Some news and notes on this Monday:
Judon “Happy” With Contract Outcome
Through the first week of training camp, Matthew Judon has seemingly been limited during team activities despite no visual sign of injury.
Both Judon and head coach Bill Belichick were a little elusive as to what the reasoning behind that was, with some reports indicating that it may have had to potentially do with his contract as there were rumors that the veteran had possibly wanted a bump in pay.
Fortunately, it appears whatever gap there may have been has been filled. Judon reportedly agreed to a new deal on Friday that increases his guaranteed salary to $14 million, with bonuses that could potentially push it up to $18 million for the 2023 season.
Judon told reporters on Sunday that he’s happy the two sides got something done, and he’s focused on continuing to prepare for the upcoming season.
“Me and the guys upstairs got something done, as far as my contract. You guys all know, it’s reported, and I’m happy, they’re happy. We shook hands, and now we’re playing football.”
He went on to add that he’s appreciative of the team stepping up and taking care of him, noting they could have easily just forced him into honoring his contract.
“Honestly, they didn’t have to if we’re being quite frank,” added Judon. “They didn’t have to. They didn’t have to budge. They could have said, ‘You signed this and this is what you’re going to do.’ But they helped me out, so I can help the team out.”
Jack Jones’ future still in limbo
Second-year New England Patriots defensive back Jack Jones spoke to the media over the weekend for the first time since his arrest at Logan Airport, and he acknowledged that his future is out of his hands.
The former Arizona State standout made the statement from a football standpoint, speaking to reporters for the first time since his arrest. When asked whether or not he expects to be part of the Patriots season, Jones replied, “that’s up to Coach [Bill Belichick], I just do what I’m supposed to do on the field,” adding that “availability is the best ability.”
Neither of those two statements may have anything to do with his football team, as Jones is facing two counts related to the guns that reports have said he inadvertently tried to bring through security. Should either of the charges stick, he could be facing potential jail time if he’s convicted.
Couple those things along with the incident that happened last Thursday, and it’s been a difficult few months for the embattled defensive back. Thursday’s debacle saw Jones exchange words with cornerbacks coach Mike Pellegrino after Jones and Kendrick Bourne battled out one play during a drill that ended up getting heated.
Initial reports said that Jones was kicked out of practice, but it appears he instead simply got upset and walked off the field and back to the locker room.
Cooler heads eventually prevailed, as Jones did return to the practice field later on but he spent the rest of the session on the sideline down on one knee as a spectator. Director of player personnel Matt Groh was also seen speaking to him and it sounds like he patched things up with Pellegrino as well.
“We had a conversation and that conversation is personal,” Pellegrino said via Mike Reiss of ESPN about whatever the conversation between the two entailed. “We’re moving on to [the next practice to] watch him grow each day forward.”
For now, things appear to be back to normal with Jones with his team. Now the next question will be whether or not he’ll get to continue being a part of things depending on what happens 11 days from now when he’s back in court on August 18th.
White is quietly having a good camp. (PHOTO: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports)
White Coming Along
Rookie Keion White has made some noise as of late, with the rookie out of Georgia Tech continuing to grow in New England’s defense.
White was disruptive again on Sunday, forcing a hurry in one drill, which continues what’s been a pretty productive stretch for a player who could end up being a big factor this season.
The 6’5″ standout and former Yellow Jacket was explosive in his senior season, finishing with 14 tackles for a loss along with 7.5 sacks.
The film that was available following his selection displayed a player who was explosive, with White frequently bowling over offensive linemen during his collegiate career.
So far, based on the flashes he’s shown, the Patriots seem to quietly have a player who could join Judon and Josh Uche as a potential problem for opposing offenses.
It’s still early, but he’ll definitely be someone to keep an eye on in these coming weeks, especially should he see any significant opportunities during these next three exhibition games.
Patriots Out on Cook Pursuit?
There’s been plenty of discussion about New England’s potential interest in Dalvin Cook, with Director of Player Personnel Matt Groh even praising Cook this preseason.
However, anyone hoping for Cook to be in the mix may end up being disappointed.
According to the Athletic’s Jeff Howe, the Patriots don’t appear to be in pursuit of the free agent at this point.
Howe writes that after the Jets had been showing interest, “there haven’t been any recent developments on that” noting that while New England was also interested, Howe has been told that the Patriots are “almost certainly not going in that direction,” citing a league source.
Howe does report that the Patriots do still have an interest in Ezekiel Elliot, who visited Foxboro recently.
Meanwhile, Howe also wrote that the Patriots were reportedly in the mix to potentially bring back Stephon Gilmore in a trade before Dallas ended up bringing him in.
Gilmore was part of a Super Bowl winning team in New England, with Gilmore playing a key role during the club’s 2018 Championship Season.
Thornton Back in the Mix
Second-year wideout Tyquan Thornton was a little more active on Sunday, with both Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe each looking his way on several occasions during the session.
According to reports, Thornton looked more involved but the timing was off between he and the two quarterbacks. The former Baylor wideout, who was highly-touted and also drew interest from teams like Pittsburgh during last year’s draft, still wasn’t quite on the same page with both guys as he battled it out against Myles Bryant and other defensive backs on Sunday.
It’s been a tough camp for Thornton, who has been present but limited during a fair amount of the sessions recently, which has instead seen both Demario Douglas and Kayshon Boutte each continue growing in an offense that he was supposed to be making a leap in heading into his second season.
This should be a big week for him. In addition to celebrating his birthday as he turns 23 today, he’s also busy preparing for the Patriots’ first preseason contest of 2023 against Houston on Thursday night.
Posted Under: Patriots News