As we get ready to take on another work week, here’s a look at today’s top stories on this Monday.
Harmon News of Detainment Was Surprising – For anyone who has followed Duron Harmon’s career here in New England, he’s a guy who tends to fly under the radar until he makes a critical turnover at the end of a game, which has been one of his more endearing attributes to fans during his tenure here.
But over the weekend he, unfortunately, made a lapse in judgment that put his name out there for all the wrong reasons, with the veteran safety getting caught with marijuana and paraphernalia after he arrived in Costa Rica. His vacation was immediately cut short after he was denied entry to the country and detained before flying back to the United States.
The team issued a statement Friday night, saying “We are aware of the situation involving Duron Harmon Friday night in Costa Rica,” the statement read via ESPN. “He has since returned to the U.S. and we are seeking to gain more information. At this time, we have no further update.”
The Fiscal Control Police told ESPN that the country works hard to keep “undesirable people” carrying marijuana from entering the country, which was a little funny to hear them refer to Harmon in that manner.
“This involved a professional NFL player, who tried to come into the country carrying marijuana,” Irving Malespín, director of the Fiscal Control Police told ESPN. “He has sent back to US territory. It is important to highlight the work of different police bodies, who carry out important operations in different areas of the country. We want to prevent undesirable people from entering the country.”
Harmon issued an apology for the incident, saying that, “Friday does not represent who I am or the person I strive to be.”
This may not yet be over, as he could still be subject to punishment under the league’s substance abuse policy.
LaAdrian Waddle re-signed with the team last week.
Another tackle gone – When the Patriots open training camp in a few months, they’ll be doing so with the challenge of rebuilding their offensive line after losing both tackles who started in the Super Bowl in February, but will each now be starting somewhere else in 2018.
Nate Solder obviously moved on to the Giants, but we found out on Sunday that Cameron Fleming is expected to be the next one moving on after Field Yates reported that he’s expected to sign with the Cowboys.
With Marcus Cannon on injured reserve, Fleming was the team’s starter at right tackle during the Super Bowl and played well filling in last season, which likely increased his value while he was shopping himself on the free agent market. With Cannon set to return this season, Fleming took advantage of the opening at right tackle in Dallas and jumped on it, sending the standout from Cypress Creek High School in Houston back to his home state.
The good news was the fact the Patriots were able to resign LaAdrian Waddle on Thursday, getting at least one of their versatile linemen back in the fold. The two were in Dallas last week, but Fleming ultimately ended up being the one to sign there, while Waddle came back on a one-year deal, which will give him another opportunity to test free agency again after this season.
Fleming’s most recent Tweets are fitting as he retweeted both Solder and Patriots center David Andrews’ Tweets following their loss to Philadelpahia in February, with both players being proud of their teammates. It’s tough to see him move on, but he was a player who did the right things while he was here and it should be fun to keep an eye on in Dallas with his new team.
As for Solder, he took out a full-page ad in the Boston Globe on Sunday, thanking fans in New England for all their support during his time with the Patriots.
On page A5 of today’s Globe, a full page ad from Nate Solder and family thanking Patriots Nation. pic.twitter.com/E0jgRFKiNi
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) March 25, 2018
He’s a class act, and we definitely wish him the best.
Edelman and Amendola Continue to Be Inseparable – While Danny Amendola may no longer be a member of the Patriots, that hasn’t stopped he and Julian Edelman from hanging out together during the offseason.
Amendola recently posted a photo of the two sharing a laugh in Austin Texas, standing in front of a notable wall at the “Parlor Room” on Rainey Street which has a famous quote from Stevie Ray Vaughn.
“Like my brother Jimmie says, I play like I’m breaking out of jail.”
Amendola captioned the photo with “Hair on fire”.
Following the news of Amendola joining the Dolphins, Edelman posted a note to his friend on Instagram, calling their time together in New England a “Hell of a ride” while also saying “save a seat for me down in South Beach.”
Hopefully, that statement has more to do with some fun times in Florida and doesn’t foreshadow a reunion for the two when Edelman becomes a free agent after the 2019 season.
Croston One to Watch? – Mike Reiss talked about the situation at tackle for the Patriots on Sunday in his weekly column and he believes that there’s another player who should be on everyone’s radar heading into this season to contend for Solder’s open spot.
Reiss feels that Cole Croston may be a player in contention, citing praise from Dante Scarnecchia for his smarts, toughness and athleticism.
He also believes that the former 2017 undrafted free agent likely has the edge against last year’s third-round pick Antonio Garcia, who while recently declaring himself healthy enough to play football again on Instagram, still missed far more practices and experience that Croston was able to take advantage of.
From Reiss’ Sunday column:
Consider that 2017 undrafted free-agent offensive lineman Cole Croston — who made a steady impression in training camp and preseason to earn a roster spot and is a potentially ascending player — went through 107 practices last season, not to mention that Croston played 223 snaps in the preseason, competing admirably at both left tackle (notably versus Giants fifth-round pick Avery Moss) and right guard. That’s a lot of development that Garcia missed, and though he can certainly overcome it, here’s another thought after revisiting some preseason tape over the past week: Don’t sleep on the 6-foot-5, 315-pound Croston, who caught offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia’s attention with his combination of smarts, toughness and athleticism, making a legitimate push for the top spot. He could be the next undrafted blocker to develop and take on a larger role on the line, following the likes of other School of Scarnecchia graduates Tom Ashworth, Stephen Neal, Dan Connolly, Ryan Wendell, Josh Kline and David Andrews.
The Patriots are no strangers to surprising names earning big roles. We’ll have to see if Reiss’ instincts end up being correct in the coming months, which certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing should Croston develop into another solid, reliable player at that position.
Wilfork Getting Back On the Bike – We’ll end on this note. Here’s a video of Vince Wilfork getting back into doing a little bike riding. He started off a little shaky, but for someone who said he was getting on a bike for what he claimed was the first time “in over 15 years”, that didn’t stop him from digging in at the end while showing he’s still got it.
Many might remember the way Wilfork announced his retirement, releasing this video which launched the first of several endeavors since he walked away from the game.
— Vince Wilfork (@wilfork75) August 7, 2017
Needless to say, retirement seems to be treating him just fine.