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Why Johnny Manziel is Visiting the Patriots

There are three main reasons why Johnny Manziel is visiting the Patriots. Here's what they are.

Ronald Martinez

No, don't expect the potentially landmark teammate pairing of Johnny Manziel and Rob Gronkowski. I know I want that to happen, purely for the off-the-field shenanigans that are inevitably to ensure.

Instead, let's point out the three main reasons Johnny Freaking Football is making his way to Gillette Stadium.

1) Trade value. The Patriots are bringing in Teddy Bridgewater for the same reason. What happens if this draft repeats last season? There were expectations that three, possibly more, quarterbacks could have been taken in last year's first round: Geno Smith, Ryan Nassib, and then a last minute push by E.J. Manuel. Matt Barkley was a fourth name that was pushed around on the bubble.

Manuel was the only player selected in the first. If that happens again, then there are plenty of teams who could be jostling for position to get back into the end of the first round. The Patriots need to make sure they know their options and to determine if Manziel is actually a desired piece to put on the field.

2) Teammate research. The Patriots have visited with Manziel's first-round grade teammate Mike Evans. Evans is a premier target with little chance of falling outside of the first half of the opening round, but if he slips into the middle? Maybe he's a player that the Patriots think could be the reason they win games- those are the players that Bill Belichick is willing to move up the board to draft.

Manziel knows how the 6'5, 225 lbs wide receiver operates. It's not unusual for teams to interview teammates and this would provide an extremely intimate opportunity to pick his most vital connection on his college team. They can find out how to push Evans and how Manziel was able to get the most out of his young receiver.

3) Rival research. Most likely, it's a mix of both of the above, with little intention of drafting either Manziel, or Evans, or Bridgewater. But there are two teams that would be a perfect fit for Evans and who are in prime position to take the wide receiver: The Bills and the Jets.

So why not do their due diligence? If Belichick is going to be facing off against the receiver twice a season, all of the information gleaned by interviewing Manziel could be used against Evans- and if he's truly going to be an elite target, Belichick's going to need all the ammo he can get.

In all likelihood, Belichick's not going to be drafting these players. But they all have a drastic impact upon how the draft plays out, how Belichick will be able to navigate the draft board, and how he will potentially have to draw up his defenses for the next decade.

And who knows. Maybe he's just here to hang out with Gronk.