Some news and notes for this morning:
1) The fact Stephon Gilmore showed up at Gillette Stadium is definitely a good sign and one that hopefully signals things are at least amicable between the two sides as training camp approaches.
Gilmore, who is still recovering from offseason quad surgery, will reportedly begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list and it’s a good first step as he and the team continue working toward reaching some sort of compromise on his contract.
The veteran cornerback did voice some displeasure with reporter Josina Anderson recently about his current deal, which has his base salary for the 2021 season at just $7-million. Gilmore told her a few weeks ago “I just want what I’m worth, however that plays out.” However, he also added, “Hopefully we can find some common ground and get it situated.”
According to reports, while Gilmore would prefer a long-term deal, he’s reportedly willing to accept a bump in pay for just this season, much like the Patriots gave him prior to the 2020 campaign. ESPN’s Mike Reiss also suggested recently that New England could give him a deal similar to the one they gave former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady where Gilmore could get a raise for 2021 and then be able to seek a new deal elsewhere after this season.
For now, he’s at least here in New England and ready to get to work, whenever that comes. In the meantime, Gilmore will begin camp as a spectator as he continues rehabbing while likely hoping things get “situated” sooner rather than later.
2) Seeing Jarrett Stidham’s name come up on the PUP list was a surprise, and we’ve yet to hear any official news about his status. Reiss speculated in his Sunday column that the quarterback could be dealing with a nagging ailment that he could be managing, but it’s definitely an issue as he tries to establish his role for the upcoming season.
The overall thought on Stidham is that he’s potentially going to be the odd man out in the coming weeks as Mac Jones and Cam Newton begin what should be an interesting quarterback competition heading into training camp.
One key domino for Stidham is likely going to be Newton, who should he falter and get beaten out by Jones, that could trigger an interesting dynamic at the position. Some within the media have speculated that Jones seizing the starting role might see Newton opt to move on and seek employment with another team prior to the start of the season. If that happens, Stidham could suddenly find himself back into the #2 position behind the rookie, with an opportunity to possibly play in the off chance Jones suffers an injury.
Instead, if he’s not out there when the team takes the field this week, that certainly changes things and it definitely would not be a good start for a player who also missed time last preseason with an ailment. It’s unknown what the issue is, as he’s looked happy and healthy in recent photos posted by his wife, including one from yesterday where she posted, “last lazy family sunday for awhile with my fav boys”.
3) The news of Deshaun Watson reporting to training camp in Houston was interesting, as he’s been flying under the radar for quite a while as he continues dealing with sexual assault allegations.
With the NFL having not reached any type of decision yet as they continue investigating, it certainly sets up quite a situation for a Houston Texans team that remains a big question mark heading into 2021. While Watson may have arrived to camp, he’s reportedly still insisting on a trade and that situation still seems to be fairly complicated.
It appears the price for any potential deal for Watson remains a costly one, with ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reporting that the cost “has been some combination of 5 high draft picks and starting-caliber players, per two league executives”. As a result, it’s clear that general manager Nick Caserio remains steady in his demands and remains patient as he continues dealing with the situation.
Caserio’s approach has been interesting, and it likely mirrors how Bill Belichick would potentially have handled it, with Caserio not panicking or making any rash decisions. On more than one occasion, he’s said that they have no desire to trade Watson and they’ve continued monitoring the situation as it’s unfolded with their star quarterback. He also doesn’t seem prepared to move on from him unless the evidence shows otherwise, or unless a team gives Houston an offer that’s too good to pass up.
Houston has reportedly started coming around on the idea of moving on from Watson, and it would definitely be wise for Caserio to pull the trigger if a team comes forward with a deal worthy enough of moving him before any further negative news arises that could drive that cost down.
Either way, it’s been a bizarre offseason given all we’ve heard about the Texans QB, who is far from out of the woods just yet as he still reportedly has 22 active and unresolved lawsuits against him.
4) Meanwhile, there’s another disgruntled player out in Arizona as former Patriot Chandler Jones has apparently requested a trade from the Arizona Cardinals.
The team reportedly expects Jones to report on Tuesday, but he’s said to be unhappy about the $15.5 million he’s set to earn for this season and is looking for both a raise and an extension.
The 31-year old is coming off a season where he suffered a biceps injury in 2020, which caused him to undergo surgery. He played in just 5 games last season.
He’s skipped offseason workouts but is still considered to be a player who is thought highly of within the organization. He’s also been a key player for a Cardinals team who will likely need all the help they can get in what should be a contested NFC West division.
Both Arizona and the 49ers will be trying to move up after finishing behind both Seattle and Los Angeles in 2020, and Jones has been a thorn in San Francisco’s side. According to Kyle Madson of USA TODAY, Jones has had 7.0 sacks, 27 tackles (including 11 for a loss) as well as 16 QB hits, and a forced fumble against the 49ers over the last nine meetings.
As a result, the 49ers are probably rooting for the Cardinals to ship him elsewhere, but it appears this situation still looks like it may take a while to play out.
5) Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew appears ready for a QB battle of his own during training camp as he gets set to face off against first-round pick, Trevor Lawrence.
Minshew will take the field in what should also be an interesting camp down in Jacksonville as he tries to solidify his spot in a job that he likely knows is Lawence’s long-term. Minshew is coming off of a season where he finished with 2,259-yards passing in 2020, including 16 touchdowns and five interceptions.
He’s obviously aware of the team’s intentions but seems to be taking things in stride. He appeared recently on Chris Long’s podcast, saying anything to do with “#2” isn’t an option for him.
“In preparation for the competition, I haven’t taken a s— in weeks,” Minshew said on the podcast. “That’s not an option for me. No. 2 is not an option.”
If new head coach Urban Meyer believes Lawrence is ready to start the year, that will likely be Minshew’s role both this season and moving forward.
Minshew was originally taken by the Jaguars in the 6th round of the 2019 draft and remains under contract with the club through 2022.
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: New England Patriots