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Five Patriots/NFL Things to Know 4/22: News and Notes

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
1 year ago at 10:57 am ET
Posted Under: Patriots News

Five Patriots/NFL Things to Know 4/22: News and NotesDavid Butler II - USA TODAY Sports

Some news and notes on this Friday:

1) With all the questions still left when it comes to how things are going to come together with the offensive coaching staff, Tom Curran talked to the Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan on Wednesday about how things might come together and Curran made an interesting revelation during the segment.

Curran appeared on the “Pats Interference” podcast with Callahan and spoke about Joe Judge, who he appears to have questions about based on how things went in 2019. Curran revealed that Judge had some rough moments, including a blow-up in practice when he was coaching the receivers that season.

“With Joe Judge, again, I got to know him in his first go-around here,” said Curran. “First of all, the constant disclaimer, [I] like him. Had great conversations with him. Certainly would respect his football mind, his acumen, and I’m not surprised he got a crack at a head job because of the cut of his jib. But he coached wide receivers and during that season, I was told that there were wide receivers who were unhappy with the coaching they were getting, to the point where they felt as if Joe Judge didn’t know more than them and there were blow-ups at practice, or at least one that I know of, in which a receiver said, ‘You don’t know what you’re talking about.’ Not what you’re looking for.”

As it is, with Josh McDaniels having departed this offseason, players will likely be quietly watching to see how things begin to unfold as New England tries to move forward offensively. McDaniels was with the organization for over a decade in his previous role and had earned the respect of most players when it came to the offense, which probably also extended to his offensive assistants. Last season and 2020 receiving coach, Mick Lombardi, was considered to be well-respected in his previous role but he left with McDaniels this offseason to Las Vegas, leaving a void that they’re likely going to have a tough time filling during this transition.

Their current group of receivers is mostly a veteran group led by Kendrick Bourne, Jakobi Meyers, Nelson Agholor, and newcomer, DeVante Parker. That’s likely going to be a challenge for any coach with limited experience offensively, considering that it’s obviously hard to get players to buy in when you’ve got guys who have been in the league for a while and are solid players. Should that coach show any semblance of doubt, it’s likely going to cause a problem and hurt the credibility of whatever message they’re trying to convey.

Curran admitted that’s been an issue in the past for Judge.

“I was told by folks within the organization who said Joe does a great job of presenting himself confidently, and then he gets into something and you don’t always have the same confidence,” said Curran. “You start to realize that guys aren’t being prepared in the way that you expected.”

How the Patriots handle it remains to be seen, but if Judge is the one who falls into that role, it certainly seems like he’s going to have his work cut out for him.

2) It’s definitely strange to see how things continue to unfold out in Cleveland, with Baker Mayfield’s situation with the team seeing him still more or less stuck in limbo.

The former first-round selection went from being “the guy” to just a player waiting for his future to be decided after the Browns shocked everyone by acquiring Deshaun Watson from Houston this offseason. That instantly altered Mayfield’s future, slamming the door on what had been a promising start as the quarterback had finally made the Browns become relevant in the NFL again. The soon-to-be-former quarterback obviously isn’t happy about it, but he’s now left waiting for someone wanting to give up whatever the Browns decide is the right cost to get him.

Given the current state of quarterbacks around the league, the number of landing spots is limited. Carolina is one team that has been discussed as a possibility, while others could also include potentially Houston or even Seattle. However, there hasn’t seemed to be any serious interest in Mayfield to this point, which is surprising yet tells you there is likely some truth to the rumors that are making teams reluctant to pursue him.

Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski talked about Mayfield’s situation on Wednesday, saying they haven’t made any decisions yet and that they’ll continue exploring their options.

“I’d tell you that’s a unique situation,” said Stefanski. “It’s fluid and we’ll just continue to work through it as we go each day.”

Mayfield is coming off of offseason shoulder surgery, which likely isn’t helping his cause. But the bigger issue appears to be some of the “unnecessary drama” that’s been reported, with the veteran quarterback apparently having been an issue for the club at times internally.

His play on the field was inconsistent this season as well, with Mayfield finishing by throwing multiple interceptions in three of his final five games. He was also 24th in the NFL in yards passing after completing 253-of-418 for 3010-yards along with 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

While it wasn’t great, there should be someone else out there willing to take a chance on seeing if he’s able to help their team win. Either way, for now, his days in Cleveland appear to be over and where he’ll end up next still remains a mystery.

Brissett has been a productive player since leaving New England.

3) Meanwhile, with Watson’s future still in question due to the pending civil cases against him, the Browns also have Jacoby Brissett as a back-up and the former Patriots quarterback is taking the same approach he always has.

After filling in here for both Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo, followed by Andrew Luck in Indianapolis and Tua Tagovailoa in Miami, he’s no stranger to needing to be ready at a moments notice. Brissett credits his success on always preparing as if he’s going to start, which has been an approach that’s worked for him so far.

“I can’t predict whatever the case may be with the outside the field stuff,” Brissett said via, “but what I know is true is that you’re always one play away. And that’s what I prepare for, and I obviously prepare like I’m the starter, regardless of the situation.”

The former 3rd round pick out of New England in 2016 has played pretty well during his NFL career, appearing in 60 games while finishing 727-of-1208 (60%) for 7,742-yards along with 36 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.

As he gets set to play for his fourth football team, Brissett could likely see some action until Watson’s situation is resolved. Given his history, at least the Browns will find themselves in reliable hands should that ultimately end up being the case.

4) The news out of San Francisco about Deebo Samuel has a lot of people excited about the possibility of him landing in New England, but the likelihood of it happening is probably fairly slim.

The primary reason will likely be the compensation, as the demands for him will potentially be extremely high, with some of the recent moves setting a price tag that the Patriots aren’t likely to touch.

Looking at the two offseason trades involving a wide receiver, both the Las Vegas Raiders and Miami Dolphins paid a hefty price tag when they acquired DeVante Adams and Tyreek Hill, respectively. Both teams gave up a first and second-round pick, with the deal for Hill also including two fourth-round picks (one this year and next) along with a sixth-round selection in 2023. We all know how Bill Belichick values draft picks and giving up that much just seems like something he won’t do, especially when you consider their other needs on the defensive side of the football that still need to be addressed.

Samuel’s versatility given his additional use as a running back likely puts his price tag somewhere in the middle, although he’s reportedly said he no longer wants to be used in that role moving forward. Even still, the factor that complicates this is both John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan have already shown to be greedy when it comes to giving up their assets, which saw them fail to move Garoppolo out of the Conference last offseason when Belichick was reportedly interested in bringing the former Patriots QB back to New England.

Instead, the asking price was too high. So Belichick remained patient and ended up with Mac Jones, while Shanahan ended up with Trey Lance and is still stuck with Garoppolo, who will take up close to $27-million in cap space. Worse yet, if he ends up again with no takers, which the fact Mayfield remains available potentially improves that likelihood, Shanahan will potentially end up walking away with nothing when Garoppolo leaves in free agency after this season.

So if history is any indication, the asking price will be too high to make Deebo landing with the Patriots a possibility. It’s just too bad New England didn’t target him instead of N’Keal Harry in 2019, as San Francisco took Samuel four picks later in round two. If it was a value issue and they didn’t feel Samuel was a first-round talent, clearly, they still guessed wrong with Harry’s selection.

Looking back, Samuel tried to make his way here, but obviously we know Belichick isn’t exactly a social media person.

Patriots offensive lineman Trent Brown did make his pitch to Samuel a couple of days ago, but unfortunately, the decision isn’t his to make, as the 49ers will be the ones who will ultimately decide where to send him.

Where Samuel ends up will be something everyone will be watching, but it’s just more salt in the wound for a team that just doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of luck when it comes to drafting guys at that position.

5) CBS Sports Jonathan Jones posted his most recent mock draft yesterday, with Jones showing the Patriots selecting Utah’s Devin Lloyd at linebacker with their 21st overall selection.

That seems to be the consensus among a large majority, with a high-percentage of the mocks leading up to next week listing Lloyd as who they’ll target.  There have been mixed reviews about Lloyd’s fit in the defense, which could potentially be a reason why the club moves around on night one instead of standing pat with that selection.

Mel Kiper Jr. suggested this week in a recent “Next Pats” podcast with Phil Perry that we could see the Patriots possibly make a move up for LSU defensive back Derek Stingley Jr, although the question will be how high they’ll need to go in order to get him.  Jones has him being selected with the #13 pick to Houston, but if he falls a little lower, Kiper believes Belichick may make the move to go try and trade up and grab him.

If that is what Belichick is thinking and it doesn’t work out, the other option could be to trade back, as players like Clemson defensive back Andrew Booth Jr. and Central Michigan offensive lineman Bernhard Raimann each went at #25 and #26, respectively, with defensive lineman Logan Hall going next at #27.  It obviously all comes down to where these guys are valued by the team internally but at the same time, there’s a lot of talent in round two which could see the team trade out of round one altogether in an effort to try and build some currency to be aggressive further into day two and beyond.

We’ll see how it plays out, but with the draft less than a week away we’ll fortunately find out the answer soon enough.

Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: 2022 Patriots Offseason Baker Mayfield Cleveland Browns Deebo Samuel Devante Parker Devin Lloyd Jacoby Brissett Jakobi Meyers Joe Judge Josh McDaniels Kendrick Bourne Mick Lombardi Nelson Agholor New England Patriots San Francisco 49ers

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