The Patriots continue their OTA's in Foxboro this week on the field, and they also have plenty going on off the field.
June 8, 2015:Brandon Spikes car was found abandoned on 495 with major front end damage and he claims to have hit a deer, but in actuality he hit a car (allegedly) and fled from the scene. The Patriots didn't wait around and decided to release the inside linebacker. Spikes had just returned to New England on a one-year deal three weeks ago, but it was not to be and now Spikes has more to worry about than finding another job. It's unfortunate that Spikes made this mistake because he was going to be a huge part of the Patriots run defense in 2015.
The Patriots signed cornerback Derek Cox, a third round pick in 2009 out of William and Mary. After being drafted by Jacksonville, Cox was a rookie starter and had a strong season. In his second year, he lost his starting job early because his coaches were afraid that he lost his confidence. After three weeks, he was back in the starting lineup and proceeded to play well for the remainder of the season. His rookie contract expired after the 2012 season and he signed a four year, $20 million dollar deal with the Chargers. After 11 games, Cox once again lost his job and the Chargers decided to release him prior to the 2014 season. The Vikings signed him in March but he was cut before the season began. He then signed with the Ravens, but that never came to fruition as he was released TWICE within a month. Cox ended up sitting out the 2014 season and now he has a chance to make a Patriots team that is thin at cornerback. Cox has good size, standing at 6'1, 195 pounds, and he is more effective in off-coverage than press-coverage.
June 9, 2015: The Patriots punished Super Bowl-hero Malcolm Butler after he arrived late to team OTA's. Butler missed his flight due to weather and was one day late. He did try to fly in a day sooner, but he was also faced with weather in that scenario. Bill Belichick is not one for excuses and held out the second year corner for almost three weeks before allowing him back on the field yesterday.
The Patriots also released undrafted cornerback Eric Patterson of Ball State. New England loaded up on corners and must not have liked what they see out of Patterson in OTA's.
June 11, 2015: The Patriots released QB Garrett Gilbert, WR Zach D'Orazio, and surprisingly waived third year tight end Tim Wright, the player they received in the Logan Mankins trade last season. With the deep depth chart New England possesses at tight end, it became a numbers game and Wright was the odd man out.
New England wasn't just releasing players, they also made some pickups too. They signed three rookie free agents- LB D.J. Lynch, TE Jimmy Mundine, and TE Logan Stokes. They also went the veteran route and signed backup quarterback Matt Flynn. Flynn has played for the Packers and Seahawks and may find himself as the backup for Jimmy Garoppolo if Tom Brady's suspension isn't reduced.