Patriots

Time to officially end the Odell Beckham Jr.-to-Patriots rumors?

Time to officially end the Odell Beckham Jr.-to-Patriots rumors?

Editor’s note: In the coming weeks our Patriots insiders will be speaking with beat writers from around the NFL to get an outside view on what the future holds for the Patriots. Today’s team: The Cleveland Browns with Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.

Over the last couple of years, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has been a subject of New England Patriots trade rumors.

As crazy as that speculation may seem, it isn't unfounded. The Cleveland Browns superstar has been open about his admiration for Tom Brady, and the former Pats quarterback could have used an additional weapon or two toward the end of his tenure in New England.

But now that Brady has taken his talents to Tampa Bay, can we officially put the OBJ-to-New England talk to rest? Tom E. Curran asked Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com that question on the latest edition of Patriots Opposing Views.

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"Now that Tom Brady is gone, I'm pretty sure that it would be a dead issue," Cabot said. "I don't know that Odell is pining away to go to New England without Tom Brady there. I think that he is completely 100 percent enamored with Tom Brady. He has said as much ...

"I've talked to Odell myself just about how he feels about Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, so it was the combination of those two guys that he from afar always wistfully wished he could be a part of that. Now that Tom isn't there, I wouldn't necessarily think that this is something he would be clamoring after."

Rumors swirled during the Browns' disappointing 2019 campaign about Beckham telling opposing coaches to trade for him in the offseason. Of course, he hasn't been dealt and is preparing for a bounce-back season with a Cleveland team that has a new head coach in Kevin Stefanski.

In New England, it'll likely be Jarrett Stidham taking over for Brady at the quarterback position. While that may not seem so enticing for OBJ now, we'll just have to see how the 2020 season plays out. Perhaps a strong showing from Stidham and another down year in Cleveland would reinvigorate Beckham's interest.

Updated Patriots cornerback depth chart after Michael Jackson trade with Lions

Updated Patriots cornerback depth chart after Michael Jackson trade with Lions

The New England Patriots added even more depth to an elite group of cornerbacks Sunday by acquiring Michael Jackson in a trade with the Detroit Lions.

Jackson, who's listed at 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, was a fifth-round draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2019. The Detroit Lions signed him off the Cowboys practice squad last season and he played in one game for the NFC North team.

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Here's an updated look at the Patriots' cornerback depth chart with Jackson in the fold:

--Stephon Gilmore
--Jason McCourty
--J.C. Jackson
--Jonathan Jones
--Joejuan Williams
--Michael Jackson
--Myles Bryant
--D’Angelo Ross

It should be noted that Justin Bethel is listed at cornerback, but most of his snaps come on special teams. 

A strong case could be made that cornerback is the deepest position on the Patriots roster. The group is led by Stephon Gilmore, who became the first Patriot ever to win the AP's NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2019. Gilmore is the league's best cornerback and has earned first team All-Pro selections in back-to-back seasons. 

He's not the only talented cornerback in the Patriots secondary, though. 

J.C. Jackson excelled in coverage last season, too, especially on passes beyond 20 yards. In fact, Jackson had the lowest passer rating allowed when targeted of all cornerbacks in 2019, according to Pro Football Focus.

One of the most intriguing players in the Patriots secondary is second-year cornerback Joejuan Williams. He was a second-round pick out of Vanderbilt in 2019 but saw limited playing time as a rookie.

The depth of the Patriots defense has been hit hard in recent months due to free agent departures and veterans opting out of the 2020 season amid concerns over COVID-19. One position that has remained largely intact is cornerback, and barring any significant injuries, it could be the team's most productive position this coming season.

Patriots acquire CB Michael Jackson in trade with Lions

Patriots acquire CB Michael Jackson in trade with Lions

The New England Patriots have added another cornerback to their depth chart.

On Sunday, they announced they've acquired Michael Jackson from the Detroit Lions for an undisclosed 2022 draft pick.


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Jackson was selected in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft (158th overall) by the Dallas Cowboys out of Miami. He started his rookie season on Dallas' practice squad before being signed by Detroit.

The 23-year-old played in only one game last season for the Lions.

Jackson joins a Patriots cornerback group that currently consists of Stephon Gilmore, Jonathan Jones, Joejuan Williams, Jason McCourty, J.C. Jackson, D'Angelo Ross, Justin Bethel, and Myles Bryant.