Player News - Patriots

Date: Team: Pos:

Patriots selected Nebraska DL Vincent Valentine with the No. 96 overall pick of the 2016 NFL draft.

Valentine (6'4/329) left Nebraska as a redshirt junior after making 24 starts, tallying 16 career tackles for loss, seven sacks, and a forced fumble. He showed plus length and athleticism at the Combine, but managed 17 bench-press reps and needs to get stronger. Valentine struggled with conditioning in college and missed time with a high ankle sprain last year, but he's a project worth trying to develop. Long term, Valentine offers rotational nose tackle potential.
Apr 29 - 11:11 PM

Patriots selected NC State QB Jacoby Brissett with the No. 91 overall pick of the 2016 NFL draft.

Brissett (6'4/231) spent two years at NC State after transferring from Florida, completing 458-of-765 passes (59.9%) with an underwhelming 6.89 YPA and 43:11 TD-to-INT ratio. He added nine touchdowns on scrambles. Brissett has a powerful arm and played in a pro-style college offense, but he has a tendency to drop his eyes too early in the down and is a scattershot passer, especially on downfield throws. A toolsy project with a lot to learn, Brissett has an outside chance to develop into a high-end backup or useful spot starter down the road. He could act as the Patriots' backup while Tom Brady is suspended over the first four games of the season.
Apr 29 - 10:59 PM

Patriots selected North Carolina State OG Joe Thuney with the No. 78 overall pick of the 2016 NFL draft.

Thuney (6'5/304) made 33 starts for the Wolfpack, seeing action at four positions on the line. He earned second-team All-ACC as a senior, allowing zero sacks on Jacoby Brissett's blind side. Thuney followed up with a strong Combine workout, running 4.95 with a 9-foot-2 broad jump and 28 reps on the bench. Too short armed (32 1/4") for a tackle, Thuney's best chance at an NFL starting job will be at guard or center. He's a high-floor prospect who should at least settle in as a reliable swing reserve.
Apr 29 - 10:23 PM

Patriots selected Alabama CB Cyrus Jones with the No. 60 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft.

Jones (5'10/197) converted from wideout to corner and started his final 2 1/2 seasons for the Crimson Tide, piling up seven career INTs and four forced fumbles. Jones was even more impressive on punt returns, averaging 12.6 yards and bringing back four for touchdowns, setting an Alabama record. Jones tested well in Indy, running 4.49 with a 33-inch vertical and showing quickness in agility drills. On defense, Jones is a press-coverage specialist with slot experience and upside to become a lower-end No. 2 corner in the league. With Logan Ryan entering his contract year, Jones could be asked to help in sub-packages this season before being promoted next year.
Apr 29 - 9:25 PM

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Tom Brady is "far from ready" to accept the U.S. Appeals court's reinstatement of Brady's four-game suspension.

Per Schefter, Brady is "mulling options" with a "legal team," and "this is not yet over." Deflategate II appears destined to happen over the coming months, with ball-deflation arguments throughout the summer for the second straight year. It's really just what Boston sports radio needed.
Apr 25 - 4:33 PM

The U.S. Appeals court has reinstated Tom Brady's four-game suspension as a result of Deflategate in the 2014 playoffs.

The Patriots were reportedly bracing for this to happen after the NFL's appeal was heard last month. Brady will miss the Patriots' first four games against the Cardinals, Dolphins, Texans, and Bills before being able to return Week 5 against the Browns. He's still able to participate in training camp and preseason contests. Jimmy Garoppolo will slide in as the starter the first four weeks.
Apr 25 - 11:39 AM

Patriots signed LB Tony Steward, formerly of the Bills.

A sixth-round pick last year, Steward appeared in seven games before a back injury landed him on I.R. New England was the only team to show interest after his early March release. 23-year-old Steward will compete for a role on special teams.
Apr 22 - 5:06 PM

Bills released LB Tony Steward.

This is a surprising move. A sixth-round pick last year, Steward failed to make an impact as a rookie before landing on injured reserve with a back injury, but the Bills are desperately thin at linebacker. If healthy, Steward should find another home before training camp.
Apr 19 - 11:51 AM

Patriots re-signed RB Tyler Gaffney.

Gaffney's Monday release was apparently a procedural move. He'll fight for the Patriots' final running back spot this summer, but is unlikely to crack the 53-man roster.
Apr 14 - 5:15 PM

Patriots re-signed exclusive rights free agent CB Justin Coleman to a one-year, $525,000 contract.

Signed off the Seahawks' practice squad last September, Coleman eventually became the Patriots' No. 3 corner, appearing in 10 games and making a pair of starts. He recorded five pass breakups as a rookie and will be back to compete for a sub-package role behind Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan.
Apr 13 - 9:33 AM

ESPN Patriots reporter Mike Reiss writes that "it's assumed" New England won't keep Danny Amendola around at his current $5 million salary.

Amendola is currently scheduled to count $6.8 million against the cap. He took a big pay cut last offseason, dropping his salary down to $1.5 million, but Amendola outperformed that and is back in the same situation this year. New England added Chris Hogan and Martellus Bennett in the short passing game, and the belief is Amendola may have to cut his salary to around $3 million.
Source: ESPN.com
Apr 13 - 8:54 AM

Patriots re-signed RB LeGarrette Blount to a one-year, $1 million contract.

Coming off a hip injury which landed him on I.R. in December, Blount did not garner much interest in free agency. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports Blount is back to full health, however, and he should enter the offseason program as the favorite for the "big back" role in the offense. Blount turned 165 carries into 703 yards (4.26 YPC) and six scores last season.
Apr 12 - 12:05 PM

Patriots waived RB Tyler Gaffney.

Gaffney was a popular sleeper based on his athletic measurables background entering last offseason, but he was waived/injured halfway through training camp and never saw the field. Gaffney was a sixth-round pick in the 2014 draft.
Apr 11 - 5:03 PM

Patriots signed DT Markus Kuhn, formerly of the Giants.

The Pats continue to add options along their defensive line. A 2012 seventh-rounder, Kuhn survived four years on the Giants' 53-man roster, but will have to earn his Patriots spot in camp. If he makes the team, it will likely be as the Pats' last interior lineman.
Apr 7 - 4:55 PM

The Houston Chronicle reports new Patriots NT Terrance Knighton will be subject to four $75,000 weigh-ins in 2016.

Knighton's weight is a notorious issue, so the Pats have tied $300,000 in incentives to it. Knighton's deal has a modest base of $2.05 million, but another $2.5 million is available through various incentives. A motivated and fit Knighton would be a major asset in the middle of the Patriots' defensive line.
Apr 7 - 4:27 PM


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