Patriots offseason tracker: Free agency scorecard, latest signings, NFL draft rumors, updates and more – CBS Sports


The New England Patriots are in the midst of a transformative offseason. Tom Brady announced that he will be moving on from the franchise he has spent the past twenty years with and is heading to Tampa Bay. With that, New England’s quarterback situation is rather unclear really for the first time since 1992 just prior to the team drafting Drew Bledsoe. 

While the Patriots try to figure out what the post-Brady era will look like under center, they also have a number of free agent questions to figure out through the rest of the roster. As you’ll see below, this story will be your hub to guide you through all the latest rumors and transactions made by New England as they usher in a new day in franchise history. 

Key upcoming dates

  • Mid-April: The NFL will release the 2020 regular season schedule. 
  • April 23 through April 25: The NFL Draft. New England’s first selection in the opening round is at No. 23 overall. 
  • May 1 through May 4: Teams can hold their one three-day post-draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday. 

*The Patriots will also hold OTAs and one mandatory minicamp during several weeks in June followed by a roughly six-week break before the start of training camp in late July. Final dates to be determined.

Free Agent Scorecard 

Restricted free agents

Adam Butler, defensive tackle (second round tender
Jermaine Eluemunor, guard (original round tender) 
Keionta Davis, defensive end (re-signing with Patriots)

Adam Butler is the restricted free agent to keep your eye on out of this trio. The former undrafted defensive tackle out of Vanderbilt has blossomed into a strong rotational player in New England’s front seven and has shown the ability to rush the passer. He finished the 2019 season with six sacks, nine quarterback hits and 26 total tackles in 16 games played (two starts). He will undoubtedly be a player that the Patriots will try to keep considering the turnover they may see across the defense. As for Eluemunor, the Patriots acquired the offensive lineman and a sixth-round pick in a trade with the Ravens in exchange for a 2020 fourth-round pick. He was really just a depth piece along an offensive line that saw injuries hit the interior with starting center David Andrews missing the entire year. Meanwhile, Keionta Davis was placed on injured reserve over the summer and missed the 2019 season. The undrafted defensive end does have the physical attributes (6-foot-3, 280 lbs) to still be an intriguing prospect for New England going forward and was playing well in the preseason last year before landing on IR. 

*Restricted free agents will have to be tendered by New England in order for them to be on the roster in 2020. The Patriots can assign a number of different tenders on their restricted free agents (original round tender, second-round tender, first-round tender, etc). Each tender comes with a higher 2020 salary. Those numbers have not yet been determined by the NFL.

Unrestricted in-house free agents

Tom Brady, quarterback (Bucs: two years, $50M)
Devin McCourty, safety (Pats: two years, $23M)
Kyle Van Noy, linebacker (Dolphins: four years, $51M) 
Matthew Slater, wide receiver/gunner (Pats: two years, $5.3M)
Phillip Dorsett, wide receiver 
Nate Ebner, safety/special teamer (Giants: one-year)
Jamie Collins, linebacker (Lions: three years, $30M)
Danny Shelton, defensive tackle (Lions: two years, $8M)
Nick Folk, kicker 
Marshall Newhouse, right tackle 
Joe Thuney, left guard (Pats: franchise tag)  
Shilique Calhoun, linebacker 
James Ferentz, center 
Ted Karras, center (Dolphins: one year, $4M)
Elandon Roberts, linebacker (Dolphins)
Stephen Gostkowski, kicker

Tom Brady is naturally the big name here. He announced on Tuesday that he will be leaving the Patriots in free agency. 

“To all my teammates, coaches, executives and staff, Coach Belichick, RKK and the Kraft family and the entire organization,” he said. “I want to say thank you for the past twenty years of my life and the daily commitment to winning and creating a winning culture built on great values. I am grateful for all that you have taught me – I have learned from everyone. You all have allowed me to maximize my potential and that is all a player can ever hope for. Everything we have accomplished brings me great joy and the lessons I have learned will carry on with me forever. 

“I couldn’t be the man I am today without the relationships you have allowed me to build with you. I have benefited from all you have given me. I cherished every opportunity I had to be a part of our team, and I love you all for that. Our team has always set a great standard in pro sports and I know it will continue to do just that. 

“Although my football journey will take place elsewhere, I appreciate everything that we have achieved and am grateful for our incredible team accomplishments. I have been privileged to have had the opportunity to know each and everyone of you, and to have the memories we’ve created together.”

Now, the Patriots will be looking for a new quarterback in 2020. 

As for the other spots on the roster, we do know is off the board is linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who is joining the Miami Dolphins. That now reunites him with former Patriots de facto defensive coordinator Brian Floes. Jamie Collins, meanwhile, has reunited with another former Patriots assistant as the linebacker is set to ink a three-year deal with Matt Patricia’s Detroit Lions. 

On the offensive side of the ball, the Patriots did make the rather surprising move of placing the franchise tag on starting left guard Joe Thuney. He has since signed his tag and is officially on the books for 2020. New England noted in a statement that they are looking to agree with Thuney on a long-term deal, but we’ll have to wait and see if that actually comes to fruition.  

Unrestricted free agent signings from other teams 

Damiere Byrd, receiver (Cardinals)
Beau Allen, defensive tackle (Buccaneers)
Adrian Phillips, safety (Chargers)
Danny Vitale, fullback (Packers)
Brandon Copeland, linebacker (Jets)
Cody Davis, safety (Jaguars)

Free agent signings for players cut by other teams 

Brian Hoyer, quarterback (Colts)

*It’s important to differentiate between the players signed as unrestricted free agents and those signed after being cut by another team. This is true because players who are signed after being released by another team do not count in the compensatory draft pick formula for the team who signs them.

2020 NFL Draft picks

  • Round 1: 23rd overall
  • Round 2: None
  • Round 3: 87th overall, 98th overall (compensatory), 100th overall (compensatory)
  • Round 4: 125th overall (via Chicago)
  • Round 5: 172nd overall (via Detroit)
  • Round 6: 195th overall (via Denver), 204th overall (via Houston), 212th overall (compensatory), 213th overall (compensatory)
  • Round 7: 230th overall (via Atlanta), 241st overall (via Seattle)

Rumors, reports, and updates

Patriots getting new uniforms

Tuesday, March 24: According to Joe Reedy of the Associated Press, the Patriots will be getting a uniform change for the 2020 season. ESPN’s Mike Reiss adds that New England’s uniform change won’t be dramatic and the logo will remain the same. Julian Edelman did suggest earlier this offseason that the Patriots could bring back their blue throwback uniforms, but it’s unclear if both nuggets are related. Regardless, we should find out exactly what the changes are in the coming months. 

Deshaun Watson to the Patriots? 

Tuesday, March 24: With Tom Brady gone, the Patriots are looking for a new franchise quarterback. What better way to replace Brady than with current Texans signal caller Deshaun Watson? The Houston QB ignited trade rumors to New England following some rather interesting social media activity where he liked a post suggesting a trade to the Pats. You can read a more in-depth breakdown of this rumor here, but it should be noted that this is likely pretty far-fetched and would require Watson to demand a trade as he’s still under contract with the Texans. 

Patriots release Stephen Gostkowski

Monday, March 23: The Patriots continue to see major changes this offseason and the latest is the club moving on from veteran kicker Stephen Gostkowski. The club clears around $3 million in cap space by releasing Gostkowski, who is the franchise’s all-time leader in points. Prior to going down with a season-ending hip injury, the 36-year-old was starting to show signs of decline in 2019. In four games, he netted seven of his eight field goal tries, but missed four extra points. Gostkowski was also the longest tenured Patriot following the departure of Tom Brady. 

Patriots sign former Jags safety Cody Davis to deal

Monday, March 23: New England has signed former Jaguars safety Cody Davis to a deal, his agent Jordan Woy announced. The 30-year-old went undrafted out of Texas Tech in 2013, but has been a key special teams figure with both the Rams (2013-17) and the Jaguars (2018-19). For his career, Davis has 83 tackles and two picks. If he makes the opening 53-man roster, the Patriots could use him in a similar style they did with Nate Ebner, who departed this offseason after signing a deal with the Giants. 

Patriots take out a full-page ad to thank Tom Brady

Sunday, March 22: Robert Kraft and the Patriots took out a full-page ad in the Tampa Bay Times to thank Tom Brady for his two decades of service with the club. It also read: “To the Buccaneers fans and Tampa Bay community — take care of him. You got a great one.” 

New England brings in Brandon Copeland 

Sunday, March 22: According to Jim McBride of The Boston Globe, the Patriots have signed former Jets linebacker Brandon Copeland. The 28-year-old spent the last two years in New York and played in 12 games last season. Over that stretch, Copeland totaled a career-high 42 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. 

Brian Hoyer agrees to deal with Pats 

Sunday, March 22: In the wake of Tom Brady signing with the Buccaneers, the Patriots have addressed the quarterback position by signing Brian Hoyer to a one-year deal. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network adds that this is likely it for New England at the position, so it’ll likely be either Hoyer or second-year man Jarrett Stidham as the starter for 2020. This is Hoyer’s third stint with the Patriots, so he knows the system well. For the Colts in 2019, he appeared in four games and completed 53.8% of his passes for 372 yards, four touchdowns and four picks.  

Patriots agreed to deal with Danny Vitale

Friday, March 20: Former Packers fullback Danny Vitale has agreed to terms with the Patriots, according to his agent Chris Cabott of Steinberg Sports. Meredith Gorman of NESN was first to report that the two sides were close to a contract. The 26-year-old has spent the last two seasons with the Green Back Packers and had 97 rushing yards on 13.9 yards per rush in 2019. 

No interest in Jameis Winston

Friday, March 20: You can seemingly cross Jameis Winston off the list of potential quarterbacks the Patriots could sign to replace Tom Brady. Mike Giardi of the NFL Network spoke with a “high-ranking Patriots official” and noted that it is unlikely Winston would be a possible target. While Winston did lead the league in yards in 2019, his league-leading 30 interceptions are not appealing to Bill Belichick. 

Patriots would have offered Tom Brady similar deal

Friday, March 20: Tom Brady officially became of member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora confirms the quarterback inked a two-year, $50 million deal fully guaranteed. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network adds that New England would have offered Brady a similar deal, but he never came to them with the desire to return. 

Adrian Phillips signs two-year deal 

Thursday, March 19: New England looks to have found a replacement for safety Duron Harmon, who was traded to the Detroit Lions, as the club has agreed to a deal with Adrian Phillips, according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. It’s a two-year deal for the 27-year-old safety, who totaled 36 tackles in seven games played in 2019. While injuries held Phillips back last year, he was a First-Team All-Pro in 2018. 

Joe Thuney signs franchise tag

Thursday, March 19: Starting left guard Joe Thuney has singed his franchise tender, according to his agent Mike McCartney. Thuney is now on the books for 2020 and is set to earn $14.78 million fully guaranteed over the course of next year. New England did say in a previous statement that they are hoping to sign Thuney to a long-term deal, but whether or not they are able to do so remains to be seen. 

Nate Ebner heading to New York

Thursday, March 19: Joe Judge is the latest Bill Belichick disciple to snatch up one of his former players. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Giants are signing Nate Ebner to a deal. Ebner has been a key special teams ace throughout his tenure with the Patriots and a strong locker room presence, which is something Judge, who was New England’s special teams coordinator, saw firsthand. 

Elandon Roberts is the latest to land in Miami

Wednesday, March 18: Brian Flores snatched himself another now former Patriot as Cameron Wolfe of ESPN reports that linebacker Elandon Roberts has agreed to a deal with the Dolphins. Roberts was a Swiss Army knife for New England last season playing his familiar linebacker spot along with fullback and on special teams. Clearly that versatility and prowess in the middle of a defense was attractive to Flores. 

Patriots signing former Bucs DT Beau Allen

Wednesday, March 18: The Patriots may have found their replacement for Danny Shelton by signing former Buccaneers defensive tackle Beau Allen, according to ESPN’s Adam Caplan. The deal is for two years and has a max total of $8 million. The 28-year-old spend the first four years of his NFL career with the Eagles and was a member of the Super Bowl LII winning team. In 2019, Allen totaled 10 tackles in 13 games played.  

Dolphins sign Ted Karras

Wednesday, March 18: According to a report from ESPN, interior offensive lineman Ted Karras has agreed to a one-year, $4 million deal with the Miami Dolphins. The 2016 sixth round pick was thrust into the starting center spot last season, played well and is now seeing a nice reward for it. On top of being able to line up at center, Karras has the ability to play guard. This move also unites him with former Patriots assistant Brian Flores. 

Patriots trade Duron Harmon to Lions

Wednesday, March 18: New England has traded safety Duron Harmon to the Detroit Lions, according to multiple reports. The compensation, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, is “a flip of late round picks.” Harmon is heading into the final year of his contract in 2020. He owns a cap hit of $5.5 million and the Patriots are now able to clear $4.25 million of that by trading him away. 

Lions lock up Danny Shelton

Wednesday, March 18: Danny Shelton has agreed to a two-year, $8 million deal with the Detroit Lions, according to his agent Drew Rosenhaus. Shelton spent the previous two seasons with the Patriots and just turned in a 2019 season where he totaled a career-high 61 tackles and three sacks in 16 games played (14 starts). 

Patriots sign receiver Damiere Byrd

Tuesday, March 17: According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, New England has agreed to a one-year deal with Damiere Byrd. The 27-year-old caught 32 passes for the Cardinals last year for 359 yards and one touchdowns in 11 games played. He’ll likely be a depth piece in the pass catching unit and compete for a roster spot later this summer. 

Tom Brady likely heading to Tampa Bay

Tuesday, March 17:  In the aftermath of Tom Brady saying goodbye to the New England Patriots, it has grown clear that he is set to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when the new league year opens on Wednesday. The Los Angeles Chargers were also in the mix for Brady, but the fact that Tampa allows Brady to stay on the east coast proved to be a major factor in the Bucs favor. Here’s everything you need to know about how Tom Brady fits with the Buccaneers

Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick release statements on Tom Brady’s departure 

Tuesday, March 17: In the wake of the news that Tom Brady will be leaving the New England Patriots, owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick both released lengthy statements praising what the quarterback gave to the franchise. 

From Kraft: 

“How do I possibly sum up the depth of my gratitude to Tom Brady for what he’s given us these past 20 years, or the sadness I feel knowing it’s ending? I love Tom like a son and I always will. He has brought so much happiness to me personally and to all of our fans. I had hoped this day would never come, but rather that Tom would end his remarkable career in a Patriots uniform after yet another Super Bowl championship. Unfortunately, the two sides were unable to reach an agreement to allow that dream to become a reality. While sad today, the overwhelming feeling I have is appreciation for his countless contributions to our team and community.

“When Tom arrived in New England as an unheralded, sixth-round pick, no one could have imagined the fairytale story that would be written, the records that would be broken or the joy he would bring to an entire region. He leaves 20 years later as the winningest quarterback in NFL history with six Super Bowl victories, nine AFC titles and 17 division championships. He has been an exemplary teammate and leader. There simply will never be another Tom Brady. I now look forward to the day we can bring him back home to New England to celebrate his Patriots career, his endless achievements and his legacy as the greatest of all time. I love him very much.”

From Belichick: 

“Tom was not just a player who bought into our program. He was one of its original creators. Tom lived and perpetuated our culture. On a daily basis, he was a tone setter and a bar raiser. He won championships in three of his first four years on the field and in three of his final six seasons with us, while competing for championships in most every season in between. This is a credit to Tom’s consistency and what separates him. He didn’t just perform. He didn’t just win. He won championships over and over again.

“Tom and I will always have a great relationship built on love, admiration, respect and appreciation. Tom’s success as a player and his character as a person are exceptional. Nothing about the end of Tom’s Patriots career changes how unfathomably spectacular it was. With his relentless competitiveness and longevity, he earned everyone’s adoration and will be celebrated forever. It has been a privilege to coach Tom Brady for 20 years.

“Examples of Tom’s greatness are limitless, going back even before he was drafted. We witnessed how he prepared when he wasn’t playing, how he performed when he got his opportunity, what he did to continuously improve, his leadership, his mindset, the example he set, and, of course, the person he is. I am extremely grateful for what he did for our team and for me personally.

“Sometimes in life, it takes some time to pass before truly appreciating something or someone but that has not been the case with Tom. He is a special person and the greatest quarterback of all-time.”

Tom Brady leaves the New England Patriots

Tuesday, March 17: Tom Brady announced through his social media channels that his “football journey will take place elsewhere,” ending a two-decade long run with the Patriots. 

“I wanted to say thank you to all of the incredible fans and Patriots supporters,” he said. “MA has been my home for twenty years. It has truly been the happiest two decades I could have envisioned in my life and I have nothing but love and gratitude for my time in New England. The support has been overwhelming – I wish every player could experience it. My children were born and raised here and you always embraced this California kid as your own. 

“I love your commitment and loyalty to your teams and winning for our city means more than you will ever know. I can’t thank you enough for the support of our team. The packed training camps and sold out stadiums and mostly the victory parades. I have been so blessed to share them with you all. I tried to represent us always in the best and most honorable way and I fought hard with my teammates to help bring victory and triumph even in the most dire situations. You opened your heart to me, and I opened my heart to you. And Pats Nation will always be a part of me. 

“I don’t know what my football future holds but it is time for me to open a new stage for my life and career. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I will always love you and what we have shared – a lifetime full of fun memories.”

Lions sign Jamie Collins to three-year deal

Monday, March 16: Jamie Collins’ second stint with the Patriots will be held to just one season after the linebacker set to ink a three-year, $30 million deal with the Detroit Lions, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. The deal includes $18 million fully guaranteed and reunites him with former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.

Dolphins land Kyle Van Noy in free agency

Monday, March 16: Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports that Miami has landed linebacker Kyle Van Noy on a four-year deal. The contract is worth $51 million, per Rapoport, and Van Noy will see $30 million of that guaranteed. Van Noy is now reunited with Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who was the former linebacker coach of the Patriots and de facto defensive coordinator in 2018. 

Tampa Bay making it clear they want Brady

Monday, March 16: It was clear from the get-go that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were going to be a major player for Tom Brady and that fact hasn’t slowed down since the start of the legal tampering period. According to Mike Giardi of the NFL Network, Tampa has their intentions to Brady “loud and clear.” 

Patriots place franchise tag on Joe Thuney

Monday, March 16: Just prior to deadline, the Patriots elected to place the franchise tag on starting left guard Joe Thuney. This was a rather surprising move as New England seldom deploys the tag. From here, the team could elect to trade Thuney on the tag, work out an extension or let him simply play on it. That latter avenue, however, is a rather costly endeavor for the Patriots. In their statement, the team did note that they are hoping to work out a long-term deal. 

“Joe has been a model teammate and an essential element to our success since joining our team in 2016. Utilizing the franchise designation allows both sides more time to try to reach the goal of a long-term agreement.”

Devin McCourty re-signing with Patriots

Sunday, March 15: Devin McCourty announced that he is re-signing with the New England Patriots. The specifics of the contract, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, are a two-year deal worth $23 million. He will also get $17 million guaranteed. 

Following the Patriots picking up the option for cornerback Jason McCourty, Devin’s twin brother, earlier this offseason, this reunion seemed inevitable as both defensive backs have stated that their preference was to continue playing alongside one another. Devin sticking around New England for the rest of his football days will ensure just that. 

Jermaine Eluemunor given original round tender

Sunday, March 15: The New England Patriots are placing an original round tender on restricted free agent offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. This would mean that if another club elected to sign Eluemunor, who was acquired in a trade with the Ravens last summer, a fifth round pick would come back to Foxborough. 

Titans out of the Brady sweepstakes after re-signing Ryan Tannehill 

Sunday, March 15: We can now officially cross off the Tennessee Titans as a possible landing spot for Tom Brady. On the eve of the legal tampering period set to begin, the club inked quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a four-year deal, keeping him in Tennessee going forward. 

The Titans had been one of the most speculated destinations for Brady, but now they are off the board. Along with the Patriots fighting to keep him in Foxborough, the Chargers, Buccaneers and Raiders are the trio of teams most connected to the six-time Super Bowl champion. 

Matthew Salter re-signing with the Patriots on a two-year deal

Friday, March 13: The New England Patriots are re-signing special teams ace Matthew Slater to a two-year deal, according to Field Yates of ESPN. The official team Twitter account seemed to confirm Yates’ report by posting a GIF of Slater in the midst of the news coming out. The deal, Yates adds, will be similar to his last with New England, which averaged $2.6 million a season. 

Patriots to pursue Eric Ebron 

Friday, March 13: According to Evan Lazar of CLNS, the Patriots are expected to make a run at former Colts tight end Eric Ebron when the legal tampering window opens up on March 16. Ebron isn’t far removed from a 2018 season where he scored 13 touchdowns en route to a Pro Bowl nod. Last season, however, he saw a dip in production and only played in 11 games due to injury. If he can return to his 2018 self, he’d be a nice addition to a New England roster that was desperately lacking tight end depth last year.  

Tom Brady’s two free agent demands 

Wednesday, March 11: ESPN’s Dianna Russini noted on Get Up! that Tom Brady has two big “wants” that he’ll be looking for once he hits the open market. The six-time Super Bowl champion is looking for “control over roster” and he “wants to be part of making decisions on the play calling.” As it relates to New England, Brady does seemingly work in lockstep with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, so he already does have a large say in the play-calling with the Patriots. A say in roster construction, however, may be the bigger ask for Bill Belichick. 

Rob Gronkowski to the WWE

Tuesday, March 10: Former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is “deep in talks” and “close to finalizing a deal” to join the WWE, according to Ryan Satin, a reporter for “WWE Backstage” on FS1. This marriage seemed inevitable ever since the tight end announced his retirement from the league last offseason. If Gronk does, in fact, join the WWE, that may official dash any dreams of him suiting back up and returning to the Patriots in the near future. 

Patriots ‘sniffing around’ trade market for pass catchers

Monday, March 9: Albert Breer of the MMQB notes that the Patriots are “sniffing around the trade market” for receivers and tight ends. This would make sense as those were two areas that were severely lacking top-tier talent last season and would likely further New England’s chances of retaining soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Tom Brady as it’s become known that he wants more talented playmakers around him. As it relates to those trade attempts, here are five names to keep an eye on as we approach the start of free agency. 

David Andrews trending towards playing in 2020

Sunday, March 8: ESPN’s Mike Reiss reported in his Sunday notes piece that starting center David Andrews is trending in the right direction to play in 2020. Andrews missed the entire 2019 season because of blood clots in his lungs, but, as Reiss reports, he has “continued to receive positive medical reports and feels like he is in excellent condition physically.”

Tom Brady: ‘Nobody knows anything’ 

Sunday, March 8: During a recent edition of “Opening Drive” on Sirius XM NFL Radio, former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis read pieces of a text exchange he recently had with Brady about his coming free agency. Here’s a quick blurb regarding their conversation: 

“I do have one bit of scoop for us. I’ve been texting with Tommy. I don’t [usually] pass along these conversations, but one thing he told me — ‘Nobody knows anything. So anyone who is telling you they know, they don’t know.’ I’m not going through any other part of the conversation [but] I followed up and he said, ‘Clean it up.’ So I’m cleaning it up.”

Giants interested in Kyle Van Noy

Thursday, March 5: According to a report from Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, the New York Giants are interested in signing linebacker Kyle Van Noy once free agency opens up. Not only that, but Vacchiano relays that the feeling may be mutual. Of course, this wouldn’t be too surprising as first year head coach Joe Judge is extremely familiar with Van Noy from his days with the Patriots. In a perfect world, the Patriots would like to bring Van Noy, who totaled 6.5 sacks and 56 tackles in 2019, back into the fold, but his price tag may be a bit too steep for them. 

Patriots meet with tight end prospect

Thursday, March 5: The Patriots met with University of Dayton tight end Adam Trautman at the NFL scouting combine last week. There’s no denying that tight end was a major area of weakness for New England last season in the wake of losing Rob Gronkowski to retirement, so it makes sense that this is a position they could target at the NFL Draft. 

“Just the work mentality,” Trautman said of his impression of the Patriots, via NBC Sports’ Phil Perry. “That’s definitely the type of franchise I could see myself playing for. That type of mentality and attitude.” 

The 6-foot-6, 253 pounder is considered to be the sixth best tight end in this 2020 class and just totaled 70 receptions for 916 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. 

Call between Brady and Belichick ‘didn’t go well’ 

Wednesday, March 4: The Boston Herald has reported that Brady and Belichick spoke on the phone on Tuesday to discuss the quarterback’s upcoming free agent status. That conversation “didn’t go well,” according to the Herald. This wouldn’t be the first time that Belichick got into an icy contract negotiation with a player, so there should still be hope that the two sides can meet in the middle somewhere. By the sound of things, they have a lot of work to do.   

Dolphins targeting several Patriots free agents

Wednesday, March 4: According to the Miami Herald, the Dolphins are interested in a number of Patriots free agents. Those include safety Devin McCourty along with offensive linemen Joe Thuney and Ted Karras. Given that Brian Flores, formerly the Patriots de facto defensive coordinator, is running the show as Miami’s head coach, it makes sense that he’d be interested in players he may be more familiar with from his days in New England.  

Patriots to pick up Jason McCourty’s option

Wednesday, March 4: The NFL Network has reported that New England intends on picking up corner Jason McCourty’s contract option for the 2020 season. This move will pay McCourty nearly $4 million and Spotrac notes he’ll count $5.55 million towards the Patriots’ salary cap, which isn’t too expensive for a top-three corner in the system. Now, the attention turns to Jason’s twin brother in longtime Patriots safety Devin McCourty, who is set to enter unrestricted free agency. 

Saints to pursue Jamie Collins when free agency begins

Tuesday, March 3: Larry Holder of The Athletic reports that the New Orleans Saints are expected to have interest in linebacker Jamie Collins once he hits the open market later this month. Sean Payton’s club is a little thin at linebacker heading into 2020, so it’s no surprise that they’d be looking into the 6-foot-3, 255 pounder. Collins, who was one of the key pieces to New England’s top ranked defense last season, enjoyed his second stint with the Patriots in 2019. He totaled a career-high in sacks with seven while tallying 81 tackles and three forced fumbles.  

Andy Dalton an option if Brady leaves

Monday, March 2: The NFL Network has suggested that — in the event Tom Brady decides to leave the Patriots in free agency — New England could put the call out to Cincinnati to see if they could acquire Andy Dalton as their starter as they open up the post-Brady era. There are certainly worse options than bringing in Dalton, but Plan A is still to retain their franchise icon. Dalton somewhere in the range of Plan B, C, D, and Z. 

Julian Edelman suggests a Brady return

Saturday, February 29: Brady was spotted at the Syracuse-UNC basketball matchup over the weekend alongside Patriots receiver Julian Edelman and “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon. As the trio was capture on national television, Edelman told the cameras “he’s coming back, he’s coming back.” The receiver was likely just playing around rather than reveal Brady’s true intentions, but the quarterback didn’t seem too pleased with his comments. Regardless, we clearly know how Edelman feels about the situation — he was his QB back in Foxborough. 

Sanu needs offseason surgery

Friday, February 28: ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported that wide receiver Mohamed Sanu will require surgery on a high ankle sprain that he suffered in the midst of the 2019 season. The injury had yet to heal this offseason, so the receiver’s camp has elected to go under the knife. The timetable for his recovery was not immediately disclosed. ESPN’s Mike Reiss added to this by noting Sanu originally suffered the injury against the Eagles, his third game with the club since being acquired in a deal with the Falcons. The 30-year-old is signed through the 2020 season, but the Patriots could clear $6.5 million off their cap if they chose to cut bait with him now.  

CBA could be holdup in Brady talks 

Thursday, February, 27: While there’s been some bleak news as it relates to Tom Brady possibly returning to New England, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the CBA discussions may be what’s holding the Patriots back from engaging their iconic quarterback in contract talks. Because they don’t know the specific rules of how they can construct a contract, it does limit Bill Belichick in what he and Brady can discuss. We detail how a new CBA could actually beneficial for the Patriots in their attempts to re-sign with New England in this story here.  

Minimal discussions with Kyle Van Noy

Thursday, February 27: There have been “minimal discussions” between the Patriots and linebacker Kyle Van Noy’s camp, according to Henry McKenna of Patriots Wire, and the two sides don’t have a meeting scheduled this week to talk about an extension. Van Noy has noted previously that he’d love to remain with the Patriots, but he’ll likely be a pretty sought after commodity on the free agent market and could warrant a sizable contract that may be too rich for New England’s blood. 

Patriots could lose two interior linemen 

Thursday, February 27: The buzz around the NFL scouting combine, Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal reports, is that Patriots starting left guard and soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Joe Thuney “could set the market for guards.” This was to be expected for Thuney, who has been an anchor of New England on the left side since he came into the league in 2016. Not only may the Patriots lose Thuney, but Daniels relays that Ted Karras, who has shown the ability to play center and guard, will also have a strong market this offseason. 

Phillip Dorsett, Patriots expected to meet 

Thursday, February 27: New England is expected to meet with free agent receiver Phillip Dorsett about a possible extension, according to Henry McKenna of Patriots Wire. While the two sides are expected to meet, McKenna reports that it is “likely” Dorsett tests free agency. Dorsett, who signed a one-year contract with the Patriots last offseason, saw inconsistent reps in 2019 and was buried on the depth chart at times. If he’s looking for more opportunity to flash his first-round potential, it may not be in Foxborough. 

Pats have been in contact with Jamie Collins 

Thursday, February 27: Doug Kyed of NESN reports that the Patriots “have had some contact” with free agent linebacker Jamie Collins. The CBA needs to be figured out before talks intensify, but Collins is expected to have a solid market. The 30-year-old had a resurgence during his second stint with the Patriots in 2019, tallying a career-high seven sacks and three interceptions to go along with 81 tackles and three forced fumbles.   

Stidham is working out in California

Thursday, February 27: Plenty of attention is rightfully being paid to Tom Brady’s free agent status, but, if the quarterback does leave New England, it could be second-year signal caller Jarrett Stidham lining up under center. He’s been out in California working out with Jordan Palmer, brother of Carson Palmer and current quarterback coach for consensus No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow. When Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald asked Stidham’s agent, Brian Murphy, if he’d be ready to take over the Pats offense, he said, “I think he’ll handle it good. He’ll keep his mouth shut and work as hard as he can and do what they tell him.”

Mutual interest between Patriots and McCourty

Thursday, February 27: Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal reports that there is mutual interest between both the Patriots and Devin McCourty to have the safety re-sign with the club. Daniels relays that it “sounds like the two will meet soon to talk an extension.” McCourty, 32, is set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and will likely have a strong market after totaling five interceptions last season. Doug Kyed of NESN names the Dolphins, Lions and Giants as possible non-Patriots destinations for McCourty, which makes sense given the Foxborough ties each head coach has to the organization. 

Patriots have yet to speak with Tom Brady

Thursday, February 27: According to Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald, the Patriots have still not reached out to Brady about possibly re-signing with the club. She adds that a source noted, “it’s not looking good.” On top of Guregian’s report, ESPN’s Jeff Darlington noted on Get Up! on Thursday that he would be “stunned if Brady went back to New England.” Darlington, who has held firm on his reporting that Brady is unlikely to return to the Patriots this offseason, also cited people “very close” to Tom Brady that the quarterback is saying a return “is not going to happen.”

Patriots to meet with Tom Brady’s agent at NFL combine

Tuesday, February 25: The Patriots brass is set to meet with Tom Brady’s Agent, Don Yee, at the NFL Scouting Combine, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald adds to this report by saying “the feeling is it might be a ‘starting point’ for real dialogue about a contract going forward for Brady, who hits free agency March 18.” The Patriots will have some competition for Brady, however, as The Boston Globe reports the Chargers, Buccaneers and Raiders are the teams that keep getting brought up as the most likely destinations for Brady outside of New England. 

Patriots interested in Ravens TE Hayden Hurst?

Tuesday, February 25: Florida Times-Union’s Eugene Frennette reported on Monday that the Patriots and Jaguars are exploring pre-draft deals for Hurst, who reportedly wants the opportunity to be more involved in the passing game. Given that Mark Andrews is above him on the tight end depth chart in Baltimore, it makes sense that he’d want out. Since that initial report, Jeff Howe of The Athletic backs it up by relaying “there’s a real chance” the Ravens move Hurst. However, it’s unclear how involved the Patriots are. For what it’s worth, New England was linked to Hurst leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft.  

Recently retired Dante Scarnecchia still helping Patriots scout at NFL Combine

Monday, February 24: Earlier this offseason, longtime Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia announced that he’d be retiring from the NFL. While the 72-year-old may be walking away from coaching, it appears as he’ll still be helping New England as Ben Volin of The Boston Globe reports Scarnecchia is attending the NFL Combine on the Patriots behalf. He did help scout offensive linemen for the Patriots when he first retired following the 2013 season, so this isn’t a new concept for New England. Scarnecchia is looked at as one of the greatest offensive line coaches in NFL history, so he certainly has a valuable eye. 

Danny Shelton changes agents

Thursday, February 20: Prior to entering free agency defensive tackle Danny Shelton elected to change agencies and now be represented by powerhouse NFL agent Drew Rosenhaus. Shelton is coming off the best year of his career in 2019 and Rosenhaus is known for getting his clients paid, so it looks like the veteran defensive tackle is looking to cash in big this offseason.  

No coast-to-coast free agency tour for Tom Brady

Monday, February 17: According to Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston, Tom Brady will “try to set up meetings at one location instead of creating a circus.” This should help Brady comes to a fast decision about his NFL future, which, in turn, would help the Patriots as they’d know whether or not he is in the fold for 2020 or if they should hunt for his successor potentially in the free agent or trade market. 

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