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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Articles tagged: New England Patriots

Andy Dalton’s potential landing spots include Patriots, Jaguars

Andy Dalton thumb

Andy Dalton is free to sign with any team that wants him, as the Cincinnati Bengals finally moved on from the veteran quarterback on Thursday. While the market for him may not be robust, New England and Jacksonville appear to be among the early favorites to add Dalton.

Neither the Patriots nor the Jaguars have a quarterback with a firm hold on the starting job heading into the 2020 season. Many have tabbed New England as a potential destination for Dalton since Brady left in free agency. For what it’s worth, Bill Belichick had high praise for Dalton last season.

The Patriots want Jarrett Stidham — their fourth-round draft pick a year ago — to win the starting job. They have also brought in veteran Brian Hoyer, who played for New England in the past and is familiar with the offense. That doesn’t necessarily mean there is no room for Dalton, though a potentially shortened offseason complicates things.

The Jaguars may make more sense for Dalton. While they liked what they saw from Gardner Minshew last year, many have pointed out that new Jags offensive coordinator Jay Gruden coached Dalton in the past. That might make the fit a logical one.

Dalton would likely welcome a chance to play for either team, as it would give him a chance to compete for a starting job. The 32-year-old almost certainly has different thoughts on the 2020 season than Jameis Winston. Starting jobs are difficult to find this late in the offseason, but the Patriots and Jaguars would at least give Dalton a chance to compete for one.

Report: Patriots still have no interest in Cam Newton despite rumors

Cam Newton tie

Cam Newton may soon find a new home now that the draft has come and gone, and people seem to keep linking the former NFL MVP to the New England Patriots. Is that a realistic possibility?

The Patriots did not take a quarterback in the draft, which has led to speculation that they are leaving room to sign a player with starting potential like Newton. Oddsmakers are certainly on board with that theory, as FanDuel Sportsbook suddenly shifted the odds on Newton on Sunday to make the Patriots a heavy favorite to sign him at -190. The Jacksonville Jaguars were the favorite earlier in the day at -150. Other gambling outlets agree that New England is the favorite to sign Newton, though the odds aren’t quite as convincing.

It’s unclear why the odds shifted so suddenly, but Jeff Howe of The Athletic says we should not read into it. Howe, who has covered the Patriots for years, reported a month ago that New England has no interest in signing Newton. He said that remained true as of Monday.

With the NFL offseason potentially being shortened, it would make sense for Belichick to hold a quarterback competition between Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer. Both are familiar with the Patriots’ system, and a new addition like Newton may not have enough time to get up to speed.

There have been rumblings that New England could target another veteran starter even if Newton isn’t in play, but the most likely scenario seems to be them sticking with what they have.

Brian Lewerke to sign with Patriots as undrafted free agent

New England Patriots

The New England Patriots ultimately managed to add a rookie quarterback after all once the NFL Draft concluded.

The Patriots agreed to terms with former Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke on Sunday, as confirmed by agent Mike McCartney.

Add another signal-caller to the Patriots’ quarterback room. It was a bit of a surprise that they did not draft one, as Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer were the only two on the roster. It’s not a huge surprise that they entered the undrafted free agent market looking for one.

Lewerke showed flashes of talent at Michigan State, but his college career was underwhelming. His interception total rose every year he played, culminating in 17 touchdowns and 13 picks in his final season with the Spartans. He’s a far cry from some of the quarterbacks the Patriots were linked to, but he’s not expected to even be the backup anyway.

Patriots draft Justin Rohrwasser as kicker replacement for Stephen Gostkowski

Justin Rohrwasser

The New England Patriots have drafted a kicker whom they hope will replace Stephen Gostkowski.

In the fifth round of the NFL Draft, the Patriots took Marshall kicker Justin Rohrwasser with the No. 159 selection.

Rohrwasser went 18/21 (85.7 percent) on field goals as a senior at Marshall last season and was 33/42 (78.6 percent) during his career for the Thundering Herd. He was 79/82 (96.3 percent) on extra points.

Before Marshall, Rohrwasser spent two years at Rhode Island. He went 15/20 (75 percent) on field goals and 39/41 on extra points.

The Patriots had four kickers attempt field goals last season. Gostkowski got hurt, and then they used Nick Folk, Mike Nugent, and Kai Forbath at various points. They’re hoping Rohrwasser will be able to stick at the position.

Marqise Lee agrees to one-year deal with Patriots

The New England Patriots may not know which quarterback will be starting for them next season, but they are working on re-tooling their receiving corps.

Veteran wide receiver Marqise Lee has agreed to a one-year deal with the Patriots, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.

Lee was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier this week. He missed all of 2018 after suffering a significant knee injury during the preseason, and he caught just three passes in six games last year. However, the 28-year-old was previously one of Jacksonville’s most productive receivers, and he signed a 4-year, $38 million contract with the Jags following a 56-catch season in 2017.

The Patriots had serious depth problems at wide receiver last season, which was a great source of frustration for Tom Brady. There has been talk about Julian Edelman potentially wanting out now that Rob Gronkowski is joining Brady with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the Pats are reportedly not interested in trading Edelman. Either way, Lee should be a nice addition to their offense if he can remain healthy.

Report: OJ Howard still drawing trade interest from Patriots

Could the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers end up swapping tight ends?

The Patriots are still interested in Tampa Bay tight end O.J. Howard, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.

Based on reports, the Patriots’ interest in Howard is not new. They reportedly tried to deal for him last season, but were turned down.

Howard has been something of a disappointment since the Buccaneers drafted him in the first round. Last season, he caught just one touchdown pass. The Patriots likely believe they could unlock his potential, as he’s still just 25.

The Buccaneers may have other ideas. According to one report, they are in no rush to move Howard, and have plans for him even after adding Rob Gronkowski.

Report: Patriots could trade up if Tua Tagovailoa falls in draft

Tua Tagovailoa

The Tua Tagovailoa storyline is quickly becoming one of the biggest in the NFL Draft, and it could get even bigger if one scenario plays out as one well-connected individual thinks it might.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. believes the New England Patriots will be tempted to trade up if Tagovailoa begins falling into the teens during the draft.

“You hear people in the league saying he could fall and everybody is doing their due diligence, including the Patriots,” Kiper told WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria,” via Ryan Hannable of WEEI. “You can rest assured, if he gets into the middle of the first round and you’re sitting there at No. 23, wouldn’t you jump up and maybe get him? You know the connection with Bill Belichick and Nick Saban. And I know how Nick feels about Tua.”

Kiper added that, for all of the concerns about Tagovailoa’s health, quarterbacks don’t get hurt frequently in the NFL, and said that may make it worth the risk to a team like the Patriots.

“This guy has had significant injuries, so to me, if he starts slipping a little bit, sliding down, where it happened with Aaron Rodgers not that long ago, and he was projected to be No. 1 two weeks before that draft and he went in the 20s, yes, if it did happen, I would think New England would be aggressive to try and go up and get him,” Kiper said.

True as it may be that quarterback injuries aren’t exceptionally common, there are heightened concerns about Tagovailoa after he underwent hip surgery. Couple that with the fact that team doctors can’t get a one-on-one look at him and you have a scenario where some teams aren’t even willing to consider the Alabama quarterback. For the Patriots, it could prove to be a calculated risk worth taking if he falls toward them on Thursday.