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Former New England Patriots wide receiver Jabar Gaffney was released by the Washington Redskins on May 1. Does that set up his potential return to New England? According to a report, Gaffney has already decided to sign a deal with the Pats (via Josina Anderson's Twitter).
Gaffney reportedly sent Anderson a text which said
"I'm going to the Patriots."
Gaffney also indicated that he will sign his contract in the near future.
Gaffney played for New England from 2006-2009. He played 43 games for New England and started 20 games. Despite playing in his 10th season, Gaffney's yardage production last season was the highest of his career at 947 receiving yards. The former Florida Gator receiver has made 443 receptions for 5,622 yards and 24 touchdowns during the course of his career. Gaffney matched his career-high in touchdown receptions (5, 2007) last season.
According to Mary Paoletti of Comcast Sportsnet, the Patriots are bringing back their defensive tackle with the terms of the contract undisclosed.
Last year, Warren made 12 tackles and had a sack. In his first season with the Patriots in 2010, he had 28 tackles and amassed three and a half sacks.
This is a solid move for New England considering how badly it wants to upgrade on the defensive side of the ball. Granted, Warren is past his prime and nothing more than some depth and a rotational piece, but he can still contribute now and again.
He's familiar with the system and clearly liked by Bill Belichick, so why bring in another veteran to fill the same role? It's doubtful Warren cost very much so really it's a no-lose situation for New England.
Ryan Grant has played his entire career for the Packers after being undrafted out of Notre Dame in 2005 and making the Giants practice squad that year. Grant suffered a life-threatening non-football injury that caused him to miss all of 2006. After being traded to the Packers in 2007, Grant has rushed for 4,016 yards and 25 touchdowns. He's also caught 92 passes out of the backfield for 726 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Hightower is similar to Grant in stature and in the fact that he is a dual-threat type of running back as well. In four seasons between the Arizona Cardinals and the Washington Redskins, Hightower has rushed for 2,054 yards and 24 touchdowns while also hauling in 128 passes for 879 yards and one score.
The main important difference between the two backs is that Hightower is coming off ACL surgery and Grant started 14 regular season games and one playoff game for Green Bay last season.
Guyton, who was picked up by the Patriots out of Georgia Tech as an undrafted free agent in 2008, had played all of his career for New England. Guyton made 32 starts over the four seasons and racked up 229 tackles (150 solo) and 4.5 sacks. He was able to work his way from the special teams unit to a regular starting spot by the 2009 season. He had career-highs for starts (16) and tackles (85) during that campaign. Last season, Guyton played in 13 games (6 starts), made 47 tackles (26 solo) and one interception. He did not play in the playoffs and was a healthy scratch for those games.
Koepplin tweeted after the report came out
After being signed as a rookie free agent last July, Koepplin kicked with the Patriots last preseason while starting kicker Stephen Gostkowski was recovering from quad surgery. Koepplin was released by the Patriots following the preseason. He had 14 kickoffs and six touchbacks during the 2011 preseason.
It's highly unlikely that the Pats will carry two kickers next season. Gostkowski is still under contract and will earn $2.1 million for the 2012 season.
Koepplin kicked for UMass in college and finished his career in 2007 as the school's career leader in PAT percentage (98%) and is second on the school's list for field goal percentage (71%).
Tom Brady will be happy: Patriots are re-signing center Dan Koppen, per league source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 13, 2012
Albert Breer of NFL Network tweeted shortly after, that Koppen's deal is two years, worth $6 million.
Koppen's 2-year deal is worth about $6 million, so it looks like NE expects him to start. May have to adjust that Konz pick in my mock.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 13, 2012
The 33 year old veteran appeared in only one game for the Patriots last season, after suffering a broken ankle in Week 1. The year before, he played a total of 1,104 offensive snaps for the Pats, only allowed three total sacks and two quarterback hits.
Bell had already been linked to the Patriots in recent days, but what's new is that Rosenhaus said that Bell, who has played all of his NFL career for the Miami Dolphins, will not return to Miami next season. The Patriots, Eagles and Jets were all teams Rosenhaus mentioned as being interested in his client.
The veteran and 2009 Pro Bowler has made a big impact on the field in the past four seasons, appearing in all but one of Miami's games and recording 100+ tackles in each of those seasons. As Pat Chung has been playing the strong safety role, the Patriots might be interested in the 34-year-old Bell for secondary depth.
Carpenter was a first round 2006 NFL Draft pick (18th overall) out of Ohio State by the Dallas Cowboys. Carpenter played for Dallas from 2006-2009. He spent time with the St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions in 2010. Carpenter played in all 16 games for the Lions last season (3 starts). He made 29 tackles (24 solo) and returned his first career interception for a touchdown against the Cowboys, his former team. The three starts were the most of his career.
During his NFL career, Carpenter has made 165 stops (126 solo), 3.5 sacks, 5 passes defended, 1 interception and 1 touchdown.
Koppen, who missed all but one game last season after suffering an ankle injury against Miami during Week 1, is an unrestricted free agent who may no longer fit into the Patriots' plans after the team re-signed center Dan Connelly.
The Titans have been actively searching for a center this offseason, showing interest in Scott Wells and Jeff Saturday as potential replacements for Eugene Amano, who has struggled in each of the last two seasons.
Koppen was a mainstay on the Patriots offensive line during his time with the team, starting as a rookie and helping New England to consecutive Super Bowls in his first two years as a pro.
The New England Patriots agreed to terms on Monday with former Dallas Cowboys fullback Tony Fiammetta, according to a report from Adam Caplan of Sirius XM NFL Radio.
Fiammetta, a 6-foot, 242-pounder, appeared in 10 games with the Cowboys alst season, making six starts almost solely as a blocking back.
The Patriots hardly ever used a fullback last season, preferring to spread the field with as many play-making threats as possible while keeping one running back or fewer with Tom Brady in the backfield. Fiammetta brings the total number of fullbacks on New England's roster to three, but the Patriots are unlikely to keep more than one for the regular season.
The 25-year old Fiammetta has played three NFL seasons after being drafted by the Carolina Panthers with the 28th pick of the fourth round of the 2009 NFL Draft.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis left the New England Patriots last week to sign with the Cincinnati Bengals in NFL Free Agency, but the sure-handed running back will not be forgotten any time soon by Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
Kraft had glowing words for Green-Ellis after his departure, according to Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Joe Reedy.
"BenJarvus, I'm so sorry that he left us. He was one of the finest players to come through our system. He never fumbled in four years. He's a gentleman, he's a hard worker. I'm just sorry they paid him more than we were going to pay him," Kraft said.
Green-Ellis rushed for 667 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Patriots during the 2011 season. One of the running back's top moments came when he scored a touchdown during the Patriots' AFC Divisional Round playoff win against the Baltimore Ravens, after which Green-Ellis paid tribute to Kraft's wife, Myra, who passed away from cancer in July.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Patriots agreed to terms with Branch on a one-year deal to keep the wideout in New England for the 2012 season.
Branch joins Brandon Lloyd, Anthony Gonzalez and Donte Stallworth as wide receivers inked by the Patriots during the 2012 NFL free agency period. The Patriots, loading up on weapons to surround Tom Brady, also used the franchise tag on Wes Welker.
The 32-year old Branch, who caught 51 passes for 702 yards and five touchdowns during the 2011 season, has been quite successful during two stints in New England.
Brady, who signed a four-year, $72 million extension with New England at the beginning of the 2010 season, was scheduled to earn a base salary of $5.75 million this on top of a $6 million roster bonus and a $250,000 workout bonus.
Under his newly agreed up parameters, Brady will make just $950,000 in a fully guaranteed base salary for 2012, with the remainder of his money owed converted to a $10.8 million signing bonus to be prorated over the final three years of his contract.
The Patriots were not in cap peril prior to Brady's restructuring, and have already made a number of free agent signings this offseason.
The New England Patriots announced the signing of cornerback Will Allen on Wednesday (via Patriots). Terms of the contract were not disclosed. However, Allen's contract is reportedly worth $975,000, with a $25,000 signing bonus and another $25,000 workout bonus (via Sun Sentinel).
Allen has started 130 of his 140 career NFL regular season games and has also started in three postseason games. He has made 527 tackles (455 solo), 5 sacks, 15 interceptions and forced 7 fumbles (6 recoveries). Last season, Allen only made six starts but played in 15 games. He had 43 tackles and 3 passes defended.
The New England Patriots offense will be without a familiar face in 2012.
Green-Ellis rushed for 667 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2011, but rushed for only 3.7 yards per carry, a career-low. The previous year, the 26-year old established his career high for rushing yards with 1,008 on 4.4 yards per carry while scoring 13 touchdowns. In four seasons, all with the Patriots, "The Law Firm" has rushed for 2,064 yards and 29 touchdowns.
Anderson secured 10.0 sacks and two forced fumbles in 2011 as one of New England's primary pass-rushers, and the Patriots reportedly wanted him back in 2012. But the two sides could not come to an agreement and Anderson began exploring other options around the league.
Losing Anderson will surely hurt New England's pass rush, and fellow AFC East member Buffalo can now unleash the duo of Anderson with Mario Williams on quarterbacks around the league.
Prior to the 2011 season, the 28-year old Anderson had registered more than 5.0 sacks in just one season, when he had 12.0 sacks as a rookie in 2006. Anderson averaged just 2.7 sacks for the next five seasons before breaking out with the Patriots this past year.
However, one man who the Patriots don't appear interested in keeping is Mark Anderson, their free agent defensive end who had 10 sacks last season.
Anderson has visited four teams including Miami, Tennessee and Baltimore. He's currently in Buffalo, according to Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com.
The Bills have been a laughing stock for a quite some time, but maybe not for much longer especially if they add Anderson. He would be the end opposite of Mario Williams with Kyle Williams and Marcel Dareus in the middle.
It's interesting why New England hasn't made overtures to sign him considering their defense. Granted, Anderson has been far from a consistent force, but he appears to be a nice piece going forward.
All of this may be a strong indication which way Bill Belichick wants to go in the draft with his two first round picks.
Logan Mankins underwent surgery on a torn ACL following the New England Patriots' Super Bowl loss in February, according to Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. The starting Pats left guard apparently played with the injury without even realizing it. Now he hopes to be ready for training camp in late July.
The news makes sense in context with the Pats signing Robert Gallery away from Seattle earlier Monday. It was unclear initially why New England needed more bodies at what had been considered a position of strength. Though Gallery has obviously had his trials in the NFL, he should prove valuable as a versatile backup, especially if Mankins misses any part of the regular season.
Makins reportedly injured his knee on Dec. 24 in a 27-24 win over the Miami Dolphins. He missed just one game, the regular season finale, before starting throughout the playoffs and the Super Bowl. In true Bill Belichick fashion, we are only hearing of this over a month after the fact.
Cole, a defensive back, played for the past three seasons with the New York Jets as a special teams player. Cole was undrafted in 2007 but was signed by the Raiders and then bounced around on the practice squads of the Titans and Saints before getting a chance to play in New York in 2009. Cole has made 40 tackles (32 solo) and has 2 interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) during his career.
Scott, a defensive end, was drafted in the 6th Round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Raiders. In four seasons, Scott has 97 tackles (77 solo), 13.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
One of the deepest offensive lines in the NFL just got deeper.
Gallery, 32, was the No. 2 selection in the 2004 NFL Draft and one of the most-prized left tackle prospects ever, but quickly moved to guard as it became evident that he was over-hyped. He has nonetheless become a dependable, versatile offensive lineman who produces when healthy.
As the Patriots blog Pats Pulpit mentions, acquiring Gallery is a low risk, high reward move. Despite struggling with injuries the past few seasons, Gallery has shown the ability to be one of the NFL's best guards and will provide insurance in case right guard Brian Waters retires.
Gallery was released by the Seahawks on Wednesday, March 14.
Stallworth caught 46 passes for 697 yards during his one season with the Patriots in 2007, but has not been nearly as productive since.
Stallworth returned to the NFL in 2010 to post an underwhelming season with the Baltimore Ravens, appearing in eight games and mustering just two catches after sitting out the 2009 season with a one-year suspension stemming from a manslaughter conviction. Last season with the Washington Redskins, Stallworth appeared in 11 contests and caught 22 passes for 309 yards.
Peyton Manning has made a decision, and the AFC West just got significantly stronger.
Manning told his agent Tom Condon complete negotiations with the Denver Broncos and end discussions with the San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans, according to an ESPN report. Unless the negotiations hit an unexpected hiccup, the four-time MVP will play for the Broncos in 2012 and beyond.
And the negotiations are expected to be little more than a formality. During Manning's meeting to Denver on March 9, he, Condon and Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway began discussing the framework for a five-year $95 million contract.
With Manning on the way to Denver, the Broncos are now expected to explore the trade market for Tim Tebow.
Denver reportedly has very few reservations about Manning's health. The quarterback took and passed a physical examination, and the team was content with the way Manning threw the ball during a workout, despite the quarterback's admission that his arm still needs work before it returns to full strength.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the New England Patriots have reached a one year agreement with former Oakland Raider, Trevor Scott.
Patriots reached a one-year agreement with former Raiders pass rusher Trevor Scott.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 17, 2012
Scott is a 27 year old defensive end. He was drafted in the sixth round by the Oakland Raiders in the 2008 NFL Draft. He failed to record a single sack last season, but has 14 during his four year career, along with 77 tackles, 20 assists, one fumble forced and one pass deflection.
Scott received a terrible grade of -11.6 from Pro Football Focus last season, and according to them, was the Raiders' worst defensive player in 2011. He's has had his moments throughout his brief career, but he's been mostly inconsistent and below average overall.
Pats announce signing of WR Anthony Gonzalez #freeagency— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 17, 2012
Gonzalez was once a promising receiving prospect, but has been severely limited by injuries over the past few seasons. He was the Patriots first round pick, 32nd overall, in the 2007 NFL Draft and went on to rack up 94 receptions, 1,240 yards and seven touchdowns in his first two seasons with the Colts. Since then, Gonzalez has a total of five receptions for 67 yards and no touchdowns.
Gonzalez has only played 126 snaps during the last three seasons, so it's hard to expect much from the often-injured 27 year old. During his last full season in 2008 Pro Football Focus assigned him a grade of -0.3 overall.
Brandon Lloyd is very close to becoming a member of the New England Patriots, according to a report from The Boston Globe. Lloyd, a free agent wide receiver, has been linked to the Pats because of his pre-existing relationship with new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who Lloyd played for in Denver and again in St. Louis.
A league source Friday night said that the 30-year-old Lloyd and the Patriots were "close'' to coming to a contract agreement. Once it's finalized, the team could potentially have the outside-the-numbers receiving threat it has been lacking since Randy Moss was traded a quarter of the way into the 2010 season. (via Boston Globe)
Lloyd entered the league in 2003 and has played for five teams, with his longest tenures coming with the Denver Broncos (three years) and the San Francisco 49ers (three years). Lloyd has 4,784 career receiving yards and 31 touchdowns in 112 games.
The New England Patriots announced Thursday that they had re-signed Matthew Slater and signed defensive tackle Marcus Harrison (via WEEI). In addition, the Patriots reportedly re-signed offensive lineman Dan Conolly (via NESN).
Slater has been with the Pats for four years and has been all over the field as a wide receiver, kick returner, safety and special teams contributor. Slater was a Pro Bowl selection in 2011 as a special teams player. Last season, Slater made 17 special teams tackles and 10 tackles on defense. He also returned four kicks for 68 yards and made one reception for 46 yards.
Harrison was drafted by the Bears in 2008. Harrison has made 55 tackles (43 solo) and 3 sacks during his career. Harrison has not played since the 2010 season, but was signed and released by New England last season.
Connolly has played center and guard during his six-year career. Connolly has come up big for the Pats during the last two seasons, starting at least 11 games both years. It is possible that the re-signing of Connolly spells the end of Dan Koppen's nine-year career with the Patriots.
The New England Patriots and free agent safety Steve Gregory have agreed to terms, according to a report.
Filed to ESPNBoston: Patriots and safety Steve Gregory agree to terms, source says.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) March 15, 2012
Gregory had visited New England over the past couple days. The contract may be worth $2-3 million per season for three years for Gregory (via ESPN).
Gregory (5-11, 195) was signed as an undrafted player out of Syracuse by the San Diego Chargers in 2006. Gregory played in most of the Chargers' games on the special teams unit but did not become a regular starter until the 2010 season. Gregory has made 241 tackles (197 solo), 2 sacks and 4 interceptions during his career. Last season, he started a career-high 13 games and made 67 tackles (56 solo) and 1 interception which he scored a touchdown on.
The Patriots have kept a low profile so far during this free agency period, but they'll have at least one visitor this weekend, as former Redskins safety Laron Landry is set to visit the team this weekend, according to a report.
Landry missed half of the 2011 season, registering a career low 48 tackles and going interception-less for a full season for the first time since his rookie year. He's a former top draft pick and played for Nick Saban (who has a longstanding relationship with Bill Belichick) at LSU.
Landry has made recent headlines in the world of Twitter with pictures of his hulking figure.
The Patriots secondary was a major area of concern throughout the 2011 season, and it appears the team will look to upgrade it through both free agency and the draft. The team holds four picks in the top two rounds of the April draft.
Gonzalez, a 2007 first round pick and five year NFL veteran, didn't catch a single pass during the 2011 regular season while being limited to just eight games. He missed both the second half of the 2010 season and all but one game in the 2009 season with injuries after starting his career with promise.
His best year was 2008, during which he caught 57 passes for 664 yards and was one of Peyton Manning's most trusted receivers. He's a natural fit in the slot, which is an area the Patriots would appear to be set at with both Wes Welker and Julian Edelman in the fold for 2012.
The New England Patriots wasted little time addressing their defensive issues during 2012 NFL free agency, reportedly inking former Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Jonathan Fanene to a three-year deal on Wednesday.
Fanene, a 6-foot-4, 292-pounder who played his college football at Utah, registered a career-high 6.5 sacks to go along with 24 tackles last season in Cincinnati. The 29-year old was used primarily as a backup, but is adept against the run as well as the pass.
During his seven-year career, Fanene has totaled 66 tackles and 13.5 sacks. Yet it appears the Patriots value him highly.
The Boston Herald's Ian Rapoport reports that Fanene will receive a $3.85 million signing bonus, an indication that they do not take his talents lightly.
That's a pretty big number, and it gives some type of indication about how much the Patriots value him. He's going to be an important contributor on the defensive line.
The Patriots should be actively looking to improve their defense during free agency and the 2012 NFL Draft, so it's no surprise they would target Landry. They will have competition, though. Cole reported Tuesday that Landry is also receiving interest from the New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears.
Landry had 35 tackles, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery last season while suiting up for just eight games during an injury-riddled campaign. The 27-year old has started all 64 games in his career, racking up 290 tackles, four interceptions and 5.5 sacks.
When healthy, Landry is productive. But he battled groin and Achilles injuries this past season and has developed a reputation as injury prone.
Love is the only exclusive rights free agent on the New England squad. If he signs the Patriots' offer, Love stands to make a base salary of $540,000 for the 2012 season. The Patriots had until 4 p.m. on Tuesday to extend the offer to Love or else he would have become an unrestricted free agent.
Love was undrafted out of Mississippi State in 2010 but has spent two seasons with the Patriots. Last season, Love played all 16 games and made 13 starts. Love had had 33 tackles (20 solo) and 3 sacks in 2011 during the regular season and 7 tackles during the playoffs. He has 40 tackles (25 solo) and 4 sacks for his career.
The New England Patriots have made their first move of the 2012 NFL Free Agent period Tuesday, and it was a minor one as they placed a second-round restricted-free-agent tender on backup quarterback Brian Hoyer. The tender makes Hoyer available to any team that would like to pay him $1.92 million and give the Patriots a second-round pick if they elect to not match the offer.
This is unlikely to happen, but if it does, the Patriots would likely be pleased to receive such compensation for a player who figures to sign elsewhere as an unrestricted free agent next year to pursue a starting role (in which the Patriots could only receive as high as a third-round compensatory pick for losing him).
Hoyer has been the backup for starting quarterback Tom Brady since entering the league as a rookie in 2009. Hoyer has played in just 13 games and it seems the Patriots a setting things up so that second-year quarterback Ryan Mallett can step-in to be Brady's backup for the 2012-13 season.
Plenty of questions face Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots as free agency officially begins on Tuesday. The Patriots have 18 free agents of their own to make decisions on, including BenJarvus Green Ellis and Andre Carter.
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