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Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Cleaning out the Patriots notebook

By Mike Reiss

Cleaning out the Patriots notebook ...

1. Former Patriots cornerback Ty Law was honored Tuesday night at The Tradition and Greg Payne, a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com, was part of an interview with Law before the event. Law told Payne and Co. that his "ultimate goal" is to "officially retire as a Patriot" and explained that is why he hasn't filed his retirement papers even though he considers his career over. Some teams grant one-day contracts to players in similiar situations, but now that the Patriots have a team Hall of Fame, such a step doesn't seem necessary. Law will have his day, no doubt.

2. Need a Patriots fix during the lockout? NFL Network is scheduled to broadcast its half-hour show on the 2004 Patriots today (2:30 p.m.), followed by the team's Super Bowl XXXIX win over the Eagles (3 p.m.). Also, the always-entertaining SoundFX with Bill Belichick is scheduled to air on NFL Network Friday (4:30 p.m.) and Saturday (9:30 a.m.).

3. ESPN.com continued its "power ranking" series Tuesday with its selections for top NFL players. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady earned the top spot, edging Colts quarterback Peyton Manning by getting first-place votes on six of eight ballots. NFL Network wraps up its Top 100 players series (as voted on by players) on Sunday night, with players 6-10 being profiled from 8-9 p.m. and players 1-5 being profiled from 9-10 p.m. (ET).

4. Best Patriots free-agent signing in Bill Belichick's tenure (2000-present)? One could make a strong case for linebacker Mike Vrabel, who ranks ninth on the "10 most disappointing oversights" list put together by Brian McIntyre for "Football Outsiders" (Insider content). McIntyre's point is that the Steelers never should have given up on Vrabel in 2001. "Although he would be named to just one Pro Bowl and All-Pro team during his time with the Patriots, Vrabel became an instant starter and vital cog of the defense, totaling more than 600 tackles, 48 quarterback sacks and all 11 of his career interceptions during eight seasons in New England," McIntyre writes.