Patriots

Ex-NFL QB compares Patriots draft pick N'Keal Harry to Larry Fitzgerald

Ex-NFL QB compares Patriots draft pick N'Keal Harry to Larry Fitzgerald

The New England Patriots filled a roster need in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft by selecting Arizona State wide receiver N'Keal Harry, and the pick is drawing rave reviews from experts and former players.

Former No. 1 overall pick David Carr, discussing the 2019 draft on NFL Network over the weekend, even compared Harry to Arizona Cardinals wide receiver and future Pro Football Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald.

“When you watch the tape on this guy when he was at Arizona State, he’s an incredible wide receiver," Carr said. "I looked at it and I said ‘That’s Larry Fitzgerald all over again’. Then he goes and runs 4.5 (seconds in the 40-yard dash), so he ran even faster than Larry did when he came out of college. So, it’s all there. You can see why (Bill) Belichick went out there and grabbed him.”

Check out the segment in the video below:

Fitzgerald is one of the best wide receivers of his generation with 16,289 yards and 110 touchdowns over 15 NFL seasons. So, Harry obviously has a long way to go before he approaches Fitzgerald's level, but some of the same skills are definitely present when you watch film of the two wideouts. 

Both of them have excellent size and possess the ability to make tough catches in traffic. Harry is listed at 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, while Fitzgerald is 6-foot-3 and 218 pounds. 

The Patriots certainly needed an upgrade at wide receiver given what's happened this offseason. Chris Hogan and Cordarrelle Patterson both left in free agency, and tight ends Rob Gronkowski (retirement) and Dwayne Allen (released) also departed. Talented wide receiver Josh Gordon is still with the Patriots but remains suspended indefinitely. 

Harry has a great opportunity to make an immediate impact in the Patriots' passing attack in 2019, and that's why he's among the favorites for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

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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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