Although annoying many fans to no end with its 16-month-plus shelf life, Deflategate remains a key topic of conversation as the 2016 season approaches.
As a result of a report from an unlikely source, the status of John Jastremski with the Patriots is in question, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reports. Comedian Jim Breuer received an email from one of the equipment managers implicated in the Deflategate proceedings that points to Jastremski being quietly fired by the Pats last season.
The last news coming from New England about Jastremski’s status came last fall, when the team announced in September Jastremski and Jim McNally were reinstated after their NFL suspensions, and then in October when Bill Belichick said the team was still searching for a role for Jastremski. However, Breuer’s email describes a November 2015 weekend encounter in Mexico where Jastremski, who invited Breuer for a drink and emailed him on November 10 thanking him for the conversation, said the Patriots fired him and that he was unable to get another NFL job.
Volin reached out to the Patriots about this, but the team did not reply. While not a traditional source, as Volin points out, Breuer detailing a November conversation with Jastremski alters the narrative about the team’s belief of its innocence. That said, the alleged dismissal could have conceivably been unrelated.
Here’s the latest coming out of the Eastern divisions from some more NFL-based sources.
- Kirk Cousins watched various highlights of Josh Doctson‘s work at TCU and envisions the Redskins having another key red zone option to go with Jordan Reed. “He is a special player,” Cousins said during Washington’s OTAs, per Tarik El-Bashir of CSNMidAtlantic.com. “Looks like he can make the contested catch. It’s very natural for him to go up and catch that type of pass. He can run well. He has got great size. I almost thought he was a tight end when he showed up because if his size.” At 6-foot-2, the former Wyoming and TCU target differs from Cousins’ other top receivers, with Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson and Jamison Crowder standing at 6-foot or shorter.
- Osi Umenyiora helped the Giants land French receiver Anthony Dable, according to Barbara Barker of Newsday. Now an NFL ambassador and announcer in London, Umenyiora steered the Giants toward the 27-year-old European performer during a February tryout in Florida. Having a background not too dissimilar to Vikings sixth-rounder Moritz Boehringer in being a standout in Germany as well as France, the 6-foot-5 Dable also lined up interviews with the Cowboys, Chiefs, Jaguars, Lions, Seahawks, 49ers and Cardinals, Barker reports. But Umenyiora made sure the Giants received the first visit. Following that meeting, Dable cancelled the other prospective summits and signed with the Giants. “The things he was doing on the football field, you could tell they would translate,” Umenyiora told Barker. “He’s a tremendous athlete and once I saw his size, I thought he had a good chance. I don’t think it’s going to happen immediately, but I think he will develop into an outstanding receiver in the NFL. We’re not just talking about a special teams guy.”
- The Eagles may be thin at inside linebacker beyond their starters, but CSNPhilly.com’s Dave Zangaro doesn’t anticipate a Jim Schwartz–Brandon Spikes reunion. A quality run-stopper, Spikes played for Schwartz in 2014 with the Bills after four in New England, starting 49 games in five years. He’s been unattached since the Patriots released him in June 2015, and a hit-and-run incident resulted in Spikes being suspended for four games last season despite being unaffiliated with a team.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick has a three-year offer on the table from the Jets that will pay him $12MM in 2016. Check out the latest on the back-and-forth between Fitz and Gang Green.