Patriots Mailbag: Potential Surprise Cuts Include 2015 Offensive Starters


Jun 17, 2016

The New England Patriots are going on a five-week break before training camp, and with it, the mailbag will go too.

This will be the last mailbag until training camp begins July 28, so let’s get into your questions.

@DougKyed safe bet Brissett’s contract means we’re not expecting to hang on to Jimmy G after this year?
— @vnyand
I wrote a little bit about this Thursday, but there are a ton of elements in play with the Patriots’ future quarterback situation.

Brady is 38, Garoppolo is 24 and Brissett is 23. Brady and Brissett are signed through 2019, while Garoppolo is signed through 2017.

If Brady’s four-game suspension holds, Garoppolo would be the Week 1 through 4 starter and, if he plays well, could be dealt to a QB-needy team. But if he plays really, really well, then it’s debatable whether trading him is the right move. He’s a young quarterback with tons of upside, and he already knows the Patriots’ offense. Brady still is playing like an elite quarterback, but he’s 38 and will be 40 when Garoppolo is hitting free agency. At some point, Brady will slow down, and the Patriots won’t want to be made to look stupid by trading away Garoppolo or letting him leave in free agency if he has the potential to be a top-tier quarterback.

Brissett signed a pretty standard contract for a third-round quarterback, so I don’t think his deal or selection precludes the Patriots from keeping or trading Garoppolo. Brissett is the Patriots’ future second-string quarterback. Whether he’s the heir apparent to Brady depends on how well Garoppolo plays if he ever gets the chance.

@DougKyed Name two surprise cuts no one is predicting.
— @isajuicymango
I don’t believe LeGarrette Blount or Bryan Stork are locks for the roster. How about that? I don’t think they’ll be cut, but I also don’t know if they’re locks.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Patriots signed or traded for another running back. Arian Foster and Knowshon Moreno are still out there, and there are guys who could be plucked off other rosters. That would leave Blount competing for a job.

I could see the Patriots keeping Bryan Stork and David Andrews, but if they think Joe Thuney can snap, they wouldn’t necessarily need to keep two centers.

@DougKyed what low key player do you feel has to make a big impact this year?
— @Keltenkoehler
Are there low key Patriots anymore? I think Chris Hogan, Jonathan Cooper, Justin Coleman and D.J. Foster could make an impact. I could see LaAdrian Waddle being a nice piece, as well.

I excluded him from my 53-man roster projection because of the Patriots’ depth at pass rusher, but I think Trey Flowers could be a nice pass rusher if given the opportunity.

@DougKyed who would be better, Gronk as a QB, or Brady as a TE?
— @mjmed11
I might go with Brady on this one. He would be undersized for a tight end, incapable of blocking and obviously doesn’t have standard athleticism for the position, but he has great hands. Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan said last year he wouldn’t be surprised if Brady has the best hands on the team just because he has to handle the ball so frequently. He also constantly has to catch shotgun snaps.

Gronkowski would be a bugger to drag down, and he would be among the NFL’s most athletic quarterbacks, but can he make the necessary throws? We know Brady can catch. We don’t know if Gronk can deliver an accurate strike 20 yards down the field. I’m taking Brady the tight end. He does have two career receptions for 59 yards.

@DougKyed what do you plan on doing for vacation? (Mailbag)
— @JJGSoldier
I recently bought a house, so I’ll mostly be doing chores. But, I’m also going to L.A., and I’ll probably head down the Cape at some point. I’ll mostly be eating ice cream and pizza, though.

@DougKyed do you use a fannypack when traveling for vacation
— @DannDeMaina
Nah, I’m not a pro wrestler from the mid-90s.

@DougKyed Predictions for the first four games, assuming Brady’s suspension holds?
— @T_Byrd57
I think they’ll lose to the Arizona Cardinals on the road in Week 1 then come back home and beat the Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans and Buffalo Bills. And I think Garoppolo will play well.

@DougKyed With an open roster spot do you think they sign some one soon or what closer to training camp?
— @HoughtonJustin
Since they didn’t sign someone this week for OTAs, I’m going to guess they’ll sign someone closer to training camp. I could see them signing a safety or a running back.

@DougKyed who you think will win Uefa Euro and Copa America Centenario?
— @erick_perdigao
Let’s go with England and the good ol’ US of A.

@DougKyed who wins the NBA Finals?
— @NewEnglandSBLI

@DougKyed Which new Patriot are you most excited to be covering this camp?
— @TeamCrazyMatt
Based on play, I’ll go with Chris Hogan. I’m excited to see what he adds to the offense. Based on media availability, I’ll say Chris Long. He was great on the “Pardon My Take” podcast and seems to be a funny guy. Martellus Bennett and Terrance Knighton should be fun, too.

@DougKyed Do you think Develin might not make the roster in favor of an extra WR or DB? I love him, but I feel like he could be replaced.
— @mattstdream
I wouldn’t consider him a lock for the roster. The Patriots could use Clay Harbor as a fullback when needed. I think Develin makes the cut, however. The Patriots missed having a solid lead blocker last year, and Brady loves him.

@DougKyed Gronk and Bennett Over/Under 17 Combined recieving TDs?
— @avery_patsfan
Take the over.

@DougKyed do you feel pressure to have a negative slant from other media members? It’s clearly a trend. Discussed today on enough about me
— @ryanmassey
Nah, I’m a beat reporter, and I cover the Patriots, who are annually very, very, very good. It wouldn’t be honest for me to constantly have a negative slant. I’ll be negative when it’s needed, and it has been at times (the decision to start Jordan Devey in 2014 rings a bell), but otherwise my job is mostly to report the news while sprinkling in my opinion. I can’t do the trolling thing. It’s just not in my blood. I’d feel like a liar.

@DougKyed Which patriots player will lead in the team in sacks this season?
— @avery_patsfan
Jabaal Sheard.

@DougKyed Will M. Bennett get some play in single TE sets just to reduce mileage on Gronk? #mailbag
— @MrQuindazzi
I could definitely see the Patriots doing that, especially if he proves to be effective right away. The Patriots are handling Gronkowski with kid gloves this offseason, and I could see that continuing into the season, as well.

@DougKyed are you going to buy an iPhone 7?
— @isajuicymango
I sure am.

@DougKyed debit or credit?
— @Jason__Barr
Credit. Gotta earn those rewards points.

@DougKyed What’s the benefit of joint practices?
— @isajuicymango
It’s a good test. The Patriots will have been practicing against themselves for nearly two weeks by the time joint practices with the New Orleans Saints begin, and that becomes not only monotonous but also redundant. The hitting and competition gets a little more intense against another squad.

@DougKyed predictions for Money In The Bank this Sunday?
— @FromDa401
Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin
— Corbin I guess?

Apollo Crews vs. Sheamus
— Crews I guess?

Charlotte and Dana Brooke vs. Natalya and Becky Lynch
— Charlotte and Dana Brooke. Can Sasha Banks return soon?

Rusev vs. Titus O’Neil (WWE United States Championship)
— Rusev. Not big on this rivalry, but I like Rusev being dominant once again.

The New Day vs. The Club vs. Enzo and Big Cass vs. The Vaudvillains (WWE Tag Team Championship)
— The Club. I think it’s time for The New Day to drop the belts, and Enzo and Cass don’t need them yet.

A.J. Styles vs. John Cena
— A.J. Styles with help from Finn Balor (please, please, please, please).

Sami Zayn vs. Chris Jericho vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens vs. Alberto Del Rio (Money in the Bank)
— I want Kevin Owens, but let’s go with Dean Ambrose. Del Rio and Jericho are nightmare scenarios.

Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
— Seth Rollins. It’s time to give up on Reigns.

Thumbnail photo via Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports Images

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