It Is What It Is
NEED TO KNOW
Follow WEEI.com football writer Ryan Hannable at twitter.com/RyanHannable. In addition, get the latest WEEI.com updates at twitter.com/WEEI.
A WEEI.com Patriots Blog
WEEI.com Blog Network
Posts related to ‘Duron Harmon’
Sunday 7: Why Patriots probably will not be getting Saints’ No. 11 overall pick for Malcolm Butler 03.19.17 at 6:00 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Sunday 7: Why Patriots probably will not be getting Saints’ No. 11 overall pick for Malcolm Butler
Malcolm Butler is likely headed to New Orleans. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

Malcolm Butler is likely headed to New Orleans. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

1. With Malcolm Butler visiting the Saints last week as a restricted free agent with a first-round tender, many have speculated the Patriots should force the Saints into signing him as a restricted free agent so they could get the Saints’ No. 11 overall pick. This doesn’t seem likely, and is where a potential trade comes in, which could have already been discussed two weeks ago when the two teams made a deal for wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Cooks needed to get traded last weekend because he was due a roster bonus last Monday. While Butler was rumored to be part of the deal, he ultimately wasn’t. This could have been because he didn’t sign his first-round tender. It’s quite possible the two teams agreed on a trade involving Butler and Cooks, but could only include the Cooks portion last weekend because the Saints needed to meet and work out a long-term deal with Butler before that part of the deal is executed. Once a long-term agreement happens, Butler would sign his tender and the Patriots could send him to the Saints and get back their first-round pick. That would mean in the end the Patriots would get Cooks and the Saints’ fourth-round pick in exchange for Butler and the Saints’ third-round pick. Not a bad deal at all for both sides. Think of if this way: Does a deal with the Saints getting Butler and the Patriots’ first and third-round picks in exchange for Cooks, their No.11 overall pick and a fourth-round pick make sense? No, they would be getting robbed. Bottom line, if the Patriots don’t in fact get the No. 11 overall pick from the Saints for Butler, note the Cooks trade and realize the two sides could have already negotiated a Cooks for Butler trade and pick swap, and the Patriots’ first-round pick last weekend could have been just a place-holder.

2. It cannot be stated how important it was for the Patriots to re-sign Dont’a Hightower. Hightower is the undisputed leader of the defense and who the unit looks to most. The 27-year-old isn’t much of a “ra-ra” leader, but when something needs to be said, he says it and gets the full attention of the team. This is what makes him such a great leader. After the Jamie Collins trade this past season, Hightower was the one leading the way in keeping the unit together and getting back on track after the poor showing against Seattle in the game immediately following the trade. Also, look at who is behind Hightower on the depth chart: Elandon Roberts, Kyle Van Noy, Shea McClellin and Jonathan Freeny. Usually the Patriots have internal fallback options in place for free agents in case they leave, but in the case of Hightower they really didn’t, which was another major reason why it was imperative he returned in 2017.

3. One of the takeaways from Duron Harmon’s conference call on Friday was him noting he was going to experiment playing a couple of pounds heavier, going up from 205 pounds to 207 or 208 during OTAs and minicamp. “I would say the run area is a key [area] where I feel that I can grow in,” he said. “My tackling could be a little bit more aggressive and I think that’s going to come with putting on a little bit more weight, being able to bang down there. So I think that area is key, and could be an area I could grow a lot in, I believe so.” This could be a sign the team might use him more in a Patrick Chung role, where Chung plays closer to the line of scrimmage and is a major player in stopping the run.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Dont'a Hightower, Duron Harmon, Malcolm Butler, Malcolm Mitchell
Why returning to New England wasn’t a hard decision for Duron Harmon 03.18.17 at 11:24 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Why returning to New England wasn’t a hard decision for Duron Harmon
Returning to the Patriots wasn't a hard decision for Duron Harmon. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Returning to the Patriots wasn’t a hard decision for Duron Harmon. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Safety Duron Harmon was one of the most underrated players on the Patriots defense in 2016. While on a national level he doesn’t get noticed much, without him the Patriots may not have won Super Bowl LI.

The 26-year-old was a free agent for the first time this offseason, but ultimately re-signed with the Patriots for a reported four-year and $20 million deal.

Speaking Friday on a conference call, Harmon explained why it wasn’t that tough of a decision.

“The free agency process, it was a good process,” Harmon said. “You got to go out there, you got to be a free agent, you got to see where people value your skills at, what you put on tape for the first four years of your career. I would say in the end, I mean coming back to New England – that’s ultimately what I wanted to do. I love it here.

“I’ve built a lot of relationships here with people outside of football. My kids go to school here and just being a part of this organization – it means a lot to me. I really love playing for this organization. I love playing for Coach [Bill] Belichick. I love being a part of Mr. [Robert] Kraft’s team. In the end, just coming back here really wasn’t a hard decision. It was something that I ultimately wanted to do.”

Harmon is one of three safeties on the Patriots roster, along with Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung, and last year he was used more in the nickel. The way he’s used in New England was one of the biggest reasons for him coming back.

“It was definitely enjoyable,” he said of his role last year. “I mean that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to come back. They know how to use me. They know how to really get the best out of me and I want to continue to grow being a part of this defense. Just being able to play more, being in more situations, being out there more, being relied on more is something that I really prided myself in last year to just let me know that I was becoming a better football player that Coach [Bill] Belichick and Matty P [Matt Patricia] would put me out there a lot more.”

Selected in the third round of the 2013 draft, Harmon has seven interceptions in four seasons.

Read More: Duron Harmon,
Duron Harmon weighs in on Malcolm Butler situation: ‘People have to do what is best for them’ 03.17.17 at 2:47 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Duron Harmon weighs in on Malcolm Butler situation: ‘People have to do what is best for them’
Duron Harmon spoke about Malcolm Butler on Friday. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

Duron Harmon spoke about Malcolm Butler on Friday. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

It remains unclear where cornerback Malcolm Butler will play next season.

He could return for his fourth year with the Patriots, or he could play elsewhere because another team put in an offer sheet for him, or the Patriots could trade him. Butler met with the Saints this week and coach Sean Payton had nothing but good things to say.

Butler is on the books for $3.91 million with his first-round tender, but feels he deserves more money.

Safety Duron Harmon would love to have him back, but understands Butler needs to do what is best for him.

“I love Malcolm. I love being his teammate,” Harmon said on a conference call Friday. “What he brings to the football field, what he brings to the locker room. I would love being his teammate, but it’s a business more than anything. I know people have to do what is best for them. I am rooting for him that he gets to do whatever he feels is best for him.”

The Patriots added Stephon Gilmore to the secondary and Harmon noted how important communication is to the success of the unit.

“We have to put the work,” Harmon said. “We have to work hard on the practice field and in the classroom. We have to stay after it. We know how much we like to run around here and communication is very key to how we play good defense. It will always be that way so we have to make sure the communication is up to par and it’s going to be on us to make sure everybody is communicating the right stuff.”

Read More: Duron Harmon, Malcolm Butler,
Duron Harmon signs reported 4-year extension with Patriots 03.09.17 at 4:19 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Duron Harmon signs reported 4-year extension with Patriots
Duron Harmon reportedly will be with the Patriots for the next four years. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

Duron Harmon reportedly will be with the Patriots for the next four years. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

Duron Harmon will be with the Patriots for a few more years.

According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, Harmon signed a four-year, $20 million deal to stay with the Patriots on Thursday.

Coming out to five million per year, this was a good deal for New England, as he fits well in the Patriots secondary.

Prior to Super Bowl LI, Harmon told WEEI.com he would love to return to New England.

“Definitely. I love it here. I definitely love it here,” he said. “I like playing for this organization. I love this organization. They do things the right way and I know they play the game the right way. I’ve learned so much being here. I’ve become a good player here and I wanted to continue to grow here.”

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

Read More: 2017 NFL free agency, Duron Harmon,
Patriots reportedly expecting to bring back S Duron Harmon at 12:25 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Patriots reportedly expecting to bring back S Duron Harmon
Duron Harmon reportedly is expected to return to the Patriots. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

Duron Harmon reportedly is expected to return to the Patriots. (Michael Madrid/USA Today Sports)

The 2017 Patriots secondary is starting to take form.

After reportedly signing cornerback Stephon Gilmore earlier this morning, the Patriots are expected to re-sign safety Duron Harmon, per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.

Harmon has worked well with Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung, giving the team many different looks in the secondary. The Rutgers product was drafted by the Patriots in the third-round of the 2013 draft.

Prior to Super Bowl LI, Harmon told WEEI.com he would love to return to New England.

“Definitely. I love it here. I definitely love it here,” he said. “I like playing for this organization. I love this organization. They do things the right way and I know they play the game the right way. I’ve learned so much being here. I’ve become a good player here and I wanted to continue to grow here.”

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

Read More: 2017 NFL free agency, Duron Harmon,
Patriots free agent updates: Team makes reported ‘solid’ offer to Alan Branch, Dont’a Hightower contract talks continue 03.02.17 at 12:08 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Patriots free agent updates: Team makes reported ‘solid’ offer to Alan Branch, Dont’a Hightower contract talks continue
Dont'a Hightower and the Patriots are reportedly still talking about a new contract. (Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports)

Dont’a Hightower and the Patriots are reportedly still talking about a new contract. (Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports)

NFL free agency officially gets underway next Thursday and the Patriots appear to want to keep some of their own free agents around.

Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald had a few updates late Thursday morning.

— Despite not placing the franchise tag on Dont’a Hightower, the team and the linebacker continue “to keep an open, productive dialogue.” This is a good sign as the two sides will have an idea of where each other is at once free agency kicks off, and it would seem Hightower would go to the Patriots with his offers before he signs a deal to give the team a chance to match and keep him in New England.

— Alan Branch, 32, was the Patriots’ best defensive tackle in 2016 and it seems like the team wants him back for 2017. New England and Branch are “deep in negotiations” for a new contract.

— Besides Hightower, Logan Ryan and Duron Harmon are the two biggest free agents the Patriots have on defense. Like Hightower, it seems like the Patriots would like to have the two players on the team next season. According to Howe, after they are presented offers by other teams, they will go to the Patriots to see if they are interested in matching.

— The team is expected to release right tackle Sebastian Vollmer before the start of free agency and retirement remains a possibility.

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

Read More: Alan Branch, Dont'a Hightower, Duron Harmon, Logan Ryan
Patriots players knew Tom Brady, offense was going to score TD in overtime 02.06.17 at 1:06 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Patriots players knew Tom Brady, offense was going to score TD in overtime
Once the game got to overtime, the Patriots knew they would win. (Dan Powers-/USA Today Sports)

Once the game got to overtime, the Patriots knew they would win. (Dan Powers-/USA Today Sports)

HOUSTON — Tom Brady led the Patriots from 25 points down in the second half, including 16 points down in the middle of the fourth quarter to beat the Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

Once he and the offense tied it up in the closing two minutes, the Patriots knew they were going to win.

“We knew,” Trey Flowers said. “Well, I think I had a feeling when Julian [Edelman] caught that ball. You know, that unbelievable catch, man. I just knew, if we go to overtime, we’re going to get it. We’re going to win and be the champs. So once we got the ball [in overtime] and they put the ball in Tom’s hands, it was game over.”

Added Devin McCourty: “We said all year, if we get stops, he’s going to score. I don’t care how much time is left. I went to the coin toss and said if Slate [Matthew Slater] gets this coin toss we’re going to win the game.”

The Patriots defense was so confident the offense was going to score, they told defensive coordinator Matt Patricia to stop going over a game plan.

“We stay back and Matt P’s going over defense and we’re like, ‘Matty P, we’re not going out there. There’s no way we’re going out there. Tom Brady’s in the groove. He’s doing everything we need him to do to win this game,'” Duron Harmon said. “And that’s what happened. He led that team down that whole fourth quarter. That’s Tom Brady quarter. That’s what we’re going to call it from now on.”

Added Logan Ryan: “When it got to overtime, I basically untied my cleats and watched Brady like you guys did.”

Between the fourth quarter and overtime, Brady went 21-for-27 with 246 yards.

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

Read More: Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, Logan Ryan, Tom Brady
Player News
2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Patriots Headlines
NFL Headlines
Tips & Feedback

Verify