Patriots

NFL rumors: Patriots sign free agent WR Bruce Ellington to one-year contract

NFL rumors: Patriots sign free agent WR Bruce Ellington to one-year contract

The New England Patriots have a new wide receiver.

NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that free agent wideout Bruce Ellington is going to sign a one-year contract with the Pats. 

Ellington reportedly was going to visit the Patriots on Thursday.

The 27-year-old wideout tallied 31 receptions for 224 yards and one touchdown between the Detroit Lions (four games) and Houston Texans (three games) last season.

Ellington was a fourth-round pick (106th overall) of the San Francisco 49ers in the 2014 NFL Draft.

He joins a Patriots wide receiver group that includes Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, Braxton Berrios, Matthew Slater and Damoun Patterson. Josh Gordon, who's still suspended indefinitely by the NFL, is an RFA. Chris Hogan remains an unrestricted free agent.

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Bill Belichick the pitchman? Patriots coach spotted shooting Subway commercial

Bill Belichick the pitchman? Patriots coach spotted shooting Subway commercial

Bill Belichick apparently signed up to speak in front of a camera Tuesday.

The New England Patriots head coach was spotted outside a Subway restaurant in Branford, Conn., on Tuesday, according to several eyewitnesses who posted photos (and one glorious video) of Belichick on Twitter and Instagram.

As those Instagram users suggested, Belichick was in fact shooting a commercial for Subway, the town's selectman confirmed to Zip06.com.

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The Patriots have some downtime before training camp (supposedly) begins later this month, but it's pretty surprising to see the intensely private head coach out in public -- shooting a commercial, no less -- instead of fishing in Nantucket. (Props to Belichick for wearing his mask, though.)

Branford is a just 30-minute drive south of Wesleyan University, so perhaps Belichick paid a trip to his alma mater before or after filming this ad -- which we'll be very eager to see.

Patriots' Gillette Stadium to host 20 percent of fans in best-case scenario

Patriots' Gillette Stadium to host 20 percent of fans in best-case scenario

Cam Newton could make his New England Patriots debut in front of 13,175 fans.

And that's the best-case scenario.

The Patriots announced Tuesday they expect Gillette Stadium to operate at 20 percent capacity for 2020 home games. That's if fans are allowed to attend games at all, which would need approval from state and local governments.

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If fans attend games, they'll be required to wear face coverings "at all times" inside the stadium and stay at least six feet from other parties, per the team.

To aid in physical distancing, the Patriots will distribute tickets in blocks of 10 seats or less and close off the eight rows closest to the field. The team also announced earlier this month that all ticketing will be digital and that parking at the stadium will be free.

Again, this all assumes fans will even be allowed at NFL stadiums -- and that the 2020 season will start on time -- as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the United States.

By announcing an 80 percent reduction in crowd size, though, the Patriots join several teams in at least acknowledging this season will look very different from years past, even under the best-case scenario.