Patriots

Patriots' projected haul of 2020 NFL Draft picks still impressive after latest trades

Patriots' projected haul of 2020 NFL Draft picks still impressive after latest trades

The New England Patriots were busy in the trade market Wednesday, making two deals to bring in much-needed depth along the offensive line.

The Patriots acquired Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle Korey Cunningham in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick. They also dealt a fourth-round pick to the Baltimore Ravens for offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor and a sixth-round pick.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, even after these two moves, still has an impressive collection of 2020 draft picks to use in future trades or keep to acquire more young players. New England currently projects to have 12 selections (via @patscap) in the 2020 NFL Draft, including the projected compensatory picks as a result of losing multiple players (Trent Brown, Trey Flowers and others) in free agency.

The Patriots made 10 selections in the 2019 draft, and the early returns have been encouraging. Third-round pick Chase Winovich from Michigan has been one of the best defensive rookies in the preseason, and fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham of Auburn leads all rookie quarterbacks with 504 passing yards through three preseason games. Former Alabama running back Damien Harris has impressed in limited preseason action and is an intriguing fantasy football option, showing why he was worth a third-round selection. Undrafted rookie wide receiver Jakobi Meyers also has shown a lot of exciting potential.

We still have a long way to go before the 2020 draft, but the Patriots remain in the enviable position of having an abundance of draft capital to improve their roster in the final stage of quarterback Tom Brady's career and beyond.

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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.