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New England Patriots links 9/04/20 - Projecting the ‘final’ 53, the practice squad 16, & who’s getting cut

Daily news and links for Friday

New England Patriots Training Camp
Gunner grabs a pass, and likely a WR spot
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images



  • Mike D’Abate (FullPressCoverage) Yes, we Cam: Patriots name Newton starting QB, team captain.
  • Evan Lazar explains naming Cam Newton the starter was the easy part, now the challenge begins. “The basis of the offense will carry over from the Brady era, but even if the players and coaches won’t admit it publicly, significant changes to the scheme are coming to cater to Newton.”
  • Michael Hurley evaluates Cam Newton’s perfect start in New England. “But for now, the only assessment we have of Newton’s first two months under employment of the Patriots is that he’s checked every box, exceeded expectations, and provided a whole lot of hope inside and outside the locker room that life after Tom Brady will not be so bad.”
  • Chris Mason notes Cam Newton posts a ’dear New England’ message after being named Patriots captain: ‘No need to look back now.’
  • Chris Mason mentions Belichick reportedly told the team Cam Newton would start on Thursday morning, but he won’t announce it publicly.
  • Andy Hart explains why he finds Bill Belichick’s approach with Cam Newton intriguing.
  • Mac Cerullo writes how Cam Newton and Tom Brady are more alike than people realize. /Interesting read.
  • Zack Cox evaluates the position battles, ranking the Patriots from roster locks to long shots ahead of cutdown day. RB Lamar Miller will have less than a week to prove he deserves a roster spot after being removed from the PUP list on Monday.
  • Phil Perry points out why Mohamed Sanu was cut - lackluster camp, difficulty separating, not consistently open, value (set to make $6.5 M in cash); and who will fill his role: Gunner Olszewski - praised by teammates, a still-developing player with an intriguing athletic profile.
  • Bernd Buchmasser (PatsPulpit) Patriots 53-man roster projection: Who will survive cutdown weekend?
  • Doug Kyed weighs in with his final 53-man roster projection. Seven WRs (including Slater) make the squad.
  • Luke Ervin (PatsBuzz) Final Patriots 53-man roster projection. ...But wait! There’s more! Now with practice squad picks included!
  • Mark Morse (PatsFans) 2020 Patriots roster projection final. TE Ryan Izzo gets the axe.
  • Dakota Randall passes along a report that RB Damien Harris recently had surgery on his pinky finger, and it will take a few weeks to heal.
  • Zack Cox highlights Jermaine Eluemunor opening up about NFL mistakes and his new mindset. The projected starting right tackle admitted he “got comfortable” once he reached the NFL
  • Doug Kyed’s Thursday Practice Notes: Three starters return, WR Gunner Olszewski missing.
  • Doug Kyed’s Friday Patriots Mailbag: Why more surprises could be coming on cutdown day.
  • Darren Hartwell doesn’t find the current WR group very inspiring and speculates on which free-agent WRs the Pats could sign to help the offense.
  • Ian Logue (PatsFans) Patriots gamble on Sanu didn’t pay off, finally release veteran WR.
  • Phil Perry notes the Patriots could find no takers on a Mohamed Sanu trade.
  • Chad Finn considers if the Mohamed Sanu trade was the worst deal Bill Belichick has made.
  • CBS Boston wonders if the Patriots would be interested in free agent RB Adrian Peterson.
  • Ricky Doyle relays an excerpt from Jeff Benedict’s new book “The Dynasty” (shared by ‘The Athletic’) claiming Bill Belichick wanted Tom Brady to start even before Drew Bledsoe’s injury.
  • Ricky Doyle shares a second excerpt, telling the story of Bill Belichick burying the football back in 2001.
  • Locked On Patriots podcast: Mike D’Abate and Taylor Kyles discuss what makes the Pats’ CBs and safeties such an integral part of their defense; The impact of Mohamed Sanu’s release; More. (44 min.)
  • NESN Patriots podcast: Doug Kyed and Zack Cox compare their dueling 53-man roster predictions; QB depth chart, Dueling TEs; More. (39 min.)
  • Patriots Talk Podcast: Tom E. Curran says Mohamed Sanu release illustrates the Pats’ futility at WR; State of the AFC East; More. (59 min.)


  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Cam Newton is one of the Patriots’ captains. “Still, the first step toward proving that he still has the “S” under his football jersey is earning the “C” on top of it. He has, and it means that every team on New England’s schedule should get ready.”
  • Kyle Hightower (AP) Pats preparing to make tough roster calls at O-line, WR, RB.
  • Darin Gantt (ProFootballTalk) Patriots release Michael Jackson.
  • Dennis Waszak Jr. (AP) Might be too soon to count out Bill Belichick, Patriots in AFC East. New England has won the AFC East in 17 of the past 19 years, including the last 11.
  • Albert Breer (SI) Game Plan: The NFL’s COVID-19 results have teams much more confident about getting through a season; Plus, why the NFL will allow some fans, why it’s not shocking the Saints would consider trading Alvin Kamara, and the top free agents still available.
  • Jonathan Jones (CBS Sports) NFL insider notebook: Expect a Deshaun Watson extension before kickoff, why mass strike is unlikely; More.
  • Frank Schwab (Yahoo! Sports) 2020 NFL Preview: List of suspensions, potential holdouts and unsigned free agents heading into the season
  • Josh Edwards (CBS Sports) 2020 NFL season continuity rankings.
  • Mitch Goldich (SI) Predicting NFL stat leaders for the 2020s decade.
  • Jack Baer (Yahoo! Sports) NFL warns teams it will know if they ratchet up the volume of their artificial crowd noise
  • Danny Kelly (The Ringer) How college football’s altered season will upend the NFL draft industry.
  • Jenny Vrentas (SI) Can NFL owners keep up? A social justice movement is sweeping the country. Is the NFL ready for whatever comes next?