Some news and notes for this morning:
1) It should be an interesting week as today is the start of Phase 3 of the NFL offseason, which should hopefully allow us to start hearing a little more news.
Teams will be able to do 11-on-11 drills (without pads or contact), although the big question seems to be how many players will report to Foxboro. Attendance was said to be good in previous weeks, even despite the fact veteran players didn’t have to be in the building.
How that plays out this week will be something to keep an eye on as there are boycotts going on among veterans on teams throughout the league who are pushing for fewer offseason workouts and practices. We haven’t heard much about whether or not any notable players here might skip attendance, but we’ll likely hear more in the days ahead if that ends up being the case.
Otherwise, the media locally will be able to observe practice on Thursday, so we’ll hopefully learn a little more about this team as things get underway and they start building some chemistry heading into training camp.
The team had the recent rookie sessions shut down from any media access and didn’t even post any reports on their website, save for a few extremely brief video clips, so we obviously haven’t heard very much from what few practices they’ve had so far.
2) Meanwhile, the talk this morning is centering on Julio Jones, who many would like to see the Patriots add to their newly revamped offense this season.
Mike Reiss touched on it in his Sunday notes column yesterday, where he believes this might be one of the opportunities where New England could be interested in exploring a trade thanks to what is currently a tough cap situation for the Falcons.
Dan Orlovsky also talked about it this morning on “GET UP” on ESPN and he believes that acquiring Jones would vault New England into the top tier of AFC contenders.
“I think that the AFC is a class of 3 teams right now,” said Orlovsky. “I think it’s the Buffalo Bills, I think it’s the Cleveland Browns and I think it’s the Kansas City Chiefs, obviously. And if the New England Patriots got Julio Jones, he would vault them into that group of now four football teams. I don’t think it’s a team that goes, OK, they’ve got a rookie quarterback on a rookie salary, let’s take the risk here because then I think it’s going to cost you so many picks to go get Julio, you take away some of the assets that you’re going to need to build around your young quarterback once you pay him.”
“New England’s a great opportunity because we don’t talk about how dominant their offensive line is going to be. This offense goes in one year from really pedestrian last year to, if they got Julio Jones, they would be one of the hardest offenses in the NFL to stop. They’d have a dominant offensive line, a super creative play-caller in Josh McDaniels, and then a one-on-one weapon on the outside that is almost impossible to cover in that situation.”
However, Greg Bedard of Boston Sports Journal is viewing things a little differently. He questions Jones’ health and feels Belichick will definitely want to review the film and get comfortable with the medical information before considering making a move.
Whether or not it comes to pass remains to be seen, but there’s no question adding Jones would definitely cap off what has already been one of the most memorable offseasons of Bill Belichick’s tenure.
3) It’s been mentioned here that Jarrett Stidham could be the odd man out in New England’s quarterback room this season and Ben Volin of the Boston Globe believes the Texans could be a potential landing spot.
All signs are starting to point toward the team preparing for life after Deshaun Watson, and they’ve already added a handful of quarterbacks as they start trying to figure out whatever the plan will be following Watson’s eventual departure. Obviously, Nick Caserio has some familiarity with Stidham but the bigger question is whether or not he holds the same mindset that Belichick seems to about the third-year quarterback after not starting him at all in 2020 despite Cam Newton’s struggles.
If he does, it would be hard to imagine him adding Stidham to a stable of QBs that already has Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Finley, Jeff Driskel and recently drafted Davis Mills. The bigger question might be the timing and with only three preseason games, Stidham’s probably not going to get much of an opportunity to drive up his stock so it’s hard not to be a little curious about how it might play out.
4) The addition in Jacksonville of Tim Tebow is making headlines this week as many people are questioning whether or not it was a wise move for the Jaguars.
Worse yet, there are also apparently some questions about the move internally that some believe could hurt the credibility of first-year coach, Urban Meyer.
On paper, it’s not that hard to figure out. Meyer and Tebow have known each other since Tebow played for him in college and he obviously showed enough in his tryout to earn an opportunity. The deal he signed also isn’t guaranteed, so it’s not a risk for the Jaguars if it doesn’t work out.
But Jacksonville’s popularity has dropped off locally and while adding a top QB in Trevor Lawrence has energized things slightly, this might have been just another risk with a different reward. Tebow is treated like a God in Florida, so they’re also likely aware that he’ll help in driving up some much-needed interest in the club among fans when they finally do take the field this summer. Anyone who has followed along has also probably noticed that the Jaguars always seem to favor bringing in players who excelled in their home state in college, whether it’s Florida, Florida State, Central Florida, etc.
That little trend hasn’t always worked out. One notable situation was when the team surprised everyone with the selection of Blake Bortles, who was a star during his time at Central Florida and he wasn’t even on the majority of mock drafts prior to the Jaguars shocked everyone with his selection.
Obviously, we know how that worked out. But that’s just how the Jaguars do business and the fact people are so surprised about the Tebow addition, especially given the club’s history, seems a little ridiculous.
5) Marqise Lee didn’t last very long with the 49ers.
After receiving a contract just prior to last weekend’s rookie minicamp, which saw him catch passes from new rookie QB Trey Lance, he’s now again looking for a new team after being waived.
Lee was among the Patriots players who opted out last season and it looks like he might not yet be where he needs to be physically after being released four days removed from signing a one-year contract.
The former second-round pick from 2014 out of USC has 174 receptions for 2,184 yards and 8 touchdowns in 59 games during his NFL career.
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Bill Belichick Blake Bortles Cam Newton Dan Orlovsky Davis Mills Houston Texans Jacksonville Jaguars Jarrett Stidham Jeff Driskel Julio Jones Marqise Lee New England Patriots Ryan Finley San Francisco 49ers Tim Tebow Tyrod Taylor