Free-agent halfback Pierre Thomas will draw his share of suitors. (NFL Game Rewind)
NFL teams over the salary cap see the bridge fast approaching. The New Orleans Saints, forced to shed $20 million to get under the weight limit before the new league year begins Tuesday, are one of them.
And as the organization started to do so this Wednesday, veteran running back Pierre Thomas was the first to be let go.
Thomas didn’t weigh heavily against the cap. But by the time the 30-year-old was released, $1.7 million in cap savings and $830,000 in dead money were all that remained from the three-year, $6.9 million contract he restructured last March.
He was one of eight Saints players left from the Super Bowl XLIV team, a team he proved integral to both before and after his 16-yard touchdown screen gave New Orleans a 13-10 lead five Februaries ago. And he could be one player the New England Patriots find interest in after this February’s team.
The NFL salary cap has officially been set at $143.28 million for the 2015 league year, according to the NFL Players Association.
The New England Patriots have until March 10 to get under that number.
New England stands just below $155.9 in terms of total salary cap commitments, as noted by the NFLPA, with approximately $6.4 million in carryover trimmed to $1.3 million in adjustments. The end result is that the organization’s cap figure rests around $144.8 million. And, ultimately, that the Patriots are around $11.2 million over the cap.
Released Wednesday, Reggie Bush should draw free-agent discussion. (NFL Game Rewind)
The market for the 29-year-old running back, and the potential interest of the New England Patriots, came to the forefront when the Detroit Lions announced the release of Reggie Bush on Wednesday evening.
Bush’s availability comes less than two weeks before New England’s backfield is slated two have two names, Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley, available on the unrestricted free-agent market. And, should discussions with the latter two not end in an agreement, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft could be a candidate to reach one.
Former Patriots guard Logan Mankins was pick 32 in 2005. (NFL Game Rewind)
The New England Patriots have sat at pick 32 in the first round before. And nine other organizations have experienced the same since the 1995 expansion.
The spot has seen three trades and one Pro Bowler over 13 NFL drafts across 19 years. It’s seen three defensive backs, three defensive linemen, two offensive lineman, two quarterbacks, one running back, one tight end and one wide receiver taken in all.
But before the Super Bowl XLIX champions see it again this April, a historical look back on the final selections of the first.
Northern Iowa’s David Johnson brings a unique toolbox to the backfield. (NFL.com)
With the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine in the rearview, the New England Patriots stand three weeks from free agency and nine weeks from the draft. But while the latter is largely contingent on the former, most long-term plans for the organization will not be decided until April 30 through May 2.
And with that in mind, it is time for an early look at what head coach Bill Belichick, director of player personnel Nick Caserio and the Patriots could be facing over seven rounds this spring.
Mississippi State’s Benardrick McKinney sparked a Patriots comparison. (NFL.com)
The front seven’s time at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine is over. And with their departures from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, some closing thoughts with a New England Patriots emphasis.
Patriots line coach Dave DeGuglielmo got to work with blockers at the combine. (NFL.com)
The 2015 NFL Scouting Combine is over for draft prospects on the offensive side of the ball, and soon it will be for the defensive side. But before turning the page over for the final days in Indianapolis, some parting offensive thoughts with a New England Patriots focus.
Minnesota tight end Maxx Williams has met with New England at the combine. (NFL.com)
The New England Patriots are allotted 60 formal interviews at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
These meetings with draft prospects must be taken at face value, as all-star games, pro days and private workouts are other venues for first impressions. Yet for 15 minutes at a time, they are what they are.
Head coach Bill Belichick, members of the Patriots coaching staff and also the scouting department have their respective plans leading up to April 30. Just whom they invest time with can indicate due diligence on one prospect, an interest in digging deeper on another, but also positional trends as a whole.
And with the help of those on hand, here is a gathering of New England’s meetings thus far into the week.
Bill Belichick and the Patriots will look on this week in Indianapolis. (NFL Game Rewind)
With the NFL combine officially opening Tuesday, head coach Bill Belichick and members of the New England Patriots staff find themselves in Indianapolis.
And with their visit to the Midwest in mind, here is a glance down 10 of the 323 names the Patriots will be watching this week at Lucas Oil Stadium, courtesy of DraftBreakdown.com.
Three months before the 2014 draft, Jimmy Garoppolo was in Indianapolis. (NFL.com)
The 2015 NFL Scouting Combine is set to get underway this Tuesday, with specialists, offensive linemen and tight ends reporting to Lucas Oil Stadium. And after pre-registration, medical examination, orientation and interviews, other prospects at other positions will join them.
On-field workouts will follow.
Head coach Bill Belichick and members of the New England Patriots staff will be on hand in Indianapolis to take note of each one. And while the measurements the Patriots collect from there will not the end-all, be-all to evaluations, they will be pieces to the puzzle.
They were just that in forming New England’s 2014 rookie class. And in turn, here is a look back on how future Patriots fared last February, with videos courtesy of National Football Fans.