Patriots need depth behind Garoppolo after Brady ruling


Patriots need depth behind Garoppolo after Brady ruling

The Patriots will need to add some depth at the quarterback position now that Tom Brady's suspension has been reinstated by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

That's one of the primary on-the-field takeaways that can be gathered after news of Brady's punishment came to light on Monday. 

While the Patriots obviously would have liked for Brady to win the appeal and be scheduled to start for Week 1 of the regular season, that the decision came down before the draft can allow them to try to prepare themselves accordingly. 

Even when the Brady decision was still in limbo, we've written in this space (several times, in fact) that it might behoove the Patriots to draft a quarterback this year. It would provide the team with the benefit of depth in the event Brady was suspended, but it would also allow the Patriots to groom their potential backup of the future. Given that Brady is under contract through 2019, and there is a possibility that the Patriots would attempt to trade Jimmy Garoppolo between now and the end of his rookie contract that keeps in him New England through 2017.

Players like Stanford's Kevin Hogan and Michigan's Jake Rudock come from pro-style systems and could likely be had in the later rounds of this year's draft. Should the Patriots covet a more highly-touted quarterback, they could attempt to swipe Michigan State's Connor Cook if he's available in the second round -- though they might have to package picks and trade up to do so.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick and director of player personnel Nick Caserio could also pluck a more experienced signal-caller from free agency to serve as Garoppolo's backup. 

Among the veterans available is former Patriots backup Brian Hoyer, who was released by the Texans earlier this offseason. Matt Flynn, who spent a portion of the 2015 preseason with the Patriots, is also without a team at the moment. Another free-agent quarterback, Ryan Lindley, spent about a month with the Patriots last summer before he was given his release at the end of training camp. 

Report: Patriots special teams ace Slater visiting Steelers

Report: Patriots special teams ace Slater visiting Steelers

Patriots seven-time Pro Bowl special teamer Matthew Slater is in Pittsburgh on Saturday making a free-agent visit to the rival Steelers, according to an ESPN's Field Yates.

Slater, who turns 33 in September, has spent the past 10 seasons in a New England. The special teams captain and one of the leaders in the locker room signed a one-year, $1.8 million contract extension in 2016.

The Patriots lost special teamer Johnson Bademosi to the Texans in free agency on Friday but signed special teamers Brandon Bolden and Brandon King just before the free agency period began.

More to come...

Brady tests his 'Brady Bunch' knowledge on NPR

Brady tests his 'Brady Bunch' knowledge on NPR

Tom Brady has been making the media rounds lately with "Good Morning America" and "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" appearances this past week to promote his "Tom vs. Time" series and TB12 Method book. On Saturday, Brady was a phone-in guest on NPR's "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me" for their "Not My Job" segment. 

Before a mostly cheering live audience in Hartford and after a discussion of the benefits and drawbacks - mostly drawbacks - of tomatoes and strawberries, plus an assessment of the intelligence of most defensive coordinators, Brady settled in to handle three questions about the world's second-most famous Bradys, the family from the classic sitcom - "The Brady Bunch".

Click here to listen and see how he did.