Patriots

Curran: Bye-bye Martellus Bennett, enter Dwayne Allen

Curran: Bye-bye Martellus Bennett, enter Dwayne Allen

Au revoir to the most interesting tight end in the world, Martellus Bennett. Hi, Dwayne Allen.

The Patriots made a quick, proactive strike at tight end on Wednesday, shoring up the tight end position in the expectation that Bennett – who had a nice 2016 with the Patriots after coming aboard in a trade with the Bears – is going to seeker greener green in free agency.

Dwayne Allen, a free agent last year who’ll be on the books for $4.937M in 2017, was acquired in exchange for a fourth-rounder. The Patriots also got a sixth-rounder.

Before looking at the football side of things, the financial landscape at tight end is interesting. Rob Gronkowski, who signed a fat, six-year, $54M deal in 2012, will make $4.25M in salary this year. Bennett figures to get a deal that could be worth as much as $9M. Jack Doyle, a mid-tier tight end, re-signed a deal with the Colts on Wednesday that could pay him as much as $21M over three years.

And Allen’s 2017 salary will be just a touch below what the Patriots paid Bennett in 2016. So New England maintained the same level of tight end spending and got younger. We’ll see if Allen can be as effective as Bennett was.

The 6-3, 255-pound Allen isn’t bringing the size mismatch Bennett provided. The 27-year-old, 2014 third-rounder from Clemson is an effective red-zone target. Eight of his 29 catches in 2014 went for touchdowns. He caught six touchdowns on 35 receptions in 2016.

He’s also an effective blocker. Bennett, who played with some hobbling injuries and wasn’t a divisive guy even when he wasn’t getting the football, was a good blocker at times. At other times he looked like he could barely hold up.

But given Bennett’s track record of being a pain in the posterior elsewhere, his production, personality, willingness to do the dirty work and not moan about it made him one of the better cameo-role players of the Belichick Era.

Now we’ll see what Dwayne does.

Patriots-Dolphins injury report: Cutler out for Dolphins

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Patriots-Dolphins injury report: Cutler out for Dolphins

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Dolphins game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

OUT
C David Andrews (illness)
OT Marcus Cannon (ankle)
WR Chris Hogan (shoulder)

DOUBTFUL
TE Martellus Bennett (shoulder/hamstring)

QUESTIONABLE
WR Danny Amendola (knee)
DT Malcom Brown (ankle)
S Patrick Chung (ankle)
CB Eric Rowe (groin)
WR Matthew Slater (hamstring)

OFF INJURY LIST
QB Tom Brady (Achilles)
TE Rob Gronkowski (illness)

MIAMI DOLPHINS

OUT
G Jermon Bushrod (foot)
DE William Hayes (back)
QB Jay Cutler (concussion)

QUESTIONABLE
T Laremy Tunsill (illness)
LB Stephone Anthony (quadriceps)
S Maurice Smith (illness)

OFF INJURY LIST
RB Senorise Perry (knee)
S Michael Thomas (knee)
DT Ndamukong Suh (not injury related)

Tom Brady: Achilles injury 'nothing to worry about'

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Tom Brady: Achilles injury 'nothing to worry about'

FOXBORO — Within 30 seconds of his Friday press conference beginning, Tom Brady was talking about biscuits. That should tell you how small a deal he considers the Achilles tendon issue that kept him out of Wednesday’s practice. 

Brady practiced for the second consecutive day Friday, after which he confirmed that he will be good to go Sunday against the Dolphins. 

MORE PATRIOTS:

“I feel great. Ready to go, so I’ll be excited for Sunday and it feels good to get a little extra treatment,” Brady said. “I’m feeling great this time of year. It will be a fun week. Nothing to worry about.”

After that, Brady spoke about the aforementioned Thanksgiving biscuits of which he posted pictures on Instagram. He said they were good. Rob Gronkowski said he wanted some and that there would be “problems” if Brady didn’t bring any in for him. Everyone got a real kick out of it. 

It’s hard to imagine Brady’s status for Sunday actually being up in the air. He has gone 134 consecutive regular-season games without missing time due to injury. His only absence in that span came in the form of last season’s four-game suspension for Deflategate.