Patriots

Patriots acquire tight end Eric Saubert in trade with Falcons

Patriots acquire tight end Eric Saubert in trade with Falcons

The New England Patriots' post-Rob Gronkowski tight end experiment continues.

The Patriots are acquiring tight end Eric Saubert from the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick, ESPN's Mike Reiss reported Monday.

Saubert is the second tight end to join New England within the last three weeks, as the club signed free agent Lance Kendricks to a one-year contract on July 24.

The Falcons drafted Saubert, 25, in the fifth round out of Drake in 2017, and he's played sparingly since then, recording five catches for 48 yards in 2018 as Atlanta's third-string tight end behind Austin Hooper and Levine Toilolo.

With Ben Watson suspended for the first four games of the season, Saubert joins at Patriots tight end group that includes Matt LaCosse, Stephen Anderson, Ryan Izzo, Andrew Beck and Kendricks.

UPDATE (9:48 a.m. ET): The trade is official, according to the Falcons. New England has yet to make a corresponding roster move.

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Tom Brady and Jamal Adams sound off on NFL officiating during Jaguars vs Titans

Tom Brady and Jamal Adams sound off on NFL officiating during Jaguars vs Titans

Tom Brady couldn't contain his disappointment in NFL officiating Thursday night after Titans edge rusher Kamalei Correa was flagged for roughing Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew. 

Here's the play that netted the Jaguars 15 yards during a first-half drive:

For two seasons now, the NFL has been trying to protect quarterbacks from plays where defensive players drive them into the ground on sacks and/or QB hits. Plenty of quarterbacks have suffered collarbone and/or shoulder injuries that cause them to miss significant time, so the league has put an emphasis on calling bigger hits on quarterbacks. 

But sometimes, plays like these don't warrant a 15-yard penalty and players have been expressing their frustration lately. 

Jamal Adams was recently fined for a hit on Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield on Monday Night Football, calling the league a "damn joke" for fining him. And if a quarterback is complaining about a rule protecting quarterbacks, then it's probably time to reconsider how it's being called out on the field. 

Brady and Adams will square off against each other this Sunday when the Jets visit the Patriots in Week 3, so it'll be interesting to see what Adams will do if he has a chance to put a hit on Brady, and how the QB will react if it happens. 

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Josh Gordon appreciative of Patriots' support: 'I love these guys'

Josh Gordon appreciative of Patriots' support: 'I love these guys'

Josh Gordon is settled in and feeling more comfortable than ever in his second year in New England.

It hasn't been the easiest road for the Patriots wide receiver, who was acquired from the Cleveland Browns 12 months ago. Gordon played in 11 games with the Patriots last season before being suspended for violating the terms of his reinstatement under the league's substance-abuse policy.

But the 28-year-old has received immense support from his Patriots family through it all, and for that he's appreciative.

“It feels like I am back home," Gordon told reporters on Thursday. "It is a home environment. I love these guys. They corralled around me to support me, showed me love and I appreciate that each and every day that I am here. It is easy to come in and do what I have to do."

Gordon was reinstated on Aug. 16 and immediately made his presence felt in the season opener vs. the Steelers, notching three receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown. Through two weeks, he's feeling far more confident with his role in the Patriots' offense.

“Last year was kind of on the fly," Gordon said. "I got traded in the season and had to pick it up as I was going along and with the injury at the same time. It was a lot to take on. This year, I have more familiarity with it, got extra time in the offseason to study what I already knew and when I got in here I was able to pick it up where I left off and even better I would say.

"It is pretty smooth right now.”

So far, so good this season for Gordon as he looks ahead to Sunday's AFC East matchup against the New York Jets.

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