Patriots

Patriots re-sign CB Rashaan Melvin to practice squad

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Patriots re-sign CB Rashaan Melvin to practice squad

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have re-signed cornerback Rashaan Melvin to the practice squad, replacing corner Chris Greenwood on the team's 10-man unit.

Melvin was released from the 53-man roster earlier in the week in order to make room for newly-acquired corner Leonard Johnson.

Primarily a special-teams contributor during his time on the Patriots active roster this season, Melvin successfully recovered a Stephen Gostkowski onside kick in last week's loss to Philadelphia. He played 45 defensive snaps for New England, most of those coming in a Week 10 win over the Giants when he subbed in for No. 3 corner Justin Coleman, who was dealing with a hand injury.

 

Report: Gronk doesn't travel with Patriots, but not ruled out yet

Report: Gronk doesn't travel with Patriots, but not ruled out yet

Rob Gronkowski didn't travel with the Patriots to Chicago but he's not being ruled out for the game Sunday against the Bears, according to multiple reports.

Gronkowski popped up on the injury report with a back issue for the first time this week on Friday. He had been limited by an ankle injury earlier this season but has played in all six Patriots regular-season games.

Gronkowski was not made available to reporters following Sunday's win over the Chiefs, but he spoke with Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran briefly. Gronkowski later spoke to reporters on Monday and Wednesday. I also caught up with him on Friday for a few minutes.

In none of those media interactions did Gronkowski indicate that he was dealing with a serious ailment. On Wednesday I asked him how he felt.

"Feeling good," he said. "It's football."

No limitations because of his injured ankle, which has had him on the injury report for weeks?

"No," he said. "I feel good."

Our interaction Friday focused on the postgame chat he had with Tom Brady following the win over the Chiefs. Our photographer Glenn Gleason got video of the pair chatting briefly and Brady saying "forever . . . You know that, you know that," followed by Gronkowski saying "appreciate it."

Gronkowski told me the back-and-forth was a byproduct of Gronkowski seeking out his quarterback to thank him for  going to him late in the game. Gronkowski hauled in a pair of long catches to help the Patriots beat the Chiefs, including what was essentially a game-winning completion to set up Stephen Gostkowski for a chip-shot game-winning field goal.

If Gronkowski can't play, as is suspected, the Patriots will likely lean on Dwayne Allen and Jacob Hollister at tight end. Hollister is dealing with a hamstring injury that has him questionable for Sunday.

The Patriots could also cut back on their tight-end usage overall if Gronkowski can't go, relying on their backs and receivers to move the football against one of the NFL's stingiest defenses through six weeks.

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Reports: Gilmore restructure creates cap space for Patriots, how will they use it?

Reports: Gilmore restructure creates cap space for Patriots, how will they use it?

The recent restructuring of cornerback Stephon Gilmore's contract has given the Patriots more than $5.3 million in cap space to work with. Will they use it to make a deal before the Oct. 30 trade deadline?

The Patriots recently converted most of Gilmore's $4.95 million of salary into a signing bonus prorated over four years, creating $3.7 million in cap room, as first reported by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero

Gilmore's cap number goes from $12.5 million to $8.8, according to Miguel Benzan of Boston Sports Journal. That gives the Pats $5.379 million in cap space, per NFL Players Association records. With needs at safety, linebacker, defensive end and perhaps running back, New England may use that to facilitate a trade by the 4 p.m. deadline Oct. 30. 

The Patriots are usually active at the deadline with most recent notable acquisitions of cornerback Aqib Talib in 2012, linebackers Akeem Ayers and Jonathan Casillas in 2014, defensive tackle Akiem Hicks and linebacker Jonathan Bostic in 2015 and linebacker Kyle Van Noy in 2016, and, of course, the acquisition of a second-round pick from the 49ers for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo last year.

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