Aug 29, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, left, talks with New York Giants head coach Joe Judge before the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Bill Belichick fined $50K for offseason violations

New England coach Bill Belichick was fined $50,000 as part of the offseason practice violations that also cost the Patriots two days of organized team activities, the Boston Sports Journal reported Thursday.

The culprit: Joe Judge. Citing documents, Boston Sports Journal reported that Judge held special teams meetings that kept players at the Patriots’ facility longer than the four-hour maximum.

Judge held workshops on May 1-2 and May 4 and “directed special teams players to be at the Club’s facility longer than the maximum of four hours permitted during Phase Two of the Club’s program,” per the Journal, citing the docs. That made the meetings mandatory vs. optional, per the report.

The NFLPA filed a complaint with the league days later.

The Patriots canceled Thursday’s OTA and will nix another one next week, per the punishment.

–Field Level Media

Aug 27, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Falcons tight end Anthony Firkser (86) runs after a catch against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Patriots agree to terms with TE Anthony Firkser

The New England Patriots agreed to terms with tight end Anthony Firkser, ESPN reported Thursday.

The 28-year-old free agent played his college football in the area at Harvard.

Firkser caught nine passes for 100 yards and no touchdowns in 11 games with the Atlanta Falcons in 2022.

He has 115 receptions for 1,207 yards and five TDs in 69 games (four starts) with the Tennessee Titans (2018-21) and Falcons.

The Patriots have tight ends Hunter Henry, Mike Gesicki and Matt Sokol on the depth chart.

–Field Level Media

Aug 19, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New England Patriots offensive guard Mike Onwenu (71) runs off the field against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Patriots OL Mike Onwenu (ankle) likely to miss OTAs

New England Patriots offensive lineman Mike Onwenu isn’t expected to take the field when voluntary OTAs begin Monday as he continues to recover from an ankle injury.

Onwenu, 25, played 100 percent of the offensive snaps for the Patriots in 2022 until he sustained the injury late in the fourth quarter of New England’s 35-23 loss to the Buffalo Bills in the final game of the season.

He underwent offseason ankle surgery.

The Patriots selected Onwenu, a Michigan product, in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. In his first three seasons, he has missed only one game and has two fumble recoveries in 49 games (41 starts).

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; New England Patriots offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn (76) reacts from the field prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Report: OL Isaiah Wynn to sign 1-year deal with Dolphins

Free agent offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn is signing a one-year contract with the Miami Dolphins, NFL Network reported on Sunday.

Wynn, 27, has struggled to stay healthy since being selected by the New England Patriots with the 23rd overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft out of Georgia. He missed his entire rookie season after sustaining a torn Achilles tendon in preseason.

Wynn has played in 43 games with the Patriots, including nine in 2022 before he was placed on season-ending injured reserve in December due to a foot injury.

–Field Level Media

University of Kentucky senior quarterback Will Levis showed his passing form during a Pro Day workout at Nutter Field House in Lexington, Ky., on Friday, Mar. 24, 2023

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Report: Patriots hosted QB Will Levis for pre-draft visit

The New England Patriots raised eyebrows Wednesday, the final day that teams were allowed to host draft prospects for Top 30 visits, when quarterback Will Levis dropped by, NFL Network reported Thursday.

After all, the Patriots have second-year starter Mac Jones atop the depth chart with Bailey Zappe and newly signed Trace McSorley also in the QB stable.

And despite all the drama between Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Jones last season, new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien said Tuesday that everyone on offense has a “fresh start, a clean slate” heading into the 2023 season.

Further, the Patriots pick 14th in next Thursday’s first round, and Levis is expected to be long gone by then.

Pro Football Talk reported earlier this month that Belichick had been shopping Jones this offseason, with the Houston Texans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Commanders listed as possible destinations.

Jones, 24, is 16-15 as the starter over two seasons with the Patriots. He has completed 66.5 percent of his passes for 6,798 yards and 36 touchdowns against 24 interceptions.

Levis, 23, completed 65.7 percent of his passes for 5,232 yards with 43 touchdowns and 23 interceptions in two seasons at Kentucky.

–Field Level Media

Jan 8, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Trace McSorley (19) against the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots sign backup QB Trace McSorley

The New England Patriots added unrestricted free agent Trace McSorley to the roster to add depth to the quarterback position.

The team did not announce terms of the deal.

The Patriots lost backup Brian Hoyer to the Las Vegas Raiders in free agency and have Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe at the position.

McSorley, who played at Penn State, was a sixth-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2019 NFL Draft. He has appeared in nine games (one start) for the Ravens (2019-20) and Arizona Cardinals (2021-22) and is 0-1 as a starter.

That start came last season for the Cardinals against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a 19-16 loss on Christmas Day.

In his NFL career, the 27-year-old has completed 51.6 percent of his passes (48 of 93) for 502 yards, with one touchdown and five interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Jul 29, 2022; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste (72) walks onto the field during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

OT Yodny Cajuste signs tender to stay with Patriots

New England Patriots offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste signed his restricted free agent tender on Wednesday.

Cajuste, 27, will receive a salary of $2.7 million for the upcoming season.

He has started just five of the 17 games in which he has played over the last two seasons. He missed his first two NFL campaigns due to injury.

The Patriots selected Cajuste with a third-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft out of West Virginia.

–Field Level Media

Jan 8, 2023; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) in the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Bill Belichick shopping QB Mac Jones

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has been shopping starting quarterback Mac Jones this offseason, Pro Football Talk reported Tuesday.

Teams mentioned as potential destinations include the Houston Texans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Commanders and Las Vegas Raiders, per the PFT report.

However, the Raiders since signed QB Brian Hoyer to a two-year contract to back up Jimmy Garoppolo.

The report is just the latest in a series of reports to document tensions between Belichick and the Patriots’ first-round pick (No. 15) from the 2021 draft.

In addition to missing three games and being hampered by an ankle injury in 2022, Jones also was outwardly frustrated with the makeshift offensive coordinator tandem of Matt Patricia and Joe Judge, per multiple reports. Patricia’s background is defense and Judge’s is special teams.

Jones, 24, sought outside advice from his former coaches at Alabama, which further inflamed Belichick, per reports.

However, the Patriots brought back Bill O’Brien to be offensive coordinator for the upcoming season, rectifying the problem on the coaching staff.

Jones is 16-15 as the starter over two seasons with the Patriots. He has completed 66.5 percent of his passes for 6,798 yards and 36 touchdowns against 24 interceptions.

Bailey Zappe, 23, is the only other QB currently on the Patriots’ roster. He went 2-0 as the starter in place of Jones in his rookie season. The Patriots selected him in the fourth round of the 2022 draft.

The Patriots were linked to Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, who reportedly sent word through rapper Meek Mill that he would like to play in New England. But a report last week said the Patriots were not likely to pursue Jackson, given his salary demands plus draft capital that it would take to sign or trade for him.

–Field Level Media

Jan 1, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA;  Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) stands on the sideline during the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Patriots not in on Lamar Jackson

The New England Patriots are not expected to be players in the Lamar Jackson sweepstakes, despite the quarterback’s reported interest in joining the team, The Athletic reported Wednesday.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft set the rumor mill into overdrive earlier this week when he said he got a text from rapper Meek Mill about Jackson’s interest in the Patriots. Kraft said it was up to head coach Bill Belichick.

Not happening, per The Athletic.

Jackson’s current contract demands and the draft capital a team would have to give up are a bridge too far for the fiscally conservative Patriots, per the report.

Also, the Atlanta Falcons have removed themselves from pursuing Jackson. Falcons owner Arthur Blank told two different media outlets that despite their interest in Deshaun Watson last year, the timing now is different.

The Falcons named Desmond Ridder their starting QB for 2023.

“Every year is different,” Blank told USA Today. “Deshaun was a different situation. It was a different time and space. I think Lamar is a great player … but we look at our roster and our ability to continue to build our roster now and have salary cap freedom, which we’ve never had.”

Jackson has asked to be traded, but the market for him is shrinking.

On Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions all said they’re not interested in pursuing Jackson. The Washington Commanders, New York Jets and Carolina Panthers already had stated similarly.

The Jets are actively seeking to trade for Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The Seattle Seahawks re-signed Geno Smith earlier this month, with coach Pete Carroll adding the team “couldn’t afford” Jackson.

Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard on Monday confirmed his interest in Jackson. Colts owner Jim Irsay later in the day said Jackson’s contract demands weren’t an issue, but that a team has to guard against compromising “your future to do it.”

“It really has nothing to do with actual dollars,” Irsay said. “I mean, paying a contract like that is not a problem. I mean, it’s not a problem for me. The issue is what’s the right thing to do for the franchise in terms of what helps us win in the long run.”

Jackson took to Twitter on Tuesday to defend himself against claims that durability is an issue with him.

“I don’t remember me sitting out on my guys week 1 vs jets To week 12 vs Broncos,” he tweeted. “How come all of a sudden I sit out because of money in which I could’ve got hurt at anytime within that time frame. When we know the Super Bowl been on my mind since April 2018.”

“Let’s get real. I rather have a 100% PCL than go out there and play horrible forcing myself to put my guys in a bad situation now that’s selfish to me,” he said in a second tweet.

Jackson missed four games in 2021 and five games in 2022 with injuries. Jackson, 26, is 45-16 as the Ravens’ starter and won the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award in 2019.

–Field Level Media

Oct 16, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; New England Patriots defensive back Jalen Mills (2) argues with the back judge after being flagged for a penalty against the Cleveland Browns in the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Pats re-sign CB Jalen Mills on revised deal

The New England Patriots are bringing back cornerback Jalen Mills on a revised one-year deal worth up to $6.1 million, ESPN and The Score reported Wednesday.

The Patriots released Mills on Friday, clearing $4.96 million in cap space. He signed a four-year, $24 million contract with the team in March 2021.

Mills, 28, had two interceptions and five passes defensed in 10 games (all starts) last season.

He has seven career INTs and 52 passes defensed in 89 career games (75 starts) with the Philadelphia Eagles (2016-20) and Patriots. He was selected in the seventh round of the 2016 draft by the Eagles.

The Score reported Mills is expected to move to safety in the upcoming season.

–Field Level Media