Patriots reportedly work out four quarterbacks, including Matt Barkley


Patriots reportedly work out four quarterbacks, including Matt Barkley

FOXBORO -- The Patriots worked out quarterbacks Matt Barkley, Matt McGloin and David Fales on Friday, according to Field Yates of ESPN. 

The biggest name of the three, Barkley was the No. 1 high school prospect in the country heading into his college career at USC, but has bounced around the league since being taken in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. He spent two seasons with Philadelphia before being traded to the Cardinals in 2015. After one year in Arizona, he was released and signed by the Bears. 

Barkley made the only six starts of his career with Chicago last season, throwing eight touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He signed a two-year deal with the 49ers over the summer but was released last week. 

McGloin served as a backup for the Raiders the last four seasons, starting six games in 2013 and one last season after Derek Carr went down. He suffered a shoulder injury in his lone start last season, giving way for Connor Cook to start in the team’s playoff loss to the Texans. 

A sixth-round pick of the Bears in 2014, Fales has spent time with the Ravens and Dolphins in addition to his two stints in Chicago. He took his only pro snaps last season, throwing five passes in a game against the Vikings. 

Earlier Friday, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that the Pats worked out wide receiver Jordan Payton, a sixth-round pick of the Browns from UCLA in 2016 who played four games for Cleveland last season, and QB Thad Lewis, who last played in a regular-season game for the Bills in 2013.


'Leprechaun' Gronk dropping more hints about future plans - sort of

'Leprechaun' Gronk dropping more hints about future plans - sort of

Rob Gronkowski, decked out in his finest St. Patrick's Day duds over the weekend in Nashville, reportedly tried to shed some light on his NFL future.

Of course, while Gronk was doing Gronk things, he told a Patriots fan one thing and a reporter another.

Breech is an NFL writer for His father is former Cincinnati Bengals kicker Jim Breech. And the "69ers" aren't a real team.


AFC East is starting to prepare for post-Brady life

AFC East is starting to prepare for post-Brady life

The Patriots' "direction" never really changes. They're always "going for it" because they're always one of the best teams in the league. 

The rest of the AFC East is usually in flux. The other teams range from hoping for 8-8 to trying to bottom out in hopes of a high draft pick. Yet right now, it seems the stars are aligning and that the Jets, Bills and Dolphins all have the mindset: Change things now and be ready to pounce once Brady is gone. 

The Jets traded up to No. 3 on Saturday, assuring themselves a chance at one of this draft's top quarterbacks. The Bills, with picks Nos. 12 and 22, are expected by pundits to make a similar move up. The Dolphins, fresh off cutting bait with Ndamukong Suh in an attempt at a culture change, have the 11th pick and could use it on a quarterback to either push or replace Ryan Tannehill. 

None of the three teams are close to pushing the Patriots as long as Brady's around, even with the Bills coming off a season in which they reached the playoffs. Yet there's a two-or-three-year plan on which all three teams could have designs: Get the quarterback now, build around him and be in a good situation by the time Brady is done. 

We've seen these teams try to rebuild before during the Brady Era, with only limited success. Mark Sanchez worked out better in New York than anyone could have initially expected, but that success lasted way shorter than any believers could have hoped. Now, it seems they try again. 

Over in Buffalo, the end of the Tyrod Taylor era hardly means the beginning of the Nathan Peterman era. Those two first-rounders should easily be able to get the Bills into the top five, and they've also got two second-rounders and two third-rounders. Hell, they have the pieces to get to No. 1 if Cleveland is bold enough to pass on their choice of Darnold/Rosen/Allen/Mayfield. 

The Dolphins are in the more interesting spot. Tannehill missed all of last season and he's 29. If you're six years into your career and your team still isn't totally sure if you can be one of the better QBs in the league, you probably aren't one of the better QBs in the league. At the very least, Lamar Jackson should be there at No. 11. They could also trade up. 

At the start of last season, the Patriots had far and away the two best QBs in the AFC East. Now, it stands to reason that at least two of their divisional opponents (the Jets and Bills) will come away with what they hope are franchise quarterbacks. And if any of these guys hit, the Pats will have gone from the best QB situation in the NFL to seeing some actual competition waiting for them by the time their own quarterback is done. 

Of course, all three of these teams usually suck at everything, so it shouldn't be a big deal.