Patriots Rumors

Jason McCourty On Pace To Hit Incentives; Kenjon Barner Could Have More Job Security

  • Reiss also notes that Kenjon Barner, who has been shuttled on and off of the Patriots‘ roster several times since September 12, may have a little more job security right now. Barner’s former club, the Eagles, are very much in need of RB help, and the Pats know that if they cut Barner again, they may not get him back.
  • Mike Reiss of ESPN.com observes that Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty is on pace to recoup the money that he lost when he agreed to a pay cut before the regular season. New England gave him the opportunity to make up the difference via incentives, and McCourty is well on his way to hitting those incentives. The same cannot be said for Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, however.
  • Reiss also notes that Kenjon Barner, who has been shuttled on and off of the Patriots‘ roster several times since September 12, may have a little more job security right now. Barner’s former club, the Eagles, are very much in need of RB help, and the Pats know that if they cut Barner again, they may not get him back.

NFL Workout Updates: 10/12/18

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Chicago Bears

  • P Brock Miller (link)

Houston Texans

  • OT Dieugot Joseph (link)

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • OT Corey Robinson; RB Thomas Rawls (link)

New England Patriots

  • DE Will Clarke; QB Connor Cook; LB Kasim Edebali; WR Devin Ross; TE Shane Wimann (link)

Tennessee Titans

  • LS’s Andrew East, Taybor Pepper (link)

Overall, nothing too noteworthy. The Patriots interestingly continue to work out quarterbacks, bringing in former Raiders third-rounder Connor Cook for a tryout. New England has Bryan Hoyer firmly entrenched behind Tom Brady, but also recently worked out Landry Jones.

Meanwhile, the Titans seem set to bring in a new long snapper, as the team also worked out veteran Jon Condo today.

Practice Squad Updates: 10/9/18

Today’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

  • Signed: LB Brandon Chubb
  • Released QB: Connor Cook

Dallas Cowboys

  • Released: RB Bo Scarbrough

Green Bay Packers

  • Signed: RB Tra Carson, WR Keon Hatcher
  • Released: RB Joel Bouagnon

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Placed On PS-IR: LB Robert McCray

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

  • Signed: RB Kenneth Farrow

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

NFL Workout Updates: 10/8/18

Here’s the latest from the workout circuit, courtesy of veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer unless otherwise noted:

Cleveland Browns

Indianapolis Colts

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/8/18

Here are Monday’s practice squad decisions:

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

  • Signed: NT Niles Scott

Detroit Lions

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New York Jets

  • Signed: DL Bronson Kaufasi
  • Cut: T Dieguot Joseph

Patriots Bring Back RB Kenjon Barner

The Patriots agreed to sign Kenjon Barner for the third time in a month. The two-time Pats cut will again serve as the team’s No. 3 back behind James White and Sony Michel.

Barner initially signed with New England on Sept. 12 before being released a week later. He came back to join the team on Sept. 26 before being released Oct. 4, prior to the Pats’ Week 5 game against the Colts. Heading into the Patriots’ high-profile clash with the Chiefs, the nine-time reigning AFC East champions will have three running backs on their roster.

Although depth has been Barner’s primary purpose in New England, he did play in the Pats’ Week 4 win over the Dolphins, taking three handoffs. He has not been used as a return man, which has been his primary NFL responsibility. Barner, 28, played the past three seasons with the Eagles. He served as the Super Bowl champions’ primary kick and punt returner last season.

The Pats could have brought back Mike Gillislee, whom the Saints released over the weekend, but they’re going with their more recent employee in Barner.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens Claim CB Cyrus Jones

The Ravens claimed cornerback Cyrus Jones off waivers from the Patriots, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets

Jones, 25 in November, was a second-round pick of the Pats in 2016. He saw time on special teams as a kick and punt returner as a rookie, but a torn ACL and partially torn meniscus cost him the 2017 season. This summer, he missed the Patriots’ final cut, wound up on the Ravens’ practice squad, then was signed by the Patriots on Sept. 19. Two weeks later, he’s back with the Ravens, and this time around he’s on the 53-man roster.

The Ravens have Jimmy Smith back on the roster to join top cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Marlon Humphrey, but Anthony Averett has missed three straight games with a hamstring issue. Jones figures to take his place on the depth chart and is probably in line for similar usage on defense. In his two games this year, Averett saw just 18 total snaps, and that was before Smith’s return.

The Patriots brought Jones back primarily for special teams reasons, but Julian Edelman handled two punts in his first game back from suspension on Thursday. With Edelman taking over on punt returns, the Patriots saw little reason to keep Clamp Clampington on the team.

To take Jones’ place on the roster, the Patriots have re-signed running back Kenjon Barner. Barner returned 27 punts in 2017 and averaged 8.9 yards per attempt, so he could find a role on special teams.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Have Been "In Contact" With Gillislee

  • It was reported earlier that the Patriots were planning on doing something to address the fact that they had just two running backs on the roster, and now we might have an idea what. New England has “been in contact” with ex-Patriot Mike Gillislee a source told Doug Kyed of NESN (Twitter link). Gillislee was recently cut by the Saints, and it sounds like we could see a reunion soon.

Patriots Notes: Running backs, Allen, Bentley

The Patriots currently have a unique situation. The team is currently carrying just two running backs after they released Kenjon Barner to make room for Julian Edelman on the 53-man roster. The team cut Mike Gillislee and Brandon Bolden right before the season, and Jeremy Hill went down with a season ending knee injury early on. Then Rex Burkhead got placed on injured reserve with a neck injury, leaving them extremely thin in the backfield.

They’re down to only receiving specialist James White and rookie Sony Michel, and they will likely add outside help soon according to Mike Reiss of ESPN. Reiss writes “the team can’t expect to get by with just two running backs” and that it’s possible either Barner or Gillislee are brought back in the coming days. Undrafted rookie Ralph Webb is also on the team’s practice squad and could be called up.

Here’s more from New England:

  • There’s been a lot of media speculation about Dwayne Allen‘s roster spot the past couple of years, but Allen isn’t going anywhere Reiss writes. Reiss notes that Belichick “places a high value on his blocking and team-first approach” and that his roster spot is safe. Allen makes a lot of money for a blocking specialist, with an average salary of over $5MM, but it sounds like he’s in the Patriots’ longterm plans.
  • Reiss has details on the injury that landed rookie linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley on injured reserve. It’s a torn biceps according to Reiss, and Bentley has already undergone surgery and is rehabbing with the team. The fifth round pick had shown a lot of promise before going down a couple of weeks ago.
  • In case you missed it, yesterday the Patriots waived their 2016 second round pick cornerback Cyrus Jones.

Patriots Waive CB Cyrus Jones

Cyrus Jones‘ latest stint with the Patriots is over. The team waived the former second-round pick on Saturday, NESN.com’s Doug Kyed tweets.

New England brought Jones back midway through last month and used him as its punt returner in two games. Jones, however, did not play against the Colts, with the Pats designating him as a healthy scratch.

Julian Edelman was back deep for the Patriots on Thursday, returning two punts in his first game back from the performance-enhancing drug suspension. Jones did not see any time on defense during his second stay with the Patriots.

The Patriots cut Jones initially after this preseason’s conclusion. The former Alabama cog missed all of the 2017 season because of an ACL tear. He played in 10 games during New England’s 2016 Super Bowl season, starting one. Since Jones is in his third NFL season, he does not have enough service time to avoid waivers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.