Monday morning marked the beginning of the three-phase series of offseason workouts at Gillette Stadium. Dictated by the rules of the collective bargaining agreement, players can earn up to $175 weekly if they attend at least three of four workouts each week. The first phase of workouts consist solely of group conditioning drills guided by staff (coaches are not permitted) specializing in strength training, usually lasting for two weeks. The following three weeks allow coaches to guide players in positional drills. Offensive and defensive players however are not permitted to practice against one another during this phase. The final four weeks of offseason workouts are made up of 10 OTAs and a mandatory mini-camp on June 17-19. Players who excel in the program are rewarded including perks such as front-row parking spots. Tom Brady, Danny Amendola, Dane Fletcher and Vince Wilfork were among players who were recognized for outstanding attendance and work ethic last year.
No Room for Rookies? (WEEI)
Rookie players might have a tough time cracking into the Patriots roster this year according to Chris Price from WEEI. While some positions like tight end and safety are weaker than others, there are around 49 well-established players in the Patriots roster already not including pickups like Patrick Chung. While many NFL team's drafting boards are packed full of players, the Patriots are known to have far less names written on their list. "Most draft boards — when you talk to guys around the league and the teams I worked for — you have about 150 players on your board. And New England, they're kind of famous for being much less than that, well below 100. There's only a certain amount of guys they feel like fits what they want to do," stated NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah in a recent media conference call. We might see an impactful first round running back come to New England and make a splash if Jeremiah's instincts are accurate.
Patriots Fifth-Year Option Decision (WEEI)
Based on the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, teams are now able to pick up fifth-year options for first-round picks for the first time. For the Patriots, this means they must decide whether or not to pick up tackle Nate Solder. According to Miguel Benzan of patscap.com, the option would come to around $7.3 million or the average of the third through 25th highest cap salary value for current year offensive lineman. The Patriots have until May 3rd to decide whether or not they want to keep Solder.
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Belichick Running in Music City Marathon (MMQB)
MMQB's Peter King reported that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will join other Nashville runners on Saturday for the St. Jude Country Music Marathon, the kickoff to the Rock N' Roll Marathon series. The race features the best sights and sounds that Nashville has to offer as participants will run past historic landmarks including the Ryman Auditorium and Country Music Hall of Fame. The series, established in 2012, features over 27 races throughout America and Europe each year. Live shows, themed stations for water and cheerleaders are among the most notable aspects of the Rock N Roll Marathon series. Belichick's signature Patriots hoodie may be too hot for him to handle in the southern Tennessee heat.
Cornerback Anders Battle Worked Out in New England (boston.com)
Anders Battle, a two-time All-Big Sky defensive back from Northern Arizona, is another name on the list of potential picks to be tied to New England. Battle met with the Patriots for a workout back in March. In his senior year, Battle amounted to 51 tackles, two interceptions, a sack and a fumble for the Lumberjacks. Based on his three-cone drill speeds at the Combine, Battle is reported to be among the top tier of defensive backs heading into the draft.
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Newswire assembled by Patriots Insider contributor AnneMarie Blanco (Ablanco on the forums). Look for more updates from AnneMarie here at Patriots Insider throughout the offseason.