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Patriots will release wide receiver TJ Moe

03.10.14 at 12:56 pm ET
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The Patriots are set to release wide receiver T.J. Moe on Monday, according to his agent Matt Brei.

The 6-foot, 200-pound Moe, an undrafted free agent out of Mizzou, spent the entire 2013 season on injured reserve after suffering a torn Achilles last May. The news is a bit of a surprise, considering the fact that the Patriots paid him handsomely as an undrafted free agent last spring (according to reports, he  received a signing bonus of $8,000 and $22,000 in guaranteed base salary, excellent money for a UDFA), and thought enough of him to keep him around despite last spring’s injury.

Moe said Monday afternoon he was informed of the news on Monday. “I was surprised by the call,” he said. “But nothing is too surprising in the NFL.” He added that rehab is “coming along well.”

The 22-year-old played in 48 games over his four seasons at Missouri, totaling 188 receptions for 2,101 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Read More: T.J. Moe,

Report: Redskins reaching out to cornerback Aqib Talib

03.10.14 at 12:43 pm ET
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The Redskins have expressed an interest in cornerback Aqib Talib, according to several media reports.

Talib, who spent the last season-plus with the Patriots, is set to hit the open market when free agency starts tomorrow, and the idea of him drawing attention from Washington — at least during the “legal tampering window” — certainly makes sense. New Redskins GM Bruce Allen drafted Talib in 2008 when he was with the Bucs, and Talib played for new Washington secondary coach Raheem Morris when Morris was the head coach in Tampa Bay.

One thing that could preclude the Redskins from going after Talib is the fact that they just made a sizable financial commitment in re-signing cornerback D’Angelo Hall, inking him to a four-year deal worth a reported $20 million. With its cap situation, it’s debatable how much Washington would earmark for a pair of cornerbacks.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Talib had 41 tackles and four picks in 13 games last season for the Patriots.

Read More: 2014 nfl free agency, Aqib Talib, D'Angelo Hall,

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Stanford FS Ed Reynolds

03.10.14 at 11:44 am ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2014 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.

ED REYNOLDS

Position: Free safety

School: Stanford

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 207 pounds

Achievements: FWAA second-team All-American, CBSSports.com first-team All-American, SI.com All-American honorable mention, Phil Steele second-team All-American, first team All-Pac-12 (media and coaches), Pac-12 second-team All-Academic, Lott IMPACT Award semifinalist

What he brings: Scouts point out that Reynolds has a strong ability to read plays and he knows what to do with the ball after he has successfully intercepted a pass. They also point out, though, that he can at times become overly aggressive.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 2-4

Notes: Reynolds missed his 2011 season because of an injury to his ACL. … He was ejected from a game against Arizona State on Sept. 21 for targeting. … Reynolds’€™ father, also named Ed, was a linebacker for the Patriots from 1983-91 and played for the Giants in 1992.

Related articles:

SI.com: 2014 NFL combine Risers, Sliders: Justin Gilbert, Phillip Gaines sprint into spotlight

SI.com: Stanford’s Ed Reynolds, Cameron Fleming enter NFL draft

Video: Here is a video highlighting Reynolds‘ time at Stanford.

Read More: 2014 NFL Draft, 2014 Potential Patriots, Ed Reynolds,

Report: Patriots re-signing TE Michael Hoomanawanui

03.10.14 at 11:34 am ET
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The Patriots are re-signing tight end Michael Hoomanawanui to a two-year contract, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

The 25-year-old Hoomanwanui has played the last two seasons in New England. In 27 regular-season games he has 17 catches for 245 yards and a touchdown.

The 6-foot-4, 260-pounder has been in the league for four seasons, two with the Patriots and two with the Rams (2010-11).

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: 2014 nfl free agency, Michael Hoomanawanui,

Road to Radio City Music Hall: Breaking down pre-draft schedule for Monday

03.10.14 at 7:00 am ET
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With 59 days to go until the NFL draft, here’s a quick look at what’s going Monday in the pre-draft process:

— Upcoming pro days
Monday: San Diego, South Florida, Troy, Villanova
Tuesday: UConn, Kanas State, Michigan State, UCLA, Temple, Toledo
Wednesday: Southern Cal, Michigan, Alabama, Boston College, Colorado, Colorado State, Marshall, Rutgers, Oklahoma

For Patriots fans, the most notable day is Wednesday, as several major schools will hold their pro day sessions. We’ll highlight more as the week goes on (including Alabama’s workout, which could feature a few possible Patriots), but for now, our focus will be on Rutgers, which will hold its annual pro day on campus on Wednesday. Over the last few years, the Patriots have stocked the cupboard with plenty of former Scarlet Knights, including draft picks Devin McCourty, Logan Ryan and Duron Harmon, as well as undrafted free agent Mark Harrison. In that same vein, one guy for Patriots fans to keep an eye on will be Brandon Coleman. The wide receiver, who will be one of 18 Rutgers players set to participate, is a 6-foot-6, 225-pounder finished his collegiate career at Rutgers with 20 touchdowns, tied for first in school history. He’s well-aware of the Piscataway-to-Foxboro connection over the last few years, and said last month that he’s relying on his former teammates who are currently with the Patriots to help get him through the pre-draft process.

“€œThey just told me to keep a smile on my face. They just said go out there and be yourself, and just let everything flow naturally,”€ said Coleman while meeting the media at the combine. “Just be myself. They’€™re going to love you for who you are –€” just sell yourself and you’€™re going to be fine.

“€œThey just told me that it can get crazy at times, and don’€™t let it get to my head. I haven’€™t quite been in a situation like this before, but I’€™ve been prepared. Rutgers has kind of guided me through this process before. I just have to go out there and be myself, and everything will take care of itself.”

— One other possibility worth mentioning in that group is UCLA offensive lineman Xavier Su’€™a-Filo, who name-checked Patriots offensive lineman Logan Mankins as a ‘€œbad-ass’€ who provides a perfect blueprint for any aspiring offensive lineman.

“€œI watch a lot of Logan Mankins, left guard from the New England Patriots. I think Logan, he was a high draft pick, but he’€™€™s physical. He’€™€™s a bad-ass,”€ the 6-foot-3, 304-pound Su’€™€™a-Filo said. “€œHe started from Day 1 in New England, and I love how nasty he is –€” something about his game that I really try to implement.”

— In terms of Patriots-related news, the latest update from the weekend is from Ohio State quarterback Kenny Guiton, who told media Friday at his pro day that he has a meeting scheduled with the Patriots on March 26.

 

While the Patriots aren’t expected to make a play for any of the elite quarterbacks available in this year’s draft, New England always gets a quarterback in the late rounds or as an undrafted free agent every year. Guiton, who is considered to be late-round prospect, could be that guy this year.

— A reminder to check out our burgeoning database of prospects as viewed through a Patriots’ prism. Updates are featured daily.

Read More: 2014 NFL Draft, Brandon Coleman, Kenny Guiton, Xavier Su’a-Filo

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Auburn OT Greg Robinson

03.09.14 at 11:10 am ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2014 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.

GREG ROBINSON

Position: Offensive tackle

School: Auburn

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 320 pounds

Achievements: 2013 first-team All-SEC (Associated Press)

What he brings: Robinson has the ideal frame for a NFL offensive lineman. Scouts say that he has good control of his size and is a dominant run-blocker. They add, however, that his limited experience — two years as a starter at Auburn and four years on the offensive line — are slight weaknesses.

Where the Patriots could get him: Robinson is likely a top-10 pick, so the Patriots would need to trade up to get him.

Notes: Robinson redshirted his freshman year at Auburn before starting 11 games in 2012 and earning a sport on the SEC honor roll. During the 2012 season he was part of an offensive unit that allowed 37 sacks, the worst in the league. Along with the rest of the offense, he improved after offensive line coach J.B. Grimes joined the staff.

Related articles:

ESPN: Updated NFL draft Big Board

ESPN: The SEC’s 25 best players: No. 11

All Alabama: Find out where Auburn’s draft hopefuls land in ESPN analyst Mel Kiper’s latest position rankings

Video: Here is video of Robinson during the 2014 BCS championship game against Florida State

Read More: 2014 NFL Draft, 2014 Potential Patriots, Greg Robinson,

Sunday NFL Notes: Are Texans making a play for Ryan Mallett?

03.09.14 at 6:00 am ET
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1. Via a league source, WEEI.com can confirm an initial report Saturday from MassLive.com that the Texans have “expressed an interest” in Ryan Mallett. It’€™s not known what the Patriots would be interested in in return and if the two sides could reach an accord on a deal, but the Patriots backup quarterback — who is entering the final year of his rookie deal — was selected in the third round (74th overall) in the 2011 draft. It’€™s long been maintained that New England would like a positive return on its investment, which could mean a second-rounder, or something in the upper stages of the third round. (There’€™s also the possibility of multiple picks.) The Texans currently hold the first, 33rd and 65th overall picks in the draft, and while Mallett hasn’€™t seen any significant snaps in the course of his three seasons with the Patriots, it would make sense for Bill O’€™Brien — the former Patriots offensive coordinator who worked with Mallett on a regular basis while in New England — to go after a quarterback he knows would be a good fit for his system. The league source indicated that it’€™s nothing more that interest at this point, but it’€™s a situation that certainly bears monitoring going forward.

2. When it comes to Mallett, it’€™s almost hard to remember now, but when he arrived in Foxboro, there were questions about his background and character stemming from his time as a collegian. However, by all accounts, he’€™s been a very good teammate and hard worker while in New England, fundamentally erasing any of the character questions that had surrounded him when he came out of Arkansas in 2011. As was previously stated, Mallett hasn’€™t played any significant snaps while with the Patriots, but his relatively low cost (he’€™s in the final year of a deal that pays him $776,976 in base salary), his willingness to work with Tom Brady (as well as the scout team) and his impressive college numbers (he threw for 8.385 yards in three college seasons) make him an attractive option. “Ryan comes to work every week with a great attitude and a great approach — he prepares as if he is playing,”€ Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said when asked about Mallett late in the 2013 season. “I think he has continued to try to work at what it means to be a quarterback in this league; prepare hard, go through you daily preparation of segment of the game plan. He has really done a nice job of trying to give our defense a good look each week, which I think is an underrated part of a backup quarterback’€™s preparation, but it is important nonetheless because it is an opportunity to go back there, make reads, and throw the ball accurately and work on your fundamentals, get better and lead that team.”

3. For clarifications sake, the “€œlegal tampering window”€ opened at noon on Saturday afternoon, and runs through Tuesday at 4 p.m. That means teams can contact the agents of pending unrestricted free agents of other teams, but they cannot execute a contract with a pending free agent in that period. (That has to wait until after 4 p.m. on Tuesday, the start of the new league year.) In truth, it’€™s a getting-to-know you process that allows teams to gauge the market when it comes to how interested a player could be in signing with their franchise, as well as vice versa.

Here are the specific rules, straight from the NFL, as to what is and isn’€™t permitted in the window.

“During this negotiation period, a prospective unrestricted free agent cannot visit a club (other than the player’€™s current club) at its permanent facility or at any other location, and no direct contact is permitted between the player and any employee or representative of a club (other than the player’€™s current club). If a player is self-represented, clubs are prohibited from discussions with the player during the negotiating period.

“Clubs (other than the player’€™s current club) may not discuss or make any travel arrangements with prospective unrestricted free agent players, their certified agents, or anyone else associated with the player until the expiration of those players’€™ 2013 Player Contracts at 4:00 p.m. ET on March 11.

“The three-day negotiating period applies only to potential unrestricted free agents; it does not apply to players who are potential Exclusive Rights Players or Restricted Free Agents, or to players who have been designated as Franchise Players or Transition Players.”

4. Here’€™s a look at free agency needs as it relates to the rest of the AFC East:

a) Jets: As is the case in the draft, the Jets figure to be on the lookout for as much offensive help as possible. They re-signed tight end Jeff Cumberland (a good start locking up an underrated part of their offense), and even though they have former Patriot Zach Sudfeld in the fold, they could add to the position with someone like Brandon Pettigrew, Scott Chandler or Jermichael Finley. There’€™s also the possibility of them making moves at quarterback. The Jets have roughly $20 million in cap space, which could balloon upwards toward the $30 million-plus range if they jettison Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes or Antonio Cromartie.

b) Dolphins: Miami made a strong move in re-signing free agent corner Brent Grimes, but much like the Jets and their quest to find help on the offensive side of the ball, the Dolphins will be looking to upgrade its offensive line both in the draft and in free agency this offseason. Free-agent tackles like Branden Albert and Eugene Monroe are possibilities for the Dolphins, who have $33 million in cap space.

c) Bills: By most estimates, Buffalo has roughly $20 million in cap space, the Bills could use some more offensive options in the passing game for EJ Manuel (particularly at tight end if they lose Chandler). If he leaves in free agency, they could be looking for a replacement for Jairius Byrd, and could also use some more depth at linebacker. Based on his connection with former Patriots coach Pepper Johnson, it wouldn’€™t be a shock to see linebacker Brandon Spikes pop up in Buffalo as well.

5. While there was some talk about the Patriots making a move to pick up defensive tackle Red Bryant, one of the least surprising moves at the start of free agency on Saturday happened when Bryant signed with his old defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, who is now in charge in Jacksonville. Bryant credited Pete Carroll and Bradley for helping jump start his professional career, and so it wasn’€™t a surprise to see him jump to join the Jags, even at what was probably a relatively reduced rate. However, the idea of free agents flocking to locales where former coordinators are now installed as head coaches isn’€™t exactly new. (Bill Belichick was able to pluck a few former Browns and Jets in free agency soon after he became head coach of the Patriots.) It wouldn’€™t be a surprise to see some former Bills defensive players join new Browns head coach Mike Pettine in Cleveland. (Jairius Byrd?) But one team to watch could be Minnesota, where new head coach Mike Zimmer inspired a devoted following among the defensive players when he was DC with the Bengals. Defensive end Michael Johnson is certainly one candidate to follow Zimmer from Cincy to Minnesota. Asked about the possibility of bringing some of his guys along with him, Zimmer said the familiarity is nice, but it’€™s not imperative. “It always helps because of the communication, but it’€™s not relative,”€ Zimmer said this week. “€œI had no one in Cincinnati (his first year). Matter of fact, I was the only new coach I think when I went there on defense. I had no players that came with me at that time. It’€™d be nice, but it’€™s not imperative.”
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