Isaiah Wynn

AFC East Notes: Gronk, Patriots, Jets

Three-time Super Bowl Champ and new FOX Sports Analyst Rob Gronkowski has left open the possibility of a return at some point, while Robert Kraft also seemed to welcome a potential return while speaking on FOX this past Thursday. However, the timing could be tough for any return this season, relays Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.

Per NFL contract rules, Gronkowski would have to apply for reinstatement by December 7th, before the Patriots’ week 14 matchup against the Chiefs, to be eligible to play at all in the 2019 regular season or postseason. He is currently on the league’s reserve /retired list, and there are specific regulations that apply to his situation, since he was placed on that roster designation prior to the start of training camp.

According to a league source, La Canfora goes on to state that a player on the reserve/retired list who requested reinstatement prior to the trade deadline, which is October 29th of this season, would have to be granted that opportunity. If a player on the reserve/retired list requested reinstatement after the deadline but up until the last business day prior to the club’s 13th game, the team would have the option of accepting or declining the request. Certainly, the Patriots would welcome back Gronkowski with open arms if he elected to return at any point this season.

Here’s more from the Patriots and AFC East:

  • Despite the Antonio Brown issues, the return of both 2019 first-round pick wide receiver N’Keal Harry and 2018 first-round pick tackle Isaiah Wynn from injured reserve may might turn out to be the most important “acquisitions” of all, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss. Harry, who injured his leg in the preseason and was placed on IR on September 2nd, is eligible to begin practicing this week. If the Patriots “start the clock” on him, Harry would be eligible to play for the first time November 3rd against the Ravens. Wynn was placed on IR with a foot/toe injury on September 17th, so he’s not eligible to begin practicing until October 26th and couldn’t play until after their bye week November 17th against the Eagles. He’s the team’s best left tackle, and it isn’t very close. On Friday, he was seen attending regular meetings with his fellow linemen.
  • Despite much maligned Jets quarterback Luke Falk being waived this week, he gets paid for the week based on the timing, and according to Jason Fitzgerald of the Sporting News, he would not be stunned if he is back on the practice squad or active roster next week. Fitzgerald speculates that the Jets did not want Falk active this week in the event Sam Darnold was unable to play, due to negative fan reception. The Jets opted to bring back David Fales to back up Darnold today against the Cowboys.

AFC Notes: Ramsey, Wynn, Conner, Brady

Coach Doug Marrone confirmed at Jalen Ramsey will play for the Jaguars on Thursday Night Football, as Tiffany Blackmon of NFL Network relays (Twitter link).

“Jalen and I have always had a good open relationship,” Marrone said. “…we sat down yesterday and talked about what went on with him and I… that’s behind us right now…”

Blackmon adds that Ramsey is focused on the game against the Titans. It was reported earlier today that the team may be targeting Friday as the ideal time to trade the cornerback. While we await to see if Ramsey ends up elsewhere, let’s take a look at some notes from the AFC:

  • With LT Isaiah Wynn on injured reserve with a toe injury, the Patriots may move starting LG Joe Thuney to the tackle spot, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes. Wynn isn’t eligible to return for another eight weeks but it’s possible he finds his way back on the field at that point.
  • James Conners knee injury doesn’t appear to be serious, Jeff Hathhorn of 93.7 The Fan relays (Twitter link). Conner expects to play for the Steelers this Sunday.
  • Tom Brady is dealing with a “minor” calf ailment, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com passes along on Twitter. Brady was limited today in practice, though there’s been no indication that his status for the Patriots’ game this week is in jeopardy.

Patriots To Place T Isaiah Wynn On IR

For the second straight year, Isaiah Wynn will end up on IR. The Patriots will shut down their left tackle starter for the time being, with Field Yates reporting (via Twitter) the foot injury he suffered in Week 2 will result in an IR stay.

Wynn, who missed all of his rookie season, will be out at least eight weeks. The Pats signed former Buccaneers starter Caleb Benenoch earlier Tuesday, and he will end up taking Wynn’s roster spot.

The 2018 first-round pick left New England’s Week 2 shutout in Miami due to turf toe. Benenoch is the latest new face on the Pats’ front. They made three preseason trades for offensive linemen and turned to newcomers Korey Cunningham and Marshall Newhouse in place of Wynn. The Pats lost Marcus Cannon to a Week 1 injury; he missed Week 2. Now they’ll have to get by without Wynn. The defending Super Bowl champions are already without center David Andrews for the season.

Even though they won Super Bowl LIII without Wynn’s services, the Pats no longer have Trent Brown as an insurance policy. Some lower-profile veterans will now be charged with protecting Tom Brady‘s blind side. While offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia has proven repeatedly to be able to construct high-end blocking groups, this will be his latest challenge.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Notes: Williams, Wynn, Brady

Trent Williams to the Patriots? Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter) says Pats fans shouldn’t hold their breath. As Yates notes, the Redskins tackle seemed like a fit just a couple of weeks ago, but left tackle Isaiah Wynn is progressing in his recovery and Dan Skipper is getting significant reps in the interim. Meanwhile, as ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss (on Twitter) points out, Cole Croston is also back in the mix.

While you contemplate Williams’ next destination, here’s more from New England:

  • More from Reiss, who breaks down Wynn’s road to recovery from a torn Achilles suffered one year ago. He also touches on Skipper, who offers prototypical size at 6’9″, 310 pounds.
  • The Patriots sent a conditional 2020 seventh-round pick to the Falcons (originally from the Eagles) in the Eric Saubert trade, Howard Balzer tweets. It’s an extremely low-cost deal for the Pats, who might have found a new blocking tight end to fortify their group.
  • Superstar quarterback Tom Brady is still looking to play until the age of 45.

Patriots Notes: Thomas, Michel, Gronk, Wynn

Demaryius Thomas is not a lock to make the Patriots’ 53-man roster and may well begin the season on the reserve/PUP list. The Patriots started that process Sunday by placing the Pro Bowl wide receiver on their active/PUP list, which applies to players not healthy enough to begin participating in training camp. The Pats used the same designation for Sony Michel, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Michel will certainly be part of the 2019 Patriots and is recovering from offseason knee surgery. Thomas tore an Achilles in December, joining longtime receiver teammate Emmanuel Sanders in that regard. The latter, however, is further along in his recovery, having not started Broncos camp on the PUP list.

Here is the latest out of New England:

  • Patriots third-round pick Yodny Cajuste underwent quadriceps surgery before the draft and landed on the defending Super Bowl champions’ reserve/NFI list, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com tweets. As is the case with the active/PUP list, players can come off this list at any point during camp. Cajuste figures to mix in as a swing option for the Patriots as a rookie.
  • If Rob Gronkowski does follow through on a comeback, might the Patriots be wise to assure him blocking responsibilities will be limited? While the future Hall of Famer was a plus blocker for his position, Jim McBride of the Boston Globe suggests the Pats use Gronk as a hybrid-type player that does not have the same kind of in-line role he previously held. The 30-year-old icon has slimmed down this offseason, one that has reportedly not featured much in the way of strength work.
  • Deatrich Wise and Nate Ebner will join Thomas and Michel on the Pats’ active/PUP list, Reiss tweets. A third-year defensive end, Wise has not missed a game in two seasons.
  • Isaiah Wynn, however, will not appear on the Pats’ active/PUP list, Reiss adds (via Twitter). The 2018 first-round pick missed all of his rookie season due to a torn Achilles’ tendon. Suffering the injury before last season began, Wynn is expected to suit up when the Patriots convene for their 2019 camp and line up as New England’s starting left tackle.
  • The Pats do not appear to have an open spot at quarterback, with Reiss noting Brian Hoyer will stick as Tom Brady‘s top backup and rookie Jarrett Stidham is likely assured of a roster spot as the team’s latest developmental QB project. This puts 2018 seventh-round pick Danny Etling on the verge of again falling short of a spot on the team’s active roster. But he may have an outside shot as a Taysom Hill-like role, per Reiss. While the Purdue and LSU alum never rushed for more than 200 yards in a season in college, Reiss points to his 86-yard touchdown run during 2018 preseason play as a sign this outside-the-box notion could work. The Patriots probably aren’t too eager to take Brady off the field, however.

Patriots Notes: Gordon, Berrios, Wynn

A WR depth chart topped by Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry, and Josh Gordon could make Patriots quarterback Tom Brady quite happy, but Gordon’s status obviously remains uncertain. Jim McBride of the Boston Globe writes that it would make sense for Roger Goodell to lift Gordon’s indefinite suspension and reinstate the troubled wideout in time for training camp, especially in light of the commissioner’s statement that he wants to get Gordon back on the playing field. After all, the nurturing environment and structured routine of training camp would theoretically be good for Gordon and may allow him to continue to keep his personal demons at bay.

There have been no reports suggesting that Gordon has actually applied for reinstatement, but there were earlier indications that the NFLPA may begin to “lay groundwork” for his return in May, and that there was a chance he could return by training camp. As of right now, though, Gordon is still in a holding pattern.

Let’s round up several more items from the defending champs:

  • Speaking of wide receivers, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com believes 2018 sixth-rounder Braxton Berrios will crack the 53-man roster and could give the Patriots the type of Danny Amendola-like slot option that Brady loves. On the heels of a strong performance this spring, Berrios, who spent his entire rookie season on IR, has already arrived at the team’s facility well in advance of training camp. His chances of making the team are enhanced by his ability to return punts.
  • Both Reiss and McBride discuss the importance of Isaiah Wynn, who is expected to become the Patriots’ starting left tackle in 2019. Like Berrios, Wynn missed all of his rookie season due to injury, though all reports this year have suggested that he would be ready for training camp. Per McBride, the coaching staff has been pleased with Wynn’s progress in the mental aspect of the game, and Wynn says he physically feels ready to go. However, Reiss says the 2018 first-rounder could still open camp on the PUP list.
  • The Patriots stayed out of the supplemental draft for the 20th year in a row, though Reiss suggests the team could have been intrigued by safety Jalen Thompson (who was the only player to be selected this year). But surrendering a 2020 mid-round selection to add to a position group that already has quite a lot of depth just did not make sense for New England.
  • Gil Brandt of NFL.com examines the best fits for some of the top remaining free agents, and he believes the Patriots would make the perfect landing spot for DE Allen Bailey. New England did meet with Bailey back in March, and the 30-year-old fits the profile of the type of versatile D-lineman that the Pats have a history of signing on the cheap.

Patriots OL Isaiah Wynn Expected To Be Ready For Training Camp

The Patriots are coming off yet another Super Bowl win, but they had a lot of turnover from last year’s roster. Notably, they lost left tackle Trent Brown in free agency, so they’ll have someone new protecting Tom Brady‘s blindside in 2019.

By all accounts, that’s supposed to be second-year player Isaiah Wynn. The Patriots drafted Wynn in the first round last year, but he missed his entire rookie season due to a torn Achilles he suffered during the preseason. He appears to be on track for the season, as sources told Jeff Howe of The Athletic that “is expected to be ready for training camp.” Achilles injuries can be very tricky, so that’s good to hear.

Howe also adds that Wynn has already begun running at full speed, which is another good sign. Recently we heard that the Patriots were preparing left guard Joe Thuney to play some tackle if Wynn wasn’t ready. It sounds like he will be though, and the Pats will need him. After Jared Veldheer retired during OTAs, New England was suddenly left very thin at tackle.

The 23rd overall pick of last year’s draft, Wynn was a standout at Georgia. He earned a first-team All-SEC selection in 2017, and had been competing for a starting job before going down with the Achilles injury. The Patriots have often shuffled around their offensive line in front of Brady, and this will be their third straight year with a new left tackle.

Nate Solder left in free agency following the 2017 season, which prompted them to bring in Brown. They have one of the league’s best offensive line coaches in Dante Scarnecchia, and things have always seemed to work out fine no matter who they throw in there. It’ll be very interesting to watch Wynn during preseason action to see how he holds up, although they may not want to push him too much.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Jets, Patriots, Mayo, Bills

While it is not known when the Jets will make their GM decision, they do appear to be done interviewing candidates. The four executives the Jets spoke toJoe Douglas (Eagles), Scott Fitterer (Seahawks), Champ Kelly (Bears) and Terry Fontenot (Saints) — remain in contention, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets (video link) the team has since discussed salary expectations with the candidates. These follow-up talks occurred Tuesday night, per ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). The favorite since this process started, Douglas has not done anything to remove himself from that perch, but Fitterer has gained steam after a strong interview, Rapoport adds.

These meetings may have also been for the benefit of the candidates, with Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News tweeting multiple interviewees are concerned about the Jets’ atypical ownership situation. CEO Christopher Johnson is working in brother Woody Johnson‘s place, with the latter having accepted an ambassador position with the Trump administration. Woody Johnson will sign off on this GM pick, Mehta adds.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • A Patriots contingency plan for if presumptive left tackle Isaiah Wynn is not ready: perhaps Joe Thuney sliding over one spot. The Patriots’ fourth-year left guard worked with their first-string offense at left tackle Wednesday, according to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe (subscription required). Brian Schwenke and Ted Karras have been rotating at left guard during Pats minicamp. A 2016 third-round pick, Thuney has started every game at left guard since entering the league. Wynn, a 2018 first-rounder who tore his Achilles’ tendon during camp last year, is not yet ready for team drills.
  • Bill Belichick is expected to call Patriots defensive plays this season, but the team is using minicamp to try out some other possibilities. First-year full-time assistant Jerod Mayo was calling Pats plays for a second straight day at minicamp, according to Howe. The Patriots hired their former linebacker as assistant inside ‘backers coach this offseason, and Howe adds the 33-year-old calling plays during the season is now a “serious possibility.”
  • Quinnen Williams sustained a calf injury recently and will be limited for the rest of Jets minicamp, Adam Gase said (via Mehta), calling it a scare. However, the No. 3 overall pick is expected to resume full work when the team, interestingly, holds another OTA session next week.
  • Former Buccaneers seventh-round pick Stevie Tu’ikolovatu worked out for the Bills on Wednesday, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com tweets. The former USC defensive tackle has not played since being drafted, with injuries keeping him off the field.
  • One of the Dolphins‘ 18 priority free agent signings hit the waiver wire Tuesday. The Dolphins parted ways with cornerback Tyler Horton (Boise State) via left-squad designation, veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer notes (on Twitter).

Patriots Notes: Gordon, Gronk, Slater, Jones

The Patriots will end up getting a 2019 seventh-round pick out of the Josh Gordon trade, per Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. It was initially reported that New England sent a fifth-round pick to Cleveland in exchange for Gordon, and that a seventh-rounder would be coming back to the Pats if Gordon was unable to play 10 games with the club in 2018. Although Gordon ended up playing 11 games for New England before being suspended again, Reiss says the 10-game condition was lifted and that the Patriots will get the 29th pick in the seventh round.

Now for more news and notes from the Super Bowl champs:

  • Tight end Rob Gronkowski has been at Gillette Stadium multiple times over the last couple of weeks, and while he may only be there to continue treatment on his thigh, Reiss believes Gronk’s presence is reflective of the good relationship between him and the team at the moment and of Gronkowski’s overall positive feelings towards the Patriots. Although he may still retire, his current state of mind is good news for Pats fans who would like to see him back in 2019.
  • Matthew Slater is due a $400K roster bonus on March 13, and assuming he is still on the roster at that point, the team’s 2019 option — which calls for a $1.6MM base salary — will be automatically exercised. Reiss believes that is a reasonable price for a special teams ace like Slater, and that the 33-year-old will be back in Foxborough next season.
  • Reiss also believes tight end Dwayne Allen could be back, as the team admires his professionalism and work ethic, but he will obviously need to accept a pay cut; he is due a $6.4MM base salary in 2019.
  • Cornerback Jonathan Jones proved his value to the Patriots in this year’s playoffs, and he is eligible for restricted free agency in March. As Reiss observes, the Patriots could tender him at the second-round level, which would entitle him to a salary of $3.1MM, or at the low level, which calls for a $2MM salary. But if they go with the latter option, they risk losing Jones without getting any draft compensation in return, so Reiss suggests that the two sides could explore a long-term deal before free agency opens.
  • Zack Cox of NESN.com believes LT Trent Brown will get a contract on the free agent market that the Patriots cannot compete with, and that the team will need to turn to 2018 first-rounder Isaiah Wynn to replace him. Wynn, of course, missed his entire rookie campaign due to a torn Achilles he suffered last preseason.
  • Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels received only tepid interest on the head coaching market this year, but Ben Volin of the Boston Globe says McDaniels’ excellent work in engineering the Patriots’ Super Bowl run will put him firmly back on the HC radar in 2020.
  • The Patriots have once again surfaced as a potential home for Colin Kaepernick.

Patriots Make Roster Cuts

The Patriots are the latest team to move to 53 players by making the following transactions:

Placed on injured reserve:

Cut:

New England kept only three true wide receivers on its initial roster, meaning the club will almost surely be searching for more options on the waiver wire.