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New England Patriots News 2-26, AFC East Notes

Steve Balestrieri
Steve Balestrieri on Twitter
6 years ago at 5:00 am ET
Posted Under: Patriots News

New England Patriots News 2-26, AFC East NotesSteve Balestrieri -

Good morning, here are Sunday’s Patriots news 2-26, & AFC East Notes.

So, glad that the Roger Goodell is hard at work protecting the shield and the “Integrity of the Game”, aren’t you? After bypassing his own standards in the Josh Brown incident that went well beyond what was reported, the Giants get hammered with a feather for illegally using walkie-talkies by having their 4th-round draft pick moved back 10 spots.

This was one week after the same team broke protocol by having pressure gauges on the sidelines when the Steelers footballs were light and affected by the Ideal Gas Law.

Goodell looks even more foolish when the depth of the Jets tampering saga of Darrelle Revis surfaced this week from Manish Mehta. Wonder how the folks in KC feel about that since they were hammered with fines and losses of draft picks for doing much the same thing and at least coming clean on it. Consistent only in his inconsistency…

Sanu Blames Late Collapse by Atlanta on Lady Gaga:
The Patriots late game rally is still provoking big-time reactions from Atlanta Falcons fans and now the players. Mohamad Sanu says the long halftime show by Lady Gaga was to blame for their 4th quarter swoon.

“It definitely did,” Sanu said on the NFL Network’s Good Morning Football Show.

“Usually, halftime is only like 15 minutes, and when you’re not on the field for like an hour, it’s just like going to work out, like a great workout, and you go sit on the couch for an hour and then try to start working out again,” Sanu said.

This was many of the Falcon’s players first trip to a Super Bowl. And for players like Sanu, they had never experienced this.

“I don’t know if you can simulate something like that,” Sanu said. “That was my first time experiencing something like that, and it was different.”

However, for Bill Belichick and the Patriots, this isn’t exactly uncharted waters and the Patriots like they are for most everything were prepared.

Prior to the Super Bowl, Belichick gave his team a 30-minute break in the middle of practice in order to simulate the halftime show.

“It really gets into a whole restarting mentality,” Belichick said. “It’s not like taking a break and coming out in the second half. It’s like starting the game all over again. It’s like playing a game, stopping, and then playing a second game. It’s like a double-header in baseball if you will.”

Cyrus Jones Needs to Make a Big Leap in Year Two:
One of the bigger disappointments of 2016 was the play of the Patriots top draft pick, 2nd round CB and KR Cyrus Jones. Jones was a dynamic kick returner at Alabama, bringing back four for touchdowns in his senior season.

But for the Patriots in 2016, his season was a nightmare. He constantly either bobbled or fumbled kicks and his play against Baltimore where he chased a ball downfield before inadvertently touching it reeked of a player with his confidence squarely shaken.

Worse, he barely made a dent in the rotation defensively, being passed on the depth chart by UDFA Jonathan Jones. We could trace Jones’ struggles on kick returns all the way back to the first day of minicamp. On a cloudy, blustery day, Jones dropped one punt off the foot of left-footed Ryan Allen. He bobbled another and was replaced by D.J. Foster who bobbled one of his own. That set in motion a series of bobbles and drops all thru training camp and into the season.

Look for Jones to make a comeback this season, he’s much too talented in both the return game and defensively for this to mark his career.  

Jimmy Garoppolo Trade Talk Heats Up:
With the NFL Combine just days away and the beginning of free agency right behind that, the talk on where Jimmy Garoppolo plays next year is a hot topic. And the bottom line is, he may be still right here in New England once training camp begins in July.

Depending on the source, Garoppolo is a shoo-in to the be the next QB for the Browns, 49ers or Bears….or not being on the trading block at all. The current crop of QBs entering the draft is not highly regarded. Does that mean, that they’ll never develop into franchise QBs? Of course, it doesn’t, but it does mean that teams will have to be patient and allow them to develop.

Garoppolo is generally considered superior to every one of the signal-callers entering the draft. So, the market for him should be considered high, right? The Patriots are reportedly asking for a 1st and 4th round pick for Garoppolo to be the floor for any offer. Which is a bargain if you’re getting a franchise QB.

But the caveat is that his NFL resume consists of two games only. And many will recall the steep price that Houston paid last year for Brock Osweiler who fell flat on his face. Osweiler had much more experience than Jimmy G.

Also muddying the waters are the cases of Tony Romo and Tyrod Taylor. Both of whom could become released free agents soon and teams may opt to sign one of them and allow a younger quarterback to develop.

The ball is totally in the Patriots hands. Jimmy G. is under contract for 2017 and they are under no compulsion to trade him. They can keep him for insurance for Tom Brady or for the fact that they believe him to be the heir apparent. This should prove to be very interesting in the coming days and weeks.

Patriots Pick up Two Compensatory Picks in NFL Draft:
The Patriots picked up two compensatory picks for the 2017 NFL Draft, nabbing a third rounder from the Cleveland Browns from the Jamie Collins trade and a fifth-round pick. With these picks in place, the Patriots will have at least four selections in the first 103 picks in the draft (see Garoppolo trade rumors above).

The Browns agreed to a third-round compensatory pick to the Patriots for Collins, who they signed to a long-term extension earlier this offseason if they received one. The Browns were awarded the 103rd pick in the third round and now that comes over to the Patriots. Otherwise, the compensation would have been a fourth-round pick.

The Patriots were also awarded a fifth-round compensatory pick for the loss of Akiem Hicks and Tavon Wilson which was weighed against them signing Shea McClellin in free agency.

Deflategate Will Finally End During the Draft:
While fans were pointing to the Super Bowl as to when Deflategate finally ended, it hasn’t. The occasion of the NFL Draft will finally end that particularly sordid chapter in the NFL’s relentless defending of the 31 other teams not from New England. The Patriots had two picks in the fourth-round of the draft. But the lower of the two, the 132nd pick from Seattle, now goes away due to the league’s punishment.

The Patriots also have their 137th pick, which they’ll keep but should’ve had two in that round. But when that pick comes around, the Patriots will lose it and then finally get to say that it is over.

East Bound and Down…AFC East Notes:

Bills’ Woods Says Whoever the QB is May Factor in His FA Decision:
Buffalo’s Robert Woods is a free agent this spring; he’s been a very effective wide receiver since being drafted in 2013. But while he wants to get paid, he says his decision to return or move on has a lot to do with who is the Bills QB in 2017.

Woods was on Sirius XM NFL Radio and said that “Everything factors in,” Woods said.

“It has to be the right amount as well as quarterback decision. Yes, they don’t have a quarterback right now. Tyrod (Taylor) is a pending free agent. EJ Manuel is coming up as a free agent and there also are many quarterbacks on the market as well.

“Who knows what the decision is going on upstairs? But in a few weeks, we’ll all find out.”

In his four seasons, Woods has caught 203 passes for 2,451 yards (an average of 12.1 yards per catch) and 12 touchdowns.

Miami Receives Three Compensatory Picks:
The Miami Sun-Sentinel is reporting that the Dolphins have received three additional picks in the 2017 NFL draft in compensation for last off-season’s free-agent departures.

Miami received a third-round pick and two fifth-round picks for losing defensive end Olivier Vernon (New York Giants), running back Lamar Miller (Houston Texans) and receiver Rishard Matthews (Tennessee Titans), it was reported Friday.

Miami drafted all three of those players in 2012 and each had productive 2016 seasons with their new teams, which is factored into the league’s compensatory pick formula.

The three new compensatory draft picks gives the Dolphins seven total selections in April’s draft.

Jets Release Nick Mangold After 11 seasons:
The New York Jets have released veteran center Nick Mangold after 11 outstanding seasons at Gang Green. The release of Mangold, 33, frees up the Jets from paying Mangold $9.1 million against the salary cap this season. The Jets also released OL Breno Giacomini, and Ryan Clady freeing up $14 million in cap space.

Mangold released the following statement from his phone on Saturday afternoon.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: 2016 NFL Season 2016 Patriots season 2017 NFL Free Agency 2017 Patriots free agents Bill Belichick Buffalo Bills DeflateGate Dion Lewis Dont'a Hightower Jimmy Garoppolo Miami Dolphins New England Patriots New York Jets NFL Patriots Tom Brady

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