Player News - Patriots

Date: Team: Pos:

Jimmy Garoppolo's agent, Donald Yee, represents Saints coach Sean Payton, with whom Bears GM Ryan Pace worked for ten years in New Orleans.

There are all kinds of connections to be made like this around the NFL, but Pace's connections to Garoppolo especially stand out. Payton and Pace's Saints were rumored to be infatuated with Garoppolo in the 2014 draft and allegedly considered taking him toward the end of the first round. Payton, Pace, and Garoppolo are all alums of Eastern Illinois. Per CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, "Yee knows well just how much Payton and Pace valued Garoppolo in the (2014) draft," and "putting a deal together between those two wouldn’t be difficult."
Source: CBS Sports
Feb 19 - 5:38 PM

Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal believes the Patriots will "make a run" at free agent Martellus Bennett.

Daniels believes Bennett will command "top dollar" as the best tight end available on the market. Outbidding teams in free agency has never been New England's MO, though the Patriots have over $61 million in cap space. Bennett finished third among tight ends with seven touchdowns despite playing through painful knee and ankle injuries. With Rob Gronkowski coming off his third back surgery, keeping Bennett would be a wise investment for the Patriots.
Feb 19 - 9:06 AM

Impending free agent Michael Floyd pled guilty to one count of extreme DUI Thursday in Scottsdale City Court.

The other six counts were dismissed. Floyd will serve a 120-day jail sentence, including 24 days in county jail and 96 days of home detention. He also must complete 30 hours of community service and pay a $5,115.99 fine. It's not a worst case scenario for Floyd, but it's pretty close. There was no way he was going to avoid jail time after blowing a .217. Coming off a down year, Floyd's free agent prospects aren't looking good.
Feb 17 - 2:08 PM

The Boston Herald reports the Patriots and Tom Brady have "mutual interest" in a contract extension, but that nothing is imminent.

Going on 40, Brady is already signed through 2019. His most recent extension came just last year, though it includes cap hits of $22 million in both 2018 and 2019. That, of course, is modest for a player of Brady's stature and effectiveness. Considering Brady's age and team-friendly contract, there certainly won't be a sense of urgency from the Pats to extend him. Perhaps Brady is angling for a deserved raise.
Feb 16 - 1:17 PM

The Miami Herald's Armando Salguero reports free agent Martellus Bennett is not an option for the Dolphins.

"Bennett will never play for the Dolphins as long as the current administration is running the organization," Salguero wrote confidently. It is not a secret Bennett and coach Adam Gase did not see eye to eye in Chicago, and that discord is likely what Salguero is referencing. Miami is expected to re-sign Dion Sims, but they still need to find some more help at tight end.
Feb 16 - 12:31 PM

ESPN's Ed Werder does not expect the Patriots to trade Jimmy Garoppolo.

With Tom Brady still playing like an All-Pro and the Patriots selecting Jacoby Brissett in the third round last season, it has been widely assumed New England will trade Garoppolo, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal. MMQB's Peter King wrote he does not think Garoppolo will be moved earlier this week, however, and now Werder is reporting the same information. The Patriots could just be leaking these reports to drive up the price, but it would not be surprising if New England takes another year to see where Brady is before settling for a high compensatory pick if they are forced to let Garoppolo walk.
Feb 16 - 11:36 AM

CSN New England's Phil Perry believes impending free agent Martellus Bennett could be an option for the franchise tag.

According to MMQB's Albert Breer's calculations, the franchise tag for tight ends is likely to come in around $9.84 million. That's a more than fair price for Bennett, who Perry believes would be looking at around $8 million per year on a multi-year deal. Bennett turns 30 next month and played hurt for most of the season. He'd provide insurance for Rob Gronkowski (back surgery) and keep intact the Patriots' ability to play two-tight end "12 personnel" sets.
Feb 15 - 2:02 PM

ESPN's Mike Reiss does not expect the Patriots to get into a "bidding war" for impending free agent TE Martellus Bennett.

Bennett was both an excellent complement and replacement for Rob Gronkowski during his first year in New England, but he is also certain to get overpaid as the best tight end in a weak free agent class. Perhaps his age (30 in March) and recent health will keep Bennett in the Patriots' price range, but it is reasonable to think he will be playing elsewhere in 2017.
Source: ESPN
Feb 13 - 10:47 PM

ESPN's Mike Reiss said impending free agent LB Dont'a Hightower "is the prime candidate to receive the franchise tag if the Patriots decide to use it."

New England could decide not to use the tag, but if they do, Reiss expects it to be on Hightower. CSN New England's Tom Curran expects Hightower to reach the open market after the two sides did not have any meaningful talks late in 2016, but the Patriots could decide to keep the linebacker on the relatively risk-free, one-year franchise tender. With some durability concerns, Hightower should be looking to get as much guaranteed money as possible this spring. Former teammate Jamie Collins landed $26.4 million guaranteed from the Browns earlier this offseason, which should be the baseline for Hightower.
Source: ESPN
Feb 13 - 10:41 PM

The Houston Chronicle believes the Patriots calling the Texans about Jimmy Garoppolo is an "obvious move."

The Chronicle's John McClain doesn't state Houston is a likely landing spot for Garoppolo, but does expect Bill Belichick to contact old pal Bill O'Brien. Unfortunately, owner Bob McNair indicated the Texans were unlikely suitors for veteran quarterbacks and more likely to pursue draft-eligible signal callers. In addition to the No. 25 pick, trading for Garoppolo would cost the Texans a long-term contract, something McNair doesn't seem open to after last year's Brock Osweiler disaster.
Feb 12 - 7:08 PM

According to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, restricted free agent Malcolm Butler "won't be going anywhere."

The Patriots are fully expected to place a first-round tender on Butler. That would pay him around $4 million, a significant raise from the $600,000 Butler made in 2016. Teams can still try to sign Butler, but it would cost them a first-round pick and the Patriots could match all offers. The Pats will probably look to sign Butler to a multi-year deal. Volin believes a two-year contract in the $19 million range could work for both sides.
Feb 12 - 10:39 AM

Ben Volin of the Boston Globe believes the Patriots can expect a second-round pick in return for Jimmy Garoppolo.

With Tom Brady still at the height of his powers, the Patriots will look to trade Garoppolo in his contract year. Volin notes that Matt Cassel, Kevin Kolb and Matt Schaub were traded under similar circumstances and all fetched second-round picks. The Bears, Browns and 49ers have already been linked to Garoppolo, and more teams could enter the fray. It's hard to say where Garoppolo will land, but it looks like he's played his last down as a Patriot.
Feb 12 - 9:29 AM

ESPN's Mike Reiss said it's a "certainty" the Patriots won't bring Danny Amendola back at his current $6 million salary.

Amendola had a quiet year as New England's No. 4 wideout, but came up big with eight catches for 78 yards and a touchdown in Super Bowl LI. He's taken pay cuts each of the last two seasons and will need to accept another to stay in Foxboro. Amendola has been with New England since 2013.
Source: ESPN.com
Feb 12 - 8:41 AM

Impending free agent LeGarrette Blount said he hopes to re-sign with the Patriots.

"I love being here, and they know I love being here," said Blount. "I feel great. I’m 30 years old, not a lot of wear and tear on my body. I feel like I’ll be able to play for as long as I want." Blount enjoyed a career year in 2016, rushing for 1,161 yards and a team record 18 touchdowns. He still can't catch passes and lost playing time to Dion Lewis down the stretch, but there's a good chance Blount will return to the Patriots on a team-friendly one-year deal.
Source: ESPN.com
Feb 11 - 9:45 AM

Free agent MLB Dont'a Hightower is expected to reach the open market.

Per reporter Tom Curran, there were no "extensive talks" between Hightower and the Patriots down the stretch of the 2016 season. Curran expects the Pats to sketch out the "parameters of what they will offer with the understanding Hightower will test the market." There have been indications Hightower is seeking more than $10 million per season.
Feb 9 - 3:32 PM


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