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After a weekend of cuts, the New England Patriots added a few players, including ex-Kansas City Chiefs Pro Bowl guard Brian Waters as well as long snapper Danny Aiken, who was waived by the Buffalo Bills.
Waters brings talent and depth to a Patriots team which is in need of some help up front.
Waters, 6-foot-3, 320 pounds, spent the last 11 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs (2000-10), where he earned four Pro Bowl berths while playing in 163 regular seasons games with 149 starts. He originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent tight end with the Dallas Cowboys in 1999 out of North Texas but was released prior to the start of the regular season. Waters signed with Kansas City on February 3, 2000 and switched to the offensive line. He spent the spring of 2000 playing in NFL Europe for the Berlin Thunder. Waters played tight end for his first three years at North Texas before moving to the defensive line as a senior. (via WEEI)
Aiken is a 6-foot-4, 250-pound an undrafted free agent out of the University of Virginia who was signed to a rookie contract by the Bills on July 28, 2011.
According to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter, the New England Patriots have agreed to terms with long time Kansas City Chiefs guard Brian Waters. Waters was cut by Kansas City earlier this offseason and tried out for the Pats on Saturday.
The Patriots will be adding an 11-year veteran to an already experienced offensive front. Waters, a five-time pro bowler will join Logan Mankins and Dan Koppen in the interior of the Patriots offensive line. Since Mankins already protects Tom Brady’s left side, the long time left guard will make the transition over to the right side.
The signing of Waters comes after starting right guard Dan Connolly suffered an ankle injury two weeks ago in Detroit. With Rich Ohrnberger and Marcus Cannon likely out for the season, the Pats were in need of a severe upgrade at the guard position. Waters certainly brings that to the team.
After a long day of cuts, the New England Patriots managed to add three players to their roster on Monday afternoon.
At 6-1, 183 pounds, Underwood has been used exclusively on special teams and kick returns. After spending the only two seasons of his career with the Jaguars, Underwood had his best year in 2010. He caught eight passes for 111 yards in 10 games with Jacksonville last season. Underwood also returned 24 kicks for 561 yards.
Ventrone was originally signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent out of Villanova in 2010. The 5-8, 190 pound safety spent the entire 2010 season on the Patriots practice squad.
Dearth was brought in right after long snapper Matt Katula was cut earlier today. Dearth served as the long snapper for the New York Jets from 2001-2009. He is expected to be the team’s primary long snapper through at least the rest of training camp.
The New England Patriots have announced the re-signing of offensive lineman Mike Berry, a 6-foot-3, 316 pound offensive lineman out of Auburn University.
Berry was originally signed by the Patriots as an UDFA back on July 27, but was placed on the non-football injury list and was ultimately released on August 2.
Berry started in 21 games during his career at Auburn and appeared in 30 total games. In 2009, he made the SEC Academic Honor Roll and started in all 13 games, recording 48.5 knockdown blocks and was part of the offensive line that gave up a mere 21 sacks in364 total passing attempts.
It's unclear whether or not Berry will make the 53-man roster, although it seems a little unlikely at this point. The Patriots will need to cut their roster to 80 players by 4:00 p.m. on August 30.
Mills was originally drafted by the Patriots in 2006 as a fourth-round pick and spent two seasons with the Patriots. After hardly playing at all his first year, the Mills was waived by the Patriots in hopes that they could add him to their practice squad. He instead was claimed by the Vikings, and has spent the last three seasons up in Minnesota. Mills was with the Bengals this season before they released him.
Lockett’s release comes as no surprise after the Patriots’ singing of free agent safety James Ihedigbo. Lockett’s chances of making the team were also hurt after he suffered a season-threatening thigh injury in Thursday’s preseason win over Tampa Bay.
The release of the UDFA Roth comes to no surprise as well with roster deadlines approaching. The young tackle from TCU was considered a long shot to make the team from the beginning.
Brown was a linebacker and a defensive end at Boston College, where he won the Scanlan Award honoring a senior football player who is outstanding in scholarship, leadership and athletic ability.
In 2006, Brown signed with the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted free agent. He was placed on the practice squad and made his NFL debut in Week 5 at age 23 against the San Francisco 49ers. Brown finished the season with seven tackles in 13 games. In five NFL seasons, Brown has 74 tackles (26 assisted), four pass deflections and three forced fumbles.
Thanks to #jetsfans for all the love an support greatly appreciate it's on to a new chapter.....I'm Officially a New England Patriot!!!!!!less than a minute ago via TwitBird Favorite Retweet ReplyDIGGZ44
Ihedigbo is a product of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and was signed by the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent in 2007. In three seasons with the Jets, Ihedigbo has recorded 11 tackles and five sacks in 37 games.
Last season, Ihedigbo set career highs with nine tackles and three sacks in 14 games.
Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots have brought a lot of big names into training camp this season, but make no mistake, the team isn't strapped for cash. In fact, the Patriots have nearly $10 million left in salary cap space.
Jason La Canfora of NFL.com wrote on Tuesday morning that the Patriots still have $9,518,934 left to spend in the free agent market. As of Tuesday, the Patriots' payroll is listed as $113,156,066.
The Kansas City Chiefs have the most cap space in the league with $32,984,542 remaining. Somewhat surprisingly, only the St. Louis Rams are over the cap, coming in $822,036 over the cap with a $121,835,786 total payroll.
In the AFC East, the New York Jets have $6,686,806 in cap space remaining ($113,688,194 payroll), the Miami Dolphins have $4,927,565 left ($118,447,435 payroll) and the Buffalo Bills have a whopping $26,260,476 remaining ($96,114,524 payroll).
Logan Mankins is now a very rich man (well, he was very rich compared to most of us before, but now just by NFL standards). Mankins' six-year contract extension with the New England Patriots is worth $51 million.
Mankins will earn base salaries of $1.5 million in 2011; $3 million in 2012; $6 million in 2013; $6.5 million in 2014; $7 million in 2015 and $7 million in 2016, according to the source. (via Mike Reiss, ESPN Boston)
The deal makes Mankins the highest paid guard in the NFL. So far, Mankins has lived up to the hype, providing exceptional protection for Tom Brady ever since he was drafted No. 32 overall in the 2005 NFL Draft.
Mankins was barred from participating in Patriots' practice until August 4 due to the new CBA, and his status for Thursday night's preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars is currently unknown.
Logan Mankins isn't going anywhere for a long time. Mankins has reportedly signed a six-year deal to remain with the New England Patriots on Wednesday afternoon, according to a report from Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Filed to ESPN: Patriots Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins signed a six-year deal with the Patriots. So he isn't going anywhere after all.less than a minute ago via UberSocial for BlackBerry Favorite Retweet ReplyAdam Schefter
Earlier in the day, Patriots owner Robert Kraft had hinted that the team was close to resigning Mankins and that he hoped to have Mankins retire as a Patriot. This extension is not a foregone conclusion, as Mankins held out for half of the season last year, and at was ultimately not expected to resign with the team.
Mankins has played with the Patriots since he was drafted No. 32 overall in the 2005 NFL Draft.
Only two days after signing with the New England Patriots, Shaun Ellis has suffered a setback. Ellis is reportedly not ready to play and has been placed on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list on Tuesday.
Now, this news isn't as bad as one might think. According to ESPN Boston, all this means is that Ellis was unable to participate in practice on Monday. He can practice again at any time, but if he doesn't practice again before the Pats' final cut to a 53-man roster, there will be repercussions.
If Ellis does not resume practicing by the final cut-down to 53 players, the team would have the option of placing Ellis on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, which would sideline him for at least the first six weeks of the regular season. (via ESPN Boston)
Carter and Haynesworth were teammates on the Washington Redskins last season, and when Haynesworth mentioned his displeasure with playing in a 3-4 defense, Carter stepped up to him.
Carter called him out on it. And did he ever. He said Haynesworth would have to "leave the BS at the door."
"Negativity around positive and optimistic people won't work," Carter said, referring to Haynesworth via TheHogs.net. "He will need to work hard and prove himself by showing that he's trustworthy and reliable in the scheme and as a teammate." (via Ian R. Rapoport/Boston Herald)
That wasn't all Carter had to say about Haynesworth, as he went on to express his disappointment.
"I haven't experienced a player prioritizing his position on the field over working with the game," Carter said last July. "It's disappointing because Albert could fit in this scheme. All we can say is we wish him the best and we will see what happens in a month. He made his statement that he didn't want to play in this scheme and we are not going to force him to play. He's a grown man. We have moved forward." (via Boston Herald)
It's not clear if Carter and Haynesworth have patched up their relationship, but Carter did say that Haynesworth has to put the team forth and prove that he's committed to the team and player.
Let's hope Belichick knows what he's doing. In Bill we trust, right?
Former Redskins DE Andre Carter announced via Twitter Sunday night that he will sign with the New England Patriots:
I am proud to announce that I will be playing for the New England Patriots for the 2011 season. Thanks you for your prayers and support.less than a minute ago Favorite Retweet ReplyAndre Carter
Carter, a 10-year veteran of San Francisco and Washington, put up double-digit sacks in both 2007 and 2009, but like Albert Haynesworth was unhappy with the switch to a 3-4 defense.
While Bill Belichick was quick to dismiss the focus on a 4-3 or 3-4 as a "media fabrication", the Patriots have certainly been adding the sort of personnel that could easily work in a 4-3. This is just the latest in a series of defensive line pick-ups that began with Albert Haynesworth, and comes just 12 hours after the Patriots added ex-Jets DE Shaun Ellis.
Filed to ESPN: Former Jets DE Shaun Ellis and the Patriots reached agreement on a one-year deal, pending the player's physical.less than a minute ago via UberSocial for BlackBerry Favorite Retweet ReplyAdam Schefter
Ellis, who was drafted No. 12 overall by the New York Jets in the 2000 NFL Draft, has played his entire career with the Jets, recording 554 tackles and 73 sacks in 170 games with the Jets. Last season, Ellis had 36 tackles and five sacks in 15 games with New York.
The New England Patriots swapped members of their defensive line on Friday afternoon, releasing defensive lineman Marlon Favorite and signing defensive end Mark Anderson.
Anderson spent the 2010 season with the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans. Finishing the season with the Texans, the five year veteran played in 11 games, starting two times. Anderson received several accolades during his rookie season with the Bears back in 2006, finishing second in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting, and being named to the All-Rookie Team.
Favorite hasn’t found himself a favorite of the eight teams he has been affiliated with so far in his NFL career. He has spent most of his two NFL seasons on a variety of practice squads, and joined the Patriots in early January of this year.
The offensive tackle, drafted 17th overall in April’s NFL draft, was the second to last first round draftee holdout in the entire league. Giants’ cornerback Prince Amukamara is the lone first rounder without a contract.
Solder is expected to take place in the Patriots' late afternoon training camp session. According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Solder will miss more training camp time than any other Patriots’ rookie in a while – though it may not completely be his fault. Reiss explains:
"The Patriots haven’t had a draft pick miss this much time in training camp since tight end Benjamin Watson in 2004, although this year is different with the condensed timeframe and new rookie wage scale."
After being MIA for the first couple weeks of training camp, the New England Patriots reported on Wednesday that restricted free agent running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis has agreed to his RFA tender and will report to camp.
Green-Ellis had a breakout year with New England last season, rushing for 1,008 yards and 13 touchdowns, becoming the first Pats' running back to break the 1,000-yard barrier since Corey Dillon ran for 1635 yards in 2004.
Green-Ellis appeared in each 16 of New England's games for the first time in his three-year career, starting in 11 of the games. He averaged 4.2 yards per carry.
The team also announced a few additional signings, bringing unrestricted free agent center Chris Morris, free agent offensive lineman Jonathan Compas and rookie free agent running back Richard Medin into the fold.
The New England Patriots backfield is finally complete.
Vereen and Dowling add youth and depth to a spot at which New England is already fairly flush, with Kevin Faulk, Sammy Morris and Danny Woodhead signed and BenJarvus Green-Ellis expected to sign his restricted free agent tender at some point in the near future, but they also ensure the continued excellence of New England at that spot.
With Faulk and Morris around for at least one more year, Vereen and Dowling will both be able to learn from some of the game's best pass-blocking, third-down backs, which will undoubtedly serve the Patriots well, especially if they want to use Woodhead in a receiver's role, and continue to utilize the Law Firm as a pure downhill runner, which he showed signs of being able to do successfully last year.
According to Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Globe, the New England Patriots and free agent left tackle Matt Light have agreed to a two-year contract. The terms of the contract have not yet been disclosed.
Bringing back Light was a relatively easy move for the Patriots, as he knows Bill Belichick's system so well and has had tremendous success on the Patriots' offensive line. In his 10-year career, Light has made the Pro Bowl three times and was selected as an All-Pro in 2007 and has been Tom Brady's blind-side protector since Brady began starting games.
With Light locked in for two years as the team's left tackle, first-round selection Nate Solder will likely get some time to develop and serve as Light's backup. Solder, a 6-foot-8 and 319-pound left tackle out of the University of Colorado was selected No. 17 overall by the Patriots in the 2011 NFL Draft as the left tackle of the future.
Early Sunday, Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio hinted that the Patriots were close to retaining their veteran right tackle.
"Matt's been a good player for us for a long time," Caserio said. "I'd say there are discussions that are ongoing. I don't want to put a timetable on it, but Matt's made a lot of contributions to this team. He's been a good player for us, so we'll see what happens." (via Boston Globe)
White, 30, was primarily a special-teams presence last year for New England, registering 18 tackles on special teams - good for second place on the team. McGowan missed the 2010 season with a chest injury but the veteran recorded 79 tackles in 2009, when he started 11 games.
Neither player will be able to practice until August 4th or the start of the NFL League Year, whichever comes first. The league year will start once the NFLPA re-certifies and votes to approve the new collective bargaining agreement.
The team also announced that undrafted free agent Anthony Leonard has been waived for the purpose of being placed on injured reserve, although ESPNBoston.com reports that it didn't appear as though Leonard suffered any injury during his participation in a full morning session on Saturday.
In what also isn't really news, Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins has signed his franchise tag tender, an indication that Mankins and the team, whose relationship has soured off and on at points over the past two years, may finally be working together towards a long-term deal to keep the 29-year old guard in the fold for years to come.
Additionally, the Patriots announced that they've signed veteran and fan favorite Kevin Faulk to a new deal. Faulk, who tore his ACL in a week two loss to the New York Jets in 2010, was reportedly considering retirement if rehab from the injury didn't go well.
The fact that he's signed a new deal is indication that he's feeling well enough to be Tom Brady's go-to guy out of the backfield on third down, though he'll likely compete for time in that role with Danny Woodhead.
At the very least, Faulk's presence will be a wonderful utility for the Patriots to have as they hope to grow Woodhead's role with the team and as a fairly young receiving corps - save for Wes Welker, Deion Branch and Chad Ochocinco - looks to mature.
According to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston, the New England Patriots and cornerback Kyle Arrington have come to terms on a 2-year contract extension. Arrington, who was with the Patriots last season will reportedly earn $525,000 in 2011 and $850,000 in 2012 and also earned a signing bonus of $400,000. Arrington was an exclusive rights free agent this offseason
Arrington played a very vital role in the Patriots secondary last season. With Leigh Bodden’s preseason injury sidelining him for the rest of the season, Arrington played alongside rookie Devin McCourty as the other cornerback in the Patriots defense. With Bodden back this season, Arrington will likely compete with Darius Butler for the third cornerback role on the team.
Last season for the Patriots, Arrington recorded 71 tackles and one interception in 16 games last season. His agents Sean Stellato and Richard Kopeland of Klass Sports both agree Arrington is well deserving of a new contract.
“We are extremely pleased that the Patriots rewarded Kyle for his contributions last year and recognize that he will be a contributor for the foreseeable future,” Kopelman said.
Added Stellato, “Being able to put this deal together resonated for me, because like Kyle, I played Division I-AA football and know first-hand how difficult it is for guys coming from those programs to succeed in the NFL. This is a testament to Kyle’s character and the Patriots’ ability to recognize talent when they go unnoticed by other organizations.”
The New England Patriots have reportedly come to an agreement with tight end Lee Smith, their fifth round pick in this year's draft. Smith joins fellow rookie Markell Carter as Patriots draft picks that have come to terms. The Patriots still have to come to terms with rookies Nate Solder, Ras-I Dowling, Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley, Ryan Mallett, Marcus Cannon and Malcolm Williams.
Smith joins a very crowded group of tight ends for the Patriots, as he will join Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, and Alge Crumpler in the tight end corp. The 6-foot-6, 266-pound tight end was used primarily as a blocking tight end during his four years at the University of Marshall. As to where Smith fits on the team, Mike Reiss has more:
With Crumpler still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, the team's younger tight ends should receive plenty of quality repetitions in training camp. The Patriots carried three tight ends last season, but a scenario exists this year where they could bump the number to four, which would require trimming from elsewhere on the roster. (via ESPN Boston)
According to Mike Rodak of ESPN Boston, the New England Patriots have come to terms with five additional undrafted rookie free agents.
The Pats came to terms with offensive guard Mike Berry (Auburn), kicker Chris Koepplin (UMass), linebacker Aaron Lavarias (Idaho), defensive end Alex Silvestro (Rutgers) and offensive tackle Corey Woods (Akron) on Wednesday. These five will join Will Yeatman, Jeff Tarpinan, Kyle Hix, Jeremy Ross, Clay Nurse, Anthony Leonard, and Ryan Coulson as undrafted rookies who will be seeking a roster spot.
Rodak takes a look at the new comers:
Berry, 6-3, 316 pounds, started in 35 games while appearing in 45 with Auburn. He started all 14 games in 2010 at right guard and was part of an offensive line that paved the way for 254 yards rushing and 519 yards of total offense in the national championship win over Oregon.
Koepplin, 6-3, 210 pounds, played two seasons at UMass in 2006 and 2007 after transferring from Nassau Community College. At UMass, he became the career record holder in PAT percentage (98.0) and was second in field goal percentage (71.0). Koepplin played for the Manchester Wolves of the Arena Football 2 League in 2008 and 2009.
Lavarias, 6-2, 255 pounds, was named second team All-WAC as a senior in 2010 after finishing with 52 total tackles and 10.0 sacks. He was Idaho's Defensive Player of the Year as a junior in 2009.
Silvestro, 6-3, 267 pounds, began his career at Rutgers as a linebacker before moving to defensive end and defensive tackle. As a senior in 2010, he had 56 total tackles, 14.5 for a loss, and 4.5 sacks.
Woods, 6-5, 300 pounds, was a four-year starter at Akron, who played at both left and right tackle during his college career. He played his first two seasons at right tackle before moving to the left side as a junior in 2009.
According to reports, Sammy Morris has signed a one-year deal to remain a New England Patriot.
Morris, who spent a majority of his career decimating the Pats while in Miami, was signed by New England prior to the 2007 season, and has spent the past four years in Foxboro.
Morris' veteran presence should help stabilize a backfield that looks to be relatively young, despite the anticipated returns of Danny Woodhead and BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but it's not too likely that Morris will see the ball too often - especially after a season in which he rushed for just 56 yards in limited time.
If Kevin Faulk returns healthy enough from offseason knee surgery, he'll be likely to compete for time - especially on thiird down - in the backfield with Morris, who'll also have to fend off newcomers Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the player's agent.
Markell Carter, who the New England Patriots drafted in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, has signed with the team, marking the first player in this years draft class to sign with New England.
Carter isn't expected to become an instant contributor, but could work his way up the depth chart according to our Patriots team over at Pats Pulpit.
While not much will be expected of Carter in his rookie campaign, he certainly has a fair chance to compete and make the roster this training camp, especially when factoring in the impending release of Tully Banta-Cain. (via Pats Pulpit)
Carter, who played at Central Arkansas, had 5.5 sacks and 19 tackles for a loss last season in 11 games and was named to the All-Southland Conference first team. In 2009, he had 6.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for a loss.
In college, Coulson was primarily a defensive end as he has 99 career tackles and five sacks in five years with the Nevada Wolfpack. Coulson recorded a career year on Nevada’s line last season, coming up with 55 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He also served as the team’s long snapper in 2010.
At 6-3, 243 pounds, Coulson was considered a little undersized for a defensive lineman by many NFL teams. He ultimately decided it was better that he enter the draft as uniquely a long snapper, to draw more interest in teams. Coulson will join the Patriots practice squad and hope make the team.
Coulson has been pretty used to winning in college though. His Nevada Wolfpack finished 2010 with a 13-1 record including a victory over Boston College in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. If it’s any consolation, Coulson does know how to win.
According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the New England Patriots and undrafted rookie free agent linebacker Anthony Leonard have agreed to a contract.
Leonard played four seasons at West Virginia University, where he totaled 165 total tackles, two sacks and an interception. Leonard recorded his best season as a Mountaineer as a senior, as his 65 tackles in 2010 was career high for him. Based on his low number of career sacks, Leonard’s best strengths don’t lie in the pass rush.
Like many of the undrafted rookies the Patriots signed today, Leonard will likely take a spot in the Patriots practice squad and fight for a roster spot in Training Camp. Even though the odds may be against him, Leonard is just excited for the opportunity to play in the National Football League, and with the Patriots.
“It’s definitely exciting and it’s a dream come true. It’s a blessing just to say that you’ve signed with a team, I’m just livin it up right now, living for the moment, because it’s only going to last for so long and then it’s back to work.” (via West Virginia Metro News)
The New England Patriots added depth to their offensive line by signing offensive lineman Kyle Hix Tuesday morning.
Hix is out of Texas, where he played both left and right tackle during his four years. He stayed relatively healthy throughout his college career, with minor head and knee injuries only impacting his college career in his senior year. Hix started in nearly every game in his college career, only missing one start and leaving one game early. The Fort Worth, Texas native has a lot of physical upside, at a giant 6 foot 7 and 325 pounds.
Hix is being projected as a practice squad player who may need to move to guard to find a place on a team. His one knock is that he is not particularly flexible, according to the National Football Post:
"A tall, well-built offensive tackle, but isn't real flexible when asked to sit into his stance and struggles keeping his base down on his kick-slide. More of a waist bender who lacks a great first step when asked to reach the corner and tends to consistently lunge into blocks…really heavy footed when exposed in space and consistently struggles to handle any kind of speed/athleticism in the pass game."
The frenzied undrafted free agency market that commenced Monday evening brought New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick the chance to go back to his lacrosse roots.
The Patriots signed Will Yeatman on Tuesday morning. Yeatman was a two sport athlete in college, playing tight end for both Notre Dame and Maryland on the football field, and then playing attack and midfield on the lacrosse field in the spring. He was named the LaxPower Rookie of the Year in 2007 for his work on the lacrosse field, leading Notre Dame with 46 points and 25 assists. He sat out the 2008 season in order to transfer to Maryland, a stronger lacrosse program than Notre Dame.
Yeatman played 11 games last season for Maryland's football team, seeing time both on offense and special teams. Though he only started three games, he had several career best reception performances, with his best being against Florida State on November 20th. He had five receptions for 47 yards that game, in addition to his first college touchdown reception.
Yeatman's upside on the football field is his speed, endurance and incredible hand-eye coordination - all traits nurtured though conditioning for both lacrosse and football. Scouts have been keeping a close eye on him since 2009, and some believe he could be even better used as a tackle.
Though Yeatman's football stats may not be the most impressive, Belichick clearly wanted to give a lacrosse/football hybrid like he once was a chance. Belichick was the captain of the lacrosse team and a tight end on the football team during his time at Wesleyan University.