Jerod Mayo has played in 12 games for the Patriots since 2013. (NFL Game Rewind)
The New England Patriots brought in linebacker Rolando McClain for a free-agent visit this week. And while the 25-year-old has since returned to the Dallas Cowboys on a one-year deal reportedly worth up to $4 million, New England’s off-the-ball interest could be telling at this stage in the game.
According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, the Patriots offered McClain a one-year, $4 million contract. But the 12-game starter in 2014 left without signing, and ultimately agreed with the Cowboys on a comparably structured deal Wednesday.
McClain now is back in a situation he enjoyed a comeback year in, after spending the 2013 season out of football. That familiarity could have very well factored into his decision, as he should remain in the mix as Dallas’ middle linebacker, allowing the injured starter he replaced, Sean Lee, to slide over to the weak side.
In New England, McClain’s spot on the depth chart would have been far less certain in the long-term. Yet, on the other side, the Patriots’ off-line linebacker spots are also uncertain at this time.
Jamie Collins’ record was eclipsed on final day of the 2015 combine. (NFL.com)
Jamie Collins’ record lasted two years. But on Monday, during the final day of the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine, the current New England Patriot saw his 11-foot-7 broad jump broken.
Byron Jones was the one who did the damage.
Jones, a 6-foot, 199-pound cornerback by way of UConn, leaped out of the building with a 12-foot-3 broad, beating the 6-foot-3, 250-pound Southern Mississippi linebacker’s mark by eight inches.
After a season in which Rob Gronkowski amassed 82 receptions for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns in 15 games, the New England Patriots tight end has been named a unanimous first-team NFL All-Pro by The Associated Press.
Gronkowski received all 50 votes at the position, standing with Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt as the lone two players do so. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound Gronkowski is one of two Patriots to make first-team All-Pro in 2014, with cornerback Darrelle Revis also garnering 42 votes. Continue reading
Linebacker Jamie Collins’ second season in New England has been a rare one. (NFL Game Rewind)
What Jamie Collins has done in his second NFL season is what the New England Patriots hoped he’d do.
A little bit of everything.
The 6-foot-3, 250-pound linebacker amassed 116 tackles, four sacks, four forced fumbles and two interceptions over the course of 15 starts during the regular season. He chased running backs in the flats, quarterbacks through the A-gaps, and tight ends in the seam. And he did what many in the Patriots organization believed he could do upon selecting him No. 52 overall in the 2013 draft.
Collins’ athleticism is only part of the reason why.
“Jamie, he’s a smart kid,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said in his press conference Wednesday. “He’s another player that had a lot of experience, just not at the same position. He started off as a quarterback in high school, went to Southern Miss as a safety, then they moved him to inside linebacker, then he played outside linebacker in a 3-4, then his senior year he played defensive end in a 4-3 and was rarely in coverage.” Continue reading
Jamie Collins’ blocked field goal gave way to seven points against Miami on Sunday. (NFL Game Rewind)
Jamie Collins got the New England Patriots on the board first Sunday. He just didn’t score the points.
The second-year linebacker initial mark was left at the 12:47 mark in the opening quarter, as the Miami Dolphins shipped out kicker Caleb Sturgis and the field-goal unit to attempt a 41-yarder following a four-play, 57-yard drive.
The snap was delivered, the hold was placed, and the kicker grazed his right foot underneath the football. But Collins did more than graze it when he crashed down from the right wing of Miami’s line. He rejected it. And cornerback Kyle Arrington scooped it up on the rebound, returning it 62 yards for a touchdown as the Patriots took a 7-0 lead at Gillette Stadium.
“Jamie continues to make big plays for us on the defensive side of the ball and in the kicking game,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said in his press conference afterwards. “He’s got real good length for a linebacker: tall with long arms, great jumping ability. His ability to knock down passes and reach into passing lanes, or block a kick in this case – very obviously athletic, we all know that.” Continue reading
Jamie Collins has registered three sacks in his last two games. (NFL Game Rewind)
Jamie Collins amassed 16.5 sacks over his final 26 collegiate games at Southern Mississippi. But through his first 26 regular-season games with the New England Patriots, that number stood at zero.
Now it stands at three.
Collins has been called upon to rush the passer 17 times over his last two games. And through the A-gaps he’s hit home. He’s hit home the way he often did as a senior on an 0-12 football team, only two years later, he’s hit home as a chess piece on a 10-3 one.