Patriots

Patriots sign draft picks Devin Asiasi and Michael Onwenu to contracts

Patriots sign draft picks Devin Asiasi and Michael Onwenu to contracts

The New England Patriots have been rapidly locking up their draft picks in the wake of the 2020 NFL Draft. They had signed six of their 10 picks coming into the day and now, they have eight signed.

The Patriots announced that they agreed to deals with third-round tight end Devin Asiasi and sixth-round offensive guard Michael Onwenu. They also confirmed the signings of third-round linebacker Anfernee Jennings and seventh-round center Dustin Woodard.

Now, just Kyle Dugger (No. 37 overall) and Dalton Keene (No. 101 overall) remain unsigned.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

Asiasi and Onwenu both have ties to Michigan and current Patriots quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch, who was at Michigan as passing game coordinator from 2015-16 and was UCLA's offensive coordinator and interim head coach in 2017. Asiasi played at Michigan as a freshman in 2016 before transferring and following Fisch to UCLA. Onwenu spent his entire four-year career at Michigan.

Asiasi broke out in his final year at Chip Kelly's program. He caught 44 passes for 641 yards and four touchdowns and was considered to be a rising prospect leading up to the 2020 NFL Draft. He should get a chance to earn a role at tight end considering the dearth of talent that the Patriots had there last year.

Listen and subscribe to Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast here:

As for Onwenu, he started 35 games over the course of his final three years at Michigan, and all but one of them came at right guard. He's a massive man (6-3, 344) and is an excellent run blocker who should provide depth and may eventually challenge for a starting guard job in 2021 if the Patriots part ways with Joe Thuney.

NFL opt outs: Complete list of players who won't play in 2020 season

NFL opt outs: Complete list of players who won't play in 2020 season

NFL training camps officially began Tuesday, but there were some notable absences.

Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif became the first NFL player to opt out of the 2020 season last Friday, citing health concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Since then, multiple players have followed suit, continuing a trend across all major North American professional sports of players declining to participate in their seasons as COVID-19 persists in the United States.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

The Patriots especially have felt the impact of this trend: Six New England players -- including star linebacker Dont'a Hightower -- already have opted out, the most of any NFL team.

Below is a running list of the players who have opted out of the 2020 NFL season, according to reports or team/player confirmations. The list is sorted alphabetically after the Patriots, with the date of the players' opt-outs in parentheses.

New England Patriots

RB Brandon Bolden (July 28)
OT Marcus Cannon (July 28)
S Patrick Chung (July 28)
LB Dont'a Hightower (July 28)
WR Marqise Lee (August 1)
OG Najee Toran (July 27)
FB Danny Vitale (July 27)
TE Matt LaCosse (August 2)

Baltimore Ravens

OT Andre Smith (July 28)
WR/KR De'Anthony Thomas (July 27)

Buffalo Bills

CB E.J. Gaines (August 2)
DT Star Lotulelei (July 28)

Carolina Panthers

LB Jordan Mack (July 28)
LB Christian Miller (August 3)

Chicago Bears

DT Eddie Goldman (July 28)

Cincinnati Bengals

OT Isaiah Prince (July 31)
DT Josh Tupou (July 31)

Cleveland Browns

OL Drake Dorbeck (July 29)
OL Drew Forbes (July 29)

Dallas Cowboys

CB Maurice Canady (July 27)
WR Stephen Guidry (July 28)
FB Jamize Olawale (Aug. 2)

Denver Broncos

OT JaWuan James (Aug. 3)
DT Kyle Peko (July 28)

Detroit Lions

DT John Atkins (July 29)
WR Geronimo Allison (Aug. 2)

Green Bay Packers

WR Devin Funchess (July 28)

Houston Texans

DT Eddie Vanderdoes (July 28)

Jacksonville Jaguars

EDGE Larentee McCray (August 1)
DL Al Woods (July 31)

Kansas City Chiefs

OG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (July 24)
RB Damien Williams (July 29)

Los Angeles Rams

OT Chandler Brewer (July 31)

Minnesota Vikings

NT Michael Pierce (July 28)

New Orleans Saints

TE Jason Vander Laan (July 28)
TE Cole Wick (July 28)

New York Giants

WR Da'Mari Scott (August 2)
LT Nate Solder (July 29)

New York Jets

OL Leo Koloamatangi (July 28)
LB CJ Mosley (Aug. 1)

Philadelphia Eagles

WR Marquise Goodwin (July 28)

Seattle Seahawks

OG Chance Warmack (July 27)

Tennessee Titans

OL Anthony McKinney (July 28)

Washington Football Team

DT Caleb Brantley (July 27)

Free Agents

G Larry Warford (July 28)

Julian Edelman shows Tom Brady love on ex-Patriots QB's 43rd birthday

Julian Edelman shows Tom Brady love on ex-Patriots QB's 43rd birthday

Tom Brady and Julian Edelman are no longer teammates, but they're very much still friends.

Brady celebrated his 43rd birthday Monday as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, an NFL first for the quarterback after 20 years with the New England Patriots.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

Edelman, who spent 11 seasons as Brady's teammate in New England, used his Instagram story to shout out his former QB with some heartfelt well wishes.

Edelman seemingly is eager to prove he's not just "a product of Brady" after the QB helped him amass a career-high 1,117 receiving yards last season.

The 34-year-old wide receiver also has been working out with new Patriots quarterback Cam Newton, so he's certainly not dwelling on the past.

Then again, he and Brady developed an incredibly close bond as Patriots teammates and won three Super Bowl titles together, and that bond hasn't broken despite Brady migrating to Tampa Bay.