Some news and notes on this Wednesday:
1) The Patriots started clearing out a few players on Tuesday, including parting ways with one of last year’s draft picks.
The team reportedly waived 2020 5th-round pick Justin Rohrwasser, who became expendable after New England re-signed kicker Nick Folk last week. They also waived linebackers Cassh Maluia and Michael Pickney.
Rohrwasser had a tough start to his NFL career, struggling during camp last year while also garnering criticism with his controversial tattoos. The team initially released him during roster cutdowns at the end of camp but brought him back and he spent last year on the practice squad.
Obviously, he didn’t show them enough to stick around. The team previously brought in Roberto Aguayo, who was added to the club’s practice squad back in December, and now the Patriots will head into training camp with those two kickers on their roster.
That now leaves Rohrwasser with the challenge of trying to find another team to play for.
2) Meanwhile, James White remains on the market but there doesn’t seem to be much urgency at this point on his part.
The NFL Network’s Mike Giardi reported recently that White is being patient and letting the market develop, which does tend to be the case at that position.
Miami and Tampa Bay were two places rumored to be interested in his services, which would be sensible landing spots for White. The veteran running back has family in South Florida, including his mother, who was involved in a tragic car accident last year that took the life of his father and left her in the hospital.
White missed time last season while all of that was going on and that, coupled with the inconsistencies at quarterback with Cam Newton, led to a tough season. Newton struggled with getting him the ball, often throwing it late and/or off-target, which didn’t allow him to do much after the catch. His numbers suffered as a result, which may be why teams have been hesitant to offer him a lucrative deal.
Meanwhile, the likelihood of a return to the Patriots now that Newton is back is probably not great, which means that White will just have to continue waiting until the right opportunity opens up.
3) It’s interesting that Russell Wilson is pushing the Seahawks to go after Antonio Brown, which seems to be a test to see how seriously they take his requests when it comes to personnel decisions.
Seeing Brown move on to Seattle seems unlikely, barring a deal not coming to fruition in Tampa Bay. Anyone who has followed this story is aware of his close relationship with Tom Brady, with Brown even living with Brady when he first came to the Buccaneers last season.
Brown got off to a slow start with Tampa Bay last in 2020, but came on down the stretch and scored a touchdown in the Super Bowl during the Buccaneers win over the Chiefs last month.
He’s reportedly already had talks with the Buccaneers about a new contract, but it’s not yet known what he’s looking for to come back. Ian Rapoport said on the Pat McAfee show earlier his week that the Buccaneers may push for “a little bit of a prove-it type” of a deal, which may not go over well.
"If Antonio Brown is going to get a real legit deal from the #Seahawks he might have to go because his deal with Tampa Bay I think is going to be a little bit of a prove it type situation"@RapSheet on AB's free agent status #PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/GY0H3F6A2d
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) March 22, 2021
As for Wilson, after making some noise and discussing being traded, including mentioning potential landing spots, things have settled down on that front and it’s starting to look like he’ll continue on with the Seahawks. But whether or not he’ll be able to lure Brown away from Brady feels like a longshot, although given how this offseason has already played out, stranger things have happened.
4) Newton and N’Keal Harry were among four other players who joined the offensive group of players working out in Southern California on Tuesday as the players get a little offseason work in.
Also reportedly joining them was Isaiah Zuber and Nelson Agholor, which will allow Newton and Jarrett Stidham a pretty full group of players to start building a rapport and getting ahead of where they were last offseason.
One of the major difficulties last year was the fact that the pandemic prevented teams around the league from getting together prior to the start of training camp. For the Patriots, that made it even tougher since they couldn’t build any continuity with Newton, who didn’t join the team until June.
Needless to say, the fact the full offensive group of skill players is out there getting work in is great to see and hopefully, it pays dividends in the months to come.
5) Meanwhile, newcomer Kendrick Bourne is excited about being a Patriot and given what little we’ve seen so far, it’s hard not to be excited about what his impact will be in the offense.
Bourne looked terrific in the video that appeared during the workouts out in California, showing some impressive quickness and great hands. His infectious attitude was also tough not to notice and he seems to be a player who will be one to watch next season.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Bourne talked about the fact the Patriots shifted away from the norm in terms of what they normally do when it comes to contracts and now he feels it’s his job to live up to the expectations.
“They don’t do that,” Bourne said on Adam Schefter’s podcast via CBS Boston. “So something special is about to happen. They did something different, so there’s gonna be a good result in what they did. You know, they’re taking a risk bringing us all in here, and they don’t do that. So we have to make sure as this free-agent class that we were worth what they brought. That’s why they paid us.”
Bourne’s declaration that “something special is about to happen” is certainly music to the ears of most Patriots fans hoping for better results in 2021. Let’s just hope he’s right.
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Antonio Brown Cam Newton Cassh Maluia Isaiah Zuber James White Jarrett Stidham Justin Rohrwasser Kendrick Bourne Michael Pickney N'Keal Harry Nelson Agholor New England Patriots Nick Folk Roberto Aguayo Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks Tampa Bay Buccaneers