Patriots

Dontrelle Inman could be Chris Hogan-type signing for Patriots

Dontrelle Inman could be Chris Hogan-type signing for Patriots

The Patriots have brought aboard another big body at wide receiver. Dontrelle Inman, who spent last season with the Colts, was signed to a one-year deal on Friday.

The news was first reported by Ian Rapoport. I did some checking to make sure Ian wasn’t lying. He wasn’t.

What are the Patriots potentially getting in the 30-year-old? A 6-3, 205-pounder who was at his best for the Chargers in 2016 when he had 58 catches for 810 yards and four scores.

After getting boxed out on the Chargers depth chart in 2017 by Tyrell Williams, Travis Benjamin and rookie Mike Williams, Inman was traded to the receiver-needy Bears in October of that year. He languished with Mitch Trubisky as his quarterback during the tail end of Trubisky’s rookie year. He wound up with 25 catches in eight games for the Bears.

Inman spent 2018 in Indianapolis and was pretty productive on a per-game basis with 28 catches (on 39 targets) in nine games.

Inman isn’t blazing fast and he’s not exceptionally strong (he had 11 reps on the bench at his Pro Day when he came out of Virginia in 2010).

Back in 2017, this was the detailed scouting report an AFC West scout gave Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune when the Bears acquired him:

“Good size,” the scout said. “He was hurt in training camp so he didn’t do much at all this year. Solid. Reliable. Dependable. He’s realistically a fourth (wide receiver), a teams guy. But considering their depth, gosh he’s better than (Josh) Bellamy. He’s better than better Tre (McBride). Kendall Wright is obviously more talented but it’s a trade that works for both ends in an ideal world. His reps were declining even more with Mike Williams coming back in the mix now. Travis Benjamin making some plays.

“He’s not going to wow you. In an ideal world, like I said, he’s probably a fourth. In their situation, he’s going to climb up the chart. I like the (Tanner) Gentry kid. I think they need to keep that guy. Off the preseason tape, I thought there was some stuff to him. It takes time. They’ve got a young quarterback and they need to find a guy for him to develop a relationship with. We’ll see. They’re hurting so bad. I don’t know what the market looks like on teams’ practice squads right now. So the trade works for both.”

Inman also played in the CFL and won a Grey Cup with the Toronto Argonauts. So he’s well-traveled, well thought-of and versatile. Realistically, he could be a Chris Hogan-level player for the Patriots, which is to say useful at times but not jaw-dropping.

With the addition of N’Keal Harry during the draft and the release of Bruce Ellington earlier in the week, the Patriots receiver corps is Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, Demaryius Thomas, Maurice Harris, Harry and Inman. Second-year player Braxton Berrios, rookies Jakobi Myers, Xavier Ubosi, Damoun Patterson and Ryan Davis round out the other hopefuls. Suspended wideout Josh Gordon may also be in the mix at some point but that figures to be a very involved process.

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Does Caserio's contract clause with Patriots violate NFL rules?

Does Caserio's contract clause with Patriots violate NFL rules?

The tampering dispute between the Patriots and Houston Texans over Pats director of player personnel Nick Caserio appears to be settled - for now - after an exchange of statements Friday between Robert Kraft and Texans CEO Cal McNair.

Still, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk points out that the clause in Caserio's contract that keeps him from leaving for other teams being questioned. "Some in league circles are now asking whether the Caserio clause complies with league rules," as Florio puts it.

Other teams thinking the Patriots are violating league rules? When has that ever happened?

This is the part of the NFL's anti-tampering rule that's the focus of the issue:

"..the inquiring club is prepared to offer a position as a high-level employee . . . the employer club may not deny the employee the opportunity to discuss and accept such employment.”

Seeking a Patriots employee to become your team's general manager would certainly qualify as "high-level." Florio reports that one source says at least one other team's non-"high-level" employee had a similar clause and when it was challenged, the NFL ultimately invalidated it.

The NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that the Texans asked what they would have to give up in a trade to get Caserio, whose Patriots contract is up after the 2020 draft.

The Texans will reportedly go without a GM this season. Sounds as if this is far from over.

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Chandler Jones motivated by trade from Patriots: 'I never want to be traded again'

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File photo

Chandler Jones motivated by trade from Patriots: 'I never want to be traded again'

Chandler Jones has settled in as a member of the Cardinals, but he isn't getting too comfortable.

The former Patriot knows the nature of the business in the NFL and that he can be traded any given moment. Jones found that out the hard way when he was traded from New England to Arizona back in 2016, and he still uses that trade as motivation three years later.

“I feel like at any time I can be traded,” Jones said, via Kyle Odegard of azcardinals.com. “It might sound bizarre to say, but I’m someone who has been in that situation. I’ve been traded before and that little sense of rejection is a crappy feeling, honestly. That’s what drives me. That’s what motivates me. I never want to get traded again.”

Jones shifted from defensive end to linebacker after joining the Cardinals, and he continues to produce at a high level. The 29-year-old has racked up double-digit sacks in each of his three seasons with Arizona (11 in 2016, 17 in 2017, 13 in 2018).

But it appears Jones may have learned a valuable lesson from his time under Pats head coach Bill Belichick: it isn't all about stats.

“It’s not about getting double-digit sacks,” Jones told Odegard. “The big thing is just being consistent. Speaking from a coach’s perspective, you want a player that’s consistent. You want a player that you know what you’re going to get day in and day out, on and off the field. A lot of that gives credit to some of my numbers, and hopefully I can stay consistent.”

Jones signed a five-year, $82.5 million extension in 2017, so using his trade from the Patriots as fuel certainly seems to have paid off.

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