Player News - Patriots

Date: Team: Pos:

ESPN's Jeff Darlington reports Rob Gronkowski has been thinking about retirement for "quite some time."

Darlington went on to say it isn't just a reaction to the Super Bowl loss or Gronk's recent concussion and that he's been considering it "long before both instances." It still seems likely that Gronk will return for the 2018 season, but as more reports continue to emerge, it wouldn't be surprising to see him retire.
Source: Boston.com
Feb 17 - 1:21 PM

Patriots FS Devin McCourty had shoulder surgery this offseason.

This sounds like a clean-up procedure that shouldn't impact his status for OTAs. McCourty didn't miss any time last year, playing 97 percent of snaps. He'll return at a $7.5 million salary in 2018.
Feb 14 - 7:16 PM

The Boston Globe considers the Lions a potential landing spot for free agent Dion Lewis.

Lewis is coming off career highs in 2017 but the Patriots are expected to let him test the open market. Detroit is an obvious fit given their New England connections and need for a running back, though Lewis has never had more than a committee role. Lewis is reportedly targeting $5-plus million annually.
Feb 14 - 4:25 PM

ESPN's Mike Reiss thinks it could be a "challenge" for LB David Harris to stick on the Patriots' roster.

Harris is owed just $2.25 million in salary and bonuses, but he only played 181 snaps last season, was inactive throughout the playoffs, and offers nothing on special teams. He will likely be looking for a new team.
Source: ESPN
Feb 12 - 9:31 AM

Patriots DT Alan Branch is owed a $1 million roster bonus on the first day of the 2018 league year.

If the Patriots pick up his option, Branch will be owed $1.7 million with another $850,000 available in incentives and bonuses. It is a lot of money for a player who fell out of favor late in the season. The Patriots will likely move on.
Source: ESPN
Feb 12 - 9:23 AM

ESPN's Mike Reiss believes TE Dwayne Allen will "be challenged to return" to the Patriots at his current salary.

Allen is scheduled to make $5 million in salary and bonuses in 2018, all of which the Patriots can save against the cap by cutting him. Allen was effective as a blocker his first season in New England, but he showed nothing in the passing game, catching just 10 passes for 86 yards and struggling to make anything happen even when Rob Gronkowski was sidelined. The Patriots can probably find a cheaper blocking specialist.
Source: ESPN
Feb 12 - 9:20 AM

Free agent LT Nate Solder says he wants to continue playing.

Solder is considering retirement but the early signs suggest he'll return. The Patriots want him back but may have trouble signing him after he settled for a team-friendly deal in 2015. The Boston Herald expects Solder to command $12 million annually.
Feb 10 - 4:02 PM

Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower (chest) is expected to be cleared for training camp.

Hightower missed the final nine weeks and the entire postseason after landing on IR in November. He may not participate in OTAs, but his camp status isn't in doubt. Hightower is entering the second season of a four-year, $35.5 million contract.
Feb 10 - 3:46 PM

Patriots DE Derek Rivers (knee) is expected to be ready for training camp.

Rivers missed his entire rookie year to ACL surgery. He was having a strong camp before going down and should compete for one of the defensive ends spots. A four-year starter at Youngstown State, Rivers has potential for a post-hype breakout.
Feb 10 - 3:35 PM

Patriots TE Martellus Bennett is a candidate for release.

Bennett's shoulder issues limited him to just two games after coming over from the Packers last year. He's owed a $2 million roster bonus in March, so the Patriots may ask him to take a pay cut if he doesn't retire. New England can save $6.2 million from releasing Bennett.
Feb 10 - 3:22 PM

The Boston Herald reports the Patriots could extend Brandin Cooks this offseason.

Cooks is due a $8.5 million option that the Patriots want to reduce with an extension. That could be difficult in a contract year, but Cooks is open to staying in New England. Cooks may be a candidate for the franchise tag if he plays 2018 without a new deal.
Feb 10 - 3:05 PM

Julian Edelman (knee) is expected to be ready for training camp.

Edelman is five months removed from September ACL surgery. He'll sit out OTAs and likely be limited early in training camp, but the Patriots are counting on him to be fully healthy for Week 1. Signed through 2019, Edelman should return as one of Tom Brady's top targets.
Feb 10 - 2:41 PM

Boston Herald's Jeff Howe reports the "early vibe" is Dion Lewis won't be on the Patriots in 2018.

Lewis is reportedly looking for a deal somewhere in the range of $15-18 million over the course of three years with $10 million guaranteed. The Patriots seem to draw the line for paying running backs at around $3 million annually, making Lewis an unlikely candidate to return. With Le'Veon Bell expected to remain with the Steelers, Lewis may be the best running back available in free-agency.
Feb 10 - 1:34 PM

According to ESPN Patriots reporter Mike Reiss, OC Josh McDaniels was given "no assurances" that he would succeed Bill Belichick as New England's next head coach.

Most assumed that McDaniels' primary reason for leaving the Colts at the altar was that he had been tapped as Belichick's eventual successor, but apparently that's not the case. In fact, McDaniels has said privately that he'd prefer not to succeed Belichick in New England, feeling that it would be a "hard act to follow." It appears McDaniels was hesitant to move his family, including his four children, to Indianapolis, and was persuaded to stay in his current position after getting a "significant raise." Belichick, who acts as the Patriots' de facto GM in addition to his head-coaching duties, also promised to give McDaniels a voice in roster construction and salary cap decisions. It will be hard for McDaniels to get another head-coaching job outside of New England after flaking on the Colts.
Source: ESPN.com
Feb 9 - 1:29 PM

MMQB's Albert Breer believes "Rob Gronkowski’s rumblings about retirement are real."

According to Breer, Gronk has "been responsible with his finances," so walking away early is not as big of a financial concern as it might be for other players. Gronk is also a veritable star who reportedly is looking into an acting career once his playing days are finished. We still think it is likely Gronkowski returns in 2018, but considering the beating he takes each season and the options available to him, it is not surprising he is at least thinking about walking away.
Source: MMQB
Feb 8 - 12:23 PM


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