Patriots

NFL rumors: Patriots to release safety Jordan Richards amid roster changes

NFL rumors: Patriots to release safety Jordan Richards amid roster changes

Jordan Richards' second stint with the New England Patriots lasted three weeks.

ESPN's Field Yates reported Tuesday the Patriots are releasing the 26-year-old defensive back

Richards was selected by the Patriots in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft and didn't earn a second contract with New England after the 2017 season. He played for the Atlanta Falcons in 2018 before being signed by the Patriots earlier this month. He primarily served in a special teams role for New England over the last three weeks.

The Patriots reportedly are signing special teams ace Justin Bethel, who visited the team Tuesday. He has earned two All-Pro first team selections and three Pro Bowl nods as a special teams star. Bethel is an upgrade over Richards in that phase of the game. 

New England also traded for Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu in exchange for a 2020 draft pick Tuesday. The additions of Sanu and Bethel, combined with Richards' release still leaves one more roster spot that must be opened by the Pats. Stay tuned.

Tom E. Curran's takeaways from the Mohamed Sanu trade>>>

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Cowboys' Leighton Vander Esch out vs. Patriots with neck issue

Cowboys' Leighton Vander Esch out vs. Patriots with neck issue

The Dallas Cowboys will be without one of their best defensive players when they take on the New England Patriots on Sunday.

Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch will miss the Week 12 matchup with a neck issue, according to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News.

Vander Esch has already missed one game this season due to a neck injury. The Boise State product had said he's "been looking forward [to facing Tom Brady] his whole life," but Dallas' 2018 first-round draft pick will have to wait a bit longer for the opportunity.

In nine games this year, Vander Esch has tallied 70 tackles, three passes defensed, a forced fumble and half of a sack.

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Sources: Patriots not interested in bringing back Antonio Brown

Sources: Patriots not interested in bringing back Antonio Brown

Once bitten, twice shy.

Two sources with knowledge of the Patriots thinking scoffed at the idea Antonio Brown would rejoin the Patriots this season.

When one source was asked if there was a chance the wideout – who was with the Patriots for less than two tumultuous weeks in September – might have a chance at rejoining the team, this was the two-word response.

“What’s changed?”

I mentioned Brown’s social media apology to owner Robert Kraft earlier in the week and his meeting last week with the NFL as possibly changing the equation.

I was told that it does not.

At issue aren’t hurt feelings that Brown couldn’t fix with a few keystrokes. It’s the wariness of something else cropping up down the road.

When the Patriots signed Brown, there was no advance notice from Brown’s agent Drew Rosenhaus that Brown was on the cusp of being slapped with a lawsuit by his former trainer Britney Taylor even though the legal wrangling between Brown and Taylor’s attorneys had been going on for months.

And while it was subsequently reported Rosenhaus couldn’t break a confidentiality agreement Brown supposedly had in place, the fact that the Patriots entered into the Brown experience not knowing at all that that bombshell was waiting to explode makes them unwilling to go down the same road again.

Florio: If Patriots don’t sign Antonio Brown, "somebody else will">>>

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