Patriots

How Patriots addressed uncertain NFL season in letter to season-ticket holders

How Patriots addressed uncertain NFL season in letter to season-ticket holders

The New England Patriots can't promise their fans the 2020 NFL season will go on as scheduled.

They can promise free parking, though.

In a letter to season-ticket holders Monday, the Patriots announced that parking at Gillette Stadium will be free in 2020 and that ticketing will be entirely digital, per Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio.

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That's no small gesture from the Patriots, as parking at Gillette Stadium isn't cheap. But it assumes NFL games will be played in front of fans, which is far from a sure thing as the coronavirus pandemic persists in the United States.

The Patriots acknowledged the possibility of games being cancelled or played in empty stadiums in Monday's letter.

"We know you, too, are eager to return and cheer on the Patriots together," the letter read, per PFT. "However as previously communicated, if for any reason a game is cancelled this season or is unable to be played with fans, you will receive a full refund for the face value of your ticket (plus associated fees) OR you will have the option to apply the full amount of a cancelled game as a credit toward a future ticket purchase."

If games are played in front of fans, digital ticketing and free parking would eliminate exchanges of cash, which present a higher risk of COVID-19 spread.

Of course, large gatherings such as NFL games present their own health risks during the pandemic. While the league reportedly decided to shorten the preseason from four games to two, it has yet to develop safety protocols for the season or decide whether fans will be allowed at games.

That decision may not come for some time as the coronavirus continues to evolve, but at least Patriots fans have the promise of free parking if they're allowed at Gillette Stadium.

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Updated Patriots cornerback depth chart after Michael Jackson trade with Lions

Updated Patriots cornerback depth chart after Michael Jackson trade with Lions

The New England Patriots added even more depth to an elite group of cornerbacks Sunday by acquiring Michael Jackson in a trade with the Detroit Lions.

Jackson, who's listed at 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, was a fifth-round draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2019. The Detroit Lions signed him off the Cowboys practice squad last season and he played in one game for the NFC North team.

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Here's an updated look at the Patriots' cornerback depth chart with Jackson in the fold:

--Stephon Gilmore
--Jason McCourty
--J.C. Jackson
--Jonathan Jones
--Joejuan Williams
--Michael Jackson
--Myles Bryant
--D’Angelo Ross

It should be noted that Justin Bethel is listed at cornerback, but most of his snaps come on special teams. 

A strong case could be made that cornerback is the deepest position on the Patriots roster. The group is led by Stephon Gilmore, who became the first Patriot ever to win the AP's NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2019. Gilmore is the league's best cornerback and has earned first team All-Pro selections in back-to-back seasons. 

He's not the only talented cornerback in the Patriots secondary, though. 

J.C. Jackson excelled in coverage last season, too, especially on passes beyond 20 yards. In fact, Jackson had the lowest passer rating allowed when targeted of all cornerbacks in 2019, according to Pro Football Focus.

One of the most intriguing players in the Patriots secondary is second-year cornerback Joejuan Williams. He was a second-round pick out of Vanderbilt in 2019 but saw limited playing time as a rookie.

The depth of the Patriots defense has been hit hard in recent months due to free agent departures and veterans opting out of the 2020 season amid concerns over COVID-19. One position that has remained largely intact is cornerback, and barring any significant injuries, it could be the team's most productive position this coming season.

Patriots acquire CB Michael Jackson in trade with Lions

Patriots acquire CB Michael Jackson in trade with Lions

The New England Patriots have added another cornerback to their depth chart.

On Sunday, they announced they've acquired Michael Jackson from the Detroit Lions for an undisclosed 2022 draft pick.


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Jackson was selected in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft (158th overall) by the Dallas Cowboys out of Miami. He started his rookie season on Dallas' practice squad before being signed by Detroit.

The 23-year-old played in only one game last season for the Lions.

Jackson joins a Patriots cornerback group that currently consists of Stephon Gilmore, Jonathan Jones, Joejuan Williams, Jason McCourty, J.C. Jackson, D'Angelo Ross, Justin Bethel, and Myles Bryant.