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New England Patriots News 2-16, AFC East Notes

Steve Balestrieri
Steve Balestrieri on Twitter
3 years ago at 5:00 am ET

New England Patriots News 2-16, AFC East NotesJames Lang - USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, here is your Sunday Patriots news 02-16 and AFC East notes this week. We hope that everyone had a happy and fun St. Valentine’s Day with your significant other. 

On another note, I’ll be surprised…no shocked if there aren’t some players currently in the XFL who aren’t in training camp with the Patriots this summer… stay tuned.

 Quick Hitters For the Pats,and the NFL:

Tom Brady – The Patriots’ QB has had more rumors and innuendo surrounding him lately than the guy currently residing in the White House…and that’s saying something. Take your pick, “Brady’s aging but the Patriots are bringing him back”, Brady “Definitely” isn’t coming back”, “the Patriots Don’t Want him back”, the Patriots definitely want him back”, He’s going to LA, Las Vegas, the Jets, Giants, Titans. 

My favorite was that the Raiders already offered him two years and $60 million. Which if true, as they are being reported by Larry Fitzgerald Sr. the father of the Cards WR, and a very good reporter, would beg the question, “Was there illegal tampering done?” Nah.

Just think…we have 31 more days of this drivel until we “REALLY KNOW” what Brady is doing and where he’s going. The rest are just spit-balling the latest rumor that someone just made up. Ignore the noise. 

Derek Rivers – Mike Reiss of ESPN made note that while other players have taken off for the remainder of the winter, one player who has stuck around and is working out in the team’s facility is Rivers who was the team’s first draft choice a few years ago.

Rivers had two of his three seasons cut short by injury in training camp. And while it is good news he’s stuck around to work out, he has to be a long-shot to make the team this season. However, anything he could bring to the table at this point would be a bonus to the team. 

Lenzy Pipkins – Pipkens is an intriguing signing as he appeared in 12 games as an UDFA rookie in 2017 with the Packers. He was released and played in two games with the Colts and one with the Lions in 2018 before landing on the Browns PS.

Cleveland cut him in August and he was out of the NFL for the entire 2019. He has decent size at 6’0, 196 and is now 26 years old. There’s always something about UDFA cornerbacks that wind up in New England…we’ll see how well he can play this spring. 

AB – Antonio Brown, who was with the Patriots for all of 11 days can’t seem to stop talking about them. His latest rant, while conducting an interview on the radio was more directed at Robert Kraft than anyone else as he said:

“(The Patriots) didn’t want to see me get off. They didn’t want to see me be great,” Brown said. “They’d rather let me go than be great.”

Brown was then asked why Bill Belichick would sign him if he really didn’t want Brown on the Patriots. That’s when Brown said his release wasn’t Belichick’s doing, saying it “was over his head,” once again throwing owner Robert Kraft under the bus in the scenario. 

“I wanted them to need me there, man,” Brown said. “Want and need are two different things, you know?”

Is there anyone left now, still wanting to beat the drum for the team bringing him back? What about all those poor hysterical souls screaming for him down the stretch and into the playoff game…anyone, Bueller?

4th & 2 Podcast – If you’ve haven’t checked out our podcast, “Patriots 4th & 2” in a bit, last week, we spoke with Miguel Benzan aka @Patscap about the different scenarios facing the team this offseason. Please do check it out. We’ll be back this week with another episode, as we took a week off. We reasoned that fans get enough of the “Brady is rumored to be going here” stuff all week. We certainly do. 

Cutting Ties With Phillip Dorsett? Not Shocking if True:

The Patriots really need to upgrade both the wide receiver and tight end position. The tight end position we visited last Sunday, but the wide receiver needs an influx of some speed. This is why the report that the Patriots are planning on allowing free agent Phillip Dorsett walk, on the surface appears to be a puzzling decision. 

Dorsett has plenty of speed, he ran a 4.29 and a 4.27 at his Pro Day and averaged nearly 25 yards per reception in his last two seasons of college football. But those numbers never equated to the NFL like most believed they would. He’s spent the past three seasons with the Patriots. He was expected to play a significant role in the passing game. And for the first three games of 2019, he did. But those numbers nosedived and he became pretty much a non-factor. 

In fact, his production in the first three games was nearly half of his entire season. In his three years with the Patriots, he combined for only 73 receptions, 881 yards, 8 touchdowns and a 12.1 yard per reception average. Hardly the numbers they were looking for or needed from the former 1st round draft pick of the Colts. His best season in terms of catches and yardage are still from his second and final year with Indy, 33 catches for 528 yards, although he did have a career-high five touchdown catches in 2019, with three of those coming in the first three games.

It is probably best for everyone to make a clean break here.

Patriots Re-Sign Caserio, Great for the Short-term But No Extra Title?

The Patriots on Wednesday this week, signed a big pending free agent when they signed Nick Caserio, the Director of Player Personnel to a multi-year contract extension. Caserio is considered Bill Belichick’s right-hand man and wears many hats for the organization. Although Belichick retains the final say on roster moves, Caserio has swung several trades and is the de facto General Manager. 

Caserio swings deals with other teams, and manages both the pro and college scouting departments. He sits in the booth during game days and communicates directly with OC Josh McDaniels. And when the team brings in offensive players to work out, they’ll frequently have Caserio throwing them the ball. This is also something he does at team practices and gets a first hand feel for how the players are working within the system. 

Caserio has been with the team for the past 15 years and his returning after losing coaches Joe Judge and Bret Bielema to the Giants and Dante Scarnecchia to retire is a huge boost for the team. Especially considering that the biggest free agent, Tom Brady still has to be signed. 

But if there is one caveat to this news, is that his new extension makes no mention of a new or added title to Caserio’s name. Does that mean another team, like Houston has done twice, will attempt to swoop in and steal him away as their GM and do so again? It will be interesting to see if the Patriots included a clause in his contract to prevent that or did Caserio insist on it being left out? These are the only questions that need to be answered. But it is big news for the team as Caserio’s contract was due to run out right after the 2020 NFL Draft. Now they need to get to work on Director of College Scouting Monti Ossenfort’s contract. His runs out after the draft as well…and of course, #12.

No AFC East Notes this week 


“So, how was your week?”

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

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and myself from discuss the latest Patriots news and game analysis.


Posted Under: 2020 Patriots Offseason
Tags: 2020 free agency 2020 Patriots Offseason Bill Belichick Buffalo Bills Miami Dolphins New England Patriots New York Jets NFL Nick Caserio Patriots Phillip Dorsett Tom Brady

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