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Patriots reportedly host free agent LB Andrew Gachkar

05.09.17 at 4:14 pm ET
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The Patriots reportedly hosted Andrew Gachkar on Tuesday. (Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots reportedly hosted Andrew Gachkar on Tuesday. (Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots appear to still be searching for depth next to Dont’a Hightower in the middle of the defense.

According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, the Patriots hosted veteran linebacker Andrew Gachkar on Tuesday.

As of now, behind Hightower the Patriots have Elandon Roberts, Shea McClellin and Jonathan Freeny.

It’s worth noting, if the Patriots are interested in signing him this wouldn’t happen until Wednesday, as any signings made after Tuesday do not count towards the compensatory pick formula.

Gachkar, 28, has spent the last two seasons with the Cowboys, after playing his first four years with the Chargers. The Missouri product has totaled 145 tackles and 2.5 sacks in his career and also has some special teams value.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Andrew Gachkar,

Brandin Cooks: Patriots ‘on a mission’ in 2017

05.09.17 at 2:59 pm ET
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Brandin Cooks called working with Tom Brady "amazing." (Chuck Cook/USA Today Sports)

Brandin Cooks called working with Tom Brady “amazing.” (Chuck Cook/USA Today Sports)

Brandin Cooks has only been a member of the Patriots for a few months, but he seems well aware of the winning culture that’s already in place.

Speaking to reporters at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, Cooks aluded to all the moves the Patriots have made in the offseason.

“We’re on a mission,” he said. “Whatever mission that may be, I don’t know, but we’re on a mission. That’s what it seems like.”

The 23-year-old played with a great quarterback in Drew Brees with the Saints, and now he will play with another great quarterback in Tom Brady.

“It’s amazing,” Cooks said.

Added Cooks when asked what makes it amazing: “I think you can answer that. Yeah, I’ll let you be the judge of that. He’s just an awesome quarterback and I’m glad to have the opportunity to play with him.”

Cooks finished the 2016 season with 78 catches for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns.

Here are some other highlights from his media session.

On the Week 2 game in New Orleans: “Yeah, it’s exciting, but it’s going to be another game. I’m not going to treat it any differently. It’s Week 2, so I’ll be focused on Week 1. Once Week 2 comes, that’s all I’ll be focused on. It’s not like I put an “X” on the calendar for that game. I just want to go in, do my job, handle business and let the rest take care of itself.”

On being in New England: “It’s a new transition. You know, a little cold coming from New Orleans, but I love it. I originally grew up on the West Coast, so I’m obviously halfway across the country now – or across the country – but it’s a great atmosphere. Going down to the city is amazing. I live in Oregon now during the offseason, so I’m used to a little bit of cold, rainy days, but it’s a little different out here, so we’ll see.”

On impressions of coaching staff: “Their focus. Their attention to detail, once again, here is amazing. But, you know what, everything is going so fast right now, so I’m not looking at those type of things. I’m just, once again, looking at what I have to do to be the best I can be here.”

Read More: Brandin Cooks,

Brandin Cooks didn’t try to get Jimmy Garoppolo’s No. 10

05.09.17 at 2:30 pm ET
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Brandin Cooks didn't try and take Jimmy Garoppolo's No. 10. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Brandin Cooks didn’t try and take Jimmy Garoppolo’s No. 10. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

A lot of times when players move to new teams and want to keep their jersey numbers from their previous team they make deals with whomever has their number on their new team.

New Patriots receiver Brandin Cooks wore No. 10 in New Orleans, which is obviously Jimmy Garoppolo’s with New England.

When the Patriots released their jersey numbers Monday Cooks had No. 14, not No. 10. Speaking to the media at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, Cooks said he didn’t even try to get No. 10 from Garoppolo.

“I didn’t even try,” Cooks told reporters. “I didn’t even think about asking him. [It is] a new journey, new opportunity, so I wanted something different.”

Cooks said there was no real reason for him choosing No. 14.

“No big significance at all, really,” he said. “I was [No.] 7 in college, so the way that I like to think about it is double-7. Yeah, no big significance.”

Most Patriots fans know No. 14 for quarterback Steve Grogan. He played 16 seasons in New England and threw a career-best 28 touchdowns in 1979.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Brandin Cooks, Jimmy Garoppolo,

Judge vacates Aaron Hernandez’s murder conviction

05.09.17 at 11:54 am ET
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Aaron Hernandez is now technically an innocent man.  (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

Aaron Hernandez is now technically an innocent man. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

In the eyes of the law, Aaron Hernandez is now an innocent man.

Judge Susan Garsh, who sentenced the disgraced ex-NFL star to life in prison two years ago for the 2013 Odin Lloyd murder, abated the verdict Tuesday. Under Massachusetts law, a defendant’s convictions are void if he doesn’t exhaust all of his legal appeals upon his passing. Hernandez was in the process of appealing his first-degree murder conviction.

“Abatement is the law in this commonwealth and the court is required to follow that precedent,” Garsh said, via the Boston Herald’s Bob McGovern.

Prosecutors argued against the abatement, saying it would reward Hernandez for his suicide. They plan to appeal the ruling. Hernandez hanged himself in his cell April 20 at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley. He was acquitted of double-murder charges five days prior.

Garsh’s decision to vacate Hernandez’s verdict could carry broad implications for his estate, which is currently worthless. Lloyd’s mother filed a wrongful-death suit against Hernandez, and the families of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, the victims in the aforementioned double murder, are planning to do the same. The Patriots may now be obligated to pay Hernandez the $3.5 million signing bonus they voided after the Lloyd arrest. New England could also owe Hernandez an additional $2.5 million in guaranteed salary.

In the suicide note to his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, the former Patriots tight end wrote, “You’re Rich,” a possible reference to the money the Patriots may now be forced to pay his estate.

But in an interview with WEEI’s OM&F Tuesday, attorney Daniel Wallach said it’s unlikely the Patriots will pay Hernandez his lost wages, because he wasn’t available to play football after the Lloyd arrest.

Author’s note: This post was updated to add Daniel Wallach’s comments 

Read More: Aaron Hernandez,

Julian Edelman reacts to being No. 71 on NFL’s Top 100: ‘You always think you should be better than what you are’

05.09.17 at 10:56 am ET
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Julian Edelman was No. 71 in the NFL's Top 100. (Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports)

Julian Edelman was No. 71 in the NFL’s Top 100. (Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports)

Two Patriots were included in the NFL’s Top 100 countdown Monday night as LeGarrette Blount was No. 80 and Julian Edelman was No. 71.

Edelman finished last season with 98 catches for 1,106 yards and three touchdowns. He moved up 16 spots from last year.

“It’s always cool to be in this and see what the other guys think of you,” Edelman said on NFL Network. “As a competitor you always think you should be better than what you are. You strive to be better. Thankfully this a good team sport I get to play and these types of things don’t justify the kind of player you really are I don’t think.”

Blount also reacted by tweeting, “Not done yet.”

Read More: Julian Edelman, LeGarrette Blount,

Get caught up on what numbers new Patriots players will be wearing this season

05.08.17 at 4:32 pm ET
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Brandin Cooks will wear No. 14 in New England. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Brandin Cooks will wear No. 14 in New England. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots have unveiled on their website uniform numbers for newly acquired players this offseason.

Some of the notables include Brandin Cooks, who was No. 10 in New Orleans, will wear No. 14 with the Patriots, and Stephon Gilmore will take over Cyrus Jones’ No. 24 and Jones will now wear No. 41.

Here is a complete list of the new numbers.

TE Dwayne Allen – 83
DL Josh Augusta – 72
RB Rex Burkhead – 34
DL Adam Butler – 70
WR Austin Carr – 84
WR Brandin Cooks – 14
OL Cole Croston – 70
RB LeShun Daniels – 39
DE Kony Ealy – 94
LB Brooks Ellis – 51
RB Mike Gillislee – 35
OT Antonio Garcia – 63
CB Stephon Gilmore – 24
DL Lawrence Guy – 93
WR Cody Hollister -81
TE Jacob Hollister – 48
TE Rob Housler – 86
OT Andrew Jelks – 76
CB Cyrus Jones – 41
DB David Jones – 34
CB D.J. Killings – 29
OL Jason King – 74
LB Harvey Langi – 48
WR Devin Lucien – 13
OT Conor McDermott – 67
DB Kenny Moore – 42
TE James O’Shaughnessy – 88
OL Max Rich – 72
DE Derek Rivers – 95
WR Devin Street – 17
CB Dwayne Thomas – 27
DB Jason Thompson – 26
DB Damarious Travis – 45
DE Corey Vereen – 59
DE Deatrich Wise – 91

Which Patriots draft pick will make biggest impact in 2017?

05.08.17 at 12:04 pm ET
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Deatrich Wise has been compared to former Patriots DE Chandler Jones. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports)

Deatrich Wise has been compared to former Patriots DE Chandler Jones. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots only drafted four players in this year’s draft, but for the most part they were players who need a little more development and are not projected as impact players for the upcoming season.

In the third round New England selected defensive end Derek Rivers and offensive tackle Antonio Garcia. Then in the fourth round the team took defensive end Deatrich Wise, and finally its last selection came in the sixth round when it took Conor McDermott, an offensive tackle from UCLA.

Many might assume Rivers and Garcia are primed to make the biggest impact considering they were third-round picks, but in reality it could be Wise.

Rivers set the Youngstown State record with 41 career sacks, but it was FCS football. While Rivers is certainly talented, he may need a year to develop and get acclimated to the NFL and the increase in competition. Garcia also came from a small school in Troy, and is said to need some more work with his technique. The same goes for McDermott, who just started playing tackle two years ago.

This leaves Wise, who from this viewpoint is most primed for an impactful rookie season.

Wise played his college ball at Arkansas, so from a competition standpoint he is likely most prepared for the NFL. His best year came as a junior when he finished with eight sacks (all in conference play), which led the SEC. Also, he tied for 10th nationally in sacks per game against ranked opponents (1.13). He slipped a bit last season, but this could be connected to shoulder and hand injuries he dealt with early in the season.

Speaking to the New England media after being drafted, he said he’s heard comparisons to former Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones.

“I’ve watched him a few times,” Wise said. “I was also compared to him by a few people – similar body styles, similar play styles. We have long arms, we’re real good with our first step, great coming around the edge rushing the passer. He’s a relentless, aggressive player, and I model my game similar to his.”

Wise is also close with current Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers, so learning from him could lead to big things for the rookie.

For the most part the 2017 Patriots draft picks will be focused on developing more as players this year, with the exception of Wise, who with the right attitude has a real chance of contributing this season.

Read More: Deatrich Wise,

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