Jan 4, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA;  A New England Patriots fan watches the end of a game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Patriots delay season-ticket deadline, anticipate fans in 2021

The New England Patriots not only hope to host fans during home games during the 2021 season, the team is shooting to fill Gillette Stadium after having no fans in 2020.

The Patriots have delayed the due date for season-ticket payments from March until June in anticipation that fans will be welcomed back to the stadium at the start of the season, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

The reports state the team sent a letter to prior season-ticket holders and is “very optimistic that we will have fans in the stands and hopeful that we will be able to do so at full capacity.”

Ticket prices will also reportedly not be increased in 2021. The Patriots will notably host the Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Gillette Stadium this upcoming season.

–Field Level Media

Feb 3, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Chris Hogan (15) against the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Report: WR Chris Hogan declares for lacrosse draft

Wide receiver Chris Hogan, who was released by the New York Jets in December, declared for the Premier Lacrosse League Entry Draft, ESPN reported Saturday.

Hogan, 33, won two Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots and spent nine seasons in the NFL. Before that, he played lacrosse at Penn State from 2007-10.

In 2009, he was a first-team All-ECAC selection when he scored 34 points on 29 goals and five assists. He finished his career with 71 points on 57 goals and 14 assists.

When he graduated from Penn State, he had one season of eligibility remaining and used it playing wide receiver and defensive back at Monmouth.

In the NFL, Hogan played with the Buffalo Bills (2012-15), Patriots (2016-18), Carolina Panthers (2019) and Jets. In 100 regular-season games (39 starts), he caught 216 passes for 2,795 yards and 18 touchdowns,

Playing in nine postseason games, he added 34 catches for 542 yards and four touchdowns.

In a 2019 interview with US Lacrosse, he said he’d like to compete in lacrosse again if the opportunity came up.

The three-round PLL Entry Draft is scheduled for March 25. Players who never have played in the league will be eligible, and the draft pool largely will be made up of players from Major League Lacrosse. The two leagues merged in December.

The PLL is made up of eight teams.

–Field Level Media

Oct 11, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; A general view of the Kansas City Chiefs  logo at midfield during the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Former first-round pick TE Willie Scott dies at 61

Willie Scott, a former first-round pick and NFL tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots, has died at the age of 61, the Patriots and the University of South Carolina announced Tuesday.

Scott needed a heart and kidney transplant after battling heart issues for years, the Charlotte Observer reported. Scott died Monday.

“The New England Patriots are deeply saddened to learn of the loss of former Patriots tight end Willie Scott,” the team said in a statement.

Scott was drafted No. 14 overall by the Chiefs in the 1981 draft out of South Carolina. His Gamecocks teammate, George Rogers, was selected No. 1 overall by the New Orleans Saints.

“It’s with heavy hearts we mourn the passing of Willie Scott. A great player, but more importantly, a great man and a true Gamecock,” South Carolina tweeted.

Scott played in 98 games (42 starts) and caught 89 passes for 766 yards and 15 touchdowns between the Chiefs (1981-85) and Pats (1986-88).

As a senior in college, Scott led the Gamecocks in receptions (27) in 1980 and had 109 receiving yards in the Gator Bowl.

–Field Level Media

Oct 4, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia points down the field during the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Matt Patricia returning to Patriots’ staff

Former Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia is rejoining the New England Patriots staff, the Boston Globe reported on Friday.

Patricia’s role hasn’t been decided. The Globe reported he would assist the coaching staff in a variety of roles.

Patricia, 46, went 13-29-1 in parts of three seasons as Lions’ coach before being fired in late November.

He spent 14 seasons with the Patriots, the final six as defensive coordinator, before being hired by the Lions prior to the 2018 season. Detroit was 4-7 this season when Patricia was fired.

The Patriots won three Super Bowls with Patricia on staff.

–Field Level Media

Nov 18, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Corey Coleman (19) is tackled by Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis (33) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Report: WR Corey Coleman suspended six games

Free-agent wide receiver Corey Coleman has been suspended six games by the NFL for violating its performance-enhancing drug policy, the NFL Network announced Tuesday.

Coleman, 26, was released by the New York Giants in September and sat out the entire season.

The Cleveland Browns selected Coleman with the 15th overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft and traded him to Buffalo on Aug. 5, 2018, for a 2020 seventh-round draft pick. He was released less than a month later.

Coleman then signed with New England but was released after less than a week; the Patriots later re-signed him to the practice squad. He was released nine days later when they acquired another former Browns receiver in Josh Gordon.

The Giants signed him to the practice squad in 2018, and he wound up playing in eight games and catching just five passes for 71 yards. New York was counting on his contribution in 2019, but he tore an ACL on the first day of practice and missed the season.

Coleman has 61 receptions for 789 yards and five touchdowns in 27 career NFL games.

–Field Level Media

Nov 22, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) scrambles with the ball as New England Patriots defensive end Chase Winovich (50) applies defensive pressure during the second quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Could Deshaun Watson land with Bill Belichick in New England?

Deshaun Watson in a Patriots uniform?

With rumors swirling that the Houston Texans’ franchise quarterback might request a trade this offseason, New England has emerged as one of several potential destinations.

Watson is coming off a career-best 4,823 passing yards while being named to his third Pro Bowl. But that came in a 4-12 season that saw coach Bill O’Brien get fired.

“We just need a whole culture shift,” Watson said Monday. “We just need new energy. We just need discipline. We need structure. We need a leader so we can follow that leader as players. That’s what we need.”

Those comments sparked speculation that Watson may want out of town. Additionally, an ESPN report Thursday added that Watson was upset the Texans did not inform him before hiring former New England Patriots executive Nick Caserio and also that they did not consider any of the candidates that he endorsed to ownership.

If he is traded before Sept. 1, Sportsbetting.com is offering the Patriots as the 2-1 favorite to land Watson.

Deshaun Watson next team odds:
New England Patriots (2/1)
Indianapolis Colts (3/1)
Chicago Bears (4/1)
Denver Broncos (5/1)
Washington Football Team (5/1)
New Orleans Saints (10/1)
Detroit Lions (10/1)
Philadelphia Eagles (15/1)
San Francisco 49ers (20/1)
New York Jets (20/1)
Pittsburgh Steelers (25/1)
Atlanta Falcons (30/1)
New York Giants (30/1)

Watson signed $177.54 extension in September that put him under contract through 2025, and the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain reported Thursday that, “under no circumstances will the Texans trade Watson.”

However, Houston closed the season with five consecutive losses under interim coach Romeo Crennel. The team is also facing a potential rebuild, and longtime veterans such as defensive end J.J. Watt could be on the move this offseason.

The Patriots have a glaring need for a new starting quarterback after a one-year failed experiment with former NFL MVP Cam Newton.

Several other destinations being offered by Sportsbetting.ag make sense as well on different levels.

–The Colts will assess their future at the position after the season with Philip Rivers, who signed a one-year deal last offseason.

–Chicago reached the playoffs, but only after returning to Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback after the former No. 2 overall pick was benched in favor of veteran Nick Foles.

–San Francisco saw Jimmy Garoppolo finish another season on injured reserve. In four seasons with the 49ers, he has played more than six games only once and his future in San Francisco is very much in question.

–Drew Lock said Monday that “without a doubt” he feels like he can be Denver’s quarterback of the future. But that comes after finishing his second season tied for the NFL lead with 15 interceptions while his completion percentage dropped to 57.3 from 64.1.

–Detroit’s Matthew Stafford has two years remaining on his $135 million deal. With a new coach and a new general manager coming in, Stafford acknowledged Monday that “there’s a lot to discuss” without specifically addressing his future with the Lions. Will he demand a trade from the team his has led since 2009?

–The Washington Football Team won the NFC East with a 7-9 record. The return of Alex Smith was one of the season’s feel-good stories, especially juxtaposed to the release of 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins, but the 36-year-old is certainly not the long-term answer in Washington.

–Ben Roethlisberger has said he plans to return for an 18th season in Pittsburgh. The 38-year-old struggled at times late this season and Mason Rudolph has not shown that he’s a legitimate heir to Roethlisberger’s throne in the Steel City.

There will be numerous teams in the market for new starting quarterbacks this offseason. And another name who could be a factor is Carson Wentz, who reportedly wants out of Philadelphia after being benched late in the season in favor of rookie Jalen Hurts.

–Field Level Media

Dec 6, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; New England Patriots running back Damien Harris (37) carries the ball against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots place RB Harris on IR

The New England Patriots placed running back Damien Harris (ankle) on injured reserve Saturday, ending the 23-year-old’s season.

This is Harris’ second trip on IR this season. He missed the first three weeks while recovering from hand surgery before debuting on Oct. 5 at the Kansas City Chiefs.

Harris finished the year with 137 carries for 691 yards and two touchdowns.

Sony Michel will likely handle the bulk of the carries Sunday in the Patriots’ season finale vs. the New York Jets.

Also Saturday, the Patriots signed TE/DE Rashod Berry, DB Michael Jackson Sr. and LB Cassh Maluia to the 53-man roster from the practice squad. They also elevated OL Ross Reynolds and DB D’Angelo Ross from the practice squad.

–Field Level Media

Dec 28, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary (26) rushes against New England Patriots defensive end John Simon (55) during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Allen’s four TD passes lead Bills past Patriots

Josh Allen threw three of his four touchdown passes to Stefon Diggs as the playoff-bound Buffalo Bills routed the New England Patriots 38-9 on Monday in Foxborough, Mass.

Allen, who completed 27 of 36 passes for 320 yards, found Diggs for an 8-yard score early in the fourth quarter to set a franchise record with his 34th passing touchdown of the season. The total surpassed the mark set by Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly in 1991.

Diggs had nine receptions for 145 yards for the Bills (12-3), who currently hold the second seed in the AFC by virtue of their 26-15 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers (12-3) on Dec. 13. Buffalo can clinch the No. 2 seed with a win over visiting Miami on Sunday or a Pittsburgh loss at Cleveland.

Tight end Lee Smith had a touchdown reception and rookie Zack Moss added a scoring run as the Bills completed a season sweep of the Patriots (6-9) for the first time since 1999. Moss rushed for a pair of touchdowns in Buffalo’s 24-21 home win over New England on Nov. 1.

Cam Newton recorded his 12th rushing touchdown of the season early in the second quarter to tie Steve Grogan (1976) for the Patriots’ single-season mark among quarterbacks.

Newton completed 5 of 10 passes for 34 yards before being pulled early in the third quarter in favor of Jarrett Stidham, who went 4 of 11 for 44 yards.

Nick Folk missed the extra-point attempt following Newton’s 9-yard touchdown to keep Buffalo’s lead at 10-9 before Allen started his scoring frenzy.

Allen tossed a 4-yard touchdown pass to Smith, then used play action to find Diggs, who scored from 50 yards out to stake the Bills to a 24-9 lead late in the first half.

Allen and Diggs certainly weren’t done, as the wide receiver split a pair of defenders for an 18-yard touchdown early in the third quarter. The duo capped the scoring in the fourth, with Diggs tying his career high for receiving touchdowns in a game, a mark he initially set against the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 13, 2019.

–Field Level Media

Oct 18, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman (11) warms up prior to the game against the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Patriots WR Edelman (knee) inactive as career questions swirl

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman is inactive for Monday’s game against the Buffalo Bills as the clock potentially winds down on his tenure with the franchise, according to the NFL Network.

Edelman,34, has spent his full 11-season career with the Patriots, winning three Super Bowl rings while catching 620 passes for 6,822 yards and 36 touchdowns. He has had three 1,000-yard seasons, including a career-high 1,117 yards in 2019. Edelman was named the MVP in Super Bowl LIII, where he had 10 catches for 141 yards in New England’s win over the Rams.

This year has proved to be much more difficult for the former Kent State wideout, whom the Patriots drafted in the seventh round in 2009. Edelman has not played since Week 7 because of a knee injury.

In six games this season, Edelman has 21 catches for 315 yards.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that Edelman also would likely miss next week’s regular-season finale.

“Edelman’s season is almost certainly over — and at age 34, his future is uncertain, as well,” Rapoport tweeted.

Edelman is under contract with the Patriots for 2021, but he could retire or the Patriots could choose to build around younger players.

–Field Level Media

Nov 1, 2020; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) passes the ball against the New England Patriots during the second quarter at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Bills backed by 90 percent of MNF bets

The Buffalo Bills have already clinched the AFC East title, and bettors believe they will kick the longtime division bullies while they’re down on Monday night.

The Bills (11-3) are 7-point favorites at New England, and Buffalo is being backed by 90 percent of the spread line bets and 91 percent of the moneyline (-315) bets at DraftKings. The story is similar at BetRivers, where Buffalo is being backed by 88 percent of the spread handle and 92 percent of the moneyline handle.

The Bills cannot earn a first-round bye, with the Kansas City Chiefs already clinching the lone one by in the AFC, but Buffalo is still in the hunt for the No. 2 seed with the Pittsburgh Steelers (12-3). Meanwhile, New England (6-8) has been eliminated from playoff contention for the first time since 2008 and has lost back-to-back games.

Buffalo beat New England 24-21 at home in Week 8 despite quarterback Josh Allen throwing for just 154 yards and an interception.

The Bills have covered the spread in each of their past six games, while the Patriots are 2-3 ATS in their past five.

Both sportsbooks have set the over/under at 46.5 points, with bettors backing the over with 69 percent of the handle at BetRivers and 56 percent of the handle at DraftKings. New England has not hit the over in six consecutive games, while Buffalo has hit the over in three of its past five.

The Bills are seeking to sweep the Patriots for the first time in 21 years after dethroning the Patriots from the top of the AFC East following 11 consecutive division titles by Bill Bellichick’s team.

Buffalo boasts the NFL’s second-ranked passing offense (278.5 yards per game) and fifth-ranked scoring offense (29.1 points).

Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs’ 111 receptions lead the NFL and he already has a career-high 1,314 receiving yards.

Although Buffalo enters Monday’s contest with momentum, coach Sean McDermott was quick to say that his team won’t be looking ahead to the playoffs.

“It’s the defending AFC East champs that have held that position for multiple, multiple, multiple years,” McDermott said. “It’s one of the greatest — if not the greatest — coach ever to coach our game. They’re going to be prepared, they’re going to be well-coached, and they’ll be ready to go.”

–Field Level Media