The Patriots have been linked to multiple impact receivers during Combine week. In addition to including their No. 32 overall pick in a package for Brandin Cooks, mutual interest between the Pats and Brandon Marshall exists, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter). The Jets cut Marshall earlier this week, a move Marshall sought after declining an extension to stay on a rebuilding team. Entering his 12th year and age-33 season, Marshall should generate interest, and the Patriots’ penchant for street free agents that don’t affect the compensatory pick formula makes this a potential situation to monitor. Marshall going 11 seasons without a playoff appearance does as well.
New England has its top four wideouts under contract for 2017, although Danny Amendola‘s $7.7MM cap hit is probably untenable at this point. The Patriots want the veteran back at a reduced rate. Marshall also has a connection to the Patriots, who employ former Broncos HC Josh McDaniels as offensive coordinator. However, McDaniels traded Marshall to the Dolphins in 2010 after one season with the then-mercurial wideout. During that ’09 slate, Marshall drew an insubordination suspension during the preseason and saw McDanniels bench him for a game later that year.
Here’s more from the AFC.
- Martellus Bennett wants to test the market, but the Patriots would like him to return. Their top competition could come from fellow AFCers, with the Raiders and Jaguars interested in the veteran tight end, Volin tweets. Jacksonville just unloaded underwhelming UFA signing Julius Thomas, and the Raiders haven’t seen much from Clive Walford yet. Former starter Mychal Rivera is a free agent. Bennett and Jared Cook reside as the top tight ends on the market.
- Shad Khan bringing Tom Coughlin back to Jacksonville in a front office role will affect GM Dave Caldwell, but the Jaguars’ former top decision-maker will still have input. Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com compares the rearranged Jags front office to the ones in Miami and Atlanta, with three men dividing up power. “Surprisingly enough, through the whole process and having an idea that this was going to happen, you kind of think, ‘How’s this going to work?’ But Tom has been great,” said Caldwell, who’s entering his fifth season as Jags GM. “It’s been great to be able to walk down the hallway and bounce some things off of him: ‘Hey we’re going to do this; we’re going to do that. What do you think about this? What do you think about that?’ And then we sit together with he, I and Doug [Marrone] and we come together on a collective decision.”
- Myles Jack is expected to move to middle linebacker next season, Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union reports. If that comes to fruition, Paul Posluszny would slide to strong-side ‘backer. This season represents the final year on Posluszny’s contract. He loomed as a cut candidate, but nothing’s surfaced about a potential release thus far this offseason. The 32-year-old has started for six seasons in Jacksonville. He’s due a $3.95MM base salary and will collected a $500K roster bonus if he remains with the Jags by the fifth day of the 2017 league year.
- Mentioning DeSean Jackson and Kenny Stills being set to see “huge” contract offers, DraftAnalyst.com’s Tony Pauline included Robert Woods in this category. Woods hasn’t produced on the level of Stills or Jackson, with season-best receiving totals of 699 yards and five touchdowns (in 2014). But the former USC talent is still just 24 and hasn’t played with the kind of quarterbacks, from a passing standpoint, with the Bills that most of his UFA receiving peers have. His market could be difficult to determine as a result.
- The Chiefs added another assistant coach, bringing first-timer Terry Brandon into the fold. He will work as a defensive assistant, Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star reports. Brandon will make quite the jump, moving from graduate assistant at Bethune-Cookman to a job as an NFL staffer.