New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Patriots Dump 2017 Third Round Pick OL Antonio Garcia

The Patriots have released offensive tackle Antonio Garcia according to Mike Reiss of ESPN, quickly cutting ties with their third-round draft pick of a season ago.

It is a shocking move considering the team traded up to nab Garcia in the third round out of Troy just one year ago.

Garcia missed his entire rookie season while battling blood clots in his lungs but had been declared fully healthy and cleared to play in late March. Just a week ago the Patriots were talking about the 24-year-old as a legitimate option to replace Nate Solder at left tackle. Garcia did lose 40 pounds during his medical ordeal so conditioning may have been an issue.

Apparently the Patriots lost patience but, given his talent, it will likely not take Garcia long to resurface in the NFL.

Patriots Not Expected to Pick Up Options on CB Malcom Brown or DT Danny Shelton

The Patriots are not planning to pick up the fifth-year option in Malcom Brown’s contract, Kevin Duffy of Masslive reports.

Brown was eligible for the fifth-year option because he was a first-round pick in 2015.

If the Patriots had picked up the option, they would have owed him $7.15 million for the 2019 season, per Miguel Benzan of Boston Sports Journal.

Brown, who was the No. 32 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, enters the final year of his rookie deal this season.

He has started 37 games in three seasons for the Pats.

Additionally, the Patriots are not planning to pick up the option on Danny Shelton’s contract, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

Shelton, who was acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Browns earlier this offseason, will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

Tom Brady Says He Wished Malcolm Butler Would Have Played in Super Bowl LII

Malcolm Butler going through drills.
(Photo By: David Silverman)

Most of New England has moved past Super Bowl LII, but the Malcolm Butler benching was broached on Monday during Tom Brady’s hour-long interview with Jim Gray, Kevin Duffy of Masslive reports.

Speaking at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Santa Monic, Calif., Brady said he wished Butler had played in Super Bowl LII.

Curiously, Brady also said he wasn’t aware that Butler had been benched until the game was over.

“I’ll say this: For a team, this side of the room is the offense and this side is the defense,” Brady said. “We don’t interfere with them much. I didn’t know. Malcolm kept coming over to me during the game and was like ‘Come on, TB, let’s go!’ And I kept going, ‘What defense are we in where Malcolm’s not on the field?’ Is it short-yardage, goal line? And then after the game, I found out. So I just didn’t know. And I asked Malcolm and Malcolm said, ‘I don’t know. Coach has just decided something different.’ I said, ‘OK.’ So I don’t know what was a part of that decision-making, but I know we were trying to win the game. I don’t think we were trying to do anything but win.”

“Well, I don’t make those decisions. I wish he would’ve played, but the coach didn’t play him and we still had a chance to win,” Brady said,.

Report: Patriots Considered Moving Up to Number Two in the Draft to Take Baker Mayfield

The big news of the day is that the Patriots were one of the teams in the mix for the player that ended up being the first overall pick of Thursday’s NFL Draft – that being quarterback Baker Mayfield.

USA Today and other outlets report that the Pats were interested in moving up to the number two spot to make a deal for Mayfield, but the Browns quickly scooped him up with the first pick.

Here’s the story from USA Today.

Some of the best NFL trade stories are about ones never made.

This year’s NFL draft could have seen a blockbuster deal with the New England Patriots moving up to draft Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Baker Mayfield in the No. 2 spot — if he hadn’t gone first overall to the Cleveland Browns.

Mayfield’s agent, Jack Mills, said on “The Business of Sports with Andrew Brandt” podcast he knew going into the draft his client was going to be one of the top three picks.

However, the Patriots were a wild card in the process.

“Another team had said, ‘You may get a big surprise on draft day, at No. 2, if he’s available.’ And it was the Patriots,” Mills said.

“They had 23 and they had 31 and they had two seconds. We thought, ‘That’s gonna be a heck of a move, to get up that high from where they are.’ And of course he wasn’t available so we never knew if that was a reality or not.”

Patriots Earn an ‘B+’ for Their Draft According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.

The draft grades from ‘Draft Guru’ Mel Kiper Jr. are out, and one team that got a very good grade is that of the Pats, who according to Kiper got an ‘B+’ for their collection of players over the two days.

Here’s what he had to say:

The last time I saw Tom Brady on a football field, he threw for 505 yards and three touchdowns against a good defense. If the draft told us anything, it’s that the decision-makers in New England think No. 12 can continue to defy age for at least another year, because unless you think seventh-rounder Danny Etling is a great developmental prospect (I don’t), Brady has no Jimmy Garoppolo pushing him. In fact, the Patriots had a focus on helping Brady out. Isaiah Wynn (pick 23) has traits that say he might be better at guard, but he can play tackle. And if it wasn’t such a crowded backfield, I’d peg Sony Michel as a Rookie of the Year candidate — he’s an explosive SEC-tested running back who is scary in space. I’m typically down on first-round RBs, but he was No. 28 on my board, and the Patriots nabbed him at 31.

The Patriots’ defense — the secondary in particular — was thrashed too often last year, certainly in February, and Duke Dawson (56) could help. He’s best when he can play press-man, and seems like an immediate help in the slot. Linebacker would be a major concern if I were a Patriots fan, and Ja’Whaun Bentley (143) at least has a chance to stick. Braxton Berrios (210) seems cut from New England wide receiver central casting. No surprise if he sticks and finds a way to help — though don’t expect early returns.

Every year we ask if the Patriots could have done more, but this team annually picks at the end of Round 1. You have to develop when you pick where they do, and to their credit, they do. The big question will be whether they could have used the Michel pick for needed defensive help.

Round/Pick Name Pos College
1/23 Isaiah Wynn OT GEORGIA
1/31 Sony Michel RB GEORGIA
2/56 Duke Dawson CB FLORIDA
5/143 Ja’Whaun Bentley ILB PURDUE
6/178 Christian Sam OLB ARIZONA STATE
6/210 Braxton Berrios WR MIAMI
7/219 Danny Etling QB LSU
7/243 Keion Crossen CB WESTERN CAROLINA
7/250 Ryan Izzo TE FLORIDA STATE

Patriots Pick Georgia OL Isaiah Wynn and RB Sony Michel in Round One of the NFL Draft

The Patriots took a pair of teammates from Georgia on Thursday night in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, taking OL Isaiah Wynn with the 23rd overall pick, and then later in the round they took running back Sony Michel with the 31st pick.

Video: The Latest on What the Patriots Might Do with Pick 23

The NFL Draft is less than 2 hours away, and while the Pats have awhile on Thursday before they make a pick at 23, here’s the latest on what direction the team might go.

Is Tom Brady NOT Coming Back to Play for the Patriots in 2018?

It’s crazy to think about, but there’s still no OFFICIAL word from Tom Brady or his camp about him playing this season, and with all the issues from the end of last season between he and Bill Belichick, is there a legit shot he might walk away?

Unlikely, but as Adam Schefter says it on Twitter today, it’s odd that he’s not put out a statement or made an announcement that he’s returning to play this upcoming season.