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Report: Patriots add DT Kelcy Quarles 08.31.14 at 2:15 pm ET
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Defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles was claimed by the Patriots on Sunday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

Quarles is a South Carolina product who had 9.5 sacks last season — more than first overall pick Jadaveon Clowney — but he went undrafted this past spring. While in camp with the Giants, the 6-foot-4, 298-pounder suffered an ankle injury, which appeared to set him back a bit. But according to those who watched him, was still able to compete for a job. He was part of New York’s final cuts on Saturday.

Here are some highlights of his work as a collegian:

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Patriots trade QB Ryan Mallett to Texans 08.31.14 at 1:35 pm ET
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The Patriots have traded quarterback Ryan Mallett to the Texans, per a league source.

The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Mallett, who was taken in the third round of the 2011 draft out of Arkansas, has served asa backup to Tom Brady for the better part of the last three seasons. In four games, he’s gone 1-for-4 for 17 yards. According to Tania Ganguli of ESPN, the Patriots will get a sixth-round pick in return for Mallett. (It’s known that the two teams were talking about a potential deal for Mallett as early as the spring.)

The Patriots will now likely turn to rookie Jimmy Garoppolo as the primary backup to Brady.

The news was first reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

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Patriots sign LB Ja’Gared Davis, RB Jonas Gray to practice squad 08.31.14 at 1:18 pm ET
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Ja'Gared Davis

Ja’Gared Davis

The Patriots started filling their 10-man practice squad on Sunday afternoon with the additions of linebacker Ja’Gared Davis and running back Jonas Gray, according to a league source.

The 5-foot-9, 230-pound Gray, who has been with the Dolphins and Ravens, spent most of the 2013 season on the Ravens practice squad. As a collegian, he totaled 1,100 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns in 34 games with the Fighting Irish from 2009-2011. He led the Patriots in offensive touches this preseason with a team-high 37 carries.

As for Davis, he’s bounced on and off the Patriots’ practice squad over the last year-plus. The 6-foot, 238-pounder, was originally signed by Houston as a rookie free agent last spring, but was released on Aug. 27. He was signed and released by the Patriots last summer, but added to the practice squad on Sept. 1. He was signed to the 53-man roster the day before the Patriots game at Cincinnati and played on special teams against the Bengals. He was released Oct. 7 and re-signed to the practice squad on Oct. 9, where he spent the rest of the season.

Teams have a total of 10 practice squad spots.

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Sunday NFL Notes: Have players, league reached happy medium when it comes to ‘points of emphasis’ penalties? 08.31.14 at 6:30 am ET
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Bill Belichick and the rest of the coaches around the league might be happier now that "points of emphasis" calls dropped over the last two weeks of the preseason. (Getty Images)

Bill Belichick and the rest of the coaches around the league might be happier now that “points of emphasis” calls dropped over the last two weeks of the preseason. (Getty Images)

1. If the fourth preseason game was any indication, the league and the players appear to have found a happy medium when it comes to penalty flags and the new “points of emphasis”€ that dominated the early stages of the summer. According to our pal Brian McIntyre, there were far fewer “points of emphasis”€ flags thrown on Thursday night than in games earlier in the preseason. In the first 49 preseason games, there was an average of nearly six per game. On Thursday, that average dropped to just 3.5. As McIntyre notes, there were other factors in play, but it was interesting to see that the average time of game on Thursday was 2 hours and 52 minutes, with only two games going more than 3 hours. While it’€™s debatable why the decrease occurred — referees dialing things back or players and coaching picking up on the new approach — but there was a change in the overall pace of the game. It’€™s undeniable that when historians write about the 2014 preseason, it’€™ll be with a heavy shade of yellow: In all, according to ESPN Stats & Information, there were 1,020 total flags in the 2013 preseason, with 38 for defensive holding, 18 for illegal contact and 28 for illegal use of hands. In 2014, there were 1,387 flags (a 36 percent increase from the year before): 172 for defensive holding (353 percent higher), 99 for illegal contact (450 percent higher) and 124 for illegal use of hands (a 343 percent increase).

2. We have long been advocates of the statistical smorgasbord that is Pro Football Reference — it’€™s easy to go to the enormous database looking for one particular number, get distracted and find the whole afternoon gone after you spend eight hours comparing stats. The PFR folks have introduced a new feature they tweeted about this week, a team streak finder that measures consecutive wins and losses. The stat that caught our eye was New England’€™s current string of Week 1 victories. The Patriots are third in NFL history when it comes to consecutive wins to open a season — they’ve won 10 straight season openers, dating back to 2004 against the Colts. (Their last loss came against the Bills in Buffalo in September 2003, an epic curb-stomping that remains one of the worst losses of the Bill Belichick era.) If New England wins its opener against the Dolphins next Sunday in Miami, it will have tied the Dolphins (1992-2002) for second place on the all-time list. The leaders are the Cowboys, who won an astonishing 17 straight openers from 1965 to 1981. (As of a few years ago, the Steelers were the only other team close to catching the Patriots — Pittsburgh won eight straight openers from 2003 to 2010.) Also, you might also want to check out this list also from PFR of the most consecutive seasons of 10 wins or more. The Patriots have gone 11 consecutive years with 10 wins or more, which is second on the all-time list behind the Niners, who went 16 straight seasons (1983 to 1998) with at least double-digit victories.

3. In the grand scheme of things, this doesn’t mean a whole lot to people outside the media, but both Logan Mankins and Tommy Kelly were known for their interactions with the media. Both were candid, engaging and funny interviews who knew how to work the media better than most of the players who have come through the New England locker room on recent occasions. We wrote about Mankins and his ability to spin a quote briefly here, but it’€™s worth reiterating that he was a player who was always honest with the media. And in his year-plus with the Patriots, Kelly also distinguished himself as a go-to guy in the locker room, someone who always could be counted on to fill a notebook with worthwhile observations from a veteran who had a terrific perspective on the game. Both will be missed by local reporters.

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Report: Patriots work out 12 available free agents 08.30.14 at 11:44 pm ET
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It was a busy day in Foxboro. In addition to the Patriots cutting their roster from 75 to 53 players in accordance with the league-mandated rules, they also worked out a dozen players, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.

Among the group who were put through their paces at Gillette Stadium were defensive linemen Jermelle Cudjo, Hebron Fangupo and Cam Henderson; safety Omar Brown; cornerbacks Deveron Carr and Aaron Hester, as well as linebacker Kevin Reddick. On the offensive side of the ball, New England took a look at quarterbacks Jeff Mathews and McLeod Bethel-Thompson; wide receivers Armon Binns and Rashad Lawrence and running back Jerome Smith.

While most of these workouts are about doing due diligence on available free agents, one player who the Patriots could have a serious eye on is Reddick. New England found itself with a lack of depth at the linebacker position following Saturday’s cutdowns, and the 6-foot-1, 246-pound Reddick — who was waived earlier in the week by the Saints — might have a better chance of signing with the Patriots than the rest of the players who had workouts.

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In wake of final cuts, 10 thoughts about state of Patriots roster 08.30.14 at 10:10 pm ET
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Jimmy Garoppolo and Ryan Mallett will both open the season on the roster. (Getty Images)

Jimmy Garoppolo and Ryan Mallett will both open the season on the roster. (Getty Images)

1. As it stands right now, the Patriots will be keeping a trio of quarterbacks for the first time since 2011, as Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett and Jimmy Garoppolo will head into the season as New England’€™s signal-callers. Garoppolo performed well against New York’€™s second- and third-teamers in the preseason finale, but from this viewpoint, Mallett is still the best bet as the No. 2 quarterback.

2. There’€™s always some movement between the cuts and start of the regular season, but as it stands right now, the Patriots appear to have left themselves a little thin at linebacker, with only youngster Chris White and Darius Fleming (who missed the last two seasons with knee issues) as the backups to starters Dont’€™a Hightower, Jamie Collins and Jerod Mayo. With the release of veteran James Anderson, the thinking was that the team wanted to get younger at the spot and also bring in someone who could has some special teams value. But that theory went out the window when the team waived Steve Beauharnais, a seventh-rounder last year who had both of those attributes. Maybe Beauharnais returns after Week 1, maybe the Patriots have their eye on someone else. But at this point, you have to figure they’€™re keeping their collective fingers crossed when it comes to their linebackers staying healthy.

3. The curious decision to cut long snapper Danny Aiken — and not immediately add another body — leaves the Patriots without a long snapper at the moment. From our perspective, it appeared that Aiken had a good spring and summer, and was a slam-dunk to make the final roster. But his release means that Rob Ninkovich (who was originally signed as a free agent backup linebacker and long snapper in the summer of 2009) is the lone long snapper on the roster. The Patriots might be inclined to try and press one of the three centers on the roster (Ryan Wendell, Dan Connolly or Bryan Stork) into service as an emergency long snapper.

4. In other special teams news, the Patriots cut two players who might have figured into the kick return battle in Josh Boyce and Roy Finch. As a result — and based on what we’€™ve seen this spring and summer — the safe bet is that New England turns to some combination of rookie James White, veteran running back Shane Vereen and special teamer Matthew Slater. But as we stated here, it looks like it’€™s going to be another season of shared responsibilities when it comes to kick returning work.

5. The release of Boyce brings a year-plus odyssey for the wide receiver to an end in New England. The TCU product struggled to click as a part of the offense, and appeared at times to be the odd man out over the course of the spring and summer workouts. A workout warrior — he posted some of the most amazing numbers in the recent history of the combine back in 2013 — he finished last year with nine catches. His finest moment came when he snapped off the ankles of Cleveland defensive back Buster Skrine in a game last year. The Patriots would probably like to get him through to the practice squad, but given his impressive physical skills, it’€™s unlikely he gets through the waiver process.
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With cuts complete, Patriots 53-man roster takes shape 08.30.14 at 4:54 pm ET
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Following the Saturday cuts, here’s a look at the Patriots’ 53-man roster. It’s important to note that there are still plenty of moves coming — last year, there were 15 roster moves between the final cuts and the start of the regular season, and that doesn’t count the practice squad transactions — those will come on Sunday.


Quarterback (3): Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett, Jimmy Garoppolo
Offensive line (10): Ryan Wendell, Chris Barker, Bryan Stork, Dan Connolly, Josh Kline, Sebastian Vollmer, Nate Solder, Jordan Devey, Marcus Cannon, Cameron Fleming
Tight ends (4): Rob Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui, Tim Wright, James Develin
Running backs (4): Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, James White, Brandon Bolden
Wide receivers (5): Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Brandon LaFell, Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson (Brian Tyms starts the year on the reserve/suspended list and does not count toward the final 53-man roster, at least for the first four weeks.)


Defensive line (9): Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Vince Wilfork, Dominique Easley, Michael Buchanan, Joe Vellano, Sealver Siliga, Chris Jones, Zach Moore
Linebackers (5): Jerod Mayo, Jamie Collins, Dont’€™€™a Hightower, Darius Fleming, Chris White
Cornerbacks (5): Darrelle Revis, Alfonzo Dennard, Kyle Arrington, Logan Ryan, Malcolm Butler (Brandon Browner starts the year on the reserve/suspended list and does not count toward the final 53-man roster, at least for the first four weeks.)
Safeties (5): Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, Nate Ebner, Tavon Wilson, Patrick Chung


Special teamers (3): Stephen Gostkowski, Ryan Allen, Matthew Slater.

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