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Lack of Long-Term Deal For Patriots Thuney a Surprise

Mark Morse
2 weeks ago at 8:33 pm ET
Posted Under: Patriots News

Lack of Long-Term Deal For Patriots Thuney a SurpriseGreg M. Cooper - USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots have until July 15th at 4:00 to sign Joe Thuney to a long term deal.  All reports I have read said the two sides are not making any progress.  To me this is a bit surprising.  The 2021 cap is projecting to be considerably lower if the league cannot have fans in the stands.   I would think a player under the Franchise Tag would want to guarantee as much money as he can and not have to deal with a lower cap.

Tagging Thuney at age 28, in my opinion was the right thing to do.  Keeping him over a 43 you QB was definitely the right decision.  You build the future of this franchise around a player of Thuney’s caliber.  He never misses a game, he is a leader and a future Pro Bowler (now that Marshall Yanda is retired).

The Patriots offered at risk season ticket holders a pass for the 2020 season.   If a season ticket holder is at high risk for COVID-19, the Patriots will hold their season ticket seats until 2021 season.  They are the only team in the league to do this so far.  If I had season tickets, this would have applied to someone like me who has three of the top four risk factors.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases sees the only way an NFL season could be played is if they are completely isolated.  This would be similar to the plan the NBA has for playing in a bubble at Disney World.  That would mean the players, coaches and team support personnel would have to live in isolation from July through the end of their season.  No contact with the outside world, no family visits, no trips to the store.  Everything would be controlled from where they lived, when and what they ate, even the clothes on their backs.  The team/NFL would control their travel (Patriots have their own charter jets).   We have yet to see the plans of how the league will address when a player has tested positive for COVID-19 and has to go into quarantine for 14 days.  How will that player be replaced on the roster?  One idea floated was to expand the Practice Squad rosters to 16.  This would require the Players Association to accept this (which I think they would easily).

Nick Caserio, now in his 17th season with the Patriots, may have a new job title coming.  He is technically Director of Player Personnel.  As such, he would not be allowed on the field during the Pre-season practices.  This would be unfortunate because in all the seasons before this one, Nick has been a key contributor in Pre-season practices.  The Patriots have one of the smallest coaching staffs in the league.  Caserio pulling double duty, helps offset that inequity.  He has had many jobs with the Patriots including once having served as WR coach.

Big things are expected from 2nd year running back Damien Harris.  Last season was red-shirt year for Harris after his college days at Alabama.   He split time with Las Vegas Raiders RB Josh Jacobs his senior season for the Crimson Tide.  He only had 876 yards rushing as a senior (Jacobs had 600), after back to back 1000 yard seasons in the South East Conference, the toughest conference in all of college football.  Harris said in an interview that the other running backs on the team last year kept him motivated by insisting he be ready for his turn when that opportunity arrived.  Each one contributing something to the education of the young player.   I expect that Harris will be pushing one of the veteran RBs for a roster spot and more importantly, playing time.  With Sony Michel coming back off of foot surgery (who knows if he will be ready for camp). Harris may be getting some of his touches earlier than expected.

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