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A New England Patriots Community Blog



Updated: 2017-02-27T05:00:01-05:00

 



Pro Football Focus names 5 perfect and realistic free agents for the Patriots

2017-02-27T05:00:01-05:00

These players could help the reigning Super Bowl champions repeat in 2017 The New England Patriots have a long list of 13 unrestricted free agents, three restricted free agents, and three exclusive-rights free agents, but you can be certain that head coach Bill Belichick and director of player personnel Nick Caserio will kick the tires on all the players on the open market. Pro Football Focus (PFF) lists Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower as a “must re-sign” caliber player, noting that “the Patriots lack a productive linebacker outside of Hightower, and if they lose the former first-round pick, it could become their biggest position of need.” PFF also tried to help out by narrowing down the list of candidates for the Patriots with some five players that could be ideal fits in New England. Panthers DL Kawann Short “The Patriots never make splash free-agent signings, but if they were to make one, Kawann Short would provide an immediate upgrade to a defensive line that lacked a true disruptive overall player. Short’s ability to stuff the run and get after the quarterback would be lethal for New England.” The Patriots have two separate types of defensive interior players. They have run stuffers, like Alan Branch and Malcom Brown, and then they have pass rushers, like Trey Flowers. Short would present a perfect mix of the two and allow the Patriots to keep a defensive tackle on the field on passing downs, instead of substituting to a smaller defensive package. Short is expected to be one of the highest-paid defensive tackles in the league, though, so PFF acknowledges that this is a major reach. Perhaps a rookie like Michigan State’s Malik McDowell or Michigan’s Chris Wormley would be a good alternative in the draft. Texans EDGE John Simon “Simon is a player that is overshadowed by several great players on the Texans’ defense, but produced at a solid level for three straight seasons. He was on his way to his best season yet before injury cut his 2016 campaign short. A solid all-around player, Simon would be utilized perfectly in New England.” Simon played well within the Texans defense, which means that he would also probably thrive in the Patriots defense. The 26-year-old Simon is stuck deep in the Houston depth chart and could see greater opportunity with the Patriots. New England might need a new pass rusher in the rotation with Rob Ninkovich getting up in age and both Jabaal Sheard and Chris Long free agents. Titans TE Anthony Fasano “Fasano is one of the best run-blocking tight ends in the NFL, and with Martellus Bennett potentially leaving via free agency and Rob Gronkowski’s injury history, the Patriots need a reliable option. Fasano isn’t exactly a receiving threat, but Tom Brady brings out the best in his players.” Fasano turns 33 years old in April so he certainly isn’t the answer at the position, but he could be a veteran that helps as the #2 tight end in a blocking capacity and could chip in as a receiver in a pinch. Fasano only recorded 8 receptions for the Titans in 2016, though, so he might only be a blocking tight end at this stage in his career- but that might be what the Patriots want early in the season if New England invests an early draft pick in a deep class of tight ends. Titans LB Sean Spence “If Hightower leaves via free agency, the Patriots will have a gaping hole at linebacker after also trading away Jamie Collins. With Spence, the Patriots fill the void with a veteran that has underperformed in Tennessee, but has shown improvement each of the past three seasons. Spence was effective as a pass-rusher in 2016, as he racked up three sacks and four hits and Belichick likes to rush his LBs.” After the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Spence in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft, Spence did not play in his first two seasons in the league due to a series of injuries. Former Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau brought Spence along to his new gig in Tennessee. Spence is 5’11, 230 pounds, so he is smaller than Belichick’s ideal linebacker and has battl[...]



PFF: Move over Aaron Rodgers, Patriots QB Tom Brady has the best deep ball in the NFL

2017-02-26T13:00:02-05:00

The Patriots quarterback has continued his mastery of the sport. Pro Football Focus (PFF) looked at the quarterbacks that had the most success targeting any given route and New England Patriots QB Tom Brady featured as the best quarterback at a pair of routes that require impeccable touch and timing. Brady finished as the #1 quarterback in PFF’s ratings, so they’re a big fan of his 2016 season. Best QB on go routes (min. 10 targeted attempts): Tom Brady, New England Patriots “It is no coincidence that Chris Hogan was the most successful receiver on go routes when you look at how effective Tom Brady was throwing the route. Brady was PFF’s highest-graded QB on go routes, completing 20 of 48 passes for 660 yards, 6 touchdowns, and a QB rating of 119.8. Brady was second in QB rating, third in touchdowns, third in completions, and second in yards on the go route. Brady was eighth in completion percentage at 41 percent, but was fifth in adjusted completion percentage at 48 percent due to his receivers dropping three passes. He had great success on the go route versus the Cover 3, as 7 of his 13 passes resulted in either first downs or touchdowns, and one of his incompletions was on a miscommunication.” Brady finished the season as PFF’s best deep ball quarterback, thanks to the emergence of WR Chris Hogan as the deep threat that Patriots have clamored for over the past decade. Hogan finished at PFF’s best go route receiver in 2016. Brady trailed Falcons QB Matt Ryan in passer rating on go routes, but attempted 48 passes to just 29 by Ryan. Go routes require great timing and accuracy and it wouldn’t be a shock to see Brady’ performance on go routes to improve in 2017 as he gets more comfortable with Hogan as a receiver and as TE Rob Gronkowski returns to the lineup. Best QB targeting hitches and comebacks (min. 20 targeted attempts): Tom Brady, New England Patriots “PFF’s highest-graded quarterback makes the list yet again, and for good reason. Brady completed 52 of 66 passes for 609 yards, 3 touchdowns and a league-leading QB rating of 120.3. His 78.8-percent completion percentage was the sixth-highest in the league. He had an average time per attempt of 2.55 seconds and an aDOT of 8 yards, both right around league average. Brady was on fire throwing to these routes in the playoffs, as he completed 19 of 23 passes for 232 yards and a touchdown. In the Super Bowl, Brady attacked the Falcons in man coverage with these routes. He completed all 5 of his passes for 63 yards, four going for first downs.” The purpose of a hitch or comeback is to sell a deeper route, force the defender to commit, and then turn back towards the quarterback to generate separation on the defender. WR Julian Edelman was the best receiver in the NFL at these routes in 2016. These routes require impeccable timing by the quarterback and receiver, and for both parties to be on the exact same page after reading the coverage in the exact same way. PFF has Brady completing 19 of 23 of these passes in the playoffs for 232 yards and a touchdown. PFF also had Brady as an honorable mention for in-and-out routes, noting that Brady had highest completion rate of all quarterbacks with these routes. It should be noted that everything wasn’t all peachy for Brady. PFF has the Patriots quarterback down for three interceptions on slant routes, tied for most in the NFL. To make it even worse, all three came in the playoffs. Your browser does not support HTML5 video. All three interceptions came on similar patterns where the receiver was cutting across the field from the outside. The first interception against the Texans and the interception against the Falcons came when Brady was locked in on the receiver and failed to notice a defender lurking; the second interception against the Texans was just thrown too far inside for the receiver to corral. Brady has mastered skill after quarterback skill over the years, so I expect him to come back in 2017 with the best slant or post pass the NFL has ever seen. Foll[...]



ESPN names four players that could interest the Patriots in free agency

2017-02-26T12:00:01-05:00

ESPN’s Mike Reiss has the inside scoop on the Patriots. ESPN’s Mike Reiss named four possible free agent targets for the New England Patriots and they’re worth noting because Reiss is the best in the business. Last year, Reiss connected the Patriots to Bills WR Chris Hogan, and the Patriots ultimately signed him away from their division rivals. Reiss also mentioned WR Rod Streater; the Patriots worked out Streater a few days later. Here are the four players that Reiss names and my thoughts on each player. RB Benny Cunningham The 26-year-old Rams running back took a visit to Foxboro as a restricted free agent last year -- he could be a factor as a returner and in other special-teams areas-- and that naturally puts him on the radar this year on the unrestricted market. Cunningham could be an improvement over RB Brandon Bolden in the sense that he’s a better offensive player and his ability as a returner might be considered more valuable than Bolden’s contributions as a blocker. Cunningham is a great receiver and a viable runner when given opportunities. EDGE Datone Jones The Packers' defensive end/linebacker is the type of hybrid defender with high-end physical traits that Bill Belichick seems to like to collect. The 6-foot-4, 285-pound Jones (26) is a 2013 first-round pick out of UCLA who hasn't panned out, but might benefit from a change of scenery. Jones wants to return to the Packers but might be the odd man out with three other Packers pass rushers entering free agency. Jones cut his weight to 270 pounds for 2016, but he never found a place in the Packers 3-4 front. He seems to be a perfect candidate to play a Trey Flowers-like role as a 4-technique in the 5-man front, a defensive end in the 4-man front, and nose tackle in the 3-man passing down front. EDGE Jarvis Jones Another 2013 first-round pick (Steelers) who hasn't met expectations, the 6-foot-3, 247-pound Jones (27) also falls into the hybrid category and had some pass-rushing skills coming out of Georgia that made him a top prospect. A fresh start elsewhere could bring out the best in him. The Steelers benched Jones for the 80-year-old James Harrison and it’s wouldn’t be a surprise if Pittsburgh moved forward with Harrison over their former first round pick. Jones ran a shockingly slow 4.88s 40 yard dash at his Pro Day, but could be a potential pass rush-only replacement in the Patriots defensive end rotation. WR Robert Woods The 6-foot-0, 190-pound wide receiver (Bills) runs the type of precise routes that should catch the Patriots' eye, and teams that look beyond his mid-level production (more a result of middling quarterback play) and focus on his top physical traits could view him as a top value in free agency. Can I compare Robert Woods to a summer’s day? Reiss is referring to Woods’ ability to run excellent hitch and comeback routes, which is the route of choice by QB Tom Brady. The Patriots might not have space for Woods, but if the price is right he could be an excellent option on the outside. Which of these four players would you want in a Patriots uniform? Reiss also highlights the lone ugly aspect of the Patriots 2016 season: bye weeks. Check out his notes here. Follow @PP_Rich_Hill Follow @PatsPulpit src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fpatspulpit%2F&width=450&layout=standard&action=like&show_faces=true&share=false&height=80&appId" width="450" height="80" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true"> [...]



Reiss: Patriots signing WR Michael Floyd isn’t a “slam dunk”

2017-02-26T11:00:02-05:00

ESPN’s Mike Reiss shares his Patriots notes. The New England Patriots claimed former Arizona Cardinals WR Michael Floyd on December 15th with three games left in the regular season. The Patriots adopted the astonishing $1.29 million left on Floyd’s contract for the remainder of the season. Despite an extra three games in the playoffs, Floyd was only active for three games in a Patriots uniform. According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, there’s a big chance that Floyd won’t return to the Patriots in 2017. “Receiver Michael Floyd has stated his hope to return to the Patriots in 2017,” Reiss writes, “and while that could still happen, it isn't the slam dunk that I previously envisioned. I now don't see the Patriots extending too far financially to retain Floyd, who at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds brought a different type of physical presence to the receiving corps after being claimed in mid-December but also wasn't always on the same page as quarterback Tom Brady as he learned the team's system on the fly. If another team ups the ante with Floyd in free agency, I'd be surprised if the Patriots get into a competitive situation to retain him.” The assumption in December was that the Patriots were okay claiming Floyd off waivers because it would give the team an early head start to reach an extension with Floyd and to retain the former first round pick. Of course Floyd doesn’t really have a fit in New England. Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan are the top two receivers that play inside and outside, while Malcolm Mitchell and the likely-restructured Danny Amendola are the top back-ups on the sideline and in the slot, respectively. Mitchell put together an incredible Super Bowl and emerged as a favorite of QB Tom Brady down the backstretch of the 2016 regular season, which means that Floyd would start the season as the 3rd best option as an outside receiver on the roster, behind Hogan and Mitchell. The best case for Floyd to return involves the Patriots failing to reach a restructure with Amendola. If Amendola doesn’t return, then the Patriots have the opportunity to give more slot snaps to Hogan, which opens an outside receiver spot for Floyd to capitalize upon. As Reiss said, the Patriots could offer Floyd a team-friendly, multi-year contract to see if they can retain a young, former 1000+ yard receiver at bargain bin levels. Follow @PP_Rich_Hill Follow @PatsPulpit src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fpatspulpit%2F&width=450&layout=standard&action=like&show_faces=true&share=false&height=80&appId" width="450" height="80" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true"> [...]



How will the Patriots 2017 free agents affect compensatory picks in 2018?

2017-02-26T09:00:03-05:00

The Patriots could receive a lot of early picks in 2018. The New England Patriots have 13 unrestricted free agents which will affect the compensatory pick math for the 2018 season. Teams generally receive compensatory draft picks in rounds three through seven if they lose more unrestricted free agents than they sign, up to a maximum of four compensatory picks. Teams that lose the most “value” in free agency receive the best compensatory picks- and now that compensatory picks are tradeable, they’re more valuable than ever. There are a few stipulations. Players that are released do not affect the compensatory calculations and players must be signed roughly before the start of training camp. A player’s “value” is determined by a mix of their contract, playing time, and postseason accolades, such as Pro Bowl and All Pro distinctions. Players with 10 or more seasons can only accrue a maximum of a fifth round compensatory pick, according to OverTheCap, regardless of actual value; Patriots DT Alan Branch is the team’s only unrestricted free agent that falls into this category. The Patriots received a fifth round pick for losing DT Akiem Hicks to the Chicago Bears in free agency, while losing S Tavon Wilson to the Detroit Lions canceled out the signing of LB Shea McClellin. The Patriots also received a third from the Cleveland Browns as a result of the Jamie Collins trade. Looking at OverTheCap’s figures, we can come up with a rough estimate for the contract value of players and how they will impact future compensatory picks. This isn’t an exact table, but simply a rough outline and a way to evaluate the Patriots upcoming free agents. Third round: $9 million or more per year Candidates: LB Dont’a Hightower, TE Martellus Bennett, CB Logan Ryan Hightower is a lock for this tier, while Bennett and Ryan could hit the lower limit if some team goes crazy in free agency. $9 million per year is the same as TE Rob Gronkowski and represents the fifth highest annual cost for a tight end in the NFL. It also represents the 14th highest cost for a cornerback, which is why Ryan is a stretch for this tier. Fourth round: $6-$9 million per year Candidates: Bennett, Ryan, EDGE Jabaal Sheard Bennett and Ryan could also (and maybe more probably will) slot into this range. Sheard is a player that might not receive consideration for this range at first glance, but if you heard that Sheard signed a 3-year, $18 million contract, would you even think twice about it? Sheard’s coming off a contract where he averaged $5.5 million per season, so a $6 million per year deal under an increased salary cap is actually pretty reasonable. Fifth round: $5-6 million per year Candidates: Sheard, S Duron Harmon Sheard could land in this range, too. If teams project Harmon as a starting safety, he could easily earn a contract at this level. $5-6 million is the 15th-to-23rd ranked safeties, so a slightly above-average safety could sign at this level. Sixth round: $3-5 million per year Candidates: Sheard, Harmon, DT Alan Branch, WR Michael Floyd, EDGE Chris Long, RB LeGarrette Blount Who knows what Sheard is worth? I could see both he and Harmon falling anywhere from $4-6 million per year. Branch is coming off a 2-year, $4.3 million contract, so this would represent a big pay bump. It’s hard to see the team paying Branch $5.0 million per year when that is what they allowed Akiem Hicks to sign for with the Chicago Bears. I think a 2-year, $7 million deal makes sense for Branch. Floyd will sign at a discount because of his off-the-field problems, but he would probably demand upwards for $8 million on the open market. Don’t be surprised if he signs a cheap 1-year, $4 million prove-it deal with the Patriots to rehabilitate his image. Long is coming off a 1-year, $2.375 million contract and will probably sign a similar deal this offseason. The same applies for Blount and his 1-year deal with a $1 million base and $750,000 in yardag[...]



Alan Branch wants to stay with Patriots, will negotiate new deal at NFL Combine

2017-02-26T08:00:03-05:00

The Patriots defensive tackle could take less money to stay in New England. The New England Patriots can reach a contract extension with their current free agents at any given time, but most players will wait until free agency before making a decision. Patriots DT Alan Branch probably won’t sign before free agency, but the wheels for an extension will be in motion before the end of February. “I love the Patriots,” Branch told SiriusXM hosts Bob Papa and Ross Tucker, via NESN’s Doug Kyed. “They gave me a second chance at my career. They gave me two years, but at the same time it’s a business. It’s business on their end, and it’s business on mine. I gotta do what’s best for my family. I got four kids. I got a lot of mouths to feed, lotta weddings — I got three girls. I got a lot of schools to pay for. “It’s a business at the end of the day. It just kind of depends on what’s laid out on the table. If it’s smart to stay on the team that I’ve been productive on and the money is not too much different, then who knows. But if it’s a significant difference, I mean, sometimes it’s hard to say no, you know?” Branch implies that he might be willing to take less money to remain in New England, so long as the offer is within the same ballpark as other offers. The Patriots signed Branch in October of 2014 and Branch has been a big part of New England’s two Super Bowl championships. The 6’6, 350 pound defensive tackle is coming off his best season as a pro and has been a strong leader for the young defensive tackles on the Patriots roster. But don’t expect Branch to take a eye-popping discount. “I definitely want to maximize my earning power, especially coming off one of my better seasons of my career,” Branch said. “That’s what every kid you dream of getting Super Bowls, and you dream of getting paid what you feel is just due for your output of play. I’m just hoping I can just go out there, make a good amount of money and at the same time enjoying playing football.” Football is easier to enjoy while winning and no team has been more successful than the Patriots. Multiple veterans like Branch, EDGE Chris Long, and TE Martellus Bennett have spoken about how the Patriots winning environment has been rejuvenating for their careers. “I revamped my love of football even more so since I’ve been with the Patriots,” Branch said. “I’m just ready to play some good ball. Usually in the offseason, it seems like it goes too fast, but I’m chomping at the bit to get out there again to start playing.” Branch also serves as a walking billboard for other free agent players about the potential of joining the Patriots. Branch helped replace Patriots stalwart DT Vince Wilfork, earned a second contract, won a lot of games, and earned starting time. If a veteran wants to win and has gas left in the tank, then there’s no better franchise to join than the Patriots. The Patriots are expected to negotiate with Branch’s agent in the coming weeks, according to Branch himself. “Right now, I know my agent is supposed to be going to them, talking to them in Indianapolis for the combine, I believe,” Branch added. “To my knowledge, I just let my agent do his job. I just try to my part in playing the ball, playing good ball and continue to go out there and be reliable.” Hopefully Branch can finish out the rest of his career with the Patriots, and his final years can be as successful as his first three seasons in New England. Follow @PP_Rich_Hill Follow @PatsPulpit src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fpatspulpit%2F&width=450&layout=standard&action=like&show_faces=true&share=false&height=80&appId" width="450" height="80" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true"> [...]



Pats Pulpit 2016 Patriots awards: Offensive Player of the Year – RB LeGarrette Blount

2017-02-26T07:00:01-05:00

The Pats Pulpit staff has made its choice. Do you agree? In early November, midway through the 2016 NFL season, the Pats Pulpit staff handed out its New England Patriots midseason awards. Three months later and coming off a Patriots Super Bowl victory, it is time to reflect once again and hand out trophies to those, who have earned them. Today’s installment honors the team’s offensive player of the year. Patriots Offensive Player of the Year 2016: RB LeGarrette Blount Midseason winner: QB Tom Brady SlotMachinePlayer: RB James WhiteSome severe recency bias going on here as I'm still have a buzz from Super Bowl success and his MVP worthy contributions. Ryan Keiran (@Ryan_Keiran): RB LeGarrette BlountGoing off of best offensive non-MVP, Blount set the franchise record in touchdowns, was well over 1,000 yards, and brought back a run game that was desperately missed last year in the playoffs. Brian Phillips (@b7phillips): RB LeGarrette Blount18 TDs has to count for something, so I'll give him the nod just barely over Edelman and his 98-catch performance. Rich Hill (@pp_rich_hill): WR Julian EdelmanI was considering LeGarrette Blount, but Edelman shifted gears in the second half of the season once Rob Gronkowski was lost for injury. From the bye week through the Super Bowl (11 games), Edelman outgained Blount 1,122 yards to 676. MichaelMcD831993 (@MichaelMcD8393): QB Tom BradyBrady breaking the TD/INT ratio in the regular season is another record he takes back. Oliver Thomas (@OliverBThomas): RB LeGarrette BlountThe 30-year-old eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing for the first time since his rookie season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and surpassed Hall of Famer Curtis Martin for the most rushing touchdowns in franchise history with 18. Matthew Rewinski (@SomeCallMeGoose): RB LeGarrette BlountHave to go LeGarrette Blount here, even though Brady's the general that makes everyone better. Without LG on the ground, teams do exactly what they did last season, and stack the deck against the pass. The whole "leading the league in rush TDs at 30 years old" thing when some ex-Patriots backs can't find work at 25 years old is just a bonus. DMooreNFL (@DMooreNFL): WR Julian EdelmanEdelman came on in a big way after the bye week and was a key chain-mover for the team. He was able to stay healthy all season and be flexible in where he played and what his role was. Plus, not to mention THAT catch! Taylor Kyles (@tkyles39): QB Tom BradyAgain, Brady had one of the best seasons for a quarterback the NFL has ever seen. He absolutely deserves to be the Patriots' Offensive Player of the Year. But for the sake of spicing things up, I really wanted to give this award to LeGarrette Blount. He put the team on his back in the first quarter of the season, leading the NFL in rushing yards during that span. The Oregon product also had some truly dominant performances against the Rams, Jets, and 49ers in the second half of the season. Unfortunately, he was too inconsistent in 2016 to be a serious candidate for this award. This wasn't completely his fault, as the offensive line had some rough outings in terms of run blocking. However, Blount had a number of games where his vision and decisiveness simply didn't cut it. Kirk von Kreisler (@KirkNFL): WR Julian EdelmanBrady was the best player on offense this season, but with his being awarded MVP, I decided to give this award to another player. Edelman racked up over 1,100 yards during the regular season and became a consistent option for Brady. While Edelman had his struggles with drops, as seen in the first half of Super Bowl LI, he still ran away with the most receptions (98) and receiving yards on the team. Bernd Buchmasser (@BerndBuchmasser): QB Tom BradyLeGarrette Blount and Julian Edelman both had really good seasons, deserving of recognition. When the lights were brightest, though, the Patriots biggest star once again outshone the[...]



Oddsmakers: Will Vikings RB Adrian Peterson sign with the Patriots for 2017?

2017-02-26T06:00:02-05:00

Will the best running back of the past decade sign with the reigning Super Bowl champions? Oddsmaker Bookmaker.eu has released odds for which team current Vikings RB Adrian Peterson will play for at the start of the 2017 season and the New England Patriots are considered one of the top favorites. Odds for Adrian Peterson’s team in Week 1 of the 2017-18 regular season Minnesota Vikings +250Green Bay Packers +260New England Patriots +1000Oakland Raiders +1000New York Giants +1500Dallas Cowboys +2500Field +140 The Vikings are the favorite with the Packers a laughable second place. Green Bay infamously doesn’t sign free agents (they average one free agent signing a year) and they would rather retain Eddie Lacy than bring in an external player. But you should note that the Patriots are tied with the Oakland Raiders for third place. The Patriots and Raiders have free agent running backs in LeGarrette Blount and Latavius Murray, respectively, and could theoretically be interested in acquiring Peterson. Blount has 1,864 rushing yards over the past two seasons, while Murray has 1,854 rushing yards. Murray is a bigger threat as a receiver with 74 receptions and 496 receiving yards over the past two years; Blount has 13 receptions for 81 yards. Blount is a bigger touchdown threat with better ball security with 25 scores and just 3 fumbles, while Murray has 18 touchdowns and 6 fumbles. Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has expressed a desire to focus his free agency attention on younger players with upside, which should take them out of the running. The Patriots have often been a home for ring-less veterans, but it’s usually players with a year or two left in the tank. Peterson, who turns 32 years old in March, has played in just 20 games over the past three seasons due to a suspension for child abuse in 2014 and a knee injury in week 2 of the 2016 season. Peterson was a First Team All Pro in 2015 with 327 carries, 1,485 rushing yards, and 11 rushing touchdown, all league-leading marks. He chipped in 222 receiving yards and finished third in the NFL in yards from scrimmage, behind Falcons WR Julio Jones (1,871) and Steelers WR Antonio Brown (1,862). In Peterson’s first two games of 2016, prior to his injury, he carried the ball 31 times for 50 yards (1.61 yards per carry). The opposing Titans and Packers defenses stacked the box to force newly acquired QB Sam Bradford to throw the ball, but there are legitimate questions on whether Peterson will be able to return to his former self. Honestly, the Patriots are probably a bigger threat to sign the 6’3, 230 pound Latavius Murray than they are to sign Peterson. Peterson said he would want to play for the Texans, Buccaneers, or Giants and would probably command a bigger contract than what the Patriots would be willing to pay. Follow @PP_Rich_Hill Follow @PatsPulpit src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fpatspulpit%2F&width=450&layout=standard&action=like&show_faces=true&share=false&height=80&appId" width="450" height="80" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true"> [...]