Patriots

Report: Pennel's 2-year Patriots deal could be worth up to $8 million

Report: Pennel's 2-year Patriots deal could be worth up to $8 million

The Patriots deal with free-agent nose tackle Mike Pennel is for two years with a base salary of $5 million and could be worth up to $8 million in incentives, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss.

Pennel, 6-foot-4, 332 pounds, turns 28 in May. The former New York Jets defensive tackle will try to make up for the loss of Malcom Brown, who signed with the Saints. 

After the signing, Pennel spoke to Patriots.com about joining a "winning culture" in New England.

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Daniel Jeremiah: Patriots could trade up for a tight end

Daniel Jeremiah: Patriots could trade up for a tight end

The 2019 NFL Draft is under a week away, and the New England Patriots will likely be adding to their offense during the event. After losing several offensive weapons, including tight end Rob Gronkowski to retirement, the team seems to be focused on getting more weapons for Tom Brady. And it seems that they could move up to target some of the best ones in this draft class.

In his pre-draft conference call, NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah spoke about the potential first-round picks at the tight end position, T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant. Jeremiah thinks that both will be top 20 picks and said that the Patriots could be in a play for either if they trade-up.

I would think if either one of the Iowa tight ends started to drop and drift a little bit that would be one phone call away for the Patriots to go get them.

Jeremiah also mentioned Irv Smith Jr. as a potential option for New England, but he's not a player the team would likely trade up for in the first round.

Given the needs that the Patriots have at the tight end position, this would be a sensible move. The team has only added Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Matt LaCosse this offseason while losing Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen. So, adding an early-round draft pick with starter potential should strengthen that position.

Also, the Patriots are armed with 12 picks this year, so they will be able to move around the board at will, as they typically do. If either Hockenson or Fant slips, seeing the Patriots trade up from the No. 32 pick to grab them would definitely fill a big hole.

In a mock draft from earlier this month, our own Phil Perry actually had the Patriots trading up for Hockenson. To see what it would take to make that kind of a move, click here.

It's also worth noting that the Patriots brought in Fant for a pre-draft visit. We'll have to wait and see if anything comes of this, but it seems that their interest in him is legitimate.

Click here for Phil Perry's latest mock draft with the Pats trading down>>>

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NFL odds: Updated Patriots win total, Week 1 betting line vs. Steelers

NFL odds: Updated Patriots win total, Week 1 betting line vs. Steelers

The New England Patriots will begin their Super Bowl defense against a bitter AFC rival. But how bitter will that rivalry actually be this season?

The NFL confirmed Wednesday night the Pittsburgh Steelers will visit the Patriots in Week 1. It's a tough opening draw for the Steelers, who haven't won at Gillette Stadium since 2008 and lost superstars Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell amid a tumultuous offseason.

Those developments were reflected in the opening point spreads for Week 1 games, which came out Thursday and had the Patriots as 6.5-point favorites over Pittsburgh.

It's obviously tricky to predict Week 1 games when all 32 teams enter with a clean slate, and there is some hope for the Steelers: The Patriots actually lost their last season opener following a Super Bowl victory, falling to the Kansas City Chiefs 42-27 at home in 2017. But the expectation is Tom Brady and Co. will take care of business on NBC's "Sunday Night Football."

As for the entire season, The Action Network released updated win totals for all NFL teams Thursday after the league's schedule release and pegged New England at 10.4 wins. That's actually a slight dip from the team's previous 11-win projection and a bit eye-opening considering the Patriots' strength of schedule, or lack thereof.

But while the Patriots will have to adapt to life without Rob Gronkowski, oddsmakers still like their chances relative to the rest of the league. Case in point: They have the best odds to remain undefeated the longest in 2019, per DraftKings Sportsbook.

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