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New England Patriots links 3/04/21 - Best way for cap-rich Pats to roster-build: Draft or free agency?

Daily news and links for Thursday

New England Patriots v New York Jets
Bill Belichick coaches up the bench
Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images



  • Mike Reiss looks beyond the big-ticket targets, to speculate on who the Patriots should pursue in free agency.
  • Evan Lazar previews free agency for the Patriots’ free agents on Offense and Defense.
  • Khari Thompson breaks down PFF’s five most valuable Patriots free agents.
  • Hayden Bird hears from Field Yates on why he believes the Patriots are poised for a big offseason.
  • Zack Cox thumbnails eight cap casualties the Patriots could target ahead of free agency. Pats are poised to be spenders this offseason.
  • Jim Hackett tries to make the strongest case possible against Cam Newton returning to the Patriots.
  • Doug Kyed says according to a source, free-agent TE Kyle Rudolph is interested in signing with the Patriots.
  • Doug Kyed explains why Rex Burkhead would be a low-risk re-signing and would barely count on the salary cap.
  • Zack Cox passes along a rumor that the Patriots are not ‘enamored’ with impending free agent QBs.
  • Zack Cox explains why Marcus Mariota is the odds-on favorite for New England. “The Patriots might not even need to trade for him either. With Mariota’s contract terms scaring off potential suitors, the cap-strapped Raiders could outright release the QB in the coming weeks”
  • Ryan Hannable highlights WEEI guest Senior Bowl director and former Patriots scout Jim Nagy, on why he believes Gardner Minshew would make sense for New England.
  • Mike Luciano (MusketFire) Patriots need to avoid trading for Teddy Bridgewater to solve QB vacancy.
  • Ryan Hannable relays Mike Lombardi who doesn’t believe what John Lynch is saying about the 49ers being committed to Jimmy Garoppolo, which could mean the Patriots could still be an option for him.
  • Conor Roche reports N’Keal Harry says he ‘would absolutely love’ Cam Newton to return to the Patriots. “He really helped me in all aspects of life last year.”
  • Ryan Hannable notes N’Keal Harry spoke to the Boston Globe this week about going into his third NFL season, potentially having Cam Newton back and more.
  • Noel Powers (PatsPropaganda) What will the Patriots do at Pick #15? Patriots have three options on draft day.
  • Kevin Tame Jr. (FullPressCoverage) Patriots 2021 NFL draft prospect: Miami TE Brevin Jordan.
  • Locked On Patriots podcast: Mike D’Abate and Clare Cooper discuss roster building and the pros and cons of adding TE Kyle Rudolph and/or LB Kyle Van Noy to the roster. (46 min.)


  • Albert Breer (SI) Mailbag: Are the Cardinals Legitimate Super Bowl Contenders? Plus, which teams will find a way to either draft a QB prospect or trade for a veteran on the market.
  • Justin Terranova (NY Post) Patriots ‘heavily scouting’ the top quarterbacks in 2021 NFL Draft. “Though Belichick is usually loathe to trade up in the draft, it is possible last season’s frustrations — and watching Brady lead the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl — could shift the franchise’s priorities.”
  • Brian Costello (NY Post) Jets’ Joe Douglas changes tune on Sam Darnold overtures: ‘Call me’.
  • Steve Serby (NY Post) Sam Darnold twisting in the wind after Jets’ about-face.
  • Jason La Canfora (CBS Sports) Eight dark horse NFL free agents to watch in 2021 offseason: Without the combine, will teams lean on veteran free agents instead of risking the unknown?
  • Doug Farrar (TouchdownWire) The most dangerous “buyer beware” defensive free agents in 2021.
  • Paul Schwartz (NY Post) Giants release WR Golden Tate, LB David Mayo to save $8 million.
  • Amie Just ( Saints release veteran TEs Jared Cook, Josh Hill; Hill move saves New Orleans $2.5 million.
  • Staff ( 2021 NFL Scouting Combine: Full list of 323 invited prospects.
  • Ringer PhD (YouTube) How do NFL contracts actually work? (13.14 min. video)
  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) NFL will consider reverting to true sudden-death overtime.
  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Ravens to propose revolutionary “spot and choose” overtime procedure. /’Eesh...
  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) NFL to consider making roughing the passer subject to replay review.
  • Dan Mennella ( Joe Montana concedes the undeniable: Tom Brady is the greatest QB of all time.
  • Charles Robinson (Yahoo! Sports) NBA’s Top Shot craze has NFLPA’s attention. Could NFL sell new style of digital memorabilia of its stars and iconic plays?