Patriots

Patriots hosting DE Clayborn and RB Hill on free-agent visits

Patriots hosting DE Clayborn and RB Hill on free-agent visits

The Patriots have yet to sign any free agents who weren't their own, but they could be moving toward bringing in a helpful piece or two. 

According to Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran, the team had free-agent visits scheduled with defensive end Adrian Clayborn and running back Jeremy Hill. ESPN was the first to report the visits. 

MORE - Pats land dependable veteran corner in Jason McCourty

At 6-foot-3, 280 pounds, Clayborn is a stouter end who could rush from the interior in passing situations. His versatility would seem to fit what the Patriots like, and he hails from Iowa, where former Belichick colleague Kirk Ferentz runs the show. Clayborn had 9.5 sacks in 2017, six of which came in a ridiculous performance against the Cowboys. 

Should Clayborn make New England his next home, the picture on the edge for Bill Belichick's roster would come into clearer focus. After a season in which injuries ravaged that spot for the Patriots, they could be looking at a group in 2018 that includes Dont'a Hightower, Trey Flowers, Deatrich Wise, Derek Rivers, Shea McClellin . . . and Clayborn . . . if he's interested. 

Hill, meanwhile, would be an interesting addition in that he would seem to slot into a role that the team already has filled. 

At 6-foot-1, 230 pounds, Hill was a between-the-tackles hammer for the Bengals the last four seasons. An ankle injury and subsequent surgery ended Hill's 2017 prematurely after just 37 carries and 116 yards in seven games.

Would Hill simply be some competition for Mike Gillislee, who looks like the No. 1 contender for the team's "big back" role next season? Or might the Patriots carry two bruisers in order to give themselves some insurance? 

The Patriots seemed to make an effort in the 2017 season to become more unpredictable in the backfield. They went out and signed dual-threat free agent Rex Burkhead. They eventually made dual-threat dynamo Dion Lewis their lead back. That's not exactly Hill's style, though he can catch (21 receptions in 15 games in 2016). Burkhead, who re-signed with the Patriots on a three-year deal earlier this week, looks like the best bet to be the unpredictable option if he can stay healthy. 

MORE - Giardi: Source says Pats players are miserable

Hill is an intriguing blend of size and athleticism, though. He's just 25 years old, and the fact that he's coming off an injury-shortened season should make him a low-risk option if he and the Patriots can come to an agreement. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Did Tom Brady fire back at 'dad bod' comments via Twitter?

Did Tom Brady fire back at 'dad bod' comments via Twitter?

Was Tom Brady, via his TB12 center Twitter account, firing back at those who took shots at his "dad bod" as seen in recent paparazzi photos?

Check out the pinned tweet at the top of TB12's Twitter 

It's no doubt in response to what GQ called "#TorsoGate"

He's come a long way from the 2000 NFL combine before he was made the 199th pick overall:

Brady's TB12 Method famously touts pliability, eschews weight training and promotes what some see as an untraditional diet for an elite athlete - remember him eating a strawberry with Stephen Colbert this past winter?

The soon-to-be-41-year-old (Aug. 3) Patriots quarterback will apparently have an early start on getting into football shape. He plans to be at training camp ahead of Wednesday's veteran reporting date. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Edelman won't take four-game PED suspension to court

Edelman won't take four-game PED suspension to court

We won't be following this four-game suspension through the federal court system the way we did another one.

Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman is not going to pursue an appeal of his four-game PED suspension in court and will sit out the first four games of the regular season.

Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network was first to report that Edelman wouldn't be going to court to appeal.

Edelman's teammate, Tom Brady famously took the appeal of his Deflategate four-game suspension through various federal court hearings before dropping the case before the 2016 season.

Edelman, 32, who missed all of last season recovering from ACL surgery, can participate in training camp and preseason games but will miss regular season games at home vs. the Texans Sept. 9, at the Jaguars Sept. 16, at the Lions Sept. 23 and at home vs. the Dolphins Sept. 30. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE