Good morning, here is your Sunday Patriots news 07-12 and AFC East notes this week.
Quick Hitters For the Pats, and the NFL:
N’Keal Harry: The 2nd year Patriots wide receiver joined Cam Newton on the field at UCLA for a workout as the two met for the first time. The video, shot by EBA Sports showed Harry running some routes, that he and Newton are trying to build some basic chemistry on. The pair were later joined by Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
It was also reported that rookie TE Devin Asiasi also worked out with Newton at the UCLA campus.
Cam Newton: With the Patriots QB now wearing his familiar #1, does Pat the Patriot switch numbers or go to the letters “PP”?
Josh Gordon: Speaking of wide receivers, the former Patriots wideout was in the news because he’s putting his 2018 Super Bowl ring up for auction. Heritage Auctions is handling the sale and puts the ring’s worth at $100,000.
Gordon is currently on the commissioner’s exempt list, after violating the league’s substance abuse and performance-enhancing drug policies in 2019, but has reportedly applied for reinstatement yet again. If NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell approves his reinstatement, Gordon would be a free agent. Many fans and some writers are saying that the Patriots are showing interest. We’d put the reliability of that report as… doubtful.
4th & 2 Podcast – If you’ve haven’t checked out our PatsFans.com podcast, “Patriots 4th & 2” in a bit, please check it out. We recorded a podcast on Cam Newton’s signing and the punishment handed down by the league. Last Friday, Russ, Derek, and I recorded a video/podcast and talked about some of the offseason issues with the team. Included in that were bits about Joe Thuney, the Patriots Offensive Line, Jarrett Stidham, and more. Please give it a listen.
Russ Francis/ Chuck Fairbanks: The former Patriot tight end and head coach both should be in the team’s Hall of Fame…this will be a frequent sight on our posts until it happens.
Julian Edelman Takes the High Road in the DeSean Jackson Flap:
The Patriots wide receiver responded to the blatant anti-semitic rant of Eagles’ WR DeSean Jackson last weekend when Jackson, thinking he was quoting Adolf Hitler, was actually quoting Louis Farrakhan with a fake quote attributed to Hitler.
Jackson posted to his Instagram account, “Jews will blackmail America” to hide the fact that “the Negroes are the real Children of Israel.” He added, “They will extort America, their plan for world domination won’t work if Negroes know who they were.”
Jackson put this hate post on his social media account, (and anyone trying to change the narrative to anything else other than hate needs to look at themselves seriously in the mirror), forgetting the fact that the man who pays his salary, Jeffrey Lurie is Jewish.
And he did so using the most appalling stereotype that was despicable. His apology that followed was thought by some to be legitimate, not so much by others. But his explanation that it was somehow a “teaching point” was incredibly lame.
But what followed from his fellow NFL players was mostly silence. Only a few players spoke out publicly. Mitchell Schwartz of the Chiefs and Julian Edelman of the Patriots spoke out publicly but both took the high road and called for better understanding and using it as a teaching point. Both Schwartz and Edelman are Jewish.
Edelman said he was proud of his Jewish heritage and that he reached out to Jackson and offered to go with him to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Edelman said that the world needs more “love, compassion, and empathy.”
Several past and present Patriots players saluted Edelman for his response to Jackson, including Tom Brady.
Tom Brady: “Love u Jules”
Willie McGinest: “BE THE CHANGE #ONELOVE 👊🏾👊”
Tedy Bruschi: “Well said bro. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼”
Damien Woody: “Amen bro 👊🏿”
Donte Stallworth: “WELL SAID, brother! Love you, Bubs 🙏🏿🙏🏿”
The actions of Schwartz and Edelman contrast sharply to those of Malcolm Jenkins who said Drew Brees “needs to shut the f**k up” when Brees gave his opinion that players should stand for the national anthem referring to his two grandfathers who fought in WWII.
Jenkins was asked about Jackson’s comments and while at first saying the statements were wrong, Jenkins then attempted to brush them under the rug, stating that people who believe in social justice reform need to “stay focused.” He then followed it up with a horrible statement of his own. “Jewish people aren’t our problem, and we aren’t their problem. Let’s not lose focus on what the problem truly is, and that’s that Black lives still don’t matter in this country.”
So, in other words, only the challenges facing blacks matter? If that is how he thinks then we have a long, long way to go in this country people. And it isn’t all one-sided.
Patriots Finally Get Salary Cap Relief for Hernandez, AB contracts:
The Patriots have been in salary cap hell since the start of the league year and at their lowest level had slightly more than $260,000 in cap space. Which is absolutely unsustainable to go through the league year, considering players that are yet to be brought in due to injuries, releases etc. But all of that is quickly beginning to change.
Earlier this week, Rex Burkhead reworked his deal which gave the Patriots some sorely needed elbow room for the short term, but not nearly enough. On Saturday, they got some great news on the salary cap front.
ESPN’s Field Yates announced that the team had reached settlements in the compensation grievances with Antonio Brown and with the estate of Aaron Hernandez. These settlements have given the Patriots an added salary cap credit of $6.55 million. As a result of this credit, according to our old buddy Miguel Benzan, aka @Patscap the Patriots now have exactly $7,794,739 million of cap space moving forward.
The Patriots could have received up to $9 million alone in the Brown grievance but received only $4 million. But for now, the Patriots are in much better shape. The team is looking at nearly $100 million in cap space next season with many of their veterans’ contracts running out.
No Fans Allowed at Patriots Training Camp, Virtual Look?
The Patriots won’t have the normal huge crowd awaiting them when training camp opens on July 28, according to the NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport. While that wasn’t totally unsuspected, there still isn’t any word on the preseason or regular-season games yet.
The Patriots are going to have two fan events this summer and all fans attending will have to wear a face mask to gain entrance. Earlier this spring, Patriots.com publisher and host of Patriots Unfiltered Fred Kirsch asked fans on social media that if the Patriots posted a virtual training camp on-line, would fans be interested?
Hopefully, it was more than throwing stuff at the wall, but a serious consideration. And the feeling here is that it would be a hit with the fan base.
Training Camp Rosters to Begin at 70? A Real Possibility:
The NFL has made it very clear that it fully intends on conducting a 2020 NFL season this fall despite the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. However, OTAs took place virtually, rather than in person. And there were no mini-camps allowed to take place. And as of today, no healthy players were allowed into team facilities, only the rehabbing ones. But those aren’t the only changes.
One change the league is kicking around is shortening training camp rosters down from the 90 personnel that have traditionally been allowed. With training camp itself, and the preseason already cut down, according to several reports, the league is expected to cut training camp rosters from 90 players to between 75 or 80.
We spoke to someone on Saturday that has been in contact with several agents, and he told us that they were being told that teams may begin training camp with as few as 70 personnel to limit the chances of players catching the coronavirus.
He said the league will make the announcement around July 14-15th. Stay tuned.
“So, how was your week?”
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Posted Under: Patriots Commentary
Tags: 53 Man Roster Projection Aaron Hernandez anti-semitism Antonio Brown Bill Belichick DeSean Jackson greivances Jewish slurs Julian Edelman Malcolm Jenkins Mitchell Schwartz New England Patriots NFL