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New England Patriots News 3-25, AFC East Notes

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

Good morning, here are your Sunday’s Patriots news 3-25, & AFC East Notes

A quick shout out to Wally Baker from Sutton, Mass. On Saturday we were doing our civic duty and donating blood to the Red Coast when he was behind my wife and I in line. When he heard our names and introduced himself and identified himself as a frequent reader of Coincidentally, Wally was at the very first Patriots game when back in 1960. He was a season ticket holder for many years and we shared some great stories.

Quick Hitters: Now all of a sudden Robert Kraft is the darling of the media. Kraft loaned one of the Patriots aircraft to the families in Florida from the Parkland students and family members to attend the D.C. rally. Regardless of where anyone stands on the debate, it only works if everyone is involved. Kraft ensured that those students and families get their voices heard in Washington.

The Patriots were given some not-so-good news when Duron Harmon was in the news for all the wrong reasons. Harmon was flying to Costa Rica from Miami and while going thru customs, officials found two ounces of marijuana in a tin marked Arizona Tea. He was also carrying three pipes with cannabis oil, a THC candy and four glass containers with compressed marijuana that weighed 4.3 grams.

After being briefly detained, Harmon was not arrested but just sent back to the United States. The league will have something to say about this shortly.

In a case of due diligence, the Patriots attended the workout for former Browns QB Johnny Manziel and fans went crazy proclaiming the Patriots need to bring in the oft-troubled QB to “learn at the hands of Brady.”

The fact that the Patriots were there to see Manziel (and other players) is simply the team doing their due diligence. Even though Manziel is supposedly clean and sober now, the Patriots want a QB who makes good decisions, and Manziel doesn’t fit the bill either on or off the field and it begins with his work ethic. Last in-first out isn’t the way that Brady has defined his career. Manziel has never shown the type of work ethic that would be needed to be an even decent NFL QB. Pass.

More bad news for the NFL, though not Patriots related. Michael Bennett, just picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles was indicted by a Texas grand jury  for injuring a 66-year-old paraplegic security staffer at the 2017 Super Bowl in Houston.

Bennett has been charged with injury to the elderly, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, according to the press release. Bennett was at Super Bowl LI as a spectator to watch his brother, Martellus play for the Patriots against the Falcons. While attempting to get onto the field after the game to celebrate with his brother, Michael Bennett shoved a security staffer who had asked him to use a different entrance for field access.

Draft Talk Heating Up:
With the initial signings of free agency now dying down, most of the focus around the NFL now turns to the draft. With the candidates having competed at the NFL Combine with the individual school’s Pro Days, scouts and coaches get another look at some of the marquee players and others who may not have been invited to the Combine.

Make sure you check out our draft profiles of players that the Patriots may be interested in this spring.We’ll be posting them up almost daily on here.

Bill Belichick and Nick Caserio were making the rounds around the Southern schools last week as they worked out several intriguing prospects. Belichick shared a laugh with top prospect Bradley Chubb the DE from NC State. Belichick worked him out a bit in some individual drills.

They shook hands and the Patriots coach cracked a smile.

“Nice job,” Belichick said. “We’re picking at 31st. No chance we see you. Good luck.”

And with that, he was gone. So why the one-on-one with a guy you know you won’t get? It is just a case of Belichick seeing how a guy takes to coaching, what makes him tick and filing it away for the day when maybe he is available or for when the Patriots play against his team then he may now know a weakness.

Martellus Bennett Retires From the NFL:
Just a few weeks ago, Martellus Bennett had announced that he was going to resume his NFL career in 2018 after toying with the idea of retiring after a myriad of injuries with the Packers and Patriots last year.

The Patriots released him before the league year, unwilling to pay him the $6.2 million dollar cap hit that he would have been owed this year. Just last week, Bennett stated that he’d be willing to return to the Patriots for a discounted rate for one more season. However, that too seems to be out of the question now as Bennett announced that he was done.

In 2016 Bennett had 55 catches for 701 yards and seven touchdowns as the Patriots won Super Bowl LI. He was instrumental at taking the place of Rob Gronkowski who was injured. Happy Trails and enjoy your next adventure.

LaAdrian Waddle Returns to the Patriots, Adds Needed Depth at Tackle:
The Patriots and Waddle have agreed to bring back the Patriots swing tackle for a one-year deal for the 2018 season.

Waddle was the swing tackle for the team in 2017 but after Marcus Cannon went down with an injury putting him on IR, Waddle started four regular season games and one playoff game at right tackle.

He’ll add needed depth and experience this season. Starting left tackle Nate Solder signed with the New York Giants in free agency and the Patriots currently have Cannon at right tackle with left tackle being hashed out currently with Waddle, Tony Garcia, Cole Croston and Andrew Jelks as well as the newly signed Matt Tobin from the Seahawks.

Marquis Flowers Returns for 2018:
The Patriots re-signed free agent linebacker/special teams player Marquis Flowers and will bring back the athletic linebacker and special teams standout for the 2018 season.

Flowers, 26, played in all 16 regular season games with two starts at linebacker for the Patriots and posted a career-high 30 tackles, 3½ sacks, one pass defensed, one forced fumble and two special teams tackles. Flowers also played in all three postseason contests and posted six tackles and one sack.

Police Arrest Burglar Who Robbed Gronkowski’s Home:
While the Patriots were playing the Eagles in the Super Bowl, three burglars were ransacking Gronk’s home. And the first of those suspects was arrested.

Foxborough Police Chief William D. Baker announced Friday that Anthony Almeida, 31, was arrested on suspicion of receiving stolen property and malicious destruction of property.

Police are still searching for the other two suspects – Shayne Denn, 26, of Tewksbury and Eric Tyrrell, 28, of Foxborough for charges related to the burglary. Denn faces three counts of larceny of a firearm, larceny of more than $250, destruction of property and trespassing, while Tyrrell is sought for two counts of receiving stolen property.

On February 5th, the day after the Super Bowl, Gronkowski arrived home to find his house had been robbed and called police. Some of his items have been recovered, including an Apple watch, a Rolex, and some rare coins. Other items including firearms that belonged to his roommate are still missing.

Eastbound and Down…AFC East Notes:

Bills Rumored to Be in on Rosen But Have the Backup Plan in Place:
The Buffalo Bills brought in former Bengals QB A.J. McCarron on a modest 2-year, $10 million dollar contract and he’s the QB of the right here and now and Buffalo will give him every chance of winning the job long-term during the upcoming season.

But they are expected to take a QB early and most signs point to them taking QB Josh Rosen. If they do take Rosen, he shouldn’t be pressured into taking the field too early as they have McCarron in place. It is a sound strategy, and goes along with a very solid spring that they’ve had so far.

One area that they’ll look to in adding some much needed depth in the draft is at Linebacker. After taking a QB early, could the Bills take LB at 12 and 22? You bet.

Dolphins Sign Gore, Osweiler to One-Year Deals:
The Miami Dolphins have a new backup quarterback for Ryan Tannehill and has signed Brock Osweiler to a one-year contract. The team also signed running back Frank Gore to a one-year deal as well.

Gore has spent the past few seasons with the Indianapolis Colts but was a standout with the San Francisco 49ers and has 14,026 career rushing yards. Osweiler has had two stints with the Broncos, as well as the Texans. He was 0-4 as a starter last season.

The team is still rumored to be in the market for another quarterback this spring as Tannehill missed all of 2017 with a torn ACL and wound up on IR before the season began.

Caveat Emptor, Jets Signing Suh Would Be a Huge Blunder:
The New York Jets have emerged in the Ndamukong Suh sweepstakes and according to Ian Rapoport, have made the largest offer to Suh which vaults them right to the top of contention now to land the uber-talented and landmine that is Suh.

Suh made it clear early in free agency after Miami released him that he was going to go with the team that made the highest offer, he didn’t care about the team, fit, or his role. That should be a warning to anyone looking to sign him. Miami paid him a guaranteed $60 million and promptly let him go this spring.

Besides being arguably the dirtiest player in the league…and it isn’t really arguable, Suh is a classic underachiever. He has the talent to be one of the great defensive lineman of this or any generation. But he plays when he feels like it, and can disappear for weeks at a time. Todd Bowles took a bunch of young players who believed in him and his system and they played hard for 16 games last year.

Bringing in Suh would be an epic disaster for this team very quickly.  

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 myself from discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

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Posted Under: Patriots Commentary

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