Through two days of legal tampering, things have been mostly quiet on the Patriots’ front. Besides watching Jakobi Meyers sign with the Raiders on a three-year, $33 million deal and re-signing Myles Bryant and Jabrill Peppers – their one “big move” was signing swing OT Calvin Anderson from the Denver Broncos to a two-year deal.
Believe it or not, none of the news that came out over the last 48 hours in the NFL world can even be made official until today, when the NFL’s New League Year officially begins at 4pm. There’s hope for Patriots fans.
Any moves or news that happens on Wednesday related to the Patriots, we’ll have updated here in our CLNSMedia day three free agency tracker:
Patriots Sign Tackle Riley Reiff
New England made one of the first moves of the day on Wednesday, as ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported that they are expected to sign tackle Riley Reiff.
A former first-round pick, Reiff is 34 years old and has plenty of experience in the league. He’s started 172 games over his 11-year career on both sides of the line, including 10 games at right tackle in 2022 with the Bears.
The Patriots have now signed Conor McDermott, Calvin Anderson, and Riley Reiff to add tackle depth heading into 2023. They still have Trent Brown as well. As currently constituted, expect Brown and Reiff to be your starters, with McDermott and Anderson as quality swing backups.
New England is Sniffing Around the Wide Receiver Market
Things are heating up on the Patriots’ front. According to several reports, New England is in on available wide receivers:
From Doug Kyed: “The Patriots have been in close contact with one of the top free-agent wide receivers available.”
From Jeff Howe: “The Patriots have called about DeAndre Hopkins and Jerry Jeudy. They also attended Odell Beckham Jr.’s workout last week in Arizona. They’re in the WR market, but the price point remains a key component.”
From Andrew Callahan: “The Patriots have serious interest in Juju Smith-Schuster.”
From Mike Giardi: “The Patriots have remained engaged with several free agent wide receivers, including Odell Beckham and JuJu Smith-Schuster.”
Hopkins. Jeudy. Smith-Schuster. Beckham Jr., those are the names we now keep an eye on as we wait for a move from New England.
Juju Smith-Schuster Signs with Patriots
The deal is done! According to Taylor Bisciotti and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, former Steelers and Chiefs wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster is signing with New England.
The contract is essentially the same deal that Vegas gave Meyers: a three-year, $33 million contract. They’ll look for him to replace Jakobi’s production – and then some.
Smith-Schuster caught 78 passes for 933 yards and three touchdowns with the Chiefs last season and became a Super Bowl champion. In his best year as a pro, the 2017 second-round pick caught 111 passes for 1,426 yards and 7 TDs. He presumably wants to get closer to that production again, and he’ll have the opportunity to do that in New England.
I still don’t think they’re done at wide receiver. Juju is an upgrade over Meyers, but they still need more at the position.
New England Adds Running Back Depth with James Robinson
The Patriots added to their running back room on Wednesday night, signing James Robinson to a two-year deal with a maximum value of $8 million.
Robinson had success as an undrafted free agent with the Jaguars in 2020, but his game fell off a bit after being traded to the Jets last season. This likely marks the end of Damien Harris’ career in New England.
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