Posts Tagged ‘2014 nfl free agency’

Making Sense of Patrick Chung’s Surprise Return to the Patriots

Monday, April 7th, 2014

After an unceremonious year in Philadelphia, Patrick Chung’s return to New England was a move few saw coming. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

When a team’s former top pick logs three playoff snaps in a contract year, it sends a message.

It sends a message that the results did not equal the investment, that the player is not part of the solution, and that the organization is moving on.

In March of 2013, that appeared to be the case with Patrick Chung.

The New England Patriots allowed the 34th overall selection in the 2009 draft to walk. And the safety did, signing with the Philadelphia Eagles on a three-year, $10 million deal.

It was short-lived.

Eagles head coach Chip Kelly decided to cut ties with the Oregon Duck just 364 days after signing him. Philadelphia didn’t find the 26-year-old to be part of the solution, either, and saved $3.25 million by releasing him.

As that reunion ended, though, another one began.

The Patriots re-signed Chung on April 3. (more…)


Vince Wilfork, Patriots Bend But Don’t Break Future Plans

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Vince Wilfork’s restructured return to New England was a compromise on what lies ahead. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

For 14 days, it seemed imminent.

It seemed as if his success in holding the point of attack on the field and the organization’s success in doing the same off the field would be their unraveling.

For Vince Wilfork and the New England Patriots, it seemed to be about pride.

But as two weeks of uncertainty wore on, so did the semblance of hope that the 10-year NFL veteran would restructure his $11.6 million salary cap hit to return to the team that drafted him 21st overall in 2004.

In the afternoon hours of March 27, that came to fruition, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the 32-year-old defensive tackle had re-signed on a one-year, $8 million deal with $2.6 million guaranteed and a two-year option worth up to $22.5 million.

His cleaned-out locker and torn-off nameplate would not spell the end of his stay in Foxborough, Mass.; it would only catalyze a new one. (more…)


Finding Brandon LaFell’s Purpose in the Patriots’ Receiving Plans

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Based on his utilization in the Carolina Panthers’ system, wideout Brandon LaFell appears to fit New England’s offensive plans. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

The New England Patriots officially announced the signing of former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Brandon LaFell on Monday. But his purpose in New England’s offense will not be announced anywhere other than on the field.

The 6’2”, 210-pound LSU product agreed to a three-year, $9 million pact with the team, according to NFL Network’s Albert Breer, after catching 49 passes for 627 yards and five touchdowns as a starter last season.

The 27-year-old has played in 60 regular-season games since being selected 78th overall in the 2010 draft. He has amassed over 600 yards receiving over the last three years, all while never catching fewer than 36 passes over the last four years. He has gradually increased his touchdown totals as well, notching one in 2010, three in 2011, four in 2012 and five in 2013.

Now throughout his four-year NFL career, LaFell’s playing style and production have been steady but unspectacular for quarterback Cam Newton and the Panthers. Yet the way in which he accrues his production is what makes him an interesting fit for quarterback Tom Brady and the Patriots. (more…)


NFL Free Agency 2014: Patriots News and Notes From Day One

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Wesley Woodyard’s visit to New England made news as unrestricted free agency opened on Tuesday. But the news involving Aqib Talib ultimately took center stage before midnight. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

NFL League Year began at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday. And right out of the starting gate, reports broke of free agents signing, re-signing and restructuring with teams, while roster cuts and trades filtered in as well.

But as some organizations proved to be active on March 11, others proved to be quiet behind the scenes, waiting for the dust – or money – to settle.

Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots fell under the latter category.

After re-signing long snapper Danny Aiken and tight end Michael Hoomanawanui – both restricted free agents – in the days prior, and after releasing seven from their reserve/futures contracts or injured reserve lists, New England passed through Tuesday without another official move.

In many ways, though, the moves around the league have set the table for the days to come. With that in mind, here is a look at some Patriots-centric news and notes around the NFL landscape. (more…)







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