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NFL roundup: Anquan Boldin re-signs with 49ers, defends coach Jim Harbaugh 03.04.14 at 10:19 am ET
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Wide receiver Anquan Boldin will return to the 49ers, the veteran announced via his Twitter account Monday afternoon.

San Francisco also announced Monday that the two sides agreed to a two-year deal, but the team did not disclose the terms of the contract. According to ESPN NFL insider ED Werder, sources believe Boldin agreed to a deal worth $12 million that includes a guaranteed $9 million.

“We are pleased that Anquan has chosen to continue his career as a 49er,” general manager Trent Baalke said in a team statement. “He is a consummate professional whose love and respect for the game provide a tremendous example for all players.

“Anquan has been a very productive player throughout his career, and we look forward to his future contributions to our team and community.”

Last season, the 33-year-old wide receiver had 85 catches for 1,179 yards and seven touchdowns.

During a press conference following the announcement of the deal, Boldin also came out in defense of his coach Jim Harbaugh. A recent report by the San Francisco Chronicle stated that a rift existed in the 49ers locker room because of the coach.

“I don’€™t think there’€™s any rift between players and coaches, particularly coach Harbaugh,” Boldin said, according to the San Jose Mercury News. “He has good rapport with all the guys I know of. There’€™s no gripes in the locker room when it comes to coach Harbaugh. He wants to win and everybody in the locker room wants to do the same. We’€™re usually on the same page and if not, we have it where we can talk to him and he can talk to us.”

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Read More: Anquan Boldin, Bernard Pollard, Brent Grimes, Donald Butler
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Broncos WR Wes Welker suffers second concussion in 4 weeks 12.09.13 at 8:01 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NFL: Cowboys at Bears, 8:40 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Nuggets at Wizards, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Bryant at Notre Dame, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Manchester at Butler, 8 p.m. (FS1)
NHL: Blue Jackets at Penguins, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Premier League, Hull City at Swansea City, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘€¢ The Bernard Pollard curse has struck again, but this time it’s an ex-Patriot who suffered the injury.

Broncos receiver Wes Welker left Sunday’s victory over the Titans with a concussion for the second time in a month, after taking a hit to the head from Pollard late in the second quarter of Sunday’s game in Denver.

Welker, who earlier in the game caught his 10th touchdown pass of the season — giving the Broncos a record four players with 10 touchdown receptions this season — walked off the field under his own power but did not return in the second half.

The Broncos play again Thursday night against the Chargers, and there already is speculation that Welker, who also was concussed in a Week 11 win over the Chiefs but returned for the following week’s game against the Patriots, will skip that game. Per the league’s concussion protocol, Welker will have baseline testing Monday.

Pollard is well known to New England fans for causing injuries to Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Stevan Ridley. He also was the defender when Welker suffered a torn ACL and MCL in the final regular-season game in 2009, although Welker suffered the injury trying to make a move, without any contact.

‘€¢ Meanwhile, Welker’s quarterback, Peyton Manning, heard the criticism about his play in cold-weather games, and he had a message for his critics after rallying Denver from an 11-point deficit for a 51-28 rout of the Titans on a day when the temperature was 18 degrees at kickoff.

“Whoever wrote that narrative can shove it where the sun don’t shine,” Manning said.

Entering the game, Manning had a career record of 3-7 in games when the temperature was 32 or below at kickoff. He proceeded to set a team record with 39 completions (on a team-record-tying 59 attempts). Manning passed for 397 yards and four touchdowns, closing to within five of Tom Brady’s single-season record of 50.

Said Manning: “I wasn’t trying to answer [the criticism], because I didn’t give it any validation in the first place.”

Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton said he doesn’t expect Manning’s critics to relent.

“They’ll find something [to talk about],” Knighton said. “They’ll probably say, well, he’s not good … below zero or something. They’ll find something, but I consider us a weatherproof team, and he’s a Super Bowl champ. We’re not really worried about that. We’ll play anywhere, any weather, any conditions.”

On a side note, Broncos kicker Matt Prater also didn’t let the frigid temperatures bother him, as he kicked an NFL-record 64-yard field goal just before halftime. Two of the four kickers who shared the old record of 63 yards also kicked theirs in Denver, where the altitude offers some assistance — although Prater noted that the benefit from the thin air was evened out by the temperature (14 degrees when he kicked).

“Yes, it kind of takes out the altitude factor,” he said.

‘€¢ Adrian Peterson did not enjoy his trip to Baltimore on Sunday. Not only did the Vikings suffer a 29-26 on a touchdown in the final seconds, Peterson was carted off the field in the second quarter with a sprained foot and did not play another down — although he did watch from the sideline.

But Peterson’s main issue was with the officials. The Vikings were called for pass interference on Baltimore’s winning drive, nullifying an interception. That was just one of the calls that had Peterson upset.

“Some of the calls that were made, you just went, ‘Wow. I can’t believe that was called,’ ” Peterson said.

The running back also had an issue with the Baltimore fans, who braved a snowstorm but were not as well-behaved as Peterson would like.

“They’ve got the worst fans in the NFL,” Peterson said. “[They were] throwing snowballs the entire fourth quarter, like kids.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Dec. 9, 1992, the Red Sox signed which free agent who eventually wound up in the Hall of Fame?

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Read More: Adrian Peterson, Bernard Pollard, Matt Prater, Peyton Manning
Titans DB Bernard Pollard fined $42K for hit to head 09.18.13 at 11:03 am ET
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Titans safety and noted Patriots villian Bernard Pollard was fined $42,000 by the NFL for his hit Sunday that concussed Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson. On the play, Pollard led with his shoulder but contacted the defenseless receiver’s head. He was not penalized by the on-field officials.

The eight-year pro tweeted his fine this morning, writing:

So @nfl said I did “everything right” but 42k later I still get fined. Wow! It’s called football but they want 2 hand touch. #TitanUp#

In Tennessee’€™s first two games, Pollard has 15 tackles and one interception.

He also was fined $10,000 for a late hit out of bounds in Tennessee’s first preseason game.

Pollard is infamous in New England for his role in a number of key injuries and plays.

As a member of the Chiefs, Pollard delivered the low hit that tore Tom Brady‘€™s ACL in 2008. The then-Texan was preparing to tackle wide receiver Wes Welker when Welker’€™s knee gave out, resulting in a torn ACL during the 2009 season. With the Ravens, his tackle on Rob Gronkowski in the 2012 AFC championship game led to a severe ankle sprain that hampered Gronkowski in New England’€™s Super Bowl XLVI loss to the Giants. And in last season’€™s AFC championship game, Pollard knocked Stevan Ridley out of the game with a brutal hit to the head that also forced a decisive turnover.

Fortunately for the Patriots, the Titans are not on the regular-season schedule this year.

Read More: Bernard Pollard, rob gronkowski, Stevan Ridley, Tom Brady
Ravens DB Bernard Pollard predicts demise of NFL 01.28.13 at 9:39 am ET
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Ravens safety Bernard Pollard, best known in New England for his injury-causing hits over the last five years to Patriots players Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Steven Ridley, said the league’s attempts to make the game safer are likely to lead to its end.

“Thirty years from now, I don’t think it will be in existence,” he told CBSSports.com. “I could be wrong. It’s just my opinion, but I think with the direction things are going — where [NFL rules makers] want to lighten up, and they’re throwing flags and everything else — there’s going to come a point where fans are going to get fed up with it.

“Guys are getting fined, and they’re talking about, ‘Let’s take away the strike zone,’ and, ‘Take the pads off,’ or, ‘Take the helmets off.” It’s going to be a thing where fans aren’t going to want to watch it anymore.”

Added Pollard: “The league is trying to move in the right direction [with player safety], but, at the same time, [coaches] want bigger, stronger and faster year in and year out. And that means you’re going to keep getting big hits and concussions and blown-out knees. The only thing I’m waiting for … and, Lord, I hope it doesn’t happen … is a guy dying on the field. We’ve had everything else happen there except for a death. We understand what we signed up for, and it sucks.

“Like I said, I pray it never happens, but you’ve got guys who are 350 pounds running 4.5 and 4.4s, and these owners and coaches want scout-run blockers and linemen to move walls. At the same time, they tell you, ‘Don’t hit here, and don’t hit there, or we’ll take your money.’ Like I said, I hope I’m wrong, but I just believe one day there’s going to be a death that takes place on the field because of the direction we’re going.”

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Read More: Bernard Pollard, rob gronkowski, Rumor Mill, Stevan Ridley
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels admits hitting Nationals rookie Bryce Harper on purpose 05.07.12 at 7:48 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS
MLB: Red Sox at Royals, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: White Sox at Indians, 1 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Mets at Phillies, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA playoffs: Spurs at Jazz, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Grizzlies at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Capitals at Rangers, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Predators at Coyotes, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
IIHF World Championship: United States vs. Slovakia, 1 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels sent a message to Nationals rookie Bryce Harper in the first inning of Sunday night’s game, hitting him in the back with a fastball. In case the message wasn’t received, Hamels admitted after the game that it was no accident.

“I was trying to hit him,” Hamels said. “I’m not going to deny it.”

Explained the veteran hurler: “That’s something I grew up watching, that’s kind of what happened. So I’m just trying to continue the old baseball because I think some people are kind of getting away from it. I remember when I was a rookie the strike zone was really, really small and you didn’t say anything because that’s the way baseball is.”

Harper got his revenge later in the inning, stealing home when Hamels made a pickoff attempt to first base. Then in the third inning, Nationals starter Jordan Zimmerman hit Hamels in the leg, drawing a warning to both teams from the umpire.

‘™¦ During Saturday’s Braves-Rockies game in Denver, Rockies pitcher Jamie Moyer approached Chipper Jones while the Braves veteran was on second base and accused him of stealing signs. Jones screamed at Moyer that he was not, and Jones still was bothered by the accusation Sunday.

“I’m not happy, to say the least,” Jones said. “Any time a grown man gets his integrity questioned, they’re going to take it seriously, and I’m no different. If he wants to discuss it, we’ll discuss it, but he’s wrong, plain and simple.”

Added Jones: “Never have I wanted a sign when I was hitting, and I have never relayed a sign to a hitter from second base, ever.”

‘™¦ Ravens safety Bernard Pollard, known for injuring Patriots players, is not happy with the league’s attempts to protect its players. During an interview with Houston radio station Sports Radio 610 last week, Pollard took some shots at the commissioner.

Pollard said the restrictions against illegal hits are “taking away the game of football” and it doesn’t bode well for the future. “I just truly believe, another 20, 30 years — I don’t even think football will even be in existence anymore,” he said, adding: “We all know what this game is about. We know and understand that it’s a violent sport.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 7, 1972, Bobby Orr had two goals and an assist in the Bruins’ 3-2 victory over the Rangers in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals, giving Orr a record 22 points by a defenseman in a playoff year. Whose record did he break?

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Read More: Bernard Pollard, Bryce Harper, Chipper Jones, Cole Hamels
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Ravens’ Bernard Pollard OK with bounties, upset with Roger Goodell 04.05.12 at 7:57 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Tigers, 1 p.m. (NESN, ESPN2; WEEI)
MLB: Marlins at Reds, 4 p.m. (ESPN2)
MLB: Dodgers at Padres, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Celtic at Bulls, 9:30 p.m. (TNT; WEEI)
NBA: Knicks at Magic, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NHL: Bruins at Senators, 7:30 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Rangers at Penguins, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College hockey: Frozen Four, Boston College vs. Minnesota, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
College hockey: Frozen Four, Ferris State vs. Union, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
MLS: Revolution at FC Dallas, 8:30 p.m. (CSNNE)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Ravens safety Bernard Pollard, known to Patriots fans as the player who caused major injuries to Tom Brady, Wes Welker and, this past season, Rob Gronkowski, is not happy with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell‘s attempts to make the sport less dangerous.

“It’€™s getting out of hand,” Pollard told Houston radio station KILT. “This is not powderpuff football, this is not flag football. This is a violent sport. And it’€™s a fun sport — we all love playing this game. And we’€™re blessed by God to even go out there and display our talent to the world, but at the same time you can’€™t sit there and say, ‘€˜We want guts, we want glory, we want heart.’€™ You can’€™t give a player heart but at the end of the day you tell him, ‘€œWell, hold on, but be careful when you go to make that hit.’€™ We wear helmets and shoulder pads. That means you’€™re supposed to go knock somebody around. We ain’€™t wearing flags.’€

Regarding the Saints’ bounty situation, Pollard said he doesn’t care if a team has bounties and called the one-year suspension of Saints coach Sean Payton “outrageous.”

‘€œThis is a game, this is a violent game. You can’€™t take this away,” Pollard said. “You suspend a man for a whole year? You suspend a man for a whole year and now you’€™re looking for players to suspend? This is outrageous. You’€™ve got to be kidding me.’€

‘™¦ After coaching Kentucky to the national championship Monday, John Calipari insists he has no desire to leave for the NBA, even though the Knicks reportedly have interest.

“Kentucky is the best job in basketball coaching,” Calipari said. “Why would I leave? We just won the national title. We’re chasing UCLA.”

Meanwhile, a player being recruited by Kentucky, Everett’s Nerlens Noel, raised some eyebrows when he recounted a story of walking through Bourbon Street in New Orleans on Final Four weekend and being graciously received by Wildcats fans.

“I’€™m always just shocked at how dedicated Kentucky fans are,” Noel wrote in a diary for ESPN. “One man asked me if I wanted to take his wife home with me, ha ha. I couldn’€™t believe it. I was like ‘Nah, I’€™m good,’ but that’€™s just how insane the fans were down there.”

‘™¦ At Wednesday’s annual press conference prior to the start of The Masters, August National Chairman Billy Payne refused to answer questions about if and when a woman would be admitted as a member of the club. The topic became relevant again because IBM has a new CEO, Virginia Rometty, and the last four IBM CEOs have been invited to be club members.

“As has been the case whenever that question is asked, all issues of membership have been and are subject to private deliberations of the members,” Payne said. “That statement remains accurate and that remains my statement.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 5, 1971, the Cardinals returned to the Red Sox which Rule 5 draft pick who would go on to a stellar major league career (most of it outside Boston)?

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Read More: Bernard Pollard, Billy Payne, John Calipari, Nerlens Noel