Patriots

Pats' 2017 draftee Garcia cleared to play

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File photo

Pats' 2017 draftee Garcia cleared to play

The Patriots' depleted offensive line got a boost today . . . 

Offensive tackle Tony Garcia, 24, missed the entire 2017 season because of blood clots in his lungs. He was the Patriots' third-round draft choice -- their second overall pick -- last April out of Troy, and was seen as a potential starter, but came became ill in training camp and was placed on the reserve/non-football illness list in September. 

NFL rumors: Patriots 'aggressively courted' Jared Cook in free agency

NFL rumors: Patriots 'aggressively courted' Jared Cook in free agency

The New England Patriots weren't able to sign veteran tight end Jared Cook in NFL free agency, but it wasn't for a lack of trying.

ESPN's Mike Reiss reported Sunday that the Patriots went hard after Cook before he ultimately decided to join the New Orleans Saints.

3. Similar to how the Patriots made an aggressive pitch to receiver Adam Humphries in free agency and didn't close the deal, a source close to tight end Jared Cook said the Patriots aggressively courted him before Cook elected to sign with the Saints late last week. Rob Gronkowski's uncertain status seems to have played a significant part in Cook's thinking, as there is clearer path to a top role on the tight-end depth chart in New Orleans.

Cook tallied 68 receptions for 896 yards and six touchdowns for the Oakland Raiders last season. He also was selected to the Pro Bowl. 

His decision not to sign with New England leaves the tight end market pretty barren. Austin Seferian-Jenkins is the only notable tight end still unsigned in free agency.

The Patriots released veteran tight end Dwayne Allen before the free-agent market opened and haven't yet signed a tight end in free agency. Rob Gronkowski's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, recently said he doesn't know what decision his client will make regarding his future. Reports throughout the 2018 season suggested Gronkowski would consider retirement

At this point, the Patriots would probably be best suited to draft a tight end early in the 2019 NFL Draft. Luckily for the Pats, they have six picks in the first three rounds and there are a few highly rated tight ends in this draft class.

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This stat shows Patriots QB Tom Brady's impressive ability to prevent turnovers

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USA TODAY Sports

This stat shows Patriots QB Tom Brady's impressive ability to prevent turnovers

One of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's trademark qualities is avoiding turnovers.

The six-time Super Bowl champion, unlike many other NFL quarterbacks, consistently avoids putting his team in situations where turnovers are likely.

Pro Football Focus shared a tremendous stat Sunday showing the amount of snaps Brady has had a turnover-worthy play. As you might imagine, it's one of the lowest rates in the league.

Brady threw 11 interceptions during the 2018 season, ending his streak of four consecutive years with fewer than 10 interceptions. However, since the beginning of the 2016 campaign, Brady has just 21 interceptions while completing better than 66 percent of his pass attempts. New England has won two of the three Super Bowls played in that span.

The Patriots next season will try to become the first team to successfully defend a Super Bowl title since Brady and Co. accomplished the feat in 2003 and 2004. For that to happen again, Brady must continue to protect the football, and his performance over the last few seasons suggests he will do that.

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