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Monday Patriots Notebook 7/17: News and Notes

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
2 months ago at 11:03 am ET
Posted Under: Patriots News

Monday Patriots Notebook 7/17: News and NotesMichael Chow/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Some news and notes as we get back into a daily routine following a couple of weeks off:

Hopkins Fallout Continues

There was some noise on Sunday after Doug Kyed broke the news that DeAndre Hopkins had opted to go to Tennessee over New England, which was certainly disappointing for most fans that were hoping to see him catching passes from Mac Jones this season.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the deal Hopkins received was a 2-year, $26 million deal that, with incentives, will potentially make it worth up to $32 million.  That essentially pushes his salary closer to the $15 million mark O’Dell Beckham Jr. received, which is reportedly what Hopkins was seeking.

However, despite some reports that the Patriots didn’t reach that threshold, that apparently wasn’t true.’s Albert Breer reported on Sunday night that the Patriots were right there with the Titans, but the difference appears to be in how the incentives were structured, which seems to have been the deal-breaker.

“Based on where it was, the Patriots didn’t go to the level that the Titans did,” said Breer on NBC Sports Boston’s Sports Sunday via Darren Hartwell. “My understanding is, the max of (the Patriots’) offer was $15 million for this year — so they matched what the Titans did for this year — but a much higher percentage of it was in incentives.”

“Whereas the Titans were $12 million base (salary), $3 million in incentives, the Patriots’ offer was structured a little like the Chiefs offer going back to before the draft. The Chiefs’ offer at the time was a $4 million base with a chance to make up to $10 (million).

“So, they were willing to give (Hopkins) the max that the Titans offered, but they were going to make it much harder for him to get there.”

Obviously, it’s disappointing, but the Patriots still head into training camp with a solid group.  Granted, they remain without a true “number one” target, along with several who have had a history of injuries ahead of the 2023 season.

That leaves them with little margin for error, along with the hope that someone emerges at the bottom of the depth chart who might make a significant impact this season.

Orlovsky Views Tight Ends as the Key

Dan Orlovsky of ESPN posted a video following the news of Hopkins landing in Tennessee and while he believes it’s a big loss for the Patriots, he feels like the tight ends might ultimately make up the difference in how successful they potentially are this season.

Orlovsky believes it’s an offense that’s certainly under a lot more pressure, but with their defense, he’s confident that they’ve still got a shot.

“Congrats to Tennessee on getting D-Hop, I did not expect that,” said Orlovsky. “It gives them a chance to win the [AFC] South now if D-Hop is who we have grown accustomed to him being and [Mike] Vrabel as their head coach.”

“The more obvious thing for me is, two things.  Number one, it feels like a massive missed opportunity and loss for the Patriots and Mac Jones going into a huge year.  Number one, because just look at the division.  They are worst in the division when it comes to overall skill talent by far and bottom three or bottom four in the conference.”

“So now you’re going to expect your offense to have enough firepower to compete against the Jets and the Dolphins and the Bills and basically everyone in the AFC, and you don’t, and you also expect your quarterback to take a big step and he’s got not nearly the amount of weapons that other quarterbacks have.”

“The second thing I think of, there is tremendous pressure now on Bill O’Brien, their playcaller – who’s awesome – but also Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki.  It makes me think that New England will major, not minor, major in 12 personnel – one back, two tight ends – and absolutely live in that.  Because they don’t have the people on the outside wide receiver-wise to really contend firepower-wise scoring points with everyone they have to.”

“So it feels like this is a big missed opportunity for New England and Mac Jones.  But if those two tight ends play together and they become one of the, if not the top 2, 3 duos in the Conference, they’ve got a shot with great defense.  But it’s a lot of pressure on those two units.”

White and Gonzalez Remain Unsigned

Rookie first-round pick Christian Gonzalez and fellow second-roound selection Keion White have reportedly yet to sign their rookie deals, which remains something to keep an eye on.

Mike Reiss reported in his Sunday column that while the contracts themselves are set due to the league’s rookie slotting season, the issue may be tied to either the timing of payments or guaranteed money.

Reiss pointed out that White is close to the cutoff point (he was selected 46th overall) where teams stop guaranteeing money in the third year of the deal.  He also points out that six players drafted ahead of White also remain unsigned.

As for Gonzalez, Reiss also highlighted the fact he should be expecting a four-year deal worth about $15 million, with a signing bonus in the range of $7.9 million.

Rookies are reportedly set to arrive at the end of this week.

Mills Sounds Off on Boutte/O’Brien Incident.

There’s been a fair amount of discussion on rookie sixth-round pick Kayshon Boutte, who apparently took some heat from offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien in a now-deleted video, which circulated briefly following the open media portions of the club’s OTAs.

In the video, Boutte apparently drew the ire of O’Brien for lining up wrong, with the coach pulling no punches as he verbally corrected the young receiver during the session.

That’s not exactly an uncommon practice for any football player, let alone a rookie, which is why one veteran player wasn’t pleased that it was shared publicly.

Teammate Jalen Mills appears to have come across it, and he tweeted his frustration about the video even being shared, saying there was no real benefit other than to tear down the young receiver.

“Why post this?” Tweeted Mills – who has also deleted his Tweet – via  “Why is this even relevant? You would think we should work on building up these young players rather than tear them down before they even start their careers.”

Boutte had been dealing with injuries and various other issues in college, which is what allowed his stock to drop to the point where he was available when the Patriots selected him with the 187th overall pick back in April.

Still, he remains among several players who many hope could emerge in a group that could certainly use an explosive receiver to round out their depth chart.

Hopefully what transpired is just a bump in the road for the former LSU standout as he begins his NFL career here in New England.

Kyed Lands with the Herald

One last bit, congratulations to Doug Kyed, who will now be joining the Patriots beat with the Boston Herald.

Kyed, who started back in 2012 with NESN covering the team, had been working at but is now back among the local beat writers ahead of training camp.

He points out that when he was covering the club, they experienced three Super Bowl wins, and he joked that he’s hopeful he can potentially bring a little luck their way now that he’s back.

“I began work at NESN in 2012 and was covering New England’s playoff run four months later. At NESN, I covered the Patriots’ for eight seasons. That included their last three Super Bowl wins and their loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in some of the most memorable weeks of my life spent in Arizona, Houston, the Mall of America and Atlanta.”

“And after a two-year stint covering the NFL nationally, I’m delighted to be back on the beat. Perhaps I can bring more luck back to the team.”

Fingers crossed.  But either way, best wishes to Kyed and his family, as it’s good to have him back.

Posted Under: Patriots News

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