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#pounditWednesday, February 1, 2023

Articles tagged: New England Patriots

Patriots reportedly receiving interest in notable offensive player

Bill Belichick during a game

Nov 18, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick walks on the field before a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

With less than a week to go now before the NFL trade deadline buzzer, the New England Patriots’ switchboards are lighting up a bit.

Jordan Schultz of theScore reported on Tuesday that teams are calling the Patriots about the availability of wide receiver Nelson Agholor. The former first-round pick will be a free agent after this season.

Agholor, 29, has played in the NFL for eight seasons and got a Super Bowl ring with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018. But he has gotten precious few opportunities on the Patriots this year, his second in New England, with a mere 14 total receptions for 225 yards and a touchdown.

The 3-4 Patriots, who are last in the AFC East and fresh off a demoralizing loss to the Chicago Bears, may be looking to sell. Agholor is not the only ex-first-round pick on the roster who appears to be available for trade.

Bill Belichick addresses latest Patriots QB controversy questions

Bill Belichick during a game

Nov 18, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick walks on the field before a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots seemed to make it clear on Monday night that they have a full-blown quarterback controversy on their hands, but good luck getting Bill Belichick to admit that.

Mac Jones started for the Patriots in their embarrassing 33-14 loss to the Chicago Bears. New England went 3-and-out on their first two possessions before Jones threw an interception on the third. He was then replaced by Bailey Zappe, which greatly pleased Patriots fans who had been chanting the rookie’s name while Jones was on the field.

The Patriots were trailing 10-0 at the time Zappe came on. Zappe led two quick touchdown drives to put them up 14-10, but things went downhill from there. The former Western Kentucky star finished the game with two interceptions.

Belichick was asked on Tuesday morning if Jones was benched for performance or health reasons. You can probably guess how that went.

A report leading up to the game said Belichick planned to play both Jones and Zappe. That really put Jones in a no-win situation. The Patriots were coming off back-to-back blowout wins with Zappe as their starter. Fans at Gillette Stadium turned on Jones almost immediately when New England’s offense sputtered out of the gate.

Jones had a classy response to what was a difficult situation. No one really knows what Belichick will do for next Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, who have a 5-2 record and are one of the most surprising teams in the NFL this season. If Jones is fully recovered from his ankle injury and does not play, that may be a hint that his tenure in New England is going to be very short.

Bears DT trolls Patriots with ‘Deflategate’ reference after win

Justin Jones holds a ball

Oct 24, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Chicago Bears defensive tackle Justin Jones (93) recovers a fumble during the first half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears defensive tackle Justin Jones trolled the Patriots over Twitter after beating New England 33-14 on “Monday Night Football.”

Jones had two tackles and a fumble recovery in his team’s win. The Bears’ defense caused four turnovers — three interceptions and a fumble.

After the game, Jones tweeted about the team’s interceptions, and made a “Deflategate” joke.

“Post game analysis: Balls were inflated to the fullest. Result = 3 INTS,” Jones tweeted.

“Deflategate” was the scandal where the Patriots were investigated for allegedly deflating game-used footballs to suit Tom Brady’s preference, which is a violation of league rules. The Patriots disputed the allegation, which was said to have taken place in the 2014 AFC Championship Game against the Colts.

The Patriots were fined $1 million and stripped of two draft picks in 2016 as part of their penalty, while Brady was suspended four games.

Brady is long gone from New England, and the 3-4 Pats aren’t even a threat in the AFC. But Jones is proving that people still love to take shots at the six-time Super Bowl champions.

Patriots fans waste no time with Bailey Zappe chants

Bailey Zappe ready to throw

Aug 11, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe (4) looks to throw the ball against the New York Giants during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

It didn’t take New England Patriots fans long to make their displeasure with Mac Jones known.

The Patriots went 3-and-out on their first two possessions on “Monday Night Football” against the Chicago Bears in Week 7. Meanwhile, the Bears scored on their first two possessions to lead 10-0.

At points throughout the first quarter, Patriots fans could be heard chanting for Bailey Zappe.

Zappe is the team’s backup quarterback. A rookie out of Western Kentucky, he went 2-0 in his starts filling in for Jones. The team won his two starts by a combine score of 67-15, so the fans were warming up to him.

After Jones threw an interception on the team’s third possession, the fans got their wish. Jones was benched and in came Zappe, who immediately led two touchdown drives. But Zappe bombed after that, turning the ball over three times in a 33-14 loss.

Jones told reporters after the game that he was aware all along that the Pats planned to play Zappe in the game. As for the chants for Zappe to enter the game, Jones said he needs to play better to prevent the fans from wanting a switch.

Patriots starter scrubs references to team from social media

Isaiah Wynn on the sideline

Aug 19, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New England Patriots offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn (76) walks off the field against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah Wynn has not lived up to expectations since the New England Patriots drafted him in the first round back in 2018, and the offensive lineman may be sensing that his time with the team is nearing its end.

Wynn has struggled mightily in his six starts this season, particularly in pass protection. There have been rumblings that Bill Belichick could make the former Georgia star available ahead of the Nov. 1 trade deadline. Wynn may have given a sign this week that he would welcome a change of scenery when he scrubbed all references to the Patriots from his social media profiles.

Wynn did not play well in the Patriots’ 38-15 win over the Cleveland Browns last week. His poor performance would have been a lot more obvious if not for the lopsided victory. According to Pro Football Focus, Wynn was by far the worst in pass protection of any of the 10 Patriots linemen who played in the game.

When a player scrubs his social media profiles, it is almost always an indication that he is unhappy with the team about something. We saw that when one star quarterback pulled the same move during the offseason.

It is unclear how much trade value Wynn even has at this point, but it would hardly be a surprise if the Patriots part ways with him.

Reporter reveals Patriots’ plans for when Mac Jones returns

Mac Jones warms up before a game

Sep 18, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) warms up before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Bailey Zappe has played well in his two starts for the New England Patriots, which has led to speculation that the rookie could remain under center even when Mac Jones is fully recovered from his ankle injury. That apparently is not going to happen.

Jeff Howe of The Athletic reported on Thursday that Jones will be New England’s starting QB whenever he is healthy enough to play. That might be Monday night when the Patriots take on the Chicago Bears.

The Patriots have won their past two games by a combined score of 67-15. Zappe completed an impressive 76 percent of his passes for 497 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in those games. That does not mean the Patriots are going to ignore all of the offseason work they spent trying to build an offense for Jones. Though, it is possible Jones’ margin for error will be a lot smaller now because of how comfortable Zappe looked.

Jones has reportedly told teammates he expects to be cleared for Monday’s game. He has been recovering from what was described as a severe ankle sprain. Head coach Bill Belichick has yet to commit to a starter for the Bears game, which is typical for him.

A report this week claimed that Jones has been at odds with the Patriots, though the source of that information seemed highly questionable. It does not sound like there will be any drama in New England when Jones is cleared.

Report reveals Mac Jones’ status for Patriots-Bears game

Mac Jones in pads

Aug 12, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones 10) throws the ball during a game against the Washington Football Team at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Mac Jones has missed three games after he suffered an ankle injury against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3, but it sounds like the quarterback is ready to return to action. The question is whether New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will let him.

Jones has told teammates that he expects to be available when the Patriots face the Chicago Bears on “Monday Night Football,” ESPN’s Mike Reiss reports.

Belichick was asked on Wednesday about Jones’ status. As expected, he provided very little information.

“Hypotheticals and all that, I’m going to stay away from those,” the coach told reporters. “We’ll see what we are actually dealing with here as we go forward.”

Jones suffered was described as a severe ankle sprain. Rookie Bailey Zappe has started the past two games for New England after Brian Hoyer, the team’s primary backup, suffered a concussion in Week 4. The Patriots went 2-0 in Zappe’s two starts and outscored their opponents 67-15. Zappe completed an impressive 76 percent of his passes for 497 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in those games.

A report this week claimed that Jones has been at odds with the Patriots, though the source of that information seemed highly questionable. If Jones is medically cleared to play and Belichick still goes with Zappe, that could potentially create some tension in New England.

Journalist Ben Volin busted for using phony source in Mac Jones report?

Mac Jones looks on

Nov 18, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) during a timeout against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots reporter Ben Volin shared some interesting information on Wednesday about Mac Jones’ supposed frustration with the team, but he was a bit vague about the source. Is that because the veteran journalist was duped by a random person on social media?

Volin was a guest on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” when he shared a scoop that he knew would generate headlines. He said he has been told by “someone who would know” that Jones has an “attitude problem” and that issues exist between the Patriots and their former first-round pick. Volin revealed that he got the information from someone who sent him a direct message.

“Someone reached out in my DMs and said, ‘Mac, yeah, his attitude problem is obvious in the building and everyone knows it,’” the reporter said. “Take that for what it’s worth.”

Volin said the information was not shared by someone who covers the Patriots. He also said he would not classify it as a report, but he seemed fairly confident in the source. You can hear more of his comments here.

It sounds like Volin may have been taken for a ride. Shortly after he made the comments on the air, Barstool Sports published a story explaining how one of their followers claims to have tricked Volin. This person told Barstool that he sent Volin a direct message on Wednesday morning with a completely fabricated story about Jones. He shared what he says is a screenshot of the exchange. It appears to match up with what Volin told WEEI.

Did Volin take information from a totally unverified source and share it on the air? It seems quite possible.

Volin may have already heard that Jones is frustrated with the Patriots. Jones is recovering from an ankle injury, and rookie Bailey Zappe has played well in his place. There has been talk that Zappe could supplant Jones even when Jones is fully recovered. Bill Belichick did not exactly deny that, so perhaps Jones feels his coach is putting him in a bad spot.

The alleged direct message probably is not the first piece of information Volin received indicating there is animosity between Jones and the Patriots. It does, however, sound like the one he referenced during his radio interview.

Patriots reporter indicates there is turmoil between Mac Jones, team

Mac Jones warms up before a game

Sep 18, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) warms up before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Bailey Zappe has played well in his two starts with the New England Patriots this season, which has led to some speculation that the rookie could supplant Mac Jones even when Jones is fully recovered from his ankle injury. That juicy narrative seems to be taking on a life of its own.

Ben Volin of the Boston Globe discussed New England’s so-called quarterback controversy during a Wednesday morning appearance on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show.” The longtime reporter shared a juicy piece of information that he knew would generate headlines. Volin said he has been told by “someone who would know” that Jones has an “attitude problem.” He also indicated that Patriots offensive assistant Joe Judge has made it known that he prefers Zappe to Jones.

“Someone reached out in my DMs and said, ‘Mac, yeah, his attitude problem is obvious in the building and everyone knows it,'” Volin said. “Take that for what it’s worth.”

Volin said the information was not shared by someone who covers the Patriots. He also said we would not classify it as a report, but he seemed fairly confident in the source. You can hear more of his comments below:

The story gets more interesting from there. Shortly after Volin dropped his bomb on the air, Barstool Sports published a story claiming the Patriots reporter may have been duped by one of their loyal followers. This person told Barstool that he sent Volin a direct message on Wednesday morning with a completely fabricated story about Jones. He shared what he says is a screenshot of the exchange. It appears to match up with what Volin told WEEI.

Perhaps that was a coincidence. Maybe Volin had already heard rumblings that Jones and the Patriots are at odds. For what it’s worth, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk also joined “The Greg Hill Show” and said he has heard the same talk about Jones. He said there is “real frustration” within the former Alabama star’s camp.

“I’m trying to let you all know something’s up, without saying with 100 percent certainty to put it in cement that something is up, but something is up,” Florio said. “Something is up and there’s gotta be fire in that smoke.”

Jones did not play well prior to injuring his ankle in Week 3. Some were already drawing the conclusion that he had taken a step back in his second season and was having a tough time without Josh McDaniels coaching him. Now that New England’s offense has looked better without Jones, albeit against weak opponents, one line of thinking is that the Patriots could slow-play Jones’ recovery.

Belichick has been asked several questions about the possibility of a QB controversy. You can probably guess how he responded.

Report: Multiple teams interested in Patriots WR

Bill Belichick on the sideline

Oct 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reacts during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Kendrick Bourne has not played a significant role for the New England Patriots this season after he appeared to fall out of favor with the team’s coaching staff, and rival teams believe he is available via trade.

Multiple teams have called the Patriots to inquire about trading for Bourne before the Nov. 1 deadline, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

Fowler says the Las Vegas Raiders are one team that would make sense as a suitor for Bourne, which is not a surprise. Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels was the offensive coordinator with the Patriots last season.

Bourne signed a three-year, $22.5 million deal with the Patriots prior to the 2021 season. He caught 55 passes for 800 yards and five touchdowns, but he has been a non-factor this season.

Bourne was kicked out of a joint training camp practice for fighting, and he went MIA for a while after that. There were rumblings that he had a disagreement with Patriots assistant coach Matt Patricia. He has played in all six games for New England this season but has just 11 total catches.