Patriots

An updated look at recent Patriots pre-draft visits

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An updated look at recent Patriots pre-draft visits

With two weeks left to prepare for this year's draft, the Patriots are busy hosting potential picks at their facilities. 

Teams are allowed 30 pre-draft visits that can be valuable for a number of different purposes, but they're not always an indication that the team is interested in drafting the visiting player. 

Oftentimes the meetings are to gauge a player's health or to get to know the player's personality a little bit better. They're also useful for teams looking to have well-informed files on players who will hit free agency four years down the road.  

In some instances, it's possible that a player visits a team when the team has no real interest in drafting him. The meeting scheduled could serve as a smokescreen for the rest of the league, or the player could be asked to provide information about one of his college teammates.

All in all, it's an interesting dance, but a difficult one to draw any conclusions from. 

Here's a quick update on some of the most recent visits -- as well as on-campus meetings or private workouts -- the Patriots have reportedly had scheduled.

Devontae Booker, RB, Utah

With his smooth running style and dependable hands in the passing game, Booker has drawn comparisons to longtime Texans running back Arian Foster. Unfortunately for Booker, a knee injury prevented him from competing at the NFL Scouting Combine. He recently had a pro day that allowed him to be seen in action. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Booker had a visit scheduled with the Patriots. 

Moritz Boehringer, WR, Germany

You would be hard-pressed to find a more fascinating prospect in this draft class. At 6-foot-4, 227 pounds, the German national is an athletic specimen. At his pro day he ran a 4.41-second 40-yard dash and clocked a 6.64-second three-cone drill. Still very new to the game, Boehringer has yet to see competition that even comes close to what he'll see at the NFL level. The Patriots were reportedly one of nine teams present at his workout in Florida last week.

Steven Daniels, LB, Boston College

One of the leaders of one of the best defenses in college football last year, Daniels is violent collision waiting to happen. His athleticism will keep him from being drafted in the first few rounds, but he was a first-team All-ACC choice as a senior. He was scheduled to meet with the Patriots on Wednesday, according to Tony Pauline.

Sean Davis, CB, Maryland

For a team seeking length, athleticism and an aggressive mindset at the corner spot, Davis fits the bill. At 6-foot-1, 201 pounds he has put plenty of punishing hits on tape. He also has a knack for getting his hands on passes. He struggled at times in coverage and may be better suited as a safety, but he has intriguing physical traits. Bill Belichick worked Davis out on Friday and then followed that up with a film session, per Rapoport.

Malcolm Mitchell, WR, Georgia

Two seasons removed from an ACL tear, Mitchell caught 58 passes for 865 yards and four scores in 2015. He possesses good speed (ran a 4.45-second 40-yard dash at the combine), and even when he's covered he has the focus and body control to reel in contested catches. The Patriots had him scheduled for a visit, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post.

Kalan Reed, CB, Southern Mississippi

As part of a pre-draft series that has documented his journey leading up to the draft, Reed wrote in the Hattiesburg American that he had a private workout run by Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio that lasted for about 90 minutes on Friday. Thanks to his athleticism and ball skills, Reed was listed as one of our "Potential Patriots" in last week's look at draft-eligible corners.

Jonathan Williams, RB, Arkansas

A foot injury kept Williams off the field in 2015, but he may be the most running back out of Arkansas entering into this year's draft. The 5-11, 220-pounder has a multi-faceted game that he put on display in 2014 while sharing carries with Alex Collins. His size allows him to create yards after contact between the tackles, but he also has the vision and the elusiveness to avoid defenders and the speed to outrun them. According to the Boston Herald's Jeff Howe, Williams visited the Patriots on Monday.

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.

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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.

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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.