1. For all the talk the past week of whether or not the Patriots should keep two or three quarterbacks, it really was a no-brainer once it was clear Jarrett Stidham could play. Keeping Brian Hoyer and third quarterbacks would do nothing but slow down and perhaps even prohibit the growth and development of Stidham. With Tom Brady having the potential to not be the Patriots quarterback next season, the organization needs to put Stidham on a fast track to being NFL ready. Keeping Hoyer would not be beneficial to the rookie or the team — and that isn’t a knock on the veteran at all — it’s just him being around would take away valuable reps from Stidham. If Hoyer was kept, he likely would be the No. 2 quarterback meaning he would get the last few snaps with the first-team in practice and then everyone has raved about his ability to lead the scout team, so where would Stidham’s reps even come? At this point, Brady’s age and contract situation combined with Stidham’s young talent suggest the Patriots’ main goal should be getting the Auburn product ready to one day start a NFL game. If Brady were to depart this offseason, Stidham would be starting in 2020, not Hoyer. The Patriots are committed to Stidham for the long term and keeping Hoyer would do nothing but potentially take away from his development.
2. While Demaryius Thomas was released, many have speculated he won’t be gone for long. The only question is who does he replace. The thinking he is could come back onto the roster to replace a player placed on injured reserve with the potential to return this season, but who could that be? The logical thought is rookie N’Keal Harry, but he looked much better in the media portion of practice last week and putting him on IR would have him out at least eight weeks. It could also be Thomas returning after Week 1 when his salary isn’t fully guaranteed for the entire season. It seems like the Patriots are in a good spot with the veteran wide out considering they were the only team that showed any interest in him last offseason following his Achilles injury.
3. One would expect the Patriots to look to upgrade the tight end position over the next several days. One name that has been floated since he was released by Miami Saturday has been old friend Dwayne Allen, but it doesn’t seem likely from this viewpoint and even more so following his comments to ESPN’s Josina Anderson. “They got younger guys they want to invest more time in,” he said. “They decided to let me go, but I appreciate the opportunity that they gave me. There (are) teams calling, but we will see. I had an offseason knee surgery that I need to heal up from. I love the game of football. It’s a great gift to all us all, but I will take some time to think about my future. I know at some point I want to go back to school."
4. Speaking of Miami, give credit to Brian Flores for making some bold moves as he looks to establish his own culture. Trading away Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills doesn’t seem like a popular move right now in South Florida, but it could be one that defines Flores’ tenure in Miami. It seems the former Patriots coach is doing what he can to have the players he wants on the team to get the right culture and also build for the future. In addition to its own picks, Miami now has an extra first, second and fourth-round pick in next years draft, plus an extra first and second-rounder in 2021. While it may be tough year, it may be worth it for what is to come in the next five or so years.
5. In terms of players released by the Patriots ones who have the best chances of getting claimed by other teams they are wide receiver Braxton Berrios, running back Nick Brossette, center Tyler Gauthier, defensive end Trent Harris, linebacker Calvin Munson, linebacker Christian Sam and linebacker Scooby Wright III. One would suspect the Patriots would ideally want all of these players back on their practice squad.
6. The Keion Crossen trade was a bit of a surprise, especially considering the return was just a sixth-round pick. Not only did he make strides at cornerback, he seemed to have a future in the league just as a special teams player. Some predicted him to one day be a replacement for Matthew Slater, not just on the field, but off the field as well. While there were a few players ahead of him on the depth chart, he seemed like a player worth keeping around for the future.
7. One really has to feel for David Andrews who will miss the entire 2019 season due to blood clots in his lungs. He’s one of the most genuine players on the team and it’s clear how much respect he has among his peers being voted a team captain. It was good to see him with his teammates this week and it’s worth wondering how much he will be around during the year. Given how well-liked and what a good leader he is, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him be a regular around the team.