Some news and notes for this morning.
1) Mike Reiss highlighted some comments by Hunter Henry in an entry this morning as it pertains to the Patriots needing to get their quarterback situation figured out before the start of free agency.
The veteran tight end said in a recent interview with Sirius XM Radio that two of the most important factors players like him are generally looking for are obviously money, but who will be throwing him the football will also affect his decision.
“It’s a mix of both. Obviously, you’ve got to look at it financially. I would be lying to you if I was like, ‘I’m not going to look at the money’ or anything like that, I mean, that’s part of it,” said Henry. “That’s part of our job and everything, but I don’t think it’s all about that. I want to play somewhere where there’s a good quarterback, that’s huge for our position. It makes things a lot easier on that burden of things. So playing with a good quarterback always makes things better.”
Getting a veteran pass-catcher, whether it’s a tight end or an impact receiver, is somewhat of a priority this offseason. With Julian Edelman reaching a point where he can no longer be their primary target, as well as the fact that Jacobi Meyers and N’Keal Harry are both also not number one receivers, New England is in need of bringing in a top talent to try and open things up for the other players in their offense.
But in order to do that, the QB position obviously needs to be addressed. Jimmy Garoppolo remains a name still being thrown around, but moving him will require the 49ers getting an upgrade at that position and the sense from the beat writers who are close to the team is that he’s not going anywhere. While the Raiders Marcus Mariota has also become a name gaining more steam in recent weeks here in New England, the bad news is other teams also appear interested and that may drive up his cost and potentially take the Patriots out of the running.
As a result, the drum to bring back Newton is starting to get a little louder and it’s possible the Patriots could bring him in as a stop-gap. Given his reputation with players around the league, signing him to another one-year deal would at least give free agents a name to attach with the destination. However, it’s also entirely possible that, if that happens, the Patriots could still continue business as usual and explore their options, giving Newton competition while the Patriots essentially treat him like any other player.
Needless to say, it will be interesting to follow but hopefully, we’ll get a little more clarity on things in the not-too-distant future.
If Newton gets another shot, it may not last long.
2) During the “I AM ATHLETE” episode earlier this week along with Brandon Marshall and Chad Johnson during their interview with Cam Newton, former Patriot Fred Taylor talked about what it was like during his own time in New England.
Taylor pointed out that despite who a player might be coming into the organization, all of that goes out the window. He cited Newton as an example, as despite being an all-pro and league MVP, it doesn’t matter once you put on the uniform. Taylor said he even ended up playing special teams, which he wasn’t overly excited about.
“He ain’t no slack, it’s consideration,” said Taylor, referring to Newton. “A lot of organizations, 31 other teams out there, that would say, look, this is our starting quarterback. He’s got to be in on everything. In New England, they’re not necessarily saying that. It’s up to you to do your job, it’s up to you to stay on top of everything.”
“You went to New England as an all-pro, a pro bowler, an MVP, every freakin thing. You did it all. But when you get there, because of the way they operate, the New England way, they want the hot hand right now. They erase all that other [expletive]. I played [expletive] special teams in practice, in year 12. What the [expletive]? What the [expletive] are you talking about? That ain’t me.”
However, Taylor was merely referring to the expectations and he thinks highly of Belichick and enjoyed his time here. After Newton said, “I think Bill Belichick is the most misunderstood person in all of sports,” Taylor emphatically agreed, responding “100%,” as he smiled and started nodding, followed by, “1000%”.
3) One other notable quote was the fact Newton came to the defense of his offensive group after Marshall talked about the lack of weapons around him last season. He was also particularly defensive about one particular player.
“It’s not to say that they weren’t, or that they can’t be,” said Newton, referring to his receivers.
“I do think, dough boy I call him, N’Keal Harry, he was battered,” continued Newton. “There’s a real thing when they say, ‘the New England Way’, ‘The Patriot Way’.
Newton went on to say that playing there requires you to compartmentalize everything “to enhance your mental stamina”, which is something he and the players all needed to do. Even if it was eight o’clock at night and there was film to watch, it needed to be done.
As for Harry, it appears the quarterback still believes in him, even if they’re not currently teammates. The challenge now will be what happens in 2021, as this is clearly a make-or-break season for the former number one pick, who heads into this season needing to live up to the expectations for a team that will need him to be at his best.
Harry is facing a make or break season heading into 2021.
4) Meanwhile, Michael Silver appeared on the Dan Patrick show on Tuesday and was asked about his recent report about Russell Wilson, where he said at least a third of the league had inquired about the Seahawks QB.
Silver went on to say that the situation there is complicated, and any deal involving Wilson would be costly.
“Well, I think you definitely got their attention, you collectively, your show and Russell and some subsequent appearances,” said Silver, referring to Wilson’s interview where he questioned his future with the club. “If I’m not wrong, it was timed with the ‘Man of the Year Award’, which is a great honor and I think they were a little taken aback and caught off guard and not thrilled. But there’s a long road between ‘not thrilled’ and ‘we’re trading our franchise quarterback’.”
“But you have two things going on. One, your show is popular and the rest of the league took notice and teams started calling, ‘Hey, what’s going on with Russell?’ And, you have John Schneider, the general manager, who I believe is the best in the game, but one thing that he has always been true to is, he’s not one of these GMs who just says, ‘Nope, not talking.’ For example, Nick Caserio, the new GM of the Texans, currently has been telling teams calling about Deshaun Watson, who has asked to be traded, ‘We are not trading him.’ Now, I believe they will trade him, ultimately, but they are not even entertaining those conversations. But John Schneider has always been a guy who just says, “Well, I mean, I think we’re not trading Russell Wilson but since you called, what are you thinking?”
“I said yesterday about a third of the league has called and there’s a sense out there, and this is from a team side, not from the Seahawks side, that three first-round picks is about where it would start. Do I think Pete Carroll wants to start over with a new quarterback and reboot at this stage of his career? No, but they definitely are aware that they have a quarterback who was, at the very least, acting out.”
Silver said he knows some of the 10 teams but he wouldn’t elaborate, despite Patrick trying to nudge him into it. He also said that he doesn’t believe there’s been a true reportable offer put forward to the team just yet. As a result, it remains a situation to watch heading into the offseason.
5) Looking around the league, Florida Sun-Sentinal writer Omar Kelly down in Miami is looking at the Dolphins upcoming draft and he believes that if the team can’t find a way to land Deshaun Watson, he believes that making a deal with Carolina and trading out of the #3 overall position makes the most sense. He feels making that move would allow the club to surround quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with plenty of talent, which he believes is the best option.
Moving the No. 3 pick to a team like the Panthers for Carolina’s 2021 first- (No. 8), second-round pick (No. 39), and a 2022 second-round pick gives Miami a chance to land three NFL starters for one draft pick. The Dolphins need to find two teams (maybe Philadelphia and Carolina) that are in love with the same quarterback, and hope they aspire to leapfrog Atlanta, which owns pick No. 4. A quarterback bidding war benefits Miami.
Kelly also believes that the Dolphins should try and bring in Von Miller and Melvin Ingram, who he believes would set Miami up with a formidable defensive group moving forward.
Von Miller and Melvin Ingram already call South Florida home during the offseason, so a substantial offer that features $25-30 million in guaranteed money from the Dolphins should get their attention as free agents.
Miller and Ingram are the type of pass-rushing demons who could transform the NFL’s sixth-best defense into the league’s best because they have the ability to beat offensive tackles 1-on-1, and produce sacks and pressure without blitzing. Yannick Ngakoue and Jadeveon Clowney should also be considered, especially since their struggles in 2020 might drop their asking price a bit.
The Dolphins had a solid year in 2020 after finishing 10-6 and appear on the rise, which will obviously make things competitive heading into this season after the Buffalo Bills ran away with the Division last year. That’s what makes this offseason so critical as both of the teams ahead of the Patriots are gaining momentum, so it should be interesting to see what Belichick does in the coming weeks.
One last note, anyone who follows the news closely has likely heard the trash-talking from Kyle Van Noy since he left the Patriots. One storyline to follow is the fact Van Noy’s salary is escalating to $12.5 million, and it appears his days may be numbered if they opt to release him before his deal becomes guaranteed on March 21st.
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Bill Belichick Cam Newton Dan Patrick Show Fred Taylor Hunter Henry John Schneider Kyle Van Noy Michael Silver N'Keal Harry New England Patriots Nick Caserio Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks Tua Tagovailoa