Denver Broncos

NFL rumors: Patriots hosting former Broncos tight end for free agent visit

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USA TODAY Sports

NFL rumors: Patriots hosting former Broncos tight end for free agent visit

The New England Patriots need depth at tight end, and they reportedly will be hosting one for a free agent visit Thursday. 

Matt LaCosse, who's played three seasons in the NFL, will meet with the Patriots, per the Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson.

Lacosse spent the 2018 season with the Denver Broncos. He tallied 24 receptions for 250 yards and one touchdown in 15 games for the Broncos.

The 26-year-old spent his first two pro seasons with the New York Giants but played in only five games total. 

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has not made a decision on whether he'll retire or return in 2019, and New England released veteran tight end Dwayne Allen last week.

The Patriots, given their lack of depth at the position, figure to be in the mix for a tight end during next month's 2019 NFL Draft, where they currently have a league-high 12 picks, including six in the first three rounds.

Click to read our Patriots offseason tracker>>>

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Ravens reportedly trading Joe Flacco to Broncos; impact on Patriots?

Ravens reportedly trading Joe Flacco to Broncos; impact on Patriots?

The ongoing quarterback experiment in Denver is taking another interesting turn.

The Baltimore Ravens have agreed to trade quarterback Joe Flacco to the Broncos, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Wednesday. Denver will send a "mid-round" draft pick to Baltimore in return, per NFL Media's Ian Rapoport.

The deal can't be made official until the new league year starts on March 13, but Denver head coach Vic Fangio's connection with Flacco during his one season in Baltimore apparently played a role in the deal.

The Broncos have rotated through mediocre quarterbacks since Peyton Manning retired in 2015, with Case Keenum slogging the club to a 6-10 record last season.

Whether Flacco can turn their fortunes around remains to be seen. The 34-year-old veteran is a Super Bowl MVP with a proven track record of playoff success but appears to be in the back nine of his career; he played in just nine games last season while battling a hip injury and remained on the bench in favor of rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson in the Ravens' AFC Wild Card Round loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

The New England Patriots will play the Flacco-less Ravens this season but not the Broncos. Denver general manager John Elway apparently is hoping Flacco can help his team return to prominence in an AFC dominated by the Patriots, who have reached the Super Bowl in four of the last five seasons.

The Patriots hardly should be concerned about the Broncos as a threat, though; Denver still is just the third-best team in its division behind the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers, and a 34-year-old Flacco won't exactly move the needle.

Where the Flacco trade could impact New England is in the 2019 NFL Draft. Many expected the Broncos to target a quarterback in the first round of the draft -- including NBC Sports Boston's own Phil Perry -- but Denver appears to have addressed that issue via trade.

👉 Click here for Phil Perry's 2019 NFL Mock Draft

That means an extra QB could be on the board by the time the Patriots draft at No. 32 and potentially eye Tom Brady's heir apparent.

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NFL Rumors: Texans to release Demaryius Thomas—could Patriots be interested?

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USA Today Sports

NFL Rumors: Texans to release Demaryius Thomas—could Patriots be interested?

Despite the fact the Patriots' 2018 season ended with a Super Bowl victory parade, we can all agree this year was not the team's strongest showing on the wide receiver front.

From Julian Edelman missing the first four games of the season due to suspension, to having to resort to using fullback James Develin as a wideout, to losing Josh Gordon halfway thorugh, the Patriots did not enjoy depth or consistency at the position last year. Thus, shopping for wide receivers is a priority this offseason.

The news just in out of Houston is that wide receiver Demaryius Thomas is being released.

Thomas tore his left Achilles in Week 16, and was traded to the Texans from the Broncos right before the trade deadline.

While Patriots wide receiver rumors run rampant at this time of year, the Patriots and Thomas have some history.

It was reported by NFL Network's Mike Giardi two days before Thomas was traded to Houston, that the Patriots had discussed a trade for the then Broncos receiver. Thomas was first drafted by Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels when he was the head coach at Denver.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick is known to take fliers on veteran players, often times wide receivers he can get at injury discounts.

Thomas, fresh off an Achilles injury and without a team, may be ripe for the picking.

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