Player News - Patriots

Date: Team: Pos:

Patriots owner Bob Kraft said Monday at the NFL Owners Meetings that Tom Brady believes he can continue playing into his mid to late 40s.

Brady turns 40 this August. "As recently as two to three days ago, (Brady) assured me he’s willing to play six, seven more years," were Kraft's exact words. Kraft added that he's hopeful Bill Belichick will "coach into his 80s." A lot of this feels hyperbolic and will likely prove to be, but Brady's current physical fitness and always-evolving game make the notion of him playing until age 45 seem conceivable as things stand today.
Mar 27 - 4:40 PM

Patriots owner Bob Kraft compared Brandin Cooks' potential impact to Randy Moss' in New England.

This isn't terribly meaningful coming from an owner, but it's probably something Kraft has heard from the coaching staff. "Since I've owned the team," said Kraft, "the only player that could make an impact like that at wide receiver was Randy Moss." The 2007 Patriots were the greatest offense of all time with Moss on the perimeter and Wes Welker working the slot. Cooks will likely take over as New England's top outside threat with Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski dominating the middle of the field.
Mar 27 - 4:01 PM

Patriots owner Bob Kraft said at the NFL Owners Meetings that New England's "intention isn't to trade" LCB Malcolm Butler.

At the same time, Kraft made no statement regarding a long-term commitment to Butler. Butler is on the last year of his rookie contract and is scheduled to make less than $4 million despite Pro Bowl-level on-field performance the past two years. The Patriots essentially chose Stephon Gilmore over Butler. It appears they are now hoping Butler will swallow his pride and play on his one-year, $3.91 million restricted free agent tender. A trade to New Orleans still can't be ruled out.
Mar 27 - 3:47 PM

A source told ESPN Cleveland's Tony Grossi that the Browns "would make another run" at trading for Jimmy Garoppolo at this week's Owners Meetings.

Convening in Phoenix for a few days of meetings, top decision makers Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick of the Patriots and Jimmy Haslam and Sashi Brown of the Browns will be in the same building, making for easier conversations. There have been several reports of the Patriots being adamant they won't trade Garoppolo, but the Browns are going to try their best. Grossi believes either Garoppolo or Cody Kessler will be the Week 1 starter. Brock Osweiler isn't viewed as having a realistic shot.
Source: ESPN.com
Mar 27 - 9:36 AM

CSN New England's Mike Giardi reports the "parameters of [a] deal" between restricted free agent Malcolm Butler and the Saints are "mostly in place."

Giardi adds the two sides are still "quibbling" over guaranteed money, but it sounds like the Saints and Butler will be able to work out a deal. The problem is Ian Rapoport reports the Patriots will not discuss a potential trade until Butler signs his first-round tender, and the Saints are not going to sign him to an offer sheet which would cost them the No. 11 overall pick. While it remains likely Butler ends up in New Orleans, there are still several hurdles to clear.
Mar 20 - 9:15 PM

The Cleveland Plain Dealer considers the Browns unlikely to trade the No. 1 overall pick for Jimmy Garoppolo.

We would certainly hope so. A "league source" speculates New England is still seeking at least two first-rounders. Even with their nearly unprecedented draft resources, we're guessing the Browns would pass on that, as well. Garoppolo is a former second-rounder who simply hasn't put enough on film to command that kind of draft haul. He's also no spring chicken, turning 26 in November.
Mar 20 - 2:53 PM

According to ESPN's Mike Reiss, "the door is still open" for Danny Amendola in New England.

There's one caveat, though: Amendola would have to take a pay cut and role reduction for the third year in a row. In New England, Amendola would be competing with Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman, Malcolm Mitchell, Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan, and Dwayne Allen for targets. Catching passes from Tom Brady is always a plus, but Amendola's target share would be greater elsewhere.
Source: ESPN.com
Mar 19 - 8:27 AM

According to MMQB's Albert Breer, the Jets pulled their offer to Dont'a Hightower due to concerns over his physical.

Per ESPN's Rich Cimini, the Jets offered Hightower five years at $55 million with a max value of $62.5 million. The annual salary is similar to what the Patriots gave him, but the Jets offered one more year. Despite injury concerns, the 27-year-old has emerged as one of the most complete linebackers in football.
Mar 17 - 11:32 AM

Profootballtalk reports there's a "persistent belief within league circles" that the Patriots "truly" want to keep Jimmy Garoppolo.

The idea being, despite Tom Brady's continued elite play, he turns 40 in August, and could have his Peyton Manning decline at any given moment. It's a valid concern for the Patriots, but by keeping Garoppolo for 2017, they would be forced to give him the franchise tag if they wanted him for 2018. That would be untenable if Brady remains under contract, as he's insisted he will.
Mar 16 - 6:08 PM

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports the Saints and Patriots restricted free agent CB Malcolm Butler have mutual interest in working out a trade and extension following Thursday's visit.

Per Rapsheet, the visit "went well." CSN New England reported two days ago that Butler had "warmed up" to the idea of playing in New Orleans. If the sides can agree to the parameters of a long-term deal, the Pats and Saints should be able to work out trade compensation.
Mar 16 - 4:39 PM

Patriots re-signed ILB Dont'a Hightower to a four-year, $43.5 million contract with $19 million guaranteed.

The Jets' birthday cupcakes to Hightower weren't enough to convince him to sign with their AFC-worst franchise, while the Steelers never seemed to be a serious contender. All roads led back to Foxboro. Hightower's market didn't develop like he hoped, and the Patriots were able to keep their 27-year-old inside thumper after trading away ILB Jamie Collins to the Browns last season. Hightower was Pro Football Focus' No. 5 inside linebacker out of 59 qualifiers in 2016, receiving plus marks across the board for his pass rush, coverage, and run defense. Everything seems to be going right for the Patriots this offseason.
Mar 15 - 1:35 PM

NFL Network's Mike Silver reports the Jets are "out" on free agent ILB Dont'a Hightower.

Silver says the Jets pulled out of the mix once Hightower left their facility. It's also what the Steelers have threatened with Hightower, who visited them on Tuesday. Expected to make a decision on Wednesday, the Patriots may be the only club left in the mix for Hightower. He's said to be seeking $12 million per year, but it doesn't sound like he's going to get it.
Mar 15 - 1:04 PM

Rex Burkhead's one-year, $3.15 million deal makes him the highest-paid Patriots running back since Fred Taylor in 2010.

The Patriots haven't paid a running back $2-plus million in over a half-decade. Some Patriots fans apparently assumed Burkhead would be a special teams-only replacement for Brandon Bolden. According to ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss, Burkhead is "viewed as a key cog, both offensively and on special teams" by the Patriots, while the Providence Journal's Mark Daniels believes Burkhead "is coming to the Patriots with a chance to be their starting running back."
Mar 15 - 11:43 AM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports free agent ILB Dont'a Hightower is expected to decide between the Patriots, Jets, and Steelers on Wednesday.

The Jets are said to be offering the most money, but according to RapSheet, many expect Hightower to return to New England. It sounds like the Steelers are out of the picture for the most part. Pittsburgh felt like it was being used as leverage. Hightower is expected to land $10-11 million per year.
Mar 15 - 9:43 AM

According to CSN New England's Michael Giardi, restricted free agent Malcolm Butler has "very much warmed up to the idea" of playing for the Saints.

Butler is open to playing closer to home. He grew up in Vicksburg, Miss. and played his college ball at West Alabama. In addition to the default hometown Saints, the Texans have also reportedly shown interest in Butler, possibly as an A.J. Bouye replacement. Neither team is likely open to giving up their first-round pick for Butler, though it's possible the Saints could be willing to flip back the Patriots' original first-rounder (No. 32) they got for Brandin Cooks.
Mar 14 - 11:14 PM


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