Patriots

Patriots work out former Eagles defensive back Tuesday

Patriots work out former Eagles defensive back Tuesday

The New England Patriots worked out a defensive back on Tuesday, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss.

Tre Sullivan, a former Philadelphia Eagles safety, played 12 games in 2018. The 24-year-old made 17 tackles, 12 solo, in his stint with Philadelphia. Sullivan played in college at Shepherd University in West Virginia, and was released by the Eagles over the summer. 

The workout comes after the Patriots have a need to fill three open practice squad spots following the departures of offensive tackle Dan Skipper, defensive lineman Ufomba Kamalu and placing Obi Melifonwu on injured reserve.

New England also announced that they've placed Gunner Olszewski on injured reserve and have activated Isaiah Wynn. 

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Hindsight 2020: Players Patriots missed in the second round is insane

Hindsight 2020: Players Patriots missed in the second round is insane

J.J. Watt. Luke Kuechly. Anquan Boldin. Osi Umenyiora. Tyrann Mathieu. 

All NFL greats, and all players that perhaps could have been in Foxboro if the Patriots managed second-round picks better. 

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Run down this list: Since Bill Belichick took over, the Patriots have taken 10 good players (by my count) with 25 picks in the second round. 

Leaving alone the two that sadly died early in their careers (Ron Brace and Marquise Hill), that's 10 out of 23. A second-round pick shouldn’t be a 50-50 endeavor, and the Patriots aren’t even hitting that mark, even if their second-best draft pick ever (Rob Gronkowski) was in the second. We should all be able to agree that for as long a list as “things Bill Belichick does better than anyone else” is, “drafting in the second round” is not on there. 

It would be easy to just do an easy "they took ___ instead of _____," but we've got nothing but time these days. Let's also add this to it: What kind of scenario might have existed if they just traded that pick to move up in the first?

I'll run down some of the failed picks like this:

The pick: duh, the number
Who they took: duh, the player
Who'd they pass on? Anyone who went shortly after. Let's say no more than 16 spots (half a round) later
wHaT If tHeY PaCkAgEd iT To mOvE Up iN ThE FiRsT? This is fun. 

Using a draft pick value chart, I'll add this pick to whatever the Pats did in the first round and see who they could have moved up to take instead. If you're wondering why this is written in the Spongebob stylization, it's because it's probably unrealistic for at least a couple of reasons per case. It's more to be met with a softly spoken "damn" than to be taken as gospel. 

That last section will obviously be inexact since some of those picks were the result of trading up or down, but be quiet. This is probably already a nightmare for you to follow, and I fear if I add any more qualifiers. I’ll lose you.
 
Here are some of the wild ones (not in chronological order): 

2011

The second-round pick: No. 33
Who they took: Ras-I Dowling
Who'd they pass on? Kyle Rudolph went 10 picks later
wHaT If tHeY PaCkAgEd iT To mOvE Up iN ThE FiRsT? They could have moved from No. 17 (where they took Nate Solder) all the way up to No. 7 and had freaking J.J. Watt (or Tyron Smith, a better tackle than Solder). 

2012

The second-round pick: No. 48
Who they took: Tavon Wilson
Who'd they pass on? Zach Brown went four picks later.
wHaT If tHeY PaCkAgEd iT To mOvE Up iN ThE FiRsT? They could have moved up to No. 4 and had Luke Kuechly instead of the Chandler Jones/Dont'a Hightower combo, which, in hindsight, is tempting, but not worth it.

2018

The second-round pick: No. 56
Who they took: Duke Dawson
Who'd they pass on? D.J. Chark went four picks later
wHaT If tHeY PaCkAgEd iT To mOvE Up iN ThE FiRsT? If they added No. 56 to the picks they used for Isaiah Wynn and Sony Michel, the Patriots could have gotten all the way up to No. 5, where Quenton Nelson, Mike McGlinchey and Minkah Fitzpatrick were all available.

2015

The second-round pick: No. 64
Who they took: Jordan Richards
Who'd they pass on? Tyler Lockett went five picks later
wHaT If tHeY PaCkAgEd iT To mOvE Up iN ThE FiRsT? They could have gone from No. 32 (Malcom Brown) to as high as No. 20 and gotten Byron Jones, who just became the highest-paid cornerback in the league.

2006

The second-round pick: No. 36
Who they took: Chad Jackson
Who'd they pass on? Roman Harper went seven picks later
wHaT If tHeY PaCkAgEd iT To mOvE Up iN ThE FiRsT? They could have moved from No. 21 (Laurence Maroney) to as high as No. 10 and added Haloti Ngata to an already stacked defensive line.

2014

The second-round pick: No. 62
Who they took: Jimmy Garoppolo
Who'd they pass on? Jarvis Landry went with the next pick
wHaT If tHeY PaCkAgEd iT To mOvE Up iN ThE FiRsT? They could have taken Brandin Cooks in the first instead of Dominique Easley. Then they'd have had up to five years of Cooks on his rookie contract instead of just one.

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OTHER NOTABLE MISSES

Bethel Johnson in 2003: Anquan Boldin and Osi Umenyiora went within the next 11 picks,

Aaron Dobson in 2013: Eddie Lacy, Travis Kelce, Larry Warford and Tyrann Mathieu went within the next 10 picks.

Darius Butler in 2009: Jairus Byrd, Connor Barwin and LeSean McCoy went within the next 12 picks

Jermaine Cunningham in 2010: Carlos Dunlap, Sean Lee and Golden Tate went in the next seven picks.  

Terrence Wheatley in 2008: Jamaal Charles went 11 picks later.

Cyrus Jones in 2016: Kevin Byard and Yannick Ngakoue went within the next nine picks.

Joejuan Williams in 2019: This doesn't count as a miss yet, but A.J. Brown and MeCole Hardman went within the next 11 picks. DK Metcalf was also on the board. We'll see what these guys become in the coming years.

THE GOOD NEWS

There is less of a chance they miss on a second-round pick this year because Tom Brady traded their second-round pick for Mohamed Sanu. Then again, Belichick has never been afraid to trade out of the first round, and the team does have two thirds it could use to move up the board.  

Tom Brady tells all: Five random nuggets from candid Howard Stern interview

Tom Brady tells all: Five random nuggets from candid Howard Stern interview

Tom Brady was ready to "let loose," after all.

In his first public interview since his introductory press conference with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the former New England Patriots quarterback spoke with SiriusXM's Howard Stern for two and a half hours Wednesday in a candid, wide-ranging interview.

You've probably heard some of the highlights: Brady knew as early as last season he was finished with the Patriots. He gets along fine with Bill Belichick. He skipped Patriots OTAs due to marriage issues with his wife, Gisele. His mentality during Super Bowl LI was the stuff of legends.

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You also don't have two and a half hours to sift through everything else Brady said. But guess what? With no other sports going on ... we do!

Here are five more takeaways from Brady's interview with Stern that Patriots fans may find interesting -- or in some cases, downright bizarre.

1. When he wasn't happy with his pass-catchers, he let Belichick know.

"I would say, ‘I don’t have any trust that this guy can help us win the game.' I’ve definitely expressed my opinion to say, 'If you put him out there, I’m not going to throw him the ball.' 

"The whole team is trusting me to do what’s right by the team, so you can’t put someone out there who I don’t believe in. Because if I don’t believe in him, it’s worthless for the team."

Brady insisted Belichick shared that belief with him. But we'd imagine the QB and head coach had this conversation several times -- especially in 2019, when Brady was throwing to the likes of N'Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers and Matt LaCosse.

2. He loved being a free agent this offseason and even made a list to aid his decision-making process.

"That was a fun experience for me to experience that, and I enjoyed that aspect of seeing what other teams could offer. 

" … I wrote down about 20 different things that were important to me and kind of prioritize what was important. I kind of scaled it, and looked at all the opportunities that were out there."

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3. He drank and smoked weed in high school -- until guilt set in.

“What kept me from smoking a lot of weed -- obviously in high school you try that and drink and go to parties -- but I always felt like I was letting my dad down.

" ... I definitely had fun in high school with partying and drinking and smoking weed on occasion, but as it got later in my high school life, those became less and less."

We'd imagine drinking and smoking aren't part of the TB12 diet, not that Brady needs to worry anymore about disappointing his father.

4. He's good friends with President Donald Trump, but wouldn't accept Trump's invite to speak at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

"He would call me after games (and say), 'I watched your games, Tom. Let’s play golf together.' In 2003, 2004, that’s kind of the way it was. He became someone who would come up to our games and stand on the sideline and would cheer for the Patriots. He always had a way of connecting with people and still does.

"Then the whole political aspect came, and I think I got brought into a lot of those things because it was so polarizing around the election time. It was uncomfortable for me because you can’t undo things, not that I would undo a friendship, but political support is a lot different than the support of a friend."

5. He suffered a gross injury in 2006 that led backup QB Matt Cassel to give him a grosser nickname.

"It ended up being a hernia in the game, where the abdomen wall split open. I don’t know all the details. But other than that, (my) testicles -- literally, one side was like an orange and then the other side was normal. I was like, ‘Something’s wrong here.'

" ... Cassel drew pictures of me with this one huge testicle on one side, and then he would leave them in my locker every day. 'Purple Balls,' he’d call me, because I got all bruised up."

Did we mention this was a tell-all interview?