|05.18.16 at 10:42 am ET|
FOXBORO — Markus Kuhn feels like one lucky guy.
The 6-foot-4, 300-pound defensive lineman not only landed on his feet after signing a one-year deal with the Patriots. It’s a low-risk deal for the Pats, who liked enough of what they saw from the German in his four previous years with the Giants to add him to the roster for depth.
He has a base salary of $760,000 with a signing bonus of $140,000. What’s was the first thing on his mind when he signed with the Patriots?
“Championship. That’s the first thing,” Kuhn said without hesitating.
Kuhn, who was a seventh round pick of the Giants in 2012 out of North Carolina State, is also reunited with another German native in Sebastian Vollmer. But it wasn’t Vollmer that inspired Kuhn to sign in Foxboro.
“Honestly, before I signed here, really not much,” Kuhn said at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday. “It was more like primarily when I came here he reached out to me right away. We saw each other a few times in preseason games. We’d talk just because we’re both German, which is special in this league, but other than that, when I first came here, we went to dinner and just hung out, talked, and he told me a little bit about this place here and yeah, I’ve loved it.”
Kuhn is looking forward to the start of OTAs next week and getting on the field and showing he has what it takes to make the roster.
“[I’m] loving it. [It’s a] great organization,” Kuhn said. “Just to come here and be a part of this right now, really exciting for me of course.
What did lead him to sign in New England?
“It was just for me, if you have an opportunity to play for an organization like this with a team and everything around it, it was not really much to think for me if I would come here or not,” Kuhn said. “I loved the opportunity. I was excited I was able to come here and that’s why I grabbed it and ran with it.”
|05.18.16 at 9:06 am ET|
In the latest edition of the It Is What It Is podcast, Chris Price talks with Ian Rapoport of NFL Media about the Patriots offseason, the major questions facing the team going forward, the health of receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola and the mindset of quarterback Tom Brady as he continues to fight Deflategate.
|05.17.16 at 8:47 pm ET|
Dominique Easley has found a home.
About a month after being released by the Patriots, the defensive lineman reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Rams on Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
He was selected in the first round by the Patriots in the 2014 draft, but finished on injured reserve each of the last two seasons.
Easley now gives the Rams five former first-round picks on the defensive line as he joins Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Robert Quinn and Quinton Coples.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|05.17.16 at 4:22 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Sebastian Vollmer wasn’t about to take the bait.
The 34-year-old veteran offensive tackle took time out from his offseason workout Tuesday at Gillette Stadium and spoke about the process of moving on and building something new for the coming season.
When last we saw the right tackle entering his eighth season in the NFL, he was playing left tackle on a make-shift offensive line that was manhandled by the defensive front of the eventual Super Bowl champion. It was a performance that precipitated the departure of offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo and ushered in the return of Dante Scarnecchia.
Did the way the season ended last year (losses in Miami and Denver) factor into inspiration for this year?
“It’s a new year. I feel like we don’t need extra motivation for anything,” Vollmer said. “I think we come out here and try to better yourself as a player, as a team, as a group, all that stuff. Putting in these hours and working toward the common goal. Now, it’s getting ready for OTAs next week and then we have training camp coming up and all that stuff. So, it’s a long road ahead. But it’s just doing what we’re told to do and grinding it out, really.
“It’s good. There’s a lot of new teammates, obviously,” Vollmer said of the re-worked offensive line. “It’s exciting for us to get to know them and all get on the same page with OTAs starting next week. Exciting times.”
Exciting indeed. Naturally, everyone wanted to get a feel for what it’s like to have Scarnecchia back in the budiling.
“Obviously, had him my first five years. Excellent coach. Can’t praise him high enough. So obviously, us as players we’re asked to do to the best of our abilities. We’re going to keep that approach the same. Expecting good things. I think he expects the best of us and himself. I think just the way he coaches, detail-oriented. He just gets the best out of you.”
Vollmer downplayed the familiarity aspect of Scarnecchia.
|05.17.16 at 11:31 am ET|
It’s been roughly three weeks since a federal court ruled Tom Brady must serve his four-game suspension for his role in Deflategate. Nothing new has happened with the case since, besides Brady and the NFLPA getting extra time to plan their next step.
There are still many questions with the case from a legal standpoint — the biggest being will Brady in fact miss the first four games of the season?
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio had a great breakdown of what is next for Brady. Here are some of the highlights:
— By Monday, Brady and the NFLPA will likely file a petition for a rehearing of the federal appeal. If the petition is granted, Brady likely will able to play the entire 2016 season as the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit hears the case.
— On the other hand, if the petition is denied, Brady and the NFLPA would need to take further action to delay the suspension and persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the case.
— Brady and the NFLPA would need to ask the Second Circuit for a stay of the suspension while an appeal is prepared for the U.S. Supreme Court. If the request is denied, Brady and the NFLPA would then need to present to the full U.S. Supreme Court, but to the lone Supreme Court justice assigned to the Second Circuit.
— As it stands now Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is that person, which Florio says is good news for Brady as she typically sides with labor over management. She could be the key to the entire case as if she did issue a stay, Brady wouldn’t have to serve a suspension until likely 2017 at the earliest.
As always with this case, stay tuned.
|05.16.16 at 3:32 pm ET|
At an average of 316.4 pounds, the Patriots have the 13th-heaviest starting offensive line. And at an average height of 6-foot-5, New England is tied for the second-tallest starting offensive line.
By way of comparison, four other teams have an average height of 6-foot-6, good enough for tops in the league. (Chargers, Steelers, Chiefs and Saints). The shortest? Nine teams have a starting line that averages 6-foot-4. At an average of 327.2 pounds, the Raiders have the heaviest starting offensive line. San Diego (327), the Niners (322.8), Rams (322.8) and Seahawks (320.2) all round out the top 5 when it comes to highest average weight. At the other end of the scale are the Falcons (304.4 pounds) and Texans (304.8)
|05.16.16 at 1:14 pm ET|
Danny Amendola took a beating during the 2015 season.
This is why it’s not much of a surprise that he had offseason surgery on both his knee and ankle, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. The report adds both surgeries occurred after the playoffs and he still is rehabbing. The ankle injury was a bone spur and deemed a “quick fix.”
It is unknown at this time how long the injuries will keep Amendola out. There’s hope he will be ready for training camp, but nothing — even Week 1 — is guaranteed.
Amendola suffered the knee injury against the Bills in Week 11 and missed two games — Week 12 at Denver and Week 16 at the Jets. He finished the season with 65 catches for 648 yards and two touchdowns.
The receiver recently took a pay cut as his contract is now two years worth $7.35 million with $750,000 more in roster bonuses/catch incentives. He was scheduled to have a base salary of $11 million over the next two seasons before he restructured.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
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