Patriots

Chris Hogan gives simple reason for leaving Patriots as NFL free agent

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USA TODAY Sports

Chris Hogan gives simple reason for leaving Patriots as NFL free agent

Chris Hogan spent the last three seasons with the New England Patriots, but the veteran wide receiver left the team in NFL free agency to begin the next chapter of his career.

Hogan departed the Pats to sign with the Carolina Panthers on a one-year contract. He was asked Thursday by a fan on Twitter why he left the Patriots, and he gave a simple explanation.

The Patriots have undergone several changes to their passing attack since beating the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII.

Veteran wideouts Cordarrelle Patterson and Hogan left as free agents, while tight ends Rob Gronkowski (retirement) and Dwayne Allen (released) also departed. The Patriots selected Arizona State product N'Keal Harry in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft to bolster their size and skill at the wide receiver position. The Patriots also signed a few other wide receivers to compete for roster spots in training camp. 

Hogan had a productive career with the Patriots and won two Super Bowl titles alongside quarterback Tom Brady, but it was time for both sides to move after his disappointing 2018 season.

Ex-NFL QB compares N'Keal Harry to Larry Fitzgerald>>>

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Devin McCourty avoids fine after personal foul penalty for hit against Dolphins

Devin McCourty avoids fine after personal foul penalty for hit against Dolphins

Saturday is the day the NFL usually passes out fines for hits from the previous Sunday. Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree, for example, was hit with a $21,056 bill for his helmet-to-helmet shot to Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, though he wasn't penalized on the play. 

Devin McCourty, however, can rest easy. As can his daughter London, 2, and son Brayden 1.

He wasn't fined for his hit on Dolphins receiver Allen Hurns, though he did draw a personal foul flag for lowering the head to initiate contact. 

Initially, the veteran Patriots safety wasn't happy with the call, but then said he told the officials "it was actually a pretty good call once I saw the replay."

McCourty expressed concern a fine might be coming last Sunday in his postgame press conference. "Hopefully the NFL doesn’t fine me. I don’t think it was fine-worthy. I’ve got too many kids for that,” he said with a smile.

McCourty has only drawn one fine in his career. In December 2010, he was fined $10,000 after a hit on a defenseless receiver, Packers tight end Andrew Quarless, drew an unnecessary roughness penalty.  

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Patriots promote FB Jakob Johnson off practice squad to replace injured James Develin vs Jets

Patriots promote FB Jakob Johnson off practice squad to replace injured James Develin vs Jets

The Patriots promoted fullback Jakob Johnson off their practice squad Saturday to replace the injured James Develin in Week 3 against the Jets. 

Develin missed all three of the Patriots' practices this week with a neck injury and was listed out on Friday. 

Johnson, an undrafted rookie out of the University of Tennessee and former German Football league player, will dress for his first game in the NFL. 

Johnson was originally recruited as a linebacker out of high school, but he made the transition to tight end while with the Volunteers. The Patriots turned him into a fullback, so the 24-year-old has shown a fair share of versatility over the course of his career. 

The Patriots usually find creative ways to utilize Develin in the passing game while sometimes giving him opportunities to punch in touchdowns on the goal line. There's a small chance Johnson gets that chance on Sunday, but who knows since the game will most likely be over by halftime. 

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