New England Patriots Rumors & News

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/19/17

Here are the latest reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2017 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters:

New England Patriots

New York Giants

  • K Aldrick Rosas

San Diego Chargers

  • WR Da’Ron Brown
  • WR Jamaal Jones

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Latest On Josh McDaniels' Future

Earlier this week, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels pulled himself out of the race to become San Francisco’s head coach. It turns out he might be content to remain an assistant in New England until head coach Bill Belichick retires, at which point he would potentially take over, says Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). There are no indications the 64-year-old Belichick is pondering retirement, however, and Cole adds that McDaniels could leave the Pats after next season if either Tennessee or Detroit fires its head coach. McDaniels’ goal is to work with a general manager with “strong personnel skills,” per Cole, and he’s familiar with both Titans GM Jon Robinson and the Lions’ Bob Quinn. Those two were longtime members of New England’s front office before departing for their current jobs last offseason.

NFLPA Announces Cap Carryover Amounts

The NFL Players Association has announced all 32 teams’ salary cap carryover amounts for the 2017 season (Twitter link). Next season’s cap figure isn’t yet known, but it’s likely to be in the $165MM range. When that becomes official, it can be added to each team’s carryover amount to determine that club’s official spending room for 2017.

Here are this year’s carryover totals:

  1. Cleveland Browns: $50,123,269
  2. Jacksonville Jaguars: $39,314,310
  3. San Francisco 49ers: $38,708,916
  4. Tennessee Titans: $24,046,522
  5. Washington Redskins: $15,055,131
  6. Carolina Panthers: $13,208,020
  7. Miami Dolphins: $8,363,708
  8. Chicago Bears: $8,103,197
  9. Oakland Raiders: $8,000,000
  10. Green Bay Packers: $7,984,687
  11. Philadelphia Eagles: $7,933,869
  12. Denver Broncos: $7,243,248
  13. Indianapolis Colts: $6,614,106
  14. Cincinnati Bengals: $6,578,866
  15. New Orleans Saints: $5,754,000
  16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $5,330,779
  17. New England Patriots: $5,292,335
  18. Kansas City Chiefs: $5,002,168
  19. Houston Texans: $4,935,924
  20. Detroit Lions: $4,725,644
  21. Arizona Cardinals: $4,405,068
  22. Pittsburgh Steelers: $3,269,367
  23. Buffalo Bills: $2,837,222
  24. Baltimore Ravens: $2,553,126
  25. Dallas Cowboys: $2,401,553
  26. Seattle Seahawks: $2,065,865
  27. New York Giants: $1,800,000
  28. Atlanta Falcons: $926,541
  29. Minnesota Vikings: $400,184
  30. New York Jets: $371,487
  31. Los Angeles Rams: $304,311
  32. Los Angeles Chargers: $113,693

Latest On 49ers’ Head Coaching Vacancy

The 49ers are the final NFL club still searching for a new head coach, and they’ve likely narrowed their hunt down to three candidates: Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, and Seahawks OL/assistant head coach Tom Cable, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Josh McDaniels (vertical)

[RELATED: 2017 Head Coaching Search Tracker]

Cable will interview for the position today, while both Shanahan and McDaniels were already granted permission to meet with 49ers management given that their respective clubs had earned first-round playoff byes. As Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, the key factor in San Francisco’s favor is time — because all the other head coaching jobs have been filled, the Niners have no incentive to rush to find their next coach.

Now that the Seahawks have been eliminated, Cable is free to interview at any time going forward, while Shanahan and McDaniels would each be allowed to interview during the week between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl. Of course, if either Atlanta or New England is eliminated next week, Shanahan and McDaniels could interview freely on their own schedule.

The 49ers, of course, are also the only NFL team looking for a new general manager after parting ways with Trent Baalke. San Francisco has interviewed a number of candidates, including ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, for the position. Riddick would likely come to the Bay Area as package deal with McDaniels, who was said to view the 49ers as his preferred destination.

However, McDaniels has expressed some reticence about leaving New England for the 49ers, sources tell Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. While McDaniels can likely have the San Francisco job if he wants it, and has reportedly already been identifying prospective staff members around the NFL, the Patriots OC is worried about moving his family across the country for what could turn out to be a short stay (given the 49ers’ recent track record of firing coaches).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Malcolm Mitchell Could Play Next Week

The Patriots were able to survive last night’s playoff matchup with the underdog Texans, but New England’s offense was uncharacteristically sluggish and the 34-16 final score did not tell the full story. Luckily for the Pats, however, rookie wideout Malcolm Mitchell could be returning for the AFC Championship Game next week. Per Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald (via Twitter), there is “strong optimism” that Mitchell could be back for the game that could catapult New England to yet another Super Bowl appearance.

Dec 4, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell (19) is tackled by Los Angeles Rams defensive back Michael Jordan (35) during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

[RELATED: Josh McDaniels Prefers 49ers’ HC Job]

Mitchell, who was selected in the fourth round of this year’s draft, put together a nice rookie season, catching 32 passes for 401 yards and four touchdowns. He demonstrated an early aptitude in grasping New England’s unique offensive scheme, and he was able to carry that success into the regular season.

However, Mitchell suffered a knee injury in the team’s Week 16 contest against the Jets and was inactive for the Week 17 tilt against the Dolphins. After being limited in practice in the week leading up to last night’s divisional round playoff game, Mitchell was officially deactivated prior to kickoff. Newly-acquired Michael Floyd saw a pass bounce off his hands for an interception last night–although the throw was not an especially good one–so Mitchell, who has established a strong rapport with Tom Brady, could take back some of the slot receiver snaps that Floyd has enjoyed in Mitchell’s absence.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Nick Caserio Declines 49ers GM Interview

The Patriots look set to retain player personnel director Nick Caserio despite earlier reports of 49ers interest. The longtime New England staffer turned down an interview request from the 49ers, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports.

San Francisco representatives interviewed Patriots OC Josh McDaniels earlier today, and a report emerged previously the 40-year-old play-caller viewed the 49ers’ job as his top option compared to the Rams’ or Jaguars’ positions. But Caserio declining this opportunity could throw some cold water on that. The 40-year-old McDaniels and 41-year-old Caserio are close, going back to their days playing football at John Carroll University.

Florio, though, notes Caserio turning down an interview could lead to the 49ers offering McDaniels more power. The reporter adds that Caserio, who interviewed with the Dolphins in 2014, hasn’t shown serious interest in leaving New England despite not having final say over the Patriots’ 53-man roster — a responsibility Bill Belichick has long since possessed.

The 49ers remain connected to several candidates for their GM vacancy, but the Caserio road appears to have hit a dead end.

ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, Colts VP of football operations Jimmy Raye III, Panthers assistant GM Brandon Beane, Packers director of football operations Eliot Wolf and Vikings assistant GM George Paton represent the other candiates for the 49ers’ GM position. Raye will interview with the team on Sunday.

Nick Caserio/49ers Summit Not On Tap?

The 49ers‘ summit with Josh McDaniels occurred today, but the team did not meet with Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio, whom it was curious about pairing with the 40-year-old coach. A Caserio/49ers summit — one the team requested — did not appear on the San Francisco brass’ docket, either because the Patriots denied an interview request or Caserio turned down the offer, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee notes.

A Patriots staffer since 2001, Caserio was a college teammate of McDaniels’ at John Carroll University. The longtime Patriots employee is signed through 2020 and interviewed for the Dolphins’ GM job in 2014. He makes approximately $2MM per year, Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reports, adding that a 49ers job could interest the 41-year-old personnel man.

Howe notes the 49ers are hoping to bring Caserio aboard as their GM, writing interview requests will continue to come his way due to the Patriots’ success and his current job title permitting those requests. ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, Colts VP of football operations Jimmy Raye III, Panthers assistant GM Brandon Beane, Packers director of football operations Elliot Wolf and Vikings assistant GM George Paton represent the other candiates for the 49ers’ GM position. Raye will interview with the team on Sunday.

Josh McDaniels Prefers 49ers’ HC Job

Contingents from the 49ers, Jaguars and Rams will travel to Massachusetts on Saturday to interview Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels regarding their head coaching vacancies. Of the teams courting McDaniels, the 49ers interest him the most, a source told Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Josh McDaniels (vertical)

The Niners are enticing to McDaniels for several reasons, including CEO Jed York’s willingness to patiently rebuild, according to Branch. The club is also looking for a general manager, and it could land one who’s already on good terms with McDaniels if it tabs ESPN analyst Louis Riddick or Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio. The 49ers will meet with Riddick next week, though it’s unclear whether they’ll speak with Caserio.

McDaniels, who will spend the next month vying for his fifth Super Bowl ring as an assistant, already has prior head coaching experience. That stint, which lasted from 2009-10 with the Broncos, included a mere 11 wins in 28 games. However, the 40-year-old offensive guru has rebuilt his stock since returning to the Patriots in 2012.

If McDaniels does depart New England again for a head coaching job, the 49ers would ostensibly be a logical choice. While the franchise has plummeted to the league’s cellar since parting with Jim Harbaugh after the 2014 season, it’s in position to rebound with 11 picks – including No. 2 overall – in this year’s draft and the most cap space in the NFC. San Francisco probably doesn’t have an answer at quarterback on its roster, especially if Colin Kaepernick opts out of his contract, but the new GM and McDaniels could perhaps find one in the draft or even swing a trade for Pats backup Jimmy Garoppolo.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vince Wilfork Mulling Retirement

Texans nose tackle Vince Wilfork is preparing for the team’s wild-card round game against the Raiders on Saturday, but he’s also contemplating his future in the NFL. The 13th-year man revealed Tuesday that he could retire after the season.

Vince Wilfork

“I’ve been thinking about it,” Wilfork said (via Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com). “I’m not saying I will do it, and I’m not saying that I won’t do it. But it’s definitely not off the table.”

The 35-year-old Wilfork just wrapped up a regular season in which he started in all 15 appearances and finished second among Texans defensive linemen in snaps (507). However, the 325-pounder’s overall performance didn’t draw rave reviews from Pro Football Focus, which ranked him 99th among 123 qualified interior defenders. Wilfork was a much more imposing presence as a member of the Patriots from 2004-14, earning five Pro Bowl nods and winning a pair of Super Bowls during that span.

Wilfork, who entered the league as a first-round pick from Miami, left New England in March 2015 to sign a two-year deal with the Texans. That contract will expire after the season, so Wilfork’s career might not continue in Houston even if he does return in 2017. In the meantime, he’ll spend the coming weeks trying to earn a third Super Bowl ring.

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Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coaching Rumors: Lynn, 49ers, McDaniels

The latest news on the league’s coaching vacancies:

  • For a complete rundown of every interview scheduled for the teams in search of a new coach, check out PFR’s 2017 NFL Head Coaching Tracker.
  • Anthony Lynn‘s interview with the 49ers will take place today (Wednesday), according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).
  • Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will interview with the Rams, Jaguars, and 49ers all on the same day, Ben Volin of The Boston Globe writes. McDaniels will huddle up with all three teams on Saturday in separate rooms at a hotel near Gilette Stadium. Those three teams will be permitted to interview McDaniels again in the week after the AFC title game, if the Pats make it to the Super Bowl.
  • The Chargers won’t force assistants on a new head coach, but they value their offensive staff, Rapoport tweets. There’s a good chance offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and his fellow offensive coaches stay put.
  • The Broncos are expected to talk to Lynn at some point and will interview Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph as soon as the rules allow, Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin is scheduled to meet with the Rams on Thursday and the Bills on Saturday, Josina Anderson of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Chiefs special teams coach Dave Toub will interview with the Broncos on Friday and then he has the Chargers on Sunday, Rapoport tweets.