Good morning, here is your Sunday Patriots news 07-19 and AFC East notes this week.
Quick Hitters For the Pats, and the NFL:
Jadeveon Clowney: Once the Patriots settled their grievances with a pair of former players (AB and the late AH’s estate), many people immediately began beating the drum for the very talented edge player who spent 2019 with the Seahawks.
We’ve followed Clowney since his days at South Carolina, and while we’d love to see him in a Patriots uniform, the chances of seeing that happen with under $8 million in cap space are pretty slim…very slim.
The team will need most of that cap space during the season, some for the practice squad and to fill other holes as injuries occur and other players are brought in. But would I love to see Clowney in a Patriots uniform???? AB-SO-LUTELY! Will we? I doubt it at this point.
Daniel Snyder: With the Washington franchise is a freefall, Snyder has been an embarrassing micromanager for the franchise. Now he’s an even a bigger embarrassment for the league.
With Snyder constantly meddling into football operations, the once-proud franchise has become a perennial bottom feeder and with the way things are going off the field, it won’t be a surprise if the league steps in and forces him to sell.
A few years ago, the flap over the treatment of the women who were Redskins’ cheerleaders was to put it bluntly…disgusting. And now it seems that the treatment of women there is an unhealthy atmosphere of sexual harassment and verbal abuse is showing that Snyder (who is a micromanager) is unfathomable. Regardless of whether he was involved or not, he’s ultimately responsible. Forget changing the team’s mascot name, this franchise needs new leadership.
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 video podcast the other day about the QB position and how we see different scenarios playing out. Please give it a listen.
Russ Francis/ Chuck Fairbanks: The former Patriot tight end and head coach both should be in the Patriots team Hall of Fame…this will be a frequent sight on our posts until it happens.
Joe Thuney Playing Under the Franchise Tag in 2020:
The Patriots left guard and the team couldn’t work out a long-term extension and Thuney will play under the franchise tag designation and earn $14.78 million dollars in 2020. Thuney, 27, has earned only $3.2 million thus far in his career, and now he’ll make more than 4 times that in one year.
That means that the team has about $23.5 million tied up in salaries for their two starting guards. There is no doubting his ability, Thuney is one of the best guards in the league, but now he’s the 2nd highest-paid guard in the NFL. And it is a lot of money to have tied up with interior linemen.
With Thuney locked up (seemingly) for the season, the Patriots offensive line, on paper, can be one of the top units in the league. But plenty of questions remain. David Andrews is returning from a serious medical issue (blood clots in his lungs), Shaq Mason and Marcus Cannon both had down years on the right side, due to nagging injuries and Isaiah Wynn missed half the season with an injury. If everyone is healthy and plays up the level we’re accustomed to seeing, this unit could be special. But there remains some concern there and with no Dante Scarnecchia coaching them up, We’ll reserve judgment for now
We’ve been seeing and reading a lot of stuff that says that the Patriots will now try to move Thuney, but that is much easier said than done. Another team will be taking a guy on a one-year deal already at a top-two salary for his position. And he’ll have to agree to a long-term extension as part of any deal, which won’t be easy.
But for now, at least, the Patriots have their best most versatile offensive lineman locked up for the 2020 season. And with either a 2nd year QB with little experience or a veteran, new to the team under center, having your best OL is a plus. More on Thuney below…
Gronkowski “Want to see what it is like somewhere else,” Drove Return to the NFL:
The Patriots former tight end who came out of retirement to play for Tampa Bay and to reunite with Tom Brady told the media, it was a change in scenery that was the driving force in his return.
Gronkowski signed a one-year deal with Bucs for a reported $9 million to come out of retirement, but ultimately the chance to reunite with Brady and several talented receivers no doubt was the clincher.
Speaking with Tom Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Gronkowski said, “As a player, you always want to see what it is like somewhere else. I thought of that before, definitely after playing nine years in the NFL and I also thought about it when I came out of retirement.”
“This is an opportunity to go see what it’s like somewhere else, to go see what it’s like in the NFL on another squad,” he said. “There are so many players that bounce around on so many different teams. I loved my time in New England, no doubt about it. But it was another opportunity that presented.”
He added that there was no plan hatched by the pair for him to come out of retirement after Brady announced his decision to leave New England this spring, it just happened.
“No, we never really talked about that before,” Gronkowski said. “It kind of just happened. (With) my retirement and him hitting free agency, it just kind of lined up like that.”
No one knows how healthy Gronkowski truly is, and if the year off will allow him to once again become the most dominant overall tight end in the game. He has looked really light compared to what he was before, but that may aid in his running routes.
Cam Newton Hype Video Quite Telling :
The Patriots new QB is certainly motivated this summer, of that there is absolutely no doubt. He’s anxious to prove doubters wrong, and from what appears on his training videos, he looks to be in great physical shape. The condition of his throwing shoulder, the one that has been a major thorn in his side will be something to monitor once camp begins in less than ten days.
But in his latest video, Newton worked out with N’Keal Harry, Devin Asiasi, and Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. as the two are close off the field. But perhaps the most telling moment was when later, as Newton is sharing the results of his call with Bill Belichick, the look of Beckham’s face was priceless…
We’ve always pooh-poohed the idea of Beckham joining the Belichick and the Patriots. But OBJ didn’t have a poker face when Newton spoke about Belichick…never say never.
Eastbound and Down AFC East Notes:
Mahomes Challenges the Bills’ Josh Allen to a Throw-Off:
The Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes must be a wee-bit upset over the Madden Rating in the 2020 game. When it came to throwing power, it rated Mahomes a strong 97, but rated the Bills’ Josh Allen a 99.
So, despite a Super Bowl ring and a $500 million dollar contract extension, his ego needs a bit more stroking and has challenged Allen to a throw off to prove who has the stronger arm.
“Dude, obviously Josh has an extremely strong arm, but I’ve yet to see someone have a stronger arm than me,” Mahomes said. “Maybe we can line up… I know we talked about maybe having a throw-off and then we can prove who really has the strongest arm.”
If Andy Reed and the Chiefs have any sense, they’d put all talk of that out of his head. Imagine taking part in an inane throwing contest and hurting his elbow?
Jordan Howard Confident of Dolphins Turnaround:
The Miami Dolphins need a boost in the running game after QB Ryan Fitzpatrick led the team in rushing with 243 yards and they believe they got that in veteran Jordan Howard who played last season for the Eagles after several years with the Bears.
Howard was quick to point out to the Miami media that he was confident for Miami’s chances for a quick turnaround this season under coach Brian Flores.
“I just liked the opportunity it presented,” Howard said to the Sun Sentinel. “I felt like we’re turning things around down here, I just wanted to be a part of that. I was part of a turnaround in Chicago, so I embrace those type of things.”
With no OTAs or minicamp due to the coronavirus pandemic, Howard like every other NFL player with a new team is just trying his best to be as prepared as possible.
“It’s been definitely different,” Howard said. “Just not getting to be around the guys, especially being on a new team and stuff like that and only doing Zoom calls and learning the playbook – just through online meetings and stuff like that. It’s definitely been different, but I feel like we’ve been making the best of our circumstances, just getting in as much work as we can. I definitely feel like we’re in good shape, but good shape and football shape is different. So, it’s gonna be a little bit of an adjustment period.”
Did the Jets ‘Screw Over the Patriots’ in the Joe Thuney Situation?:
The New York Jets, according to NFL insider Greg Rosenthal may have manipulated the Patriots into franchise tagging LG Joe Thuney by their interest in the Patriots guard during free agency.
“There is some belief that the Jets’ reported interest in Thuney helped inspire Bill Belichick to keep him off the market,” Rosenthal wrote for NFL.com. “It will be harder to do again in 2021, especially considering Belichick’s history of not paying interior linemen top dollar. Thuney’s tag-team partner at guard, Shaq Mason, signed a below-market deal in 2018, which could complicate any negotiations with Thuney. Like many Patriots over the years, Thuney will probably have to leave to max out his money.”
And Bill Belichick certainly wanted(s) to keep Thuney away from both the Jets and Dolphins, two divisional rivals in 2020. That isn’t anything new, especially when it comes to the Jets.
But as to the Jets ‘screwing the Patriots’ over this as we’ve seen in some circles? Well, look at the Jets situation on the interior OL. Are the Patriots paying top dollar for Thuney? Absolutely. But he’s better than any interior OL that will suit up for Gang Green this season. But whatever makes you feel better about the GM down there in NJ.
“So, how was your week?”
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Posted Under: 2020 Patriots Offseason
Tags: 53 Man Roster Projection Bill Belichick Buffalo Bills Cam Newton Joe Thuney Josh Allen Miami Dolphins New England Patriots New York Jets NFL Odell Beckham Jr. Patrick Mahomes Patriots Rob Gronkowski Tom Brady