5 Patriots/NFL Things to Know: Wednesday Afternoon Notes 3/23
1) The Patriots are reportedly still exploring wide receiver options, albeit the current start to free agency apparently put a damper on things.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, New England is reportedly looking to add someone to help out Kendrick Bourne, Nelson Agholor and Jakobi Meyers but it sounds like they haven’t been able to find someone within their budget.
One player who apparently would have been a prime target was Russell Gage, who ended up signing a 3-year deal worth $30 million in Tampa Bay.
Fowler reports that the Patriots have since exhausted all options on the middle and lower tiers, to no avail. Now the question could be whether or not they’ll address the need in the draft, or whether or not they may look to make a trade to fill the void.
The Patriots recently cut ties with Jakob Johnson after informing him that they’re moving away from the fullback position, which could see Jonnu Smith and the tight ends utilized a little more in 2022. But for now, it sounds like they’d like to add to their current group of receivers with the only question being how they’ll address it.
2) Stan Grossfeld has a good read in the Boston Globe from yesterday on center David Andrews, who has been hard at work this offseason both recovering from a recent surgery as well as preparing for the upcoming 2022 campaign.
Andrews reportedly had surgery on his right shoulder five weeks ago and was able to only recently start working without a sling, with Grossfeld spending some time with the New England center during an early morning workout followed by a charity appearance.
The veteran was in Quincy this week for the “Saving by Shaving” event, which saw him shave off his hair to help raise money for cancer research for Boston Children’s Hospital. He was also joined by former Patriot Matt Light, along with Joe Andruzzi and Kyle Van Noy.
After working with rookie Mac Jones, who was on hand to take in the event, Andrews admitted that he’s been impressed with Jones’ poise and how he handled himself in his first season.
“I think Mac does a really good job of buying into how we try to do things the ‘Patriot Way,’ ” Andrews told Grossfeld. “You can’t imagine the pressure. The media. The pressure you get put on by other people.”
One cool story shared by Andrews was about his rookie season in 2015 when Andrews fumbled the exchange with Tom Brady, causing both he and Brady to have to run a lap. That led to head coach Belichick calling him over to talk to him.
“I’m just about to get dog cussed,” explained Andrews. “And I’m huffing and puffing and he’s like, ‘Look, David, when you have this football, the fate of our organization is in your hands and we’re trusting you with it.’
“It really challenged me,” Andrews continued. “I think I can count on one hand of my seven years that I’ve had a bad snap. It really just drives me to be as good as I can with it.”
There are plenty of other cool mentions in the piece, so be sure and check it out.
Belichick has his work cut out for him in the AFC East after Wednesday’s trade.
3) If you haven’t heard, the Dolphins added a big piece on offense on Wednesday after consummating a trade with Kansas City for WR Tyreek Hill.
Hill reportedly became available after he and the Chiefs failed to reach a contract extension, with Adam Schefter reporting that Kansas City is sending him to the Dolphins in exchange for a first, second, and fourth-round draft picks in the upcoming NFL draft, as well as a fourth and six round pick in 2023.
The Jets were reportedly also in the mix, but it looks like the Dolphins came out ahead of whatever was being offered.
It appears he’ll be in Miami for a while. The veteran was set to become a free agent after this season and they’ve reportedly extended him for four years, with Hill reportedly receiving a $120-million extension, which includes $72.2 million guaranteed.
Needless to say, speed on defense needs to remain a priority as New England will now have to deal with one of the fastest players in the league within their own division for the foreseeable future.
4) Patriots fans likely remember that the team was a little hampered financially by Tom Brady’s departure but the Falcons are taking a major hit after dealing Matt Ryan.
According to Tom Pelisero, Atlanta will carry a $40.525 million dead cap hit in 2022 for their former signal-caller, which will certainly limit whatever they’re able to do this offseason.
The Falcons have their back-up guy for now after signing Marcus Mariota, who will look to try and turn things around as Atlanta turns the page from their now-former quarterback.
Ryan, who reportedly wasn’t happy after learning the Falcons were in the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes, said the time was right for him to move on and he’s looking forward to a new start in Indianapolis.
“Their passion, their commitment, their professionalism, the accountability Chris has for himself and what he does, the empathy Frank has for my situation of understanding of being in a certain spot and done it for one way,” Ryan said Tuesday via ESPN. “I just knew the roster they have and the belief in the way they do things, the time was right for me. I knew that it was time to go in a different direction.”
5) One day after visiting the Patriots, free agent running back Leonard Fournette has returned to the Buccaneers.
The veteran reportedly signed a 3-year deal worth $21 million, putting him back with quarterback Tom Brady after Fournette spent some time exploring his options.
Fournette signing in New England certainly would have been interesting as it would have given the Patriots another big, strong player in their backfield. However, the team already spent some time last season trying their hand at throwing the football to newcomer Rhamondre Stevenson, who caught 18 passes for 156-yards (8.7 avg) in 2021, so it’s possible they already felt confident in who they had and declined the amount that Fournette was potentially looking for.
The Patriots also brought back James White earlier this offseason on a 2-year deal, with the hope that White can return to his former self after spending most of the year recovering from the hip injury he suffered back in Week 3 against the Saints.
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: 2022 NFL Draft Atlanta Falcons David Andrews Jakob Johnson Jakobi Meyers Jonnu Smith Kansas City Chiefs Kendrick Bourne Leonard Fournette Mac Jones Matt Ryan Miami Dolphins Nelson Agholor New England Patriots Russell Gage Tampa Bay Bucccaneers Tyreek Hill