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Ian Rapoport on M&M: Brandon Browner told people he accepted Patriots’ offer

03.14.14 at 1:15 pm ET
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NFL Network/ reporter Ian Rapoport joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss the Patriots’ pursuit of cornerback Brandon Browner and other NFL free agent news. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Rapoport reported Thursday night that Browner appeared to have a deal in place with the Patriots, but that’s since been called into question.

“Here’s what I know: Last night Brandon Browner told people very close to him that he had agreed to take the Patriots’ offer,” Rapoport explained. “At that point he was in New England, and my understanding is he is still in New England right now [shortly after noon]. He did have some visits scheduled, according to what his agent Peter Schaffer told Albert Breer in between periods of his men’s hockey league game in Denver. … I was told early this morning that the Redskins visit was then canceled, because they knew he was going to do a deal with New England. And then his agent has been saying the plan is still to go to the Redskins, and now the visit may be back on, after they initially canceled this morning.”

Added Rapoport on the likelihood of the deal getting finalized: “He agreed to a deal, according to people close to him last night. So, I would say the chances are pretty good, regardless of where he visits.”

As for how Browner would fit in, Rapoport said the veteran had some issues last season but the Patriots could be a good fit. Browner would have to sit out the first four games as part of his NFL suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.

“He’s an interesting player,” Rapoport said. “He’s big, he’s physical. Really struggled last year with the Seahawks. They were weighing all options, including releasing him last year. Then he got hurt and then he got suspended and they didn’t have to worry about it — they played Walter Thurmond and they won the Super Bowl.

“So I think his play is certainly a question. But you come to New England, he’ll only be allowed to do what he does. So I think it’s probably a good place for him. I think he knows it’s a good place for him, which is why he wants to come to New England. We’ll see what happens from there.”

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Read More: Aqib Talib, Brandon Browner, Darrelle Revis, Ian Rapoport

Resetting latest on Patriots and their own free agents

03.14.14 at 12:33 pm ET
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Almost 72 hours into free agency, here’s the latest on what’s up with the Patriots’ own free agent class.

Long snapper Danny Aiken: Signed a one-year deal to return to New England.
Running back LeGarrette Blount: No updates.
Defensive end Andre Carter: Carter has left the door open for a possible return ‘€” he expanded on his feelings in a recent interview with ESPN.
Wide receiver Austin Collie: No updates.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman: The slot receiver, who reportedly left a three-year deal on the table in New England, is facing a fluid market for his services, as it’s clear his future could be tied to Steve Smith. (We explored that here.) He’s visiting with the Niners on Friday — it could be an enticing spot for the California native.
Linebacker Dane Fletcher: Reportedly took a free agent visit to Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui: Signed a two-year deal to return to New England.
Tight end Matthew Mulligan: No updates at this time, but a league source has expressed to some optimism the Maine product could return to the Patriots in 2014.
Linebacker Brandon Spikes: Spikes is visiting with the Bills, a natural landing spot — he’s tight with former positional coach Pepper Johnson, and Johnson left New England for Buffalo earlier this offseason.
Offensive lineman Will Svitek: No updates, but like Mulligan, league sources expressed a belief that the Patriots would welcome him back at a fair market rate.
Cornerback Aqib Talib: Talib signed a six-year, $57 million deal with $26 million guaranteed with the Broncos.
Center Ryan Wendell: No updates, but the Patriots have kicked the tires on veteran Phil Costa, who ended up signing with the Colts. As is the case at other positions, both sides could be looking to read the market before making a move.

Read More: 2014 nfl free agency, Andre Carter, Aqib Talib, austin collie

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Baylor OG Cyril Richardson

03.14.14 at 10:58 am ET
By   |   Comments 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 is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’€™s time for the Patriots to make a selection.


Position: Offensive guard

School: Baylor University

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 340 pounds

Achievements: 2013 consensus All-American, 2013 first-team All-Big 12

What he brings: Richardson is a massive, powerful offensive lineman who has the size to match up with the NFL’€™s biggest. He has played at both tackle and guard but is projected to be more of a guard in the NFL. Richardson doesn’t have great athleticism and could struggle with faster defensive lineman.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 3-4

Notes: The 23-year-old went to high school in New Orleans and was forced to move after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. writer Daniel Jeremiah considers Richardson one of the “most physical players” in college football. Richardson started as a guard in his junior and senior seasons at Baylor, starting 25 of 26 games there. During his sophomore year, Richardson started all 13 games at left tackle, protecting Robert Griffin III‘€™s blindside.

Related articles:

Dallas Morning News: Senior Bowl hurt stock of Baylor guard Cyril Richardson

Star-Telegram: Baylor Bears’€™ star lineman cherishes his blessings after Katrina

Video: Here’s Richardson in action against UCF during the 2014 Fiesta Bowl.

Read More: 2014 NFL Draft, 2014 Potential Patriots, Cyril Richardson,

Adam Schefter on D&C: Brandon Browner ‘very well may wind up in New England’

03.14.14 at 9:55 am ET
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ESPN’€™s Adam Schefter joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday to discuss the free agency market. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Less than 15 minutes after Ian Rapoport of NFL Network announced that the Patriots and cornerback Brandon Browner had agreed to a two-year deal, reports surfaced that the two sides did not have an agreement.

“He just hasn’€™t reached agreement on a two-year deal,” Schefter said. “That’€™s just not right right now. Maybe eventually he will reach agreement with the Patriots, but today he’€™s in Washington visiting the Redskins. So again, if he had the agreement, I don’€™t know why he’€™s wasting his time to go to Washington to visit the Redskins, and then he’€™s supposed to be visiting the Saints after that and his agent is still talking to the Raiders and the Patriots.

“Here’€™s my assessment of where the deal’s at — I think Browner, in his own mind, is comfortable with the idea of playing in New England and would like to play in New England. I think from a Patriots standpoint, they think a deal is close. But the agent’€™s doing his job trying to see what kind of market he can generate, and you don’€™t know what other team is going to be offering or how interested the Redskins or Saints or Raiders are going to be and so ultimately he very well may wind up in New England.”

Schefter added: “I think there’€™s a way to go in this process, and, again, I’ve seen this so many times with so many different players and so many different teams throughout the years. There have been times an agreement is coming down, and bang, it doesn’t. And it just changes. It’€™s a very fluid thing, and you think you know what’€™s happening in free agency, and a lot of times the curtain’€™s pulled right out from underneath you.”

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Read More: Brandon Browner, Darrelle Revis, Julian Edelman, Vince Wilfork

Defensive lineman Tommy Kelly reworks his contract

03.14.14 at 12:19 am ET
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While it appears Vince Wilfork was unwilling to budge when it comes to his contract situation, fellow defensive lineman Tommy Kelly has apparently agreed to a reworked deal.

According to NFLPA documents, Kelly has dropped his base salary from $1.95 million to $955,000. In addition, ESPN reported that Kelly’s remaining money has changed to a $100,000 signing bonus and $800,000 in roster bonuses, as well as a $645,000 bonus if he plays at least 60 percent of the defensive snaps in 2014.

In his first season with the Patriots, Kelly played five games before going down with a season-ending knee injury on Oct. 6. He finished the year with 22 tackles (12 solo) and 2.5 sacks.

Read More: Tommy Kelly, Vince Wilfork,

Agent: No deal yet between Patriots and Brandon Browner

03.13.14 at 11:53 pm ET
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An odd free agent period got a little stranger late Thursday night when cornerback Brandon Browner had an agreement in place with the Patriots … and then, apparently didn’t have one.

After a Thursday visit with the Patriots, it was reported Thursday night by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network that Browner had agreed to a two-year deal with the Patriots. (The news also prompted his teammates — like Richard Sherman — to reach out with congratulations.)


Then, multiple reports came down that no such agreement was in place.


That prompted Pro Football Talk to reach out to Schaffer, who angrily denounced the idea that an agreement was in place.

“It’s 100 percent untrue,” he said. “I’ve got four teams to negotiate with. I’ve got irresponsible journalists who don’t check their facts putting this stuff out there, and my phone is blowing up when I’m trying to play hockey.

“I’ve got very little patience for irresponsible journalists who put this stuff out and ruin my night,” added Schaffer, who plays in an adult hockey league in Colorado. “My phone is going nuts. I just wanna play hockey.”

All of this doesn’t mean that a deal won’t eventually get done — there are a lot of things at play here when you’re talking about a deal like this one, particularly considering the fact that the logistics of Browner’s four-game suspension and how it might relate to a new contract have to be worked out.

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Read More: 2014 nfl free agency, Brandon Browner, Peter Schaffer,

Julian Edelman set to make first free agent visit with 49ers

03.13.14 at 11:07 pm ET
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Julian Edelman will take his first official free agent visit Friday when he visits the Niners.

The wide receiver, who caught a team-high 105 passes last year for the Patriots (to go along with 1,056 yards and six touchdowns, all of which were career-highs), has reportedly turned down a three-year offer from the Patriots. He’s also reportedly being recruited to the Browns by quarterback Brian Hoyer, a former New England teammate.

The 5-foot-10, 198-pounder is a former college quarterback who made the switch to receiver after New England took him in the seventh round of the 2009 draft. The 27-year-old has played five years in the league, all with New England, and has 174 career receptions to go along with 1,770 yards and 10 touchdowns.

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Read More: 2014 nfl free agency, Julian Edelman,
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