Thursday was the third and final practice of mandatory minicamp for the Patriots, as they wrap up the next phase of the offseason program. It was another day of great weather for the Patriots, who had another near-full day of participation.
However, Malcolm Butler was absent from today’s practice as he joined Lawrence Guy and Andrew Jelks on the sidelines.
Patriots Daily: Wrapping up day two of mandatory minicamp
Patriots’ News: Jimmy Garappolo is open to an extension with the Patriots
Julian Edelman, Patriots reach a contract extension
Rumors popped up earlier in the day that the Patriots and Julian Edelman were nearing a contract extension. Well, it is now official. Adam Schefter has confirmed that the Patriots and Edelman have come to terms on a deal that keeps the receiver in New England through 2019.
Julian Edelman and Patriots reached agreement on a two-year extension that ties him to New England through 2019 season, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 8, 2017
Entering the final year of his deal, there was some speculation that Edelman was preparing for his final year with the Patriots. With the flurry of activity in the offseason, including the acquisition of Brandin Cooks, there was a reason to believe that the Patriots were ready to move on from Edelman after this year. Their history with players on the wrong side of 30 lends credence to that belief.
However, Edelman is not Wes Welker, who wasn’t resigned after his age 31 season. The new deal is a deserving raise for Brady’s favorite target. In 16 games last year, Edelman caught 98 balls for 1,106 yards and three touchdowns.
Contract extension agreed between the Patriots and Julian Edelman. He ranked 5th in missed tackles forced among WRs since 2014 pic.twitter.com/dL2tWqUN61
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) June 8, 2017
Minicamp Day Three
The defense once again shined on day three. The evolving secondary has been something to watch as newcomers Stephon Gilmore and Brandin Cooks locked up often. Gilmore won the battle on Thursday, playing tight coverage on a slippery Cooks.
Tom Brady and Brandin Cooks walk off the field together after spending some extra time working after practice. pic.twitter.com/ckiKFKwy2K
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) June 8, 2017
Jacoby Brissett took the majority of reps behind starter Tom Brady in 11-on-11 drills, according to Andy Hart of Patriots.com. Hart went on to say that Brissett struggled with timing and accuracy throughout the two-plus hour practice. Tom Brady threw a pick on 7-on-7’s to Eric Rowe, in an impressive day for the cornerback.
Tom Brady. Boom! pic.twitter.com/1jWMAcWs0D
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) June 8, 2017
Courtesy of: Patriots.com
- Ryan Allen worked on his plus-50 punting with mixed results.
- Devin Lucien was the last player on the field on Wednesday and Thursday
- Dante Scarnecchis looks more energized than ever
- Undrafted rookie cornerback D.J. Killings was the first one on the field
- Hightower, Branch, and Mitchell suited up but did not participate for the third straight day
- The team did extra conditioning work on the legendary hills behind the practice facility
Belichick speaks for the third time
For the third consecutive practice, head coach Bill Belichick took to the podium to answer questions from a number of reporters. Belichick often preaches that minicamp is a teaching camp, considering the absence of pads. Technique and conditioning are the constant themes from minicamp to minicamp.
Belichick was asked about gauging players athleticism in ‘teaching camp’:
“You know, we see what we can see,” said Belichick via Patriots.com. “It’s not real football, but it’s as close as we can get at this time of year. It’s all we can do. We’ll try to get the most out of our opportunities here, and there will be other ones in training camp and there will be other ones in preseason games. It’s just a little more real football than what this is, but it’s a start and we’ll get out of what we can get.”
On the progress of second-year corner, Cyrus Jones:
“Yeah, I think I talked yesterday about all those second-year guys,” said Belichick. “I think they’re all kind of in the same category. They’re way ahead of where they were last year. We’ll see how all that translates into training camp and preseason games.”
“Again, overall, that was a good group or is a good group – guys where there first year was last year,” added Belichick. “They’ve learned a lot, they’ve worked hard, they’ve become professionals on and off the field, learned a lot about what we do, learned a lot about schemes in the league. Whether that all manifests itself into what performance that correlates to, we’ll just have to wait and see, but they’re certainly making progress and working hard.”
On Dion Lewis’ progress, a full-year removed from injury:
“I think Dion’s building on his last however many weeks of the regular season it was last year – six or seven or whatever it was – and the playoffs, so he’s had a good offseason,” Belichick said. “He’s built on that. I mean, he really worked hard to get back for the end of last year, and then this year, he’s been able to improve on that. Again, anxious to see him in training camp, but he’s done a good job out here.”
Thursday wrapped up minicamp and we inch closer and closer to real football and training camp. However, the 2016 Patriots will gather at owner Robert Kraft’s house tomorrow night to receive their Super Bowl LI Championship rings. Coach Belichick was asked about how he felt seeing players receive their rings for the first time.
“Well, it’s a great feeling to have everybody back together for that,” said Belichick. “It was a great accomplishment and we’ll enjoy it tomorrow night, but right now just really trying to focus on having a good day today.”
The Patriots Instagram account offered a glimpse of the ring earlier in the week. Now, Patriots fans anxiously await the picture of Brady wearing all five championship rings.