Player News - Patriots

Date: Team: Pos:

ESPN's Mike Reiss believes the Patriots could be interested in bringing back free agent Michael Floyd, but only at the right price.

Reiss believes the Patriots value Floyd's "physical presence," though his questionable chemistry with Tom Brady raised red flags. Floyd didn't grasp New England's offense as quickly as the team hoped, which led to him being a healthy scratch for the last two playoff games. It probably won't cost much to keep Floyd, which could work to the Patriots' advantage. But if Floyd's price rises, it's doubtful New England would get in a bidding war. Floyd is currently serving a 120-day jail sentence following his second DUI.
Source: ESPN.com
Feb 26 - 8:52 AM

Free agent Alan Branch could be open to a team-friendly deal with the Patriots.

"If it’s smart to stay on the team that I’ve been productive on and the money is not too much different, then who knows," Branch said. Branch set a career high in tackles (49) last year and was a top-10 run stopper at PFF. Re-signing with New England could be his best option entering his age-32 season. The Patriots have 23-year-olds Malcom Brown and Vincent Valentine behind Branch.
Source: NESN
Feb 25 - 7:16 PM

The Oakland Press considers the Lions a landing spot for free agent Alan Branch.

Branch doesn’t have ties to Detroit, but did go to college at Michigan. He would be an upgrade next to Haloti Ngata on a defense that struggled to stop the run. Branch shouldn't have a huge market despite anchoring the Patriots’ line the last two seasons. He's 32 years old and made just $2.75M in 2016.
Feb 24 - 8:06 PM

Rob Gronkowski (back) said he will "for sure" be ready to play Week 1.

"Uh, yes," Gronkowski said when asked if he'll be ready to go for the season opener. "No doubt." Gronkowski is coming off his third known back surgery after he required 2009 and 2013 operations to repair herniated disks. As for his playing future, Gronk said he's not yet even thinking about retirement. Still just 28 (in May), Gronkowski's body has been through a lot in such a short period of time, but he keeps coming back better than ever. He averaged a monstrous 21.6 yards per catch on 25 grabs in 2016. Gronkowski is still the TE1 in fantasy.
Source: ESPN.com
Feb 24 - 12:18 PM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport suggests the Patriots could transition tag free agent ILB Dont'a Hightower.

The Patriots want to keep Hightower but haven't had any talks since the end of the season. There's some concern over giving him a multi-year deal after durability concerns surfaced in 2016. Transition tagging would be cheaper than franchising Hightower but only guarantees New England the ability to match any offer. Hightower is reportedly targeting more than $10 million annually.
Feb 22 - 5:31 PM

CSN New England's Tom Curran reports the Patriots will have to be "bowled over" and have their "doors blown off" to trade Jimmy Garoppolo.

And Curran expects that to happen. Reports from national media have been all over the place, with some reporting they don't expect Garoppolo to be dealt and others saying he's only worth a second-round pick. Curran intimates he expects the Patriots to be offered a first-round pick and possibly more. Garoppolo's trade stock will never be higher. Expect New England to cash in on it. The Bears and Browns have been tied most to Garoppolo in recent weeks.
Feb 22 - 9:24 AM

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, it will be "hard" for the Patriots to re-sign impending free agent Martellus Bennett.

Per Rapsheet, the Patriots and Bennett have a "mutually respectful relationship," but that may not be enough to keep him in Foxboro. Bennett is in line for a big payday after leading New England with seven touchdown catches in 2016. ESPN's Mike Reiss previously reported the Patriots won't get in a bidding war for Bennett, which means he's likely headed elsewhere. With Rob Gronkowski coming off yet another surgery, the Pats are sure to address tight end in the draft.
Feb 21 - 7:30 PM

ESPN's Michael Rothstein expects the Lions to add a running back this offseason.

Zach Zenner was stellar down the stretch and both Ameer Abdullah (foot) and Theo Riddick (wrist) will return well before training camp, but Rothstein expects the Lions to add someone to one of the worst rushing attacks in the league. If they do, a low-cost power back in the mold of free agent LeGarrette Blount would make sense. Oklahoma RB Samaje Perine could be an option in the draft.
Source: ESPN
Feb 21 - 9:47 AM

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


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