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Archive for the ‘ News ’ Category

REPORT: Patriots QB Mallett Traded to Texans


Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett is headed to Houston. (USA TODAY Images)

After an offseason of talk and a preseason that also had its’ fair share of whispers, it appears that Ryan Mallett may finally be leaving town after all.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Mallett has been traded to the Houston Texans, although no terms of the trade of have been released just yet.

The move reunites Mallett with former Patriots offensive coordinator and new Texans head coach Bill O’Brien.  O’Brien also held the role of quarterbacks coach here in New England during Mallett’s rookie season back in 2011.

Mallett had an up and down preseason and didn’t exactly impress while he was out there, but most felt that he would remain with the Patriots during the final year of his contract, which expired after the 2014 season.  Following Saturday’s cuts, it seemed that he would be backing up Tom Brady for at least another season.  Now it seems he’ll have an opportunity to start in Houston.

UPDATE: According to several reports, New England will receive a conditional seventh round pick for Mallett based on the percentage of snaps he plays for the Texans this season, which could potentially turn the pick into a sixth round selection.

Patriots Boyce Among Final Cuts On Saturday


New England Patriots WR Josh Boyce was among those cut during Saturday’s move to get down to the 53-man roster limit. (USA TODAY Images)

Once thought of as a potential big play receiver in New England’s offense, it appears that receiver Josh Boyce will be one of many trying to land a job with an NFL team after Saturday’s cut down as the Patriots pared their roster down from 75 to the 53-man limit.

According to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, Boyce was notified that he would be among the players waived this afternoon.  The speedy receiver out of Texas Christian was taken in the fourth round last year but wasn’t able to take the next step after having had an up and down training camp.  

Boyce had a strong offseason and started off well, receiving a lot of praise early on in camp.  However, he was inconsistent, looking fantastic one day and then not so great at other times.  Apparently the coaching staff didn’t feel confident in his growth, and as a result it appears they’ve made alternative decisions at the bottom of a group that many had felt had both Boyce and potentially Kenbrell Thompkins battling for a roster spot.

Thompkins seems to have survived, while Boyce didn’t.  Although it’s not out of the realm of possibility for Boyce to potentially return on the team’s practice squad should he clear waivers.

Meanwhile, other players said to be among those having received bad news are the following:

WR Josh Boyce
DT Jerel Worthy
DT Eathyn Manumaleuna
DT L.T. Tuipulotu
DE Jake Bequette
TE Steve Maneri
C Braxton Cave
G Jon Halapio
T Chris Martin
LB Steve Beauharnais
LB James Morris*
(*apparent right knee injury suffered Friday night, placed on IR per Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald)
LB Ja’Gared Davis
RB Roy Finch
RB Jonas Gray
CB Daxton Swanson
S Kanorris Davis
S Shamiel Gary
WR Jeremy Gallon
RB Taylor McCuller
LS Danny Aiken

One quick note for those wondering. So far it appears the Patriots will stay with three quarterbacks, with Ryan Mallett still on the team to this point.  According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, had the Patriots cut Mallett, the Texans would have claimed him.

Also, Howe points out that Brandon Browner and Brian Tyms are now on the suspended list.

As history has shown, the final cuts don’t necessarily guarantee any security for some of the remaining guys who are left, as the situation tends to remain fluid while the dust settles and New England begins evaluating other players released. As a result, don’t be surprised if there are some additional moves through the remainder of the weekend as the team finishes putting their roster together heading into their week one match-up in Miami next Sunday.

REPORT: Patriots Sending Mankins to Buccaneers for TE Wright


Logan Mankins is now a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
(USA TODAY Images)

New England hasn’t been a stranger so far with pulling off trades to deepen their roster, but they pulled off a shocking one on Tuesday considering who was involved.

According to Jay Galzer of FoxSports.com, the Patriots have traded offensive guard Logan Mankins to Tampa Bay in exchange for tight end Tim Wright and an undisclosed draft pick.

It’s been a well-known fact that New England didn’t have much depth behind tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Michael Hoomanawanui, so the addition of Wright, who caught 54 passes for 561 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2013, certainly gives them some much needed depth at that position.

The loss of Mankins takes away some attitude and toughness up front on the offensive line, but the amount of depth they have there apparently left them with a tough decision when it came to bolstering another position instead.  As a result, the agreement was made and it gives the Buccaneers some help up front as well.

Mankins was entering his 10th season in the league after having been drafted in the first round by New England back in 2005.

Patriots CB Arrington Getting Reps at Safety


Kyle Arrington has spent this week expanding his role in New England’s defense. (USA TODAY Images)

One of the sure ways to solidify a role with the Patriots is to be a player who isn’t afraid to fill multiple needs and it appears Kyle Arrington is getting the opportunity to increase his value to New England’s defense.

Arrington has been a player who has played both inside and outside in New England’s secondary since becoming a starter and has improved quite a bit in the past couple of seasons.  Now it appears he’s getting some work in at safety after spending some time there this week.

Bill Belichick had some praise for Arrington this week and feels he can play anywhere.

“I think Kyle has a really good skill set to play anywhere [in the secondary],” Belichick said via the Boston Globe. “He’s fast, he’s tough, he’s a good tackler, which your safeties need to be, but I’d say it’s even more important at safety. He tackles well, he runs, he’s a very athletic player.”

The veteran defensive back, who is one year into a four-year deal, is in a secondary that is pretty crowded at the cornerback position and that situation only appears to be potentially getting more complicated following last week’s performance by Malcolm Butler, who played well during the Patriots first preseason game.  Butler finished the night with two passes defensed along with six tackles and overall has looked pretty solid to this point during training camp.

With Arrington getting reps at safety, it gives New England some added depth in the event of injuries to Devin McCourty or Duron Harmon and it will also be interesting to see how things shake out when the team makes their final roster decisions in terms of who they keep and whether or not Arrington can fill the role of two players.

For now he’s garnered enough respect from his coach and teammates for his ability to step in when called upon, with Devin McCourty noting that Arrington’s experience being moved around has made him a smart player.

“I think he’s smart,” McCourty said via the Boston Herald. “I think he understands the defense on the whole. The way he plays, he can fit in at safety. He can fit in at corner. He’s an aggressive guy. He always plays physical.

“I think him being able to play inside and outside has given him more understanding of the defense, so it allows him to do more things now that coach asks him to do.”


Week one was a less than stellar performance for back-up quarterback Ryan Mallett. (USA TODAY Images)

After a rough outing in week one of the preseason against Washington, Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett is trying to have a short memory as the team gets set for their second exhibition game of the year Friday night against Philadelphia.

Mallett, who finished the night just 5-of-12 (42%) for 55 yards along with a sack, didn’t exactly look comfortable out there against the Redskins after getting the starting nod.  He was erratic while he was out there and had several errant throws, including one where he hit running back Roy Finch in the back of the head as he came out of the backfield.

Having been a back up for several seasons, Mallett had said that he feels like he’s a starter, however he didn’t exactly look like one last week in Washington.   They had problems moving the chains largely in part due to fact they struggled running the football, as well as the fact Mallett struggled to complete passes on early downs. He finished 0-for-3 on first down and just 1-of-3 on second down, which put him in long yardage situations throughout most of the time he was out there.

He faced nine second down plays last Thursday night, seven of which were from eight or more yards. Third down was just as dismal, with Mallett converting just three of seven for the contest, mostly due to the fact five of those seven were from 10 or more yards.

The result lead to a group that only crossed midfield twice with Mallett at the helm. They never reached any farther than the Redskins’ 36 yard line and that drive ended with a missed 54-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowksi late in the second quarter.

Mallett missed a couple of sessions this week for what he called “maintenance days”, which coincidentally followed what appeared to potentially be him aggravating his knee after catching his brace in the turf in Washington.  It remains to be seen if he’ll see action tonight depending on his injury situation, with Mike Reiss of ESPN BOSTON suggesting he could sit this one out. Should he get the opportunity to potentially try and redeem last week’s performance, he said this week he’s focused on going out and having a better game, while having already put last week behind him.

“I’ve already moved passed it and ready for this week,” Mallett told WEEI’s Ryan Hannable. “Rear-view mirror kind of game right now.”

Patriots Acquire Packers Defensive Lineman Jerel Worthy


Bill Belichick added some depth behind Vince Wilfork on Tuesday night (USA TODAY Images)

It appears Patriots head coach Bill Belichick isn’t taking any chances when it comes to defensive line depth and on Tuesday night he followed up the acquisition of Ben Bass with another move to bolster that unit.

According to his agent, Chafie Fields via Twitter, the Patriots acquired Packers’ defensive lineman Jerel Worthy from Green Bay in exchange for a late round draft pick, provided Worthy ends up making the roster.

The former second round pick out of Michigan State in 2012 has gotten off to a slow start, with just 2.5 sacks in 16 career games over the past two seasons.   However, it’s a situation that is a low-risk one for New England.  They acquired a talented player with a fair amount of potential and have nothing to lose if he doesn’t make the roster.

He’ll join a group that is hurting after losing Sealver Siliga to a hand injury that appears to be severe and has his future in doubt.  The team also saw Chris Jones suffer an ankle injury Thursday night, which may cause him to miss time.

As a result Bill Belichick appears to be trying to add depth to a group that was really thin after Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly were both lost for the season last year.  We’ll see if either player can provide enough of an impact to allow them to get through 2014 a little stronger than they did last season.

Former Patriots Safety Steve Gregory Announces Retirement



Former Patriots safety Steve Gregory announced his retirement Saturday after eight seasons in the National Football League. (PHOTO: Steve Balestrieri/PatsFans.com)

Back in February the Patriots released 31-year old veteran safety Steve Gregory in an apparent financial move that saved the team $2.85 million against the 2014 salary cap.

As it turns out, that apparently marked the end of his NFL career after Gregory announced his retirement on Saturday.


Gregory was a solid contributor in New England’s secondary during his tenure with the team. (USA TODAY Images)

He played in 26 games in New England through 2012 and 2013, the final two seasons of his eight year career.

Gregory was a solid contributor in the Patriots’ secondary during his tenure with the team and he’s walking away with his head held high, with his plan now to potentially be involved as a coach.

From his statement released via his agent, David Canter:

“It is with tremendous respect, appreciation, and admiration for the game of football that I’ve decided to announce my retirement effective immediately.  After enter the game as an undrafted free agent, I was fortunate enough to play twice as long as the average player. This past offseason, my wife Rosanne and I were blessed to welcome a daughter, Aviana, and spending time with her has changed my life’s perspective. It is my hope to continue in football as a coach and I look forward to what the future holds. I’m tremendously happy with my decision and being able to walk away from this great game both healthy and on my own terms. I would be remiss in announcing my retirement without thanking my great family, coaches, teammates, scouts, trainers, agent and all of the fans that have supported me along the way.

Thank you,
Steve Gregory”

During the 2013 regular season the veteran played in 14 games with 11 starts along with 79 tackles and a sack.  He missed two games with a thumb injury he suffered during the team’s week nine 55-31 rout of Pittsburgh, but for the season he participated in over 80% of the snaps in all but three of those contests.

Ryan Mallett Expected to Get The Starting Nod Tonight


Ryan Mallett will play the lead role in tonight’s Preseason Opener. (USA TODAY Images)

Ryan Mallett talked this week about the fact he’s confident he can be a starting quarterback in this league, and it appears Bill Belichick will let him take the lead role in tonight’s preseason opener.

According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, Mallett will get the starting nod tonight, giving him an opportunity to showcase his talents during the team’s first preseason game with potentially some of the first team players as he tries to continue a lot of the success he’s had this week.

Mallett’s received plenty of praise during these joint sessions and now that he has an opportunity to showcase himself, how he performs this preseason could potentially raise his stock high enough to give New England an opportunity to move him before the trade deadline.

Mallett said this week he believes he can be a starter in the NFL and tonight will certainly be a great opportunity for him to be able to prove it.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to be able to play a lot,” Mallett told the media this week. “I haven’t really gotten too many chances during the regular season because I have a pretty good guy in front of me. Any time I get to play, I look forward to it.”

REPORT: Patriots Trying to Extend Darrelle Revis


It appears the Patriots may be trying to make sure Darrelle Revis sticks around for the foreseeable future. (USA TODAY Images)

Since arriving in New England cornerback Darrelle Revis’ work ethic and his performance on the field have seemingly been a perfect fit with Bill Belichick and the Patriots’ defensive system.

Now it appears Belichick may be trying to make sure Revis remains a part of it for the foreseeable future.

According to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report, the Patriots have already started trying to extend Revis’ two-year contract.

“What I’m hearing from the Patriots is that Revis has been so good so far that they are privately already starting to talk about extending his contract,” Cole said to Bleacher Report’s Adam Lefkoe via Boston.com. “The Patriots like what they see so much — they think they see the next Ty Law and that shutdown cover corner to really get their defense going — that they’d like to extend him out. Robert Kraft, the owner of the team, has pulled Darrelle Revis aside and started to talk to him to see if they can get a long term deal worked out.”

Revis originally signed a two year deal worth $32 million shortly after losing Aqib Talib to the Broncos in free agency, but the second-year option was massive (a $12.5 million roster bonus) and would leave New England in a difficult position from a salary cap perspective.  So extending him makes both financial sense and would give them a player who essentially gives them an incredible asset on the defensive side of the football.

So far the veteran appears to be enjoying himself here in New England, having also talked very positively about his relationship with Belichick.  We already know how much better Tom Brady makes this offense and Revis essentially provides a similar presence on the defensive side of the football. Having him now working with Belichick certainly seems like a terrific pairing and hopefully – if they can get something done – it will be one that lasts for a long time.

“You know, Coach Belichick is very open about football. It’s football talk. He’s very open about it. You can go to him about anything,” said Revis last week. “You can ask him about anything. We’re just trying to get ready. We’re just trying to get ready and get prepared. Anything that’s best for the team, that’s the best position that’s going to put us in a position to win. That’s all we try to do: football talk. We talk all the time about what’s the best position for the team for us to win.”

And locking Revis up for the long-haul would certainly make winning a little easier.

UPDATE Wednesday 7:05pm:

Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald Tweeted a bit ago and refuted the report:

Cole’s report had said that Kraft “has pulled Darrelle Revis aside and started to talk to him to see if they can get a long term deal worked out.” It’s possible that while no official negotiations may have begun between the two sides, it sounds like Kraft may have simply tried to get a feel for what it may take to get a deal done in order to keep him in a Patriots uniform.

No Talks Yet On Patriots RB Ridley’s Contract


Stevan Ridley has a lot to prove in 2014. (USA TODAY Images)

The timing of Stevan Ridley’s off year came at a tough time for the veteran running back, who now finds himself at a critical crossroads heading into the 2014 season.

For the Patriots, it’s the perfect situation. They have a player who is heading into the final year of his contract with everything to prove as he plays out a season to hopefully earn himself a new deal. For Ridley, he’s trying to battle back from a frustrating season that saw him lose multiple fumbles and saddled him with a reputation that he’s trying to shed.

It has to be frustrating for Ridley, who one earlier had rushed for 1263 yards along with 12 touchdowns in 2012. That seemed to have him poised for a big season in 2013, but unfortunately fumble troubles gave LeGarrette Blount an opportunity to see more playing time and limited the amount of carries Ridley had as he fought through his issues for much of last season. Blount’s since departed, which now has newcomers James White and Roy Finch among players trying to earn a role in the backfield.

Losing the football wasn’t necessarily the primary issue for Ridley, since, after all, no player is perfect. But he had two that resulted in touchdowns and were hard to for head coach Bill Belichick to ignore.

The first happened in the opener on the road in Buffalo when he lost a fumble down in Bills territory that was returned for a touchdown. That swung the game from a potential 17-0 lead for New England to instead giving Buffalo momentum after they closed the lead to 10-7. It happened again at home against Denver on the Patriots opening drive, after the Patriots had just crossed midfield. The fumble and resulting touchdown gave Denver a 7-0 lead on a night New England would ultimately end up having to score 31 second half points before beating them in overtime. After the fumble, Ridley had to watch it all unfold from the sideline.

Moments like those are ones he’s likely trying to make distant memories and for now, although the contract is in the back of his mind, being productive his his priority.

“I have to be honest about it. It’s there, but it’s not my first concern,” Ridley told the Boston Herald. “My first concern is going out there and being the best player for this team. I think if I go out there and have a productive year and do what I need to do, the contract will take care of itself.

“I’m not really going to put too much thought into it because I think as you guys know, if I start thinking about that, I could easily be a distraction. I can’t really worry with that. I’m going to have some good days, going to have some bad days but I’m going to keep working, keep my head in the dirt and grinding it out.”

According  to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, at this point, Ridley and the Patriots haven’t discussed the possibility of an extension at this point and to take it one step further, Howe writes that he doesn’t expect anything to happen until after the season, “if it does happen at all”.

That means that the ball is completely in Ridley’s hands this season to prove that what happened in 2012 wasn’t a fluke and that he’s still the same player he had proven up until last season that he could be. Now all he has to do is take it and run with it.

For now he’s trying to remain positive, knowing that if he he performs well things will take care of himself.

“If the contract comes, it comes. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. At the end of the day, I love this team. I love my teammates. I love my coaches, and I love every opportunity they give me to go out there and shine. I think that’s what it’s really about for me, going out there and doing my job.”