Patriots

Demaryius Thomas' reported contract incentives add context to Patriots' move

Demaryius Thomas' reported contract incentives add context to Patriots' move

The New England Patriots signed a five-time Pro Bowler on Tuesday. But they're not exactly paying him five-time Pro Bowler money.

Demaryius Thomas' one-year contract with the Patriots features a base salary of just over $1 million with a minimal $150,000 signing bonus, ESPN's Field Yates reported Wednesday morning.

NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that Thomas' contract could be worth up to $6 million, which suggests his deal is heavily laden with incentives. Apparently that's the case, as The MMQB's Albert Breer laid out Wednesday.

It's essentially a "prove it" deal for Thomas, who caught a total of 59 passes for 677 yards last season in 15 games between the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans. The 31-year-old also tore his Achilles in late December, putting his status for the Patriots' season opener in doubt and making his quest to hit these incentives even more challenging.

For perspective, Thomas' reported $1.2 million base salary is lower than that of Phillip Dorsett and nearly half the $2.05 million Josh Gordon would earn if he returns from suspension. Thomas' reported $2,906,250 cap hit puts him just ahead of special teamer Matthew Slater and behind running back Rex Burkhead on the Patriots' salary cap table.

In short, the Patriots didn't break the bank to sign Thomas, signing him on a low-risk deal that will benefit both sides if it pans out.

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Tom Brady making his mark on Buccaneers: 'It's been fantastic,' says Bruce Arians

Tom Brady making his mark on Buccaneers: 'It's been fantastic,' says Bruce Arians

Tom Brady has had an eventful tenure with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers despite the fact he hasn't played a single game for the franchise.

Of course, when Brady comes to town, every single move he and the team make will create headlines. It's all part of employing the greatest player in NFL history.

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The six-time Super Bowl champion's decision to join the Bucs has elevated the team's expectations to heights it hasn't seen in a very long time. The man tasked with getting the most out of Tampa Bay's very talented roster is head coach Bruce Arians, who's entering his second season with the franchise.

Arians recently made an appearance on the first episode of Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon's YouTube show titled, "Uncorked". He talked about the unique dynamic between a coach and a player of Brady's caliber, and it also sounds like he's impressed with the 42-year-old quarterback's impact so far.

"We got a great locker room, but to now get a guy that's been there, done it, six times, (he's) the G.O.A.T,?" Arians said. "When he talks, they listen. It's so different than a coach. I think for us as coaches, there has to be a bond between the coach and those guys so that you give them ownership. You ask them questions. How do you want to do things? So if they think they have a big hand in it, they send a message to the rest of the guys. They send your message to the rest of the guys. With Tom, it's been fantastic."

Brady isn't the first great quarterback Arians has coached. He also worked with Peyton Manning early in the future Hall of Famer's career with the Indianapolis Colts. Arians worked with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for many years, too. Arians was impressed with the way Manning led his teams, and he expects Brady to have a similar impact on the Bucs players.

"The way (Manning) commanded the room and the team was amazing," Arians said. "What he asked those guys to do. I'm sure Tom Brady has a lot of the same things. Just the little bit I've been around him so far, it's going to be the same way."

Manning left the Colts late in his career and signed with the Denver Broncos in free agency. He spent the last four years of his career playing for the Broncos, and with him the team reached two Super Bowls and won a championship in 2015 -- his final season. The Buccaneers are hoping a similar ending to Brady's career unfolds in Tampa Bay, and there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the Bucs' chances of contending for the Lombardi Trophy in 2020.

NFL memo cancels Patriots' joint practices with Lions, per report

NFL memo cancels Patriots' joint practices with Lions, per report

An August tradition in New England has been put on hold.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell informed teams in memo Tuesday night that all 32 clubs must hold training camp at their own facilities and that any joint practices will be canceled, NFL Media's Tom Pelissero reported.

The means the Patriots' joint practices with the Detroit Lions, scheduled for the first week of the preseason leading up to their Aug. 13 exhibition contest, won't happen.

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It's an expected decision as the league tries to reduce additional travel and exposure amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Still, it's one that perhaps affects the Patriots more than any other team: With the exception of 2018, Bill Belichick's club has held joint practices with at least one opponent each year dating to 2012.

New England practiced with Mike Vrabel's Tennessee Titans and Patricia's Lions last season and also has a history of acquiring players it sees in joint practices.

This year obviously is an extenuating circumstance, though. ESPN's Adam Schefter added Wednesday morning that teams aren't expected to meet in person until training camp, which is usually in late July.

The Patriots have been holding virtual meetings and workouts throughout the offseason in place of organized team activities and minicamp.