Patriots

Antonio Brown will continue to count against Patriots cap space

Antonio Brown will continue to count against Patriots cap space

Although Antonio Brown was released by the New England Patriots Friday, the organization still could be affected him into the 2020 season.

Brown leaves behind $10 million in dead cap space, $4.5 million of which will count against the Patriots in the 2020 campaign, according to Spotrac.

What's even more wild about that statistic, is Brown now accounts for $26.6 million of 2019 dead cap space with both the Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers, according to Spotrac.

Brown's release follows the sexual assault and rape allegations made against him in a civil suit nearly two weeks ago. Sports Illustrated reported that he also sent a series of intimidating texts to another woman who accused him of sexual harassment and is now being investigated by the NFL for violating the league's personal conduct policy. 

It'll be interesting to see if the wide receiver is picked up by another team -- but after parting ways with three teams - the Pittsburgh Steelers, Oakland Raiders and Patriots - since March, it's doubtful.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Josh Gordon absent from Patriots practice, but Tom Brady could get familiar faces back

Josh Gordon absent from Patriots practice, but Tom Brady could get familiar faces back

FOXBORO — The Patriots could see some shuffling among their offensive weapons on Monday night down in Jersey.

Josh Gordon was not present at the start of Thursday's practice after suffering a knee injury against the Giants last week. Gordon didn't immediately leave for the locker room, instead taking a seat on the sideline stationary bike and pedaling for an extended period. But the fact that he wasn't around for the start of Thursday's workout could be an indication that he's facing an uphill climb to get on the field against the Jets.

The Patriots were without both Gordon and Phillip Dorsett for most of last week's game as Dorsett dealt with a hamstring injury. Dorsett was on the field Thursday and spoke to reporters Tuesday, showing some optimism that he wouldn't be unavailable for much longer.

Dorsett might only be one part of the reinforcements heading for Tom Brady's huddle Monday. Rex Burkhead — who missed the last two weeks and was limited in Week 4 with a foot injury — was also back on the practice fields Thursday. After rolling for 50 snaps with undrafted rookies Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski last week, the Patriots could have more veteran experience on the field in prime time at MetLife Stadium.

The Patriots could also have a couple new roster additions in uniform a few days from now. They signed tight ends Ben Watson and Eric Tomlinson this week, potentially adding enough depth to allow Josh McDaniels to roll with some of the two-tight end sets the Patriots have turned to in the past. Starter Matt LaCosse suffered a knee injury last week that kept him out of Thursday's practice and could keep him off the field on Monday, but Tomlinson and Watson could complement what Ryan Izzo gives the team as its top option at that position.

Tomlinson, in particular, is a fascinating addition in that he has the ability to play in the backfield as well as in traditional tight end roles. With both Patriots fullbacks — Jakob Johnson and James Develin — on injured reserve at the moment, perhaps Tomlinson sees fullback-style blocking assignments if he's in uniform against the Jets.

"He’s a bigger guy," Bill Belichick said Thursday. "Probably more of a . . . you know, bigger, has blocking ability. He has been in the backfield. He’s played on the line of scrimmage. So, I don’t know. We’ll see how that all plays out."

Watson, meanwhile, would likely serve in more of a "move" tight end role if LaCosse can't go.

If Brady looks around the huddle Monday night and sees Dorsett, Watson and Burkhead — to go along with old standbys Julian Edelman and James White — then that would probably qualify as a welcome sight for a quarterback who so values experience.

THURSDAY'S INJURY REPORT    
WR Josh Gordon Knee/Ankle DNP
TE Matt LaCosse Knee DNP
RB Rex Burkhead Foot Limited
S Patrick Chung Heel/Chest Limited
WR Phillip Dorsett Hamstring Limited
WR Julian Edelman Chest Limited

Fantasy Beat: Start/sit advice for Patriots & Jets>>>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Stephen A. Smith calls Demaryius Thomas 'delusional' for Patriots comments

Stephen A. Smith calls Demaryius Thomas 'delusional' for Patriots comments

Demaryius Thomas didn't hold back when describing the end to his tenure with the New England Patriots.

Thomas, who was traded from the Patriots to the New York Jets after Week 1, made his frustration known in recent comments made to the New York Daily News, calling the situation "insulting" and "a waste of time."

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith wasn't a huge fan of Thomas' remarks, and he even went so far as to describe the veteran wide receiver as "delusional" for his comments ripping the Patriots.

“I call him delusional because his complaints about the Patriots — you appear to be the only individual who didn’t know any better,” Smith said Thursday on "First Take".

“The fact of the matter is you’re not a star any longer, and when you’re not a star and you’re not a high-end producer or you’ve played in three games and you have nine receptions for 108 yards on the season and it’s been years since you’ve had a 1,000-yard season, what the hell do you expect?”

Watch the full segment in the video below:

In fairness to Thomas, his last 1,000-yard season was in 2016, just three years ago. He also tallied 949 receiving yards in 2019.

But Smith is correct in saying Thomas is no longer one of the league's star wideouts. A torn Achilles suffered last December was a setback for Thomas, and he's been unable to make an impact with the Jets. The 31-year-old veteran has just nine receptions for 105 yards and zero touchdowns in three games for New York.

The best way Thomas can get back at the Patriots is by giving a strong performance Monday night when the Jets host the defending Super Bowl champions at MetLife Stadium. 

Belichick responds to Demaryius Thomas' criticism of Patriots>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.