Patriots

Would timing be right for Patriots to court Kyle Rudolph?

Would timing be right for Patriots to court Kyle Rudolph?

When murmurs surfaced that the tight-to-the-cap Vikings would struggle to keep tight end Kyle Rudolph around, they were squished fairly quickly by Vikings management.

But those murmurs may soon escalate to chatter. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported on Friday that extension talks that would lower Rudolph’s 2019 cap hit broke down. Rudolph, who’s in the final year of his deal, is due $7.5M. The Vikings drafted Alabama tight end Irv Smith two weeks ago.

Which obviously leads to the question of whether the Patriots would be buyers if the Vikings were sellers. Two weeks ago, I was told that a Rudolph deal at that juncture was “highly unlikely.” But that was before this latest news. The Vikings have less than $1M in cap space currently and are going to have to start lopping before they sign rookies.

But the Patriots have now committed themselves to three free agent tight ends – Matt LaCosse, Austin Sefarian-Jenkins and Benjamin Watson. The 29-year-old Rudolph would seem to be a touch better (at least) than all of them. He’s caught 250 passes in the past four seasons and – at 6-6, 265 – he can move people around in the running game as well.

Between Rob Gronkowski taking his time to retire, which slowed the Patriots pursuit of Jared Cook (signed with New Orleans) to missing out on wide receiver Adam Humphries (signed with Tennessee after Patriots’ late sweetener was rebuffed) to Rudolph possibly becoming available right after Watson was signed, the Patriots have seemingly been in chase mode a few times this offseason.

We’ll see if they join the fray on Rudolph.

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Patriots will play Dak Prescott amid best stretch of Cowboys QB's career

Patriots will play Dak Prescott amid best stretch of Cowboys QB's career

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott just played the best statistical game of his career, and that's not great for the New England Patriots, who host the NFC East leaders at Gillette Stadium in Sunday's Week 12 matchup.

Prescott completed 29 of 46 pass attempts for 444 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions in a 35-27 win over the Detroit Lions. The fourth-year QB has averaged 366 yards per game with a total of nine touchdowns and two interceptions over the last three games. He's also completing 67.7 percent of his passes in 2019 and his 3,221 passing yards lead the league.

Prescott's impressive play is larger than a 4-game sample, though. Here are his stats over the last 16 games dating back to last season:

--69.3% comp pct
--104.8 passer rating 
--4,968 yards
--37 total TD
--12 INT
--8.5 YPA  
--11-5 W/L record

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick gave a glowing overview of Prescott's skill set Wednesday.

"Well we haven’t played him, so this is the first time we’ve played him. But right now, yeah, he’s super impressive," Belichick told reporters. "The way he’s going, might be more than that. Might hit six (thousand yards), I don’t know. This guy can throw the ball, he’s very accurate, he’s got great poise in the pocket, stands in there. He can extend plays and run if he has to, but he doesn’t do much of that unless he really needs to. He has great patience and poise, discipline in the pocket, gets his eyes down field. He’s a very good intermediate-to-deep ball-thrower.

"He’s got good weapons, but he’s been super impressive. Just, great, great quarterback – sideline throws, inside throws, in-cuts, posts, over routes, flag routes, you name it. Possession passes on third down, best third down team in the league, best passing team in the league, most big plays in the league – I mean, I don’t know where you want to start, they do it all. And, he does it all. He runs options, he runs read zones, keeps the ball in critical situations, tough guy to tackle, makes tough yards when he needs them, so he’s really good."

The Cowboys chose to give star running back Ezekiel Elliott a contract extension before the season and still haven't come to terms with Prescott. Elliott is a tremendous player, but the first 10 games have shown Dallas will only be as successful as Prescott. He is the Cowboys' most important player, and the Patriots' No. 1 ranked pass defense needs to slow him down or Dallas will have a good chance of leaving Gillette Stadium with a much-needed win.

Pats' D must beat Prescott in this area of the field>>>

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Patriots rookie Chase Winovich surprises his mother with new car

Patriots rookie Chase Winovich surprises his mother with new car

Chase Winovich once promised his mother he'd buy her a new car. On Wednesday, he followed through with that promise.

The New England Patriots rookie bought his mom a 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata and showed it off on his Instagram.

Winovich also included a video of his mother's reaction to the big surprise, along with a caption that reads, "I can never repay you, but here’s a start. I love you mom."

Take a look below (click arrow to watch video).

Back in early October, Winovich was fined $7,000 for throwing the ball into the stands after scoring his first NFL touchdown. The 24-year-old defensive end wrote a message to his mom apologizing.

"Sorry mom for launching that new car I promised you into the stratosphere during my celebration! Love you!" he wrote.

Looks like that little mishap only delayed the purchase one month.

Winovich is excelling in his first year as a pro. The Patriots' third-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft has 4.5 sacks and 14 tackles through his first 10 games.

Finally being able to pay back his mother, of course, is his best highlight yet.

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