Patriots Talk: Speculation around the NFL
by Stephen Hilton
The clock is ticking now as Free Agency is officially here. But since players will not know when exactly they will get their offers, they know it will be by today at 4 PM. As of now, several surprising trades have been revealed with the New England Patriots trading their fourth round pick (137 overall) to the Indianapolis Colts for [Tight End] Dwayne Allen and an additional sixth round pick. Dwayne Allen is a surprise pick-up but Bill Belicheck has been on record praising Allen for his blocking ability rather than his ability as a receiver. With his addition to the roster, the Patriots will be paying 17.34 million for the final three years of Allen’s contract. An addition, it seems that Patriots [Outside Linebacker] Jabaal Sheard might potentially be taken by the Colts as well according to some rumors.
In other news, the Arizona Cardinals, according to the latest reports from Ian Rapoport, have now come close to a 5 year deal with former Patriots’ [Outside Line Backer] Chandler Jones. The news comes quite suddenly as Jones back in a few weeks ago received the franchise tag from the Arizona Cardinal, but it looks as though it was to extend the time of making a contract deal finalized.
As a fan of Chandler Jones during his time with the Patriots, this comes as good news since Arizona during the 2016 pre-season was hyped up as one of the most likely teams to go to the playoffs but instead only managed to go seven wins, eight loses and 1 embarrassing tie game in Week 7 against the Seattle Seahawks. Despite this season being a disappointment for Cardinals fans, there are still plenty of hope if they can retain Jones since he is one of the biggest premier pass-rusher in the NFL. However, the deal has yet to be made but according to Bleacher Report writer, Jason Cole, it will be worth close to the eighty-five million New York Giants [Defensive End] Olivier Vernon received last year.
This is another case of Belicheck knowing when to call a trade because paying that amount to Jones would have eaten a ton of this year’s cap space for the Patriots. But it looks like they will need to use most of it soon. According to Dont’a Hightower‘s Instagram, he is already in Tennessee. Hightower was born in Lewisburg, Tennessee but some speculate that he will be meeting up with teams like the Tennessee Titans like ESPN’s Paul Kuharsty.
When that afternoon is the one before the afternoon when NFL free agency officially starts, and when his contract is about to expire and put him on the market, and when the Tennessee Titans have the money to afford him and the need for a player like him … well, it’s hard not to wonder.
I don’t seek to start rumors. Hightower doesn’t need to be in the city of the team he signs with if he, in fact, inks a quick contract Thursday. Him being in Nashville on Wednesday assures nothing about what will unfold for him Thursday
Well with how fast the day is approaching it is no wonder people would think that at all. (By the way, that was sarcasm) The reality is that in less then 10 hours, all NFL teams will be scrambling to get every possible player that they can. This includes the Patriots potentially going after Buffalo Bills [Cornerback] Stephon Gilmore.
Gilmore was selected to his first Pro Bowl last season and becomes a free agent officially this year. This news will potentially mean that Patriots’ [Cornerback] Logan Ryan will be officially gone since many speculated that he will be asking for huge money in the range of around 10+ million. This 2016 season officially ends by the end of today, Mar. 9th 2017, at 4 PM EST.
Edit: It appears that Stephon Gilmore and the Patriots have already finalized their contract today. He will be with the Patriots for five years worth over sixty-five million dollars (forty million is guaranteed).
In addition, it seems that Chandler Jones also has completed a deal with the Arizona Cardinals. Current details about the deal are unknown but it is estimated:
That deal is expected to average $16.5 million a year. It is worth a maximum of $82.5 million over five years, including $53 million in guarantees.