Patriots

James White inspired by Robert Kraft's 'awesome' effort to combat coronavirus

James White inspired by Robert Kraft's 'awesome' effort to combat coronavirus

James White is limited in how he can prepare for the 2020 NFL season (if it even happens).

But the New England Patriots running back is aware he's better off than a lot of people struggling to adapt amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

White offered that perspective Thursday while reacting to the news that Patriots owner Robert Kraft helped commission the team plane to transport 1.2 million N95 protective masks from China to Massachusetts to aid health care workers battling the virus.

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"That's awesome. That's huge at this point in time," White said in a Zoom conference call. "You have doctors, nurses, all of those people on the front line taking care of sick people each and every day. It's kind of a crazy situation right now."

White also stressed the importance of Kraft and the Patriots helping those who have lost their jobs or food security due to the pandemic.

"I know people that have the affluence to help others, I think it's an important time for us to try to help as many people as possible, especially those who are sick," White said. "There are some people getting laid off, don't know when a check is coming or where their next meal is coming. So, it's a difficult time.

"I know some of us were able to spend time with our family and things are OK. We're able to get groceries. But there's some people who aren't able to get groceries and don't know when that next meal is coming, so it's kind of difficult for a lot of people."

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White, who is currently with his family in Florida, joined Kraft and fellow captain David Andrews in thanking health care workers Monday on National Doctors Day. Patriots coach Bill Belichick joined in Wednesday, recording a video telling fans how they can do their part to slow the spread of the virus.

The Kraft family then took action this week by lending their plane (and paying for a large portion of the masks) in a gesture that inspired White.

"As soon as you step into the building, you see how much the Kraft family does, not only in helping out the Boston community but the community across the world," White said. "And it makes you want to help others."

NFL Rumors: Patriots free up millions in cap space from Antonio Brown, Aaron Hernandez grievances

NFL Rumors: Patriots free up millions in cap space from Antonio Brown, Aaron Hernandez grievances

The New England Patriots just got whole lot of financial breathing room.

The Patriots have earned a total of $6.25 million in settlements from compensation grievances involving former wide receiver Antonio Brown and ex-tight end Aaron Hernandez, ESPN's Mike Reiss and Field Yates reported Saturday.

New England now has $7.79 million in cap space, per Reiss and Yates, a huge bump from the less than $500,000 in spending money the team had earlier this week.

Brown, who spent less than two weeks with the Patriots last September, filed a grievance against the team in October 2019 following his release seeking to receive his unpaid Week 1 salary, his $1.025 million guaranteed base salary and his $9 million signing bonus.

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The Patriots will pay Brown $5 million as part of the settlement, per Reiss and Yates.

The NFL Players Association filed a grievance against the Patriots on Hernandez's behalf in October 2013 seeking over $6 million in guaranteed salary. Hernandez was arrested and later convicted for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd and died in prison in April 2017.

New England was up against the cap after squeezing free-agent quarterback Cam Newton in on a one-year contract and inking all of its 2020 NFL Draft picks to rookie deals. With nearly $8 million in cap space, however, the Patriots have more flexibility to bolster their roster via free agency or trade.

Our Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran suggested tight end David Njoku could be a strong fit in New England after requesting a trade from the Cleveland Browns, and there are a number of quality free agents still on the market, as well.

Patriots TE Devin Asiasi joins Cam Newton, N'Keal Harry for workouts

Patriots TE Devin Asiasi joins Cam Newton, N'Keal Harry for workouts

Twelve days ago, Cam Newton was still a free agent looking for work.

But ever since he agreed to a one-year contract with the Patriots, he's been very busy trying to get ready for the 2020 season, learning the playbook and developing chemistry with his new receivers.

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In addition to N'Keal Harry, whose workout with Newton was captured on video, rookie tight end Devin Asiasi was also catching passes from New England's new quarterback. Twitter user amirmehrtash15 took pictures with both Asiasi and Newton at the UCLA practice session and posted them in reponse to the Providence Journal's Mark Daniels.

The workout wasn't limited to Patriots, as Browns wideout Odell Beckham Jr. was also in attendance.

Newton trying to fast-track a relationship with his new teammates makes perfect sense. He set up his first practice with Mohamed Sanu on the day he signed his Patriots contract, and in less than two weeks, he's already connected with three of the guys who will be among his top receiving options in 2020.

The Patriots certainly hope all that extra work pays off, as training camps could open as soon as the end of this month once the NFL and NFLPA can finalize preseason dates.