week.

MORE: Will LeBron James return vs. Knicks?

The Celtics offered no specific timetable for Brown’s return to the court, but as The Athletic’s Jared Weiss noted, Boston guard Romeo Langford suffered the same injury last year and took about six months to recover. If Brown stays roughly on that timeline, he should be available to rejoin the lineup for the start of the 2021-22 campaign.

Brown dealt with injury and COVID-19 issues throughout the season, but the 24-year-old still managed to earn his first All-Star selection with some of the best individual numbers of his career. He averaged a career-high 24.7 points per game while shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 39.7 percent from 3-point range.

Without Brown available, Boston will rely heavily on Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker to produce offensively. The Celtics will also need more from trade deadline acquisition Evan Fournier, who most recently scored 30 points in a loss to the Heat on Sunday — his highest scoring output since joining the team.

Even if other players step up in Brown’s absence, the Celtics, currently the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference standings, are unlikely to make a deep run in the 2021 NBA playoffs. They would face an uphill battle in a potential first-round series against the 76ers, Nets or Bucks, the top three seeds in the Eastern Conference.

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