Patriots

Next Pats Podcast: What are Patriots getting in LB Josh Uche from Michigan?

Next Pats Podcast: What are Patriots getting in LB Josh Uche from Michigan?

To say new Patriots linebacker Josh Uche is a quick study doesn't quite cover it.

The newly drafted linebacker from Michigan, selected in the second round, 60th overall, joined our Phil Perry via video conference on the latest edition of the Next Pats Podcast and revealed how quickly he picked up the basics of the Patriots defense and the nearly instant rapport he developed with his new position coach, former Pats linebacker Jerod Mayo.

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"The first WebEx meeting I had with the Patriots was with Coach Mayo and he taught me the defense in, I'd want to say, two minutes," Uche told Perry. "And he taught it to me so well that I was able to recite it to him after when he started asked questions, 'OK, what do you do when this happens, this, this and this?" That's just a testament how good a coach he is just in a short amount of time he could teach me the basics of the defense. I definitely feel like Coach Mayo is the best in the business."

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Perry also talked with Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown about the versatile Uche and how he'll fit with the Patriots. 

"They're getting a gym rat. A guy who just loves ball," Brown said. "He's around the building all the time, around the coaches all the time. Guys who get drafted as high as Josh have an elite quality and his ability to rush certainly jumps off the screen when you watch his tape. It's no accident because he really works hard at his craft."

Uche, 6-foot-1, 245 pounds, appeared to quickly grasp New England's "Do Your Job" philosophy when he told reporters the night he was drafted that he's perfect for the Pats because he's "a hard-ass worker." 

It's his versatility that added to his appeal to the Patriots. Still, Uche leaves little doubt about his favorite thing to do on the football field: 

"If I had to pick one, definitely it'd be pass rushing. I love pass rushing. I've been doing it since I was a kid. And it's just something I'm constantly trying to perfect."

For the complete discussion with Uche and Brown, listen to the Next Pats Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network or watch on YouTube below:

 

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.