Patriots coach Bill Belichick is known for finding diamonds in the rough. He’s turned MAC quarterback Julian Edelman into a star receiver, and made numerous other brilliant discoveries. The draft apparently isn’t the only place he looks for these unheralded gems, as Zach Cox of NESN.com pointed out in a recent interesting piece. The Patriots are holding joint practices with the Lions right now, and Cox points out that Belichick always uses these joint practices to scout the opposing team’s players for guys he might want to pick up when they’re later cut.
“From 2012 to 2017, New England participated in 11 rounds of joint practices with seven different opponents. In all 11 cases, at least one member of the opposing team went on to sign with the Patriots,” Cox writes. That’s a pretty incredible streak, and it shows that the Patriots are paying extremely close attention during these joint sessions. It’ll be interesting to see which current member of the Lions ends up signing with New England later this year.
Here’s more from the league’s eastern divisions:
- We’ve got the full details on Ryan Kalil‘s contract with the Jets, courtesy of Rich Cimini of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The one-year, $8.4MM pact includes a $3MM signing bonus, 2.4MM in base non-guaranteed salary, and a $3.4MM roster bonus. The total guarantee is just the $3MM signing bonus. Kalil recently came out of retirement, and the veteran center’s presence should be a huge boost to the rest of the offensive line and Sam Darnold‘s protection. Even though the majority of his money is non-guaranteed, it would take something truly shocking for him not to end up collecting it all.
- The Giants have had a brutal stretch of luck with their receivers. Just in the past few weeks, Corey Coleman tore his ACL, Sterling Shepard suffered a broken thumb, and Golden Tate was suspended for the first four games of the season. Shepard will likely be back for Week 1, but the options after him aren’t too appealing. As of right now it looks like Cody Latimer will be the second receiver to open the season, while Bennie Fowler will be the third, according to Matt Lombardo of NJ.com. Latimer is a former second-round pick of the Broncos who is looking to reinvent himself with the Giants. He spent last year in New York, catching 11 passes for 190 yards in only six games. Fowler is also a former Bronco who caught 16 balls for 199 yards in his first season with the Giants last year. Eli Manning (or Daniel Jones) won’t be in an easy situation when the season opens.
- In case you missed it, the Dolphins signed former Cardinals first-round pick Robert Nkemdiche