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Sunday 7: Malcolm Butler’s situation is worth monitoring 05.07.17 at 6:00 am ET
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Keep a close eye on Malcolm Butler. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

Keep a close eye on Malcolm Butler. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

1. We touched on this briefly last week, but it’s worth reiterating. Even though it appears Malcolm Butler will be playing for the Patriots in 2017, it doesn’t mean everything is all well and good. As CSNNE’s Mike Giardi, who has been all over the Butler situation from the outset pointed out, just because he resumed working out with the Patriots this week during OTAs doesn’t mean he’s necessarily happy. Butler hasn’t been too thrilled with the Patriots since they signed cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a five-year, $65 million deal at the start of free agency. He wanted out of New England and even visited the Saints as a restricted free agent, but the Saints didn’t sign him to an offer sheet and the Patriots and Saints couldn’t come to an agreement on a trade. This is why he reported to Gillette Stadium this past week — he had no choice. He’s in all likelihood playing for the Patriots in 2017, so what else would he do? It’s important to realize just because he’s back with his teammates, it doesn’t mean he’s changed his view on what has taken place this offseason. He’s now in a position to play the year out and become an unrestricted free agent after the season, but even this is something to keep an eye on. For the past two seasons Butler has been the No. 1 corner in New England, but now that belongs to Gilmore. It’s also worth considering since the Patriots will be going up against a number of big receiving teams this year, maybe Butler gets asked to play the slot with Gilmore and Eric Rowe, who is bigger than Butler, on the outside. Butler’s situation is worth monitoring because if he isn’t playing the way he wants and that turns into internal issues with being upset, Bill Belichick could do what he did with Jamie Collins last year and trade him out of town before he becomes an unrestricted free agent after the season. This isn’t to say he won’t play the year with no issues, it’s just something to keep an eye on.

2. A lot of the Patriots draft attention is going to their first selection in Derek Rivers, but don’t sleep on fourth-round pick Deatrich Wise out of Arkansas. Wise battled shoulder and hand injuries during much of his senior season so he didn’t put up the best of numbers. Wise’s best year came as a junior at Arkansas when he finished with eight sacks (all in conference play), which led the SEC. Also, he tied for 10th nationally in sacks per game against ranked opponents (1.13). He’s also very close with Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers, so maybe working along side Flowers could get Wise back to his 2015-self and big things could be coming for the rookie defensive end.

3. Rivers comes from Youngstown State where he was coached by Bo Pelini, who was the Patriots’ linebackers coach from 1997-99. Pelini has many of the same values as Belichick so Rivers is already fairly familiar with the “Patriot Way.” “It’s all culture,” he told reporters Thursday at Gillette Stadium when he was introduced to the media. “It’s a culture and it’s a mindset. I think they definitely bring that. That’s what ‘Patriots’ way’ means – just blue-collar hard work. We’re going to get after it each and every day. We’re going to go hard. That’s what Bo brought – that same type of culture, that same type of attitude.”

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Read More: Deatrich Wise, Derek Rivers, Malcolm Butler, Mike Gillislee
Tom Brady and crew arrive at Kentucky Derby in style 05.06.17 at 1:08 pm ET
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Tom Brady and his crew have arrived at the Kentucky Derby in style.

Not only does the group include current Patriots Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett and Julian Edelman, but also former Patriots Matt Cassel, Larry Izzo and Wes Welker.

Here’s a picture from Brady’s Instagram.

🐎

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

Read More: Jimmy Garoppolo, Tom Brady, Wes Welker,
Former Patriots WR Michael Floyd reportedly close to finding new team 05.06.17 at 7:25 am ET
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Michael Floyd is reportedly starting to get interest from other teams. (Reinhold Matay/USA Today Sports)

Michael Floyd is reportedly starting to get interest from other teams. (Reinhold Matay/USA Today Sports)

Even though Michael Floyd is still on house arrest following his DUI arrest last year, it appears he’s close to finding a new team.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the free agent wide receiver is talking to the Vikings, amongst other teams, and hopes to have a deal by end of next week.

The receiver’s house arrest sentence is up in June, and is not allowed to leave Arizona until a motion is filed, according to the Scottsdale City Court. The earliest he can report to a team outside Arizona is June 17.

After being arrested for DUI in December, the Cardinals released him and the Patriots claimed him off waivers the next day.

Floyd played in two regular-season games for the Patriots and finished with four catches for 42 yards and one touchdown. He was inactive for the AFC championship game and Super Bowl LI.

The Patriots never really seemed interested in bringing him back.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

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Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett among large group attending Kentucky Derby 05.05.17 at 6:34 pm ET
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The Patriots will be well-represented at the Kentucky Derby this weekend.

Thanks to a picture surfaced by team radio analyst Scott Zolak, all three quarterbacks — Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett — as well as Julian Edelman were part of a large group boarding a plane to attend the Kentucky Derby.

Brady has made the trip several times, bringing Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola in the past.

Read More: Jacoby Brissett, Jimmy Garoppolo, Tom Brady,
Patriots sign 6th-round pick Conor McDermott, as well as 19 rookie free agents 05.05.17 at 6:29 pm ET
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The Patriots took Conor McDermott in the sixth round. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots took Conor McDermott in the sixth round. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots were busy Friday afternoon with signing some rookies.

Their biggest move was signing sixth-round pick Conor McDermott, an offensive tackle out of UCLA. He was the first of the Patriots’ four draft picks to sign.

New England also announced the signing of 19 rookie free agents including defensive lineman Josh Augusta, defensive lineman Adam Butler, wide receiver Austin Carr, offensive lineman Cole Croston, running back LeShun Daniels Jr., linebacker Brooks Ellis, wide receiver Cody Hollister, tight end Jacob Hollister, offensive tackle Andrew Jelks, defensive back David Jones, cornerback D.J. Killings, offensive lineman Jason King, linebacker Harvey Langi, defensive back Kenny Moore, offensive lineman Max Rich, cornerback Dwayne Thomas, defensive back Jason Thompson, defensive back Damarius Thomas and defensive end Corey Vereen.

The biggest names are the Hollister twins, Carr, Langi and Killings. Those players have the best chance of making the active roster at the end of training camp.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Conor McDermott,
Former Australian rugby star reportedly invited to Patriots minicamp 05.05.17 at 10:28 am ET
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The Patriots already have one rugby star on the team in Nate Ebner, so why not give another a chance?

According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the Patriots have invited Australian rugby star Brock Davies to rookie minicamp this weekend.

His football career started at Division II Colorado State University-Pueblo in 2014 where he redshirted as a freshman and played two seasons on the defensive line.

He’s only 6-foot-1, 250 pounds so he likely cannot play defensive line in the NFL, but could potentially be an impact player on special teams.

Regardless, Bill Belichick isn’t afraid to take chances on players who don’t have the typical football path and Davies is another example of that.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

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Rookie DE Derek Rivers already focused on helping Patriots get another Super Bowl 05.05.17 at 6:00 am ET
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Patriots third-round pick Derek Rivers spoke to the media on Thursday. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports)

Patriots third-round pick Derek Rivers spoke to the media on Thursday. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports)

Defensive end Derek Rivers has only been a member of the Patriots for a week, but he isn’t taking any time to ease into things.

He knows what the ultimate goal is.

“Man, I’m here. The road to get here is over with,” he told reporters Thursday at Gillette Stadium. “Now, it’s to focus on winning another Super Bowl.”

The Patriots selected Rivers No. 83 overall out of Youngstown State. He finished his career with a school record 41 sacks and is looking forward to getting after NFL quarterbacks.

“I love to pass rush,” he said. “That’s my favorite thing is getting after the quarterback. I definitely bring that, along with accountability and work ethic.”

Rivers was actually born in Augusta, Maine and his mom went to Northeastern. That side of the family was thrilled to see him get drafted by the Patriots.

“My mom lost her mind,” Rivers said. “She was so excited, and everybody on that side of the family was excited. My friends and family, they were all excited, just coming to this type of – I mean, it’s a first-class organization. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Rivers hasn’t met any of his teammates besides the other three draft picks, but already said he can’t wait to meet the others, especially Tom Brady.

“I’m going to be starstruck, I’m not going to lie,” he said. “I got to meet Luke Kuechly earlier in the year in Cincinnati, and I was starstruck then, so I can only imagine what it’s going to be like when I meet Brady. It will be crazy.”

Read More: Derek Rivers,

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