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.

Julian Edelman posts video of resistance-band training

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Julian Edelman posts video of resistance-band training

Julian Edelman is grinding.

The New England Patriots receiver, who is recovering from an ACL repair surgery that ended his 2017 season, shared a quick video from his workout on Tuesday. Edelman is shown running with a resistance band and a trainer in-tow.

Edelman has posted a few tidbits on social media to show encouraging signs during his recovery since he got surgery in October after suffering an ACL tear in a preseason game. He was spotted around the locker room a few times during the final weeks of the 2017 season.

"Rehab is a [expletive]. It sucks," Edelman said in November on Barstool Sports' "Pardon My Take podcast." "You go in and you’re feeling decent and then you warm up, you beat it up and then you get stiff again. I mean it’s just a process and you go in six days a week and you’re going into work it, work on everything — your flexion, your extension."

Jesse James relieved Patriots didn't win Super Bowl LII

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Jesse James relieved Patriots didn't win Super Bowl LII

Steelers tight end Jesse James is glad the Patriots' Super Bowl pursuit is done -- mostly because he played a big part in helping accelerate it.

In the final moments of the game, James failed to catch the ball during a Week 15 contest between the Steelers and the Patriots. The non-catch was a controversial one.

James told Centre Daily Times' Josh Moyer he finally felt relief on the morning after the Super Bowl when the Patriots fell to the Eagles, 41-33.

“I don’t feel like I gave them a Super Bowl with that,” James told the Daily Times. “So I’m over it now, but it’s going to be a topic of conversation until the rule gets changed — or it doesn’t.”

James' play was initially ruled a touchdown before the referees overturned the play, and took the lead away from the Steelers in the final moments of the game. Ben Roethlisberger then threw an interception a few plays later. By winning, the Patriots took a huge step in locking themselves into the AFC's top seed with a first-round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs, which they rode into the Super Bowl.

But of course, they couldn't finish their Super Bowl pursuit -- to James' satisfaction.