PatsFans.com Menu
PatsFans.com - The Hub For New England Patriots Fans

New England Patriots > Patriots Blog

Tuesday Patriots Notebook 3/12: News and Notes

The Patriots made a flurry of moves late Monday night in free agency.

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
March 12, 2024 at 11:36 am ET

Tuesday Patriots Notebook 3/12: News and Notes(PHOTO: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)

🕑 Read Time: 6 minutes

Some news and notes for this morning:

Patriots Get Their Veteran QB

While there wasn’t much news to report for most of Monday when it came to the Patriots, a lot of the work behind the scenes came to light later in the evening when news started to emerge of guys they eventually finalized deals with.

One of those first key dominoes that fell was the addition of veteran free agent QB Jacoby Brissett, who reunited with offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt here in New England.

Brissett agreed to terms on a one-year deal worth a reported $8 million, and provides a much-needed veteran presence in the locker room.  He also now at least gives the Patriots a viable name to pitch to potential free agents in terms of who they’ll possibly have under center this season.

Obviously, the plan will hopefully be to see them draft a quarterback next month, but Brissett’s addition gives them a tangible option, rather than the club trying to lure skill players based on Bailey Zappe and Nathan Rourke and essentially “a player to be named later.”

For guys who thrive on incentives and the opportunity to possibly earn additional money in the postseason, that likely wouldn’t be enough of a draw, as many of those names tend to look for more competitive situations.

Meanwhile, Brissett’s a well-respected player, and he’s put together a solid career after the Patriots selected him in the third round back in 2016 with the 91st overall selection.  He spent last season with the Commanders and appeared in two games late in the season, finishing 18-of-23 for 224 yards and three touchdowns, including a 10-of-13 100-yard 1-touchdown performance on the road against the Jets on Christmas Eve.

Clearly, the Patriots were transparent in their plans with Brissett moving forward, which likely explains why he’s only here for one season.

Still, it’s an opportunity to take the lead and be the guy who will set the example for whoever they ultimately select next month.

More importantly, it at least puts the Patriots in a slightly better position to attract talent, which made it an important move that was nice to see come to fruition on Monday.

(PHOTO: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)

Club Also Retains Onwenu

Another key move on Monday was the fact they were able to extend offensive lineman Mike Onwenu, which was also an important transaction.

Onwenu reportedly agreed to a 3-year deal that was worth $57 million including $38 million guaranteed, along with a $22.5 million signing bonus.

The numbers coming out on Monday when it came to offensive linemen were astronomical, and the Patriots were fortunately able to get Onwenu under contract below some of those totals.

The most notable one was the deal for Dolphins free agent lineman Robert Hunt, who received a 5-year deal worth $100 million, including $63 million guaranteed.  Some thought that might be the benchmark for Onwenu’s deal, but it was instead the Rams signing of Jonah Jackson that was more comparable.

Jackson agreed to a 3-year, $51 million deal with $34 million guaranteed, and New England ended up agreeing to terms on a deal with Onwenu that came in slightly above that.

As a result, the Patriots were able to lock him up through 2026, which at least eliminates one key question they were potentially dealing with heading into the offseason.

It also maintains some continuity up front, although the club will likely continue exploring options at both tackle positions.  The Patriots recently added Steelers tackle Chukwuma Okorafor, but one would think they’ll also inject some youth at the position in the upcoming draft.

Sione Takitaki

(PHOTO: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)

Takitaki an Interesting Addition

The addition of Browns free agent linebacker Sione Takitaki is a fairly notable one, especially considering the type of athlete he is.

Eliot Wolf talked this offseason about wanting to try and get faster and more explosive on defense, and those are boxes Takitaki certainly checks.

He’s a player that both Wolf an Alonzo Highsmith were high on after taking him in the 2019 draft out in Cleveland, and he’s certainly produced on the field.  He has 269 tackles including 4 sacks and 2 interceptions along with 4 passes defended during his five seasons in Cleveland.

He did suffer a setback after sustaining a torn ACL back in Week 13 of his 2022 campaign, but it clearly didn’t hamper him last season.  In fact, he’s currently coming off of his most productive year as a pro, with Takitaki finishing 2023 with 45 solo tackles, 2 sacks, an interception, and three passes defended.

“Really physical, exciting player,” said Wolf in his press conference with Highsmith after the Browns selected Takitaki.  “Plays super hard every play.  Can run, can cover, can blitz.  Played defensive end last year, so he has some pass rush to him.  We’re really excited and fortunate to get him here with this pick.”

“This is a physical, physical football player.  I mean, he plays with violence and we felt like that was something that kind of separated him from some of the other linebackers in his class.  So we feel really good about the value here and his ability to contribute to the team.”

It was interesting to hear Wolf talk about Sione’s rise in college, and it sounds like he matured quite a bit ahead of his arrival into the NFL.  He also possesses a lot of the traits that Wolf talked about during his first press conference last month when he talked about building the culture here in New England.

“The thing that’s exciting about Sione is he really turned his life around,” said Wolf after Takitaki’s selection.  “This is a kid who came in immature, probably wasn’t ready, he’s from California, went to Utah, probably wasn’t ready to be away from home.  And the cool thing about this guy is he is a success story at BYU.”

“You talk to anyone there, they kind of didn’t think he was going to make it after his first year or so, and he completely turned his life around.  [He] became a team captain this year, he was just that guy in the program.  You go out to practice, everyone’s looking to him.  He’s a ball of energy, and he’s a real leader and culture-changer.”

That sort of gives you some insight into how Eliot views certain players, and Takitaki clearly went on to be productive in the Browns’ defense.  .

Now they’re reunited here in New England.

Free Agency So Far:

Coming off of Monday’s moves, here’s where the Patriots sit so far this offseason heading into Tuesday:

Additions:

QB Jacoby Brissett – Agreed to 1-year deal
OT Chukwuma Okorafor – Agreed to 1-year deal
RB Antonio Gibson – Agreed to 3-year deal
LB Sione Takitaki – Agreed to 2-year deal

Staying:

OL Mike Onwenu – Agreed to 3-year Deal
WR Kendrick Bourne – Agreed to 3-year deal
WR Jalen Reagor – Agreed to 1-year deal
OT Tyrone Wheatley Jr. – Received Exclusive Rights Tender
DB Alex Austin – Received Exclusive Rights Tender
TE Hunter Henry – Agreed to 3-year deal
S – Kyle Dugger – Given Transition Tag
QB Nathan Rourke – Received Exclusive Rights Tender

Departures:

LB Mack Wilson Sr. – Agreed to terms with Arizona
WR DeVante Parker – Patriots Informed Him They’re Moving On
LB Chris Board – Expected to be Released
TE Mike Gesicki – Agreed to 1-year Deal with Bengals

We’ll have a separate page later today tracking these moves, but the above is where they’re at as of Tuesday morning.

Also be sure to check out our new ‘QuickSnaps Patriots Player News‘ page, which will also be a place where we follow news of each player – and other rumors – moving forward.

Odds and Ends:

The Boston Globe’s Christopher Price reports that the Patriots have not had conversations with running back Zeke Elliott about bringing him back for 2024.  The signing of running back Antonio Gibson gives New England a versatile back that will ease the impact of not being able to keep Elliott.  Still, Elliott ended up being a solid addition last season, especially after Rhamondre Stevenson got hurt, so it would be great if they could keep him around. … After moving on to Arizona, linebacker Mack Wilson Sr. posted a thank you to Patriots fans, saying, “To all of NE I just want to say THANK YOU for embracing me over the last 2 years, I’m forever grateful.”  The two sides were reportedly in discussions on an extension and the Patriots reportedly had a deal on the table, but it apparently wasn’t enough to keep him here. … Jim Nagy reports that the Patriots are among teams present at Oklahoma’s Pro Day, with offensive linemen prospects Andrew Rahm and Tyler Guyton expected to take part. … Adam Schefter reported on Tuesday that the Bengals reached an agreement with tight end Mike Gesicki, who agreed to a 1-year deal worth up to $3.25 million. … Mike Reiss reports that the Patriots are expected to have multiple staff members at Oregon’s Pro Day, with the club on hand to get an up close look at quarterback Bo Nix.

READ NEXT:
Brissett’s Return Provides Patriots QB Room with Veteran Leadership

About Ian Logue

Ian Logue is a Seacoast native and owner and senior writer for PatsFans.com, an independent media site covering the New England Patriots and has been running this site in one form or another since 1997.


Tags: Antonio Gibson Eliot Wolf Ezekiel Elliott Jacoby Brissett Mack Wilson Sr. Mike Onwenu Sione Takitaki

  • Subscribe
    Notify of
    guest

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    0 Comments
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments

  • More Patriots News Headlines:

    Thursday Patriots Notebook 4/11: News and Notes

    Thursday Patriots Notebook 4/11: News and Notes

    By: Ian Logue
    It's well known that the Patriots have a clear need at wide receiver, with Georgia's Ladd McConkey among players who certainly impressed during the school's…
    1 day ago
    MORSE: Patriots Mock Draft #5 and Thoughts About Dugger Signing

    MORSE: Patriots Mock Draft #5 and Thoughts About Dugger Signing

    By: Mark Morse
    Signing Kyle Dugger to a long-term contract is a step in the right direction.  Dugger received the transition tag, which limited his free agency offers. 
    1 day ago
    Matthew Slater Set For New Role With Patriots

    Matthew Slater Set For New Role With Patriots

    By: Ian Logue
    Matthew Slater may be done playing football, but it appears he’ll still have a presence with the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
    2 days ago
    Wednesday Patriots Notebook 4/10: News and Notes

    Wednesday Patriots Notebook 4/10: News and Notes

    By: Ian Logue
    After spending some time helping out in Washington, Bill Belichick spent time as a guest speaker at a coaches clinic in Nebraska, which is where…
    2 days ago
    Patriots Draft Rumors: Teams Facing ‘Historic’ Price For Club to Trade Down

    Patriots Draft Rumors: Teams Facing ‘Historic’ Price For Club to Trade Down

    By: Ian Logue
    Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston continues beating the drum that if another team wants to move up to #3 overall and make a trade…
    3 days ago

    Share via
    Copy link
    Powered by Social Snap
    Search For Links: - CLOSE
    For searches with multiple players
    add commas (Ex: "Bill Belichick, Devin McCourty")