Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Jermichael Finley now in mix for TE spot

Jermichael Finley visited with the Patriots this past Friday (5/30) and the team is rumored to be a front runner to land the former Packers tight end. 

Finley suffered a bruised spinal cord last season and would join a long list of current Patriots attempting to return to action after serious injury. Notably fellow tight end Rob Gronkowski who is recovering from an ACL/MCL injury. Both suffered their season ending injuries against the Browns, oddly enough.

If healthy, a Gronk-Finley pairing would be explosive. However there is still no word on a timetable for either of their returns.

The Patriots are also interested in former Jets tight end, Dustin Keller. Keller as well is coming of a knee injury in which he missed the entire 2013 season.

These are the options left now for the Patriots after passing on drafting an impact tight end in the draft. Opting instead to sign rookie free agents and pick off the waiver pile. 

By no means is the Patriots roster set and it will continue to evolve and change even through September. I do expect the team to pick up either Keller or Finley but don't be surprised if they also end up landing another player at the end of camp. The Patriots are notorious for snagging guys off the waiver wire who get cut as cap casualties during the final round of cuts before the start of the season.

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Reche "Wide-Eyes" Caldwell arrested for selling Ectsasy

Reche Caldwell is famous in New England for two things.

These hellacious drops in the AFC Chamionship game

And...This look

Now Caldwell is making this face...

That is the Mugshot taken of Reche after he was busted last night for selling Ecstasy. It is the second run-in with the law this year for the former Patriot. Maybe now we know why his eyes were always so wide!

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Su'a-Filo fit to be a Patriot

I have stated before that the Patriots will target an offensive lineman high in this years draft. Specifically they would target a Guard both to provide depth and security with age becoming a factor at the position. I believe that if he is available the Patriots should and will draft UCLA Guard Xavier Su'a-Filo.

Xavier Su'a-Filo will enter the 2014 NFL Draft tonight as one of it's biggest wild-cards. He is a player that could crack the top 10, or fall  into the middle of the second round. Everyone has scouted him differently. 

Su'a-Filo played both Guard and Tackle at UCLA. He expressed that he prefers playing Guard but is easily capable of playing both positions at the NFL level.

Su'a-Filo is exactly the kind of player the Patriots are looking for. The Patriots value versatility and have always drafted players along the offensive line with the ability to play multiple positions. Every current starter for the Patriots along the O-line has started games at multiple positions during their tenure in New England.

If you watch any of his pre-draft interviews he even sounds the part of a Patriot already in the way he carries and conducts himself. He even has spoke at length how his favorite player is none other than Logan Mankins.

Drafting at 29 overall in the first round is tricky. Most of the high-end blue chip talent is long gone and often we have seen the team trade back to pick up more picks in the middle of the draft.

Su'a-Filo however is a player that should be available right when the Patriots pick in the late first but would not be available when the Patriots pick again in the second round.

The Patriots do not care about making flashy picks. They make smart picks both in terms of value and need. In 2005 no one expected the team to take Logan Mankins. The pick left most people scratching their heads. Similarly to when they drafted Nate Solder in 2011 but both have turned into tremendous players for this team.

With Mankins aging and Connelly's contract ballooning drafting another Guard seems like a no-brainer. Protecting Tom Brady is always the highest priority for this team and picking up a player like Su'a-Filo at 29 overall would be a smart move for the Patriots.

The Draft begins tonight at 8PM.

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Monday, May 5, 2014

Patriots sign former Saints DE Will Smith

The New England Patriots have signed former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith to a contract. 

The signing adds depth to a position that is in need of reliable back-up and rotation players. Smith has been a more than serviceable player in his career, but joins Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly as another player returning after suffering a season ending injury along the defensive line. Smith missed the entire 2013 season with a torn ACL.

Details of the deal are not yet available but it will likely be a team friendly, short term deal to protect the team in case Smith does not pan out. 

With the NFL Draft only three days away this signing may show the Patriots hand. Defensive Tackle had been a top priority in my mind for this team, but the addition of Smith may allow the team to focus on the Tight End, and Offensive Line in the early rounds. 

Smith, if healthy, will be able to spell Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich as well as play inside at the Tackle position to bolster the interior pass rush. 

Drafting a defensive tackle of the future is still a priority for this team, but may no longer be a necessity for this season with the depth of Smith.

2013 was the first time Smith missed major time in his career. Before that he had only missed 5 games total over 9 seasons. In his last season playing, 2012, Smith played in all 16 games and tallied 58 Tackles, 33 Solo, and 6 sacks. His career totals are 459 Tackles, 326 Solo, 67.5 Sacks, and 20 forced fumbles.