Sunday, March 16, 2014

Day 350: Patriots Sign Edelman and Two Brandons

Geez, I go away for the weekend and what happens? The Patriots start signing guys left and right. And here I was up in the boonies with no laptop! Oh well... more good news out of Foxboro so I guess that's the important thing.

When I heard that Julian Edelman was meeting with the San Francisco 49ers, I broke out into a cold sweat. I had horrible visions of a repeat of last off-season when Tom Brady's favorite target, Wes Welker, left the New England Patriots for a Rocky Mountain high. Edelman had taken over Welker's role as that pesky slot receiver that Brady just loved to hit over the middle. They couldn't lose Edelman too. He caught 105 passes which was the fourth most in the NFL last season, and led the NFL with 53 catches over the final six games of the regular season.

But fear not, there won't be another Welker drama. The Patriots and Julian Edelman agreed to a new contract on Saturday, but as it stands right now, the details of the deal have not been made public. I thought I saw somewhere that it was a three-year deal but I can't actually confirm that anywhere and I possibly just made that up. Who cares... I'm just happy they got a deal done and we're not faced with another situation.

I reported in Friday's post that there were rumors that the Pats were interested in signing Seattle Seahawks corner, Brandon Browner—a recent member of that Legion of Boom thingy. Those rumors are now the truth. New England signed the former Seahawk on Saturday to a reported three-year, $17.5 million contract. Browner, who just came off a Super Bowl Championship season, will be serving a suspension to start the 2014 season for violating the league's substance abuse policy. But all in all, he seems pleased with the opportunity to play in New England.
Today, I am proud to announce that I am a New England Patriot. I am honored that the Patriots are making me part of their legendary organization, and am grateful for the opportunity Mr. Kraft, Coach Belichick, Nick Caserio and the entire team have given me. I intend to diligently work with the same passion and dedication that I have displayed since coming into the NFL to uphold the great traditions and qualities that are embodied by the Patriots. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the Seattle Seahawks for giving a CFL player the once in-a-lifetime opportunity to return to the NFL, making a young boy's dream come true. To Coach Pete Carroll, GM John Schneider, John Idzik, Coach Richard, Rocky Seto, the LOB, my teammates, the training staff, the equipment guys the Seahawks organization as a whole and most importantly the 12th Man, I say thank you for everything you have done for myself and my family. I am a truly blessed person.
The Patriots also locked up another target for Tom Brady, signing former Panthers receiver Brandon LaFell. At 6 feet 2 inches and 210 pounds, LaFell will give the Patriots' receiving core some much-needed size. He caught 49 passes for 627 yards and five touchdowns while starting all 16 games. He caught more passes than Kenbrell Thompkins (32) and Aaron Dobson (37) so I think if he studies that Patriots playbook hard, he could be very successful in New England.

It also doesn't appear that the Patriots are stopping just yet. They're scheduled to meet with former Tennessee Titan wide receiver, Kenny Britt. The 25-year-old Rutgers product caught just 11 passes for 96 yards in 12 games in 2013. Britt was with Tennessee for five seasons and in that time, caught a total of 157 passes for 2,450 yards and he was a first round draft pick in 2009. More importantly, Britt has size—at 6 feet 3 inches and 215 pounds, he would be the biggest wide receiver on the team by about six pounds.

Things are looking good for the Patriots for the upcoming season—now we just need to keep all these guys healthy! And if Gronk comes back in good shape and doesn't get broken again... oh, boy!

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