Patriots

Ryan on Patriots: That's an outstanding football team

rex-ryan-belichick.jpg

Ryan on Patriots: That's an outstanding football team

FOXBORO - Rex Ryan got the Patriots on an off night. Sure, he and his Bills team had something to do with that, but the Patriots just weren't themselves on offense.

Unfortunately, the Bills were themselves.

Buffalo could not take advantage of a Patriots team that looked beatable Monday night at Gillette Stadium, and instead walked off the field thinking about what could have been in a 20-13 loss.

Whether it was turnovers (Leodis McKelvin coughed up the football on a punt return in the third quarter), missed opportunities to score (LeSean McCoy lost a football in the end zone and Dan Carpenter missed a field goal), missed tackles (Corey Graham got stiff-armed by James White on his way to the end zone) or failure to convert on third down (the Bills were 3-for-15), this was a game that may have gotten away.

Tom Brady wasn't able to sling the football around, but he did just enough - and his defense took care of the rest.

"Obviously, tough game," Ryan said. "No question about it. We knew it was going to be a tough game. That's an outstanding football team we played. They proved it again tonight. The difference is they made some big plays. They get a big turnover. They get a touchdown pass, we just gotta make a tackle there. So we knew we are a better football team, but we just weren't good enough. We're not quite there."

The outcome had Ryan singing a familiar tune after the game, once again having no choice but to bow down to the eventual AFC East champions (possibly as soon as next week) after the game.

"But like always, we have come up short many times being here when you think you have them by the ropes," Ryan said. "But at the end of the day they find ways to win and that's what championship teams do. We're not at that level right now but I can promise you one thing we're going to work our tails off to get there."

Ryan's players knew this was a fate that they played a big part in determining.

The Patriots had no business scoring a touchdown in the final minute of the first half. McCoy had a sure touchdown in the end zone before Devin McCourty got a hand in and knocked the ball out. That forced a fourth down, of which Carpenter hit the right upright on a field goal attempt.

With 48 seconds and three timeouts to work with, Brady took the Pats 62 yards on six plays, capped off by White's 20-yard touchdown reception. That's essentially a 14-point swing going back to McCoy's drop.

"We made mistakes. We had mishaps and things went against us," McKelvin said. "They capitalized off those mistakes. That is what happens. Coming into halftime we thought, 'Don't give up points going into halftime.' We got them where we got them. Brady came back out and he does what he does. He took them right down the field and got seven points. That is something we don't need. We need to go out and get our defense off the field and stop beating ourselves."

NFL Rumors: Patriots free up millions in cap space from Antonio Brown, Aaron Hernandez grievances

NFL Rumors: Patriots free up millions in cap space from Antonio Brown, Aaron Hernandez grievances

The New England Patriots just got whole lot of financial breathing room.

The Patriots have earned a total of $6.25 million in settlements from compensation grievances involving former wide receiver Antonio Brown and ex-tight end Aaron Hernandez, ESPN's Mike Reiss and Field Yates reported Saturday.

New England now has $7.79 million in cap space, per Reiss and Yates, a huge bump from the less than $500,000 in spending money the team had earlier this week.

Brown, who spent less than two weeks with the Patriots last September, filed a grievance against the team in October 2019 following his release seeking to receive his unpaid Week 1 salary, his $1.025 million guaranteed base salary and his $9 million signing bonus.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

The Patriots will pay Brown $5 million as part of the settlement, per Reiss and Yates.

The NFL Players Association filed a grievance against the Patriots on Hernandez's behalf in October 2013 seeking over $6 million in guaranteed salary. Hernandez was arrested and later convicted for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd and died in prison in April 2017.

New England was up against the cap after squeezing free-agent quarterback Cam Newton in on a one-year contract and inking all of its 2020 NFL Draft picks to rookie deals. With nearly $8 million in cap space, however, the Patriots have more flexibility to bolster their roster via free agency or trade.

Our Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran suggested tight end David Njoku could be a strong fit in New England after requesting a trade from the Cleveland Browns, and there are a number of quality free agents still on the market, as well.

Patriots TE Devin Asiasi joins Cam Newton, N'Keal Harry for workouts

Patriots TE Devin Asiasi joins Cam Newton, N'Keal Harry for workouts

Twelve days ago, Cam Newton was still a free agent looking for work.

But ever since he agreed to a one-year contract with the Patriots, he's been very busy trying to get ready for the 2020 season, learning the playbook and developing chemistry with his new receivers.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

In addition to N'Keal Harry, whose workout with Newton was captured on video, rookie tight end Devin Asiasi was also catching passes from New England's new quarterback. Twitter user amirmehrtash15 took pictures with both Asiasi and Newton at the UCLA practice session and posted them in reponse to the Providence Journal's Mark Daniels.

The workout wasn't limited to Patriots, as Browns wideout Odell Beckham Jr. was also in attendance.

Newton trying to fast-track a relationship with his new teammates makes perfect sense. He set up his first practice with Mohamed Sanu on the day he signed his Patriots contract, and in less than two weeks, he's already connected with three of the guys who will be among his top receiving options in 2020.

The Patriots certainly hope all that extra work pays off, as training camps could open as soon as the end of this month once the NFL and NFLPA can finalize preseason dates.