Shark Bites for New England Patriots 2020 | Shark Bites | Draft Sharks

Shark Bites

Patriots RB Sony Michel (foot) has been placed on the active/PUP list to open training camp. He's still recovering from May foot surgery. He shed his walking boot in mid-July, but we still have no timetable for his return to the field. We'll see when he's able to get back out there -- and whether 2nd-year RB Damien Harris can take advantage of Michel's absence.

Patriots RB Sony Michel's status for the start of training camp "remains up in the air," according to The Athletic's Jeff Howe. Michel had foot surgery in May and has been rehabbing at the team's facilities for the past few weeks. He still stands as the favorite to lead the Pats in carries this season -- but any missed time would give RB Damien Harris an opportunity to earn a bigger role.

Patriots FB Danny Vitale and RT Marcus Cannon have chosen to opt out of the 2020 season. Vitale was signed in May to replace the retired James Develin. The Pats had a FB on the field for 26% of their snaps last year, so it's not an insignificant loss. But Cannon's absence is more notable. He started 15 games last season and ranked 33rd in Pro Football Focus' grades among 66 qualifying OTs. 2019 3rd-rounder Yodny Cajuste might be the favorite to replace Cannon. It's all bad news for Sony Michel and the rest of New England's RBs.

Patriots RB Sony Michel is out of his walking boot after undergoing foot surgery in May. He's been rehabbing at the team's facilities for the past "several weeks," according to ESPN's Mike Reiss. It's still unclear if Michel will be ready for the start of training camp, but he's at least moving in the right direction. His ADP has sunk to the 9th round in recent best-ball drafts.

Patriots RB Rex Burkhead has agreed to a restructured deal. He gets a $550,000 signing bonus but drops his base salary from $2.5 million to $1.05 million, according to ESPN's Field Yates. The forgotten man in New England's backfield, Burkhead ranked 47th among RBs in total PPR points last year and finished as a top-24 RB in 4 of his 13 games. He's worth considering at the tail end of best-ball drafts.

The Patriots have signed QB Cam Newton to a 1-year, "incentive-laden" deal, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. This fit has made sense since March, when QB Tom Brady signed with the Bucs and Newton was dumped by the Panthers. The trouble of getting Newton in for a physical with the Coronavirus concerns likely delayed the signing. Newton turned 31 in May and missed 16 games over the last 2 seasons with shoulder and foot injuries. But he also completed a career-high 68% of his passes with 24 TDs and 13 INTs in 2018, while also running for 488 yards and 4 TDs. New England is seemingly high on Jarrett Stidham -- but a healthy Newton will likely prove to be the best QB in town. He's the Patriots QB to take a shot on late in best-ball drafts. We'll look for reports on his health and standing on the Patriots' depth chart. See where Newton lands in the updated QB Rankings.

Patriots RB Sony Michel had surgery on his foot in May, ESPN's Mike Reiss reports. "The surgery was viewed as more maintenance-based to help relieve discomfort that Michel had been experiencing," Reiss adds. It sounds like a relatively minor procedure, but the timing might impact Michel's availability for the start of training camp. Any missed time would open the door for 2nd-year back Damien Harris to carve out a role.

The Patriots made UCLA’s Devin Asiasi the 2nd TE off the board, moving up to take him with the 91st overall pick. Asiasi started his college career at Michigan before transferring to UCLA after his freshman season. He caught just 6 balls in his 1st year with the Bruins before breaking out for 44 receptions, 641 yards and 4 scores this past year. Asiasi averaged a big 14.6 yards per catch and ranked top 6 among 18 of the class’ best TE prospects in both yards per route run and Pro Football Focus receiving grade. The 6’3, 257-pounder is tough to tackle and is also considered a solid blocker. Asiasi joins a wide-open TE corps in New England alongside Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo. We wouldn’t bank on a major 2020 fantasy impact, but Asiasi is an intriguing dynasty stash.

The Patriots picked up Michigan EDGE Josh Uche in Round 2 of the NFL Draft. Uche posted limited production in college, with 7 and 7.5 sacks in his final 2 seasons and 18.5 total tackles for loss over that span. But his impressive tape left many evaluators wondering why the Wolverines didn't get him on the field more. Uche shows nice play strength for a guy who measured in at just 6'1 and 245 pounds at the Combine. That profile likely means he'll settle for a LB designation in fantasy, which would ding Uche's IDP upside. He's at least in the right place for getting deployed properly.

The Patriots are signing WR Marqise Lee to a 1-year deal, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Lee has appeared in just 6 games and totaled only 4 targets over the past 2 years because of knee trouble. That began with the August 2018 ACL tear. He joins a limited crew of receivers in New England, but we wouldn't bet on Lee cracking the top 3 -- if he even makes the regular-season roster.

The Jaguars have released WR Marqise Lee. The 2014 2nd-rounder posted 63-851-3 and 56-702-3 lines in 2016 and 2017, respectively, but has appeared in just 6 games over the past 2 seasons due to knee trouble. He'll turn 29 this November. We'll see where Lee lands next, but he's unlikely to be a 2020 fantasy factor. The Jags, meanwhile, move forward with WRs D.J. Chark, Dede Westbrook and Chris Conley atop the depth chart. They'll likely add at least 1 rookie to the mix later this week.

The Panthers are expected to release QB Cam Newton on Tuesday, according to multiple reports. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Carolina tried to trade Newton to the Bears and Chargers but couldn't get a deal done. So Cam will hit the open market. He'll turn 31 in May and has missed 16 games over the past 2 seasons with shoulder and foot injuries. The Chargers, Jaguars and Patriots seem like the best landing spots for Newton's 2020 fantasy value. We'll see where he lands.

The Patriots have signed QB Brian Hoyer to a 1-year, $2 million deal. The 34-year-old made 1 start for the Colts last season, completing just 46% of his passes for 204 yards, 1 TD and 3 INTs in a loss to the Dolphins. Hoyer does have experience with New England, playing there for his first 3 NFL seasons and then again in 2017 and 2018. We imagine the Patriots would like to see 2019 4th-rounder Jarrett Stidham win the starting job, but Hoyer will be around as insurance. New England could also still add a rookie QB to the mix.

The Panthers are "moving forward" with Cam Newton as their starting QB, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. "A lot can still happen in the coming months," Rapoport adds. "While his foot is healing well, it will be several months until it’s game-ready — a timeline that complicates any potential trade." It's a hedgy report -- although it certainly makes sense that Carolina would have a tough time trading Newton while he's rehabbing that Lisfranc surgery on his left foot. We wouldn't consider this story over, but it does seem more likely than not that Newton is under center for Carolina come Week 1. He's been a fine value in early FFPC best-ball drafts, as the 21st QB off the board on average.

The Panthers are "pleased" with the progress QB Cam Newton is making in his recovery from Lisfranc surgery on his left foot, according to The Athletic's Jourdan Rodrigue. Newton is expected to be cleared for "some football activity" in March -- although the team is planning to limit him through the spring. That, of course, is assuming Newton is still with the Panthers. Newton said during Super Bowl week that he expects to be back in Carolina in 2020, but the team has been non-committal on his future. His status should be cleared up in March.

Patriots WR Julian Edelman had his shoulder surgery last week, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. A previous report said the procedure would repair a separated AC joint in Edelman's left shoulder. The rehab isn't expected to be lengthy, per Schefter, and Edelman is expected to be ready for the start of the offseason program. He also reportedly needs knee surgery this offseason. We'll keep an eye on that.

Patriots WR Julian Edelman will undergo surgeries on his left shoulder and left knee this offseason, according to the Boston Herald. The shoulder surgery will repair a separated AC joint; the knee will be scoped to remove a loose body. Neither procedure should have a big impact on Edelman's offseason. But they're 2 more bullet points to add to the 33-year-old's lengthy injury history. Edelman also dealt with a rib cartilage injury throughout most of the 2019 campaign -- but actually played all 16 regular-season games for just the 3rd time in his career.

The Panthers are hiring Matt Rhule as their new HC, Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel reports. Rhule has been a hot name in coaching circles after he led a 1-11 Baylor team in his first season to a combined 18-9 record over the past 2 years. He spent 4 seasons as Temple's HC prior to that and also has 1 year of experience as the Giants' assistant offensive line coach under Tom Coughlin. Rhule's Baylor squads ranked 25th, 19th and 43rd in the nation in passing yards per game.

Patriots WR Julian Edelman (knee, shoulder) says his health is on the rise heading into Saturday night's Wild Card game against the Titans. “I feel better than I have in the last few weeks, and I feel good enough to go out and compete at a high level," he said. Edelman struggled down the stretch, totaling just 18 targets, 10 catches and 107 scoreless yards over his last 3 games. It's worth noting, though, that he's been a monster in the playoffs, averaging 8.2 catches and 103 yards across his last 13 games.

11:12am EST 12/29/19

Patriots RB Sony Michel (illness) is active for today’s game against the Dolphins. He was added to the injury report on Saturday, but we’ve heard nothing about him being limited today. Michel boasts plenty of upside with the Pats big 17-point home favorites.

 
 
 

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