|03.12.15 at 5:35 pm ET|
The Patriots have signed free agent linebacker Jonathan Freeny, according to the league transaction wire.
The 6-foot-2, 254-pounder out of Rutgers has played three years in the NFL, all with the Dolphins. He’s accumulated 42 tackles over the course of his professional career, including 15 last season. A distant relative of former Indy pass rusher Dwight Freeney, the 25-year-old is expected to add depth at linebacker and potentially work on special teams.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|03.12.15 at 4:45 pm ET|
One of the moves that caught our eye Thursday morning was the decision the Jaguars made to cut veteran defensive tackle Red Bryant. The 30-year-old veteran, who has spent seven years in the NFL — six with Seattle, as well as last season with Jacksonville — briefly flirted with the Patriots when he was a free agent in 2012, only to return to the Seahawks.
In the week before Super Bowl XLVIII, the 6-foot-5, 328-pound veteran told the Boston Globe, “[The Patriots have] got a great history, great tradition, I have the utmost respect for coach Belichick and Tom Brady and Mr. Robert Kraft. My big brother, Ty Warren, he played there, and I called him and he gave me a background on what it would be like and the expectations and it would have been a great opportunity. The only thing that kept me was my love for the Seahawks, and I envisioned us one day making it to a Super Bowl.”
Bryant is not the player that he once was, but he’s durable (he’s played in 63 of a possible 64 regular-season games over the last four years) and is considered an excellent locker room presence. He’s not a Pro Bowler, but he could still conceivably be a part of a rotation along the defensive line. Something to consider going forward for a few reasons, not the least of which is the fact that Bill Belichick has historically had an affinity for collecting veteran defensive linemen at the end of their careers and trying to squeeze an extra year or two out of them before they ride off into the sunset. Certainly something for New England fans to consider.
In addition, tight end Scott Chandler is also a name that recently came across the radar screen, at least from a New England perspective. The 6-foot-7, 270-pounder was cut loose by the Bills, but has put together some really impressive performances against the Patriots over the years, with 28 catches for 384 yards and four touchdowns in his career against New England. Tight end isn’t an overwhelming priority for the Patriots, but Chandler (who will turn 30 before the start of the 2015 season) could be a nice depth signing.
|03.12.15 at 4:21 pm ET|
WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2015 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.
Position: Outside Linebacker
Weight: 240 pounds
Achievements: 2014 SoCon Defensive Player of the Year, AFCA All-American, All-SoCon, 2013 SoCon Defensive Player of the Year, first team All-SoCon, AFCA All-American, 2012 SoCon Defensive Player of the Year, first team All-SoCon, AFCA All-American, 2011 SoCon All-Freshmen
What he brings: Tull dominated the Southern Conference with effort, athleticism, and strength, but scouts are worried that his success may not completely transfer when faced with stiffer competition. His spin move and ability to seal the edge are considered two of his top attributes. Some scouts and experts are worried that long, athletic linemen could limit Tull’s ability to use his athleticism to his advantage. There are also concerns that he allows too many broken tackles, but he is considered an above-average all-around linebacker.
Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 3-5
Notes: Tull finished the 2014 season with 58 tackles and a conference-leading 10.5 sacks. He also led the Southern Conference with 18 tackles for loss. ESPN.com ranks him as the 12th linebacker and 105th overall player in the draft. He has suffered several major injuries since high school, including a broken femur and a sports hernia.
Video: Here’s Tull in action against Tennessee Tech this past season.
|03.12.15 at 3:44 pm ET|
The Patriots have been sitting back for the most part during the early stages of free agency, but it appears things may be picking up.
According to the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe, the Patriots are interested in trading for Eagles guard Evan Mathis. Mathis has been a Pro Bowler each of the past two seasons. The 33-year-old has played for the Panthers, Dolphins, Bengals and now the Eagles. His current contract has base salaries of $5.5 million in 2015 and $6 million in 2016. Mathis had a knee injury last season and was limited to nine games.
CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora adds other teams are interested in Mathis, including the Dolphins, Bills, Rams, Vikings, and Saints.
One of the Patriots’ guards last year, and captain, Dan Connolly is currently a free agent.
It’s also being reported the Patriots have interest in former Lions running back Reggie Bush. According to Dianna Marie Russini of NBC4, Bush already met with the 49ers, and is now planning on visiting the Patriots and Saints.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
‘ Dianna Marie Russini (@NBCdianna) March 12, 2015
|03.12.15 at 2:44 pm ET|
The Patriots lost their best cornerback last year in Darrelle Revis to the Jets on Tuesday night, and now Thursday they have lost their second-best cornerback.
According to multiple reports (Fox Sports 1’s Mike Garafolo was first), Browner has agreed to sign with the Saints. It will be a three-year deal. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport adds the contract totals roughly $18 million.
The Patriots had Browner signed for the next two years, but told him he could test the market earlier in the week before not picking up his option for 2015 on Tuesday. He would have had a cap hit of $5.5 million. The physical corner also had reported interest from the Redskins.
Browner finished the 2014 season with 25 tackles and an interception in nine regular-season games. Most known for his physical play, he had 15 accepted penalties in those nine games.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|03.12.15 at 1:48 pm ET|
After taking some heat Wednesday night when he said going from the Patriots to the Giants represented a “step up,” running back Shane Vereen took to Twitter Thursday to clarify his statements, say farewell to New England fans, and express his thanks for the support he received in his four years with the Patriots.
I can't thank the Kraft family and the Patriots organization enough for everything that they have done for me and my family.
The last 4 years has been the best 4 years of my life and nothing will ever replace my time in New England.
Lastly…This is a huge "step up" for me, my career and especially my family in regards to a great contract. Lets not make this a big deal
|03.12.15 at 12:48 pm ET|
The Patriots were able to gain some financial flexibility this week, as they have apparently managed to restructure the contract of wide receiver Danny Amendola. According to multiple reports, Amendola’s new deal covers three years, is worth $12.75 million, and can max out at $15 million.
The 29-year-old Amendola struggled over the course of 2014, finishing with 27 catches for 200 yards and a touchdown. But he became a major special teams contributor, and played well down the stretch and into the postseason.
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