New York Giants

NFL Rumors: Patriots considered Sterling Shepard trade with Giants

NFL Rumors: Patriots considered Sterling Shepard trade with Giants

In case you haven't noticed, the New England Patriots are seriously interested in acquiring a wide receiver this offseason -- and not just through the draft.

The Patriots had interested in trading for wide receiver Sterling Shepard before the New York Giants gave him a new contract extension this week, Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News reported Thursday, citing a source.

Shepard, who drew comparisons to Julian Edelman ahead of the 2016 NFL Draft, would have been a nice fit in New England. The 25-year-old wideout tallied 66 receptions for a career-high 872 yards last season as New York's No. 2 option behind Odell Beckham Jr. and is a productive slot target with impressive agility and strong hands.

With Beckham off to the Cleveland Browns, though, the Giants (who play the Patriots this season) opted to lock up their de facto top receiver, agreeing to a reported four-year, $41 million contract extension with Shepard on Wednesday.

That means the wideout search continues for the Patriots, who have hosted several top wide receiver prospects ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft. New England lost Cordarelle Patterson to free agency and Josh Gordon to an indefinite suspension and also could be without Chris Hogan, a free agent who reportedly has drawn interest from the Giants.

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What Odell Beckham Jr.'s tweet tells us about Patriots' 2019 schedule

What Odell Beckham Jr.'s tweet tells us about Patriots' 2019 schedule

The NFL won't release its 2019 regular season schedule until later this month. But Odell Beckham Jr. just couldn't help himself.

The new Browns wide receiver had the internet buzzing Wednesday night with a tweet suggesting he knows who Cleveland is playing in Week 1.

The New York Giants (Beckham's former team) aren't among the Browns' 2019 opponents, but the New York Jets are. Considering the Jets share MetLife Stadium with the Giants, we can assume Beckham is referencing a Week 1 return to his old stomping grounds.

We can assume that more confidently after Beckham responded to Jets safety Jamal Adams' Instagram post with the words, "See u week one."

What does this have to do with the Patriots? Well, there are only five realistic opponents for New England's Week 1 home opener on NBC's "Sunday Night Football," and the Browns looked like a serious contender.

But if Beckham is telling the truth, you can rule out Cleveland coming to Gillette Stadium in Week 1, which leaves the following possible opponents for the Patriots: the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs and New York Giants. (New England's other three home games are against AFC East teams, which probably don't warrant a Week 1 primetime slot.)

Considering the Steelers just lost superstars Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell and the Giants are destined for the NFL basement, our money is on a Patriots-Cowboys All-America matchup or an AFC Championship Game rematch with the Chiefs.

The NFL released its 2018 schedule on April 19 last year, so our suspense shouldn't be held too much longer.

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Patriots WR target Golden Tate agrees to deal with Giants

Patriots WR target Golden Tate agrees to deal with Giants

Another Patriots wide receiver target is off the board, as Golden Tate has agreed to sign with the New York Giants.

The deal is for four years, $37.5 million, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Tate, who spent seven games with the Lions last season before being traded to the Eagles, tallied 74 receptions for 795 yards and four touchdowns in 2018.

The 30-year-old veteran said earlier in the offseason that he'd love to play with the Patriots, and it was reported Thursday that Tate's decision was narrowed down to either the Pats or Steelers. But after shipping Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland, it's clear New York wants Tate as their No. 1 wideout for 2019.

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