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New England Patriots links 3/23/23 - Depth moves, draft can shore up already solid defense

Daily news and links for Thursday.

New England Patriots v Las Vegas Raiders
LB Jahlani Tavai #48, S Kyle Dugger #23 and CB Jonathan Jones #31
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images


  • Transaction: Patriots sign LB Chris Board.
  • Evan Lazar talks about Jalen Mills re-signing with the Patriots on a one-year deal, and his possible back to Safety.
  • Paul Perillo explains replacing Devin McCourty off the field may be even tougher than replacing his on-field talent.
  • Statements from Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick on the retirement of LB Dont’a Hightower.
  • From - Devin McCourty talks Patriots’ future, Belichick’s impact on his career. (4.37 min. video)


  • Taylor Kyles resets the Patriots defensive roster after Week 1 of free agency. The Patriots have nearly every 2022 starter returning on defense, but what pieces does the unit need to get even better?
  • Alex Barth begins his Patriots position-by-position draft preview, with a look at Running Backs.
  • Pat Pitts (StadiumRant) The Patriots need a better week two of free agency to compete.
  • Darren Hartwell explains how Mel Kiper’s assessment of the 2023 draft class bodes well for the Patriots.
  • Lou Scataglia (MusketFire) Three major trades the Pats can still make during offseason. 1. Sending a 2023 third round pick for WR DeAndre Hopkins.
  • Dakota Randall hears from Jonathan Jones on why he re-signed with New England. ‘The Patriots were just always the place to be.’
  • Ian Logue (PatsFans) Patriots Thoughts: Thoughts on Lamar Jackson, WR rumors, McCourty retirement.
  • Peyton Doyle rounds up how analysts and beat reporters are weighing in on Lamar Jackson and the Patriots, “If he wouldn’t pay Tom Brady, why would he pay Lamar Jackson?”
  • Chris Mason’s Patriots Mailbag: Will Mac Jones run more RPOs with Bill O’Brien calling the offense?
  • Geoff Magliocchetti (Patriots Country) Patriots 2019 draft class bust: Where are they now?
  • Zack Cox relays Devin McCourty on why he would have liked the Patriots to have kept Jakobi over JuJu.
  • Zack Cox highlights Devin McCourty revealing details about Steve Belichick’s first day as a Patriots position coach. “Now when I look at him, I think his growth has come because of the honesty, not coming in saying, ‘My dad is Bill Belichick. I was born to coach. I’m going to do this.’ No, he came in and was like, I’m going to learn from some veterans that I’ve got in this room, take advantage of that opportunity that I get, and I’m going to grow as a coach.”
  • Mark Daniels notes Devin McCourty said he still doesn’t know the exact reason was why Malcom Butler was benched but explains why his benching didn’t destroy the team.
  • Greg Dudek tells us what Bill Belichick said about Dont’a Hightower following his retirement.
  • Conor Ryan ranks Dont’a Hightower’s top 5 plays with the Patriots.
  • Matt Dolloff notes Jake Bailey took a subtle shot at the Patriots’ strength & conditioning staff, blaming his back issues on doing squats.
  • Keagan Stiefel reports Dante Scarnecchia has been selected to receive an award of excellence from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  • Phil Perry’s 7-round Patriots mock draft: Offensive line is top priority. Pats pick Georgia OT Broderick Jones at 14.
  • Nick O’Malley’s Patriots 7-round mock draft: Pats pick Ohio State OT Paris Johnson Jr. at 14.


  • Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) JuJu Smith-Schuster: I won’t pay $100K it would cost to get No. 9 jersey from Mathew Judon.
  • Joel Corry (CBS Sports) Agent’s Take: Contract-related observations from first wave of 2023 NFL offseason.
  • Marc Sessler ( NFL trade grades. Jonnu Smith: Patriots B+, Falcons B+.
  • Cody Benjamin (CBS Sports) 2023 Top 10 offseason moves, signings, trades, coaching hires. No Pats. Jets attempting to get Aaron Rodgers No. 1. /Pats hiring Bill O’Brien doesn’t make the cut?
  • Cody Benjamin (CBS Sports) Ranking all 32 teams for their offseason moves, signings, trades & more. Patriots 17th.
  • Gilberto Manzano (SI) The eight teams that improved the most in the first wave of free agency. No Pats.
  • Matt Verderame (SI) 2023 NFL Free Agency: Defense dominates five best signings. No Pats.
  • Jared Dubin (CBS Sports) 2023 NFL free agency: Best bargain additions. No Pats.
  • Nick Shook ( 2023 NFL free agency: Best team fits for Teddy Bridgewater, Odell Beckham Jr. and more.
  • Tyler Greenawalt (Yahoo! Sports) What’s the Jets’ Plan B if the Aaron Rodgers trade falls through?
  • Bucky Brooks ( Top five 2023 draft prospects by position 2.0: QB Hooker above Richardson and Levis.
  • Charles Davis ( 2023 NFL mock draft 1.0. Pats pick Ohio State OT Paris Johnson Jr. at 14.
  • Kevin Hanson (SI) 2023 NFL mock draft 5.0. Pats pick Tennessee OT Darnell Wright at 14.
  • Josh Edwards (CBS Sports) 2023 NFL mock draft. Pats pick Georgia OT Broderick Jones at 14.
  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) NFL conducting annual Competition Committee agenda preview on Friday.