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Authentic Adrian Phillips Jersey faced the New England Patriots twice as a Los Angeles Charger.

A dozen tackles, including one for loss, and one pass breakup would be the byproduct in October 2017. An additional six tackles, including one for loss, would follow during his return to Gillette Stadium for the AFC divisional round in January 2019.

Phillips is on track for a longer stay now. New England agreed to terms with the 27-year-old safety during the initial wave of free agency.

According to Field Yates and Mike Reiss of ESPN, it is a two-year pact for Phillips that includes a $1.5 million signing bonus and a combined cap number of $6 million. Upcoming are base salaries of $1.25 million and $2.25 million for 2020 and 2021, respectively, along with up to $500,000 in per-game roster bonuses and $750,000 in incentives for each season.

A good match of value and versatility Phillips projects to be.

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A reported $1 million of his 2020 base salary is guaranteed. A reported $500,000 of his 2021 base is.

Phillips entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2014. The former Texas Longhorns captain would draw Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro honors for his work on special teams by 2018. From kickoff and punt returns to kickoff and punt coverage, that campaign saw Phillips appear in all 16 games for the Chargers.


He’d start seven.

The volume gave way to a career-high 94 tackles with nine defended passes, one interception and one forced fumble. By the close of the calendar, Phillips had logged 66% of the defensive snaps and 78% of the snaps in the kicking game.

Los Angeles Chargers v New England Patriots
While a Charger, Phillips registered 18 tackles over two career meetings with the Patriots. (Photo … [+] GETTY IMAGES
The Chargers re-signed Phillips on a one-year, $2 million deal last March. Five starts over seven contests were the result at both strong and free safety, with a broken forearm leading to a stint on injured reserve in between.

“AP’s versatility is huge,” Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn told reporters in the aftermath Phillips’ injury last September. “He was a special teams Pro Bowler last year. He’s the captain of that secondary. He’ll be hard to replace.”

Phillips made his way back by December to earn the sixth-highest Pro Football Focus grade among safeties. He earned it in a limited sample size, yet while lining up in the box, in the slot and in the deep half.

New England’s safety depth chart, among others, has undergone a shift since the legal-tampering window met the new league year. The organization extended the decade-long tenure of Devin McCourty last Sunday, agreed to trade third-in-command Duron Harmon to the Detroit Lions on Wednesday, and saw core special-teamer Nate Ebner join the New York Giants as a free agent on Thursday.

The 5-foot-11, 210-pound Phillips could handle what the exits of Harmon and Ebner leave behind. At least in part.

He finds himself in a room of safeties where McCourty, Patrick Chung and Terrence Brooks all have seats. Also under contract are recent members of New England’s practice squad in Authentic Obi Melifonwu Jersey and Authentic Adarius Pickett Jersey, as well as a member of last spring’s undrafted class in Authentic Malik Gant Jersey, who spent his rookie year on injured reserve.

Phillips stands with 64 games and 24 starts on his NFL log. He has recorded 251 tackles, 18 passes defensed, five interceptions and a pair of forced fumbles from sub-package linebacker to single-high centerfielder.

For the Patriots, it’s ground worth covering.

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The Patriots continue to add players with special teams backgrounds via free agency, signing former Jaguars safety Authentic Cody Davis Jersey. Davis’ agent, Jordan Woy, tweeted the move earlier on Monday.

Davis spent the first five of his seven NFL seasons with the Rams before playing the last two years with Jacksonville. He has appeared in 97 career games with five starts and has 83 tackles, two interceptions and two forced fumbles to his credit.

The majority of Davis’ work has come in the kicking game, which makes him a strong candidate to replace veteran Nate Ebner, who signed with the Giants as a free agent late last week. Like Ebner, Davis is a safety by trade who sees very little action on defense.

Davis was signed by the Rams as an undrafted free agent out of Texas Tech in 2013.

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Taking his talents to Foxborough, Penn alumnus Authentic Brandon Copeland Jersey, a former All-Ivy defensive lineman on the football team who played for the New York Jets the past two seasons, has signed with AFC East rival the New England Patriots.

Copeland, a linebacker and special teams player, had 27 tackles, 15 assisted tackles, 1.5 sacks, two deflected passes, and one forced fumble in 12 games for the 7-9 Jets last season. In a Week 9 18-26 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Nov. 3, he had a season-high nine total tackles and one sack.

During Super Bowl weekend, Copeland was presented with the NFL Players Association’s Alan Page Community Service Award. The union’s highest honor, it recognizes “one player who demonstrates a profound dedication to positively impacting his team’s city and communities across the country.”

Across four NFL seasons—he spent his first two seasons with the Detroit Lions—Copeland has 73 tackles, 34 assisted tackles, seven sacks, four deflected passes, and two forced fumbles.

New England is coming off an un-Patriot-like subpar season. They finished 12-4 and won their division, but lost in the Wild Card round at home to the Tennessee Titans. This season will be the Pats’ first without future Hall-of-Famer Tom Brady in 20 years.

Thrice in his four years as a Quaker, Copeland, a Wharton grad and a Penn lecturer, was a member of Ivy League championship teams, in 2009, 2010, and 2012. He was also a three-time First-Team All-Ivy selection. He was undrafted out of college and spent short stints with the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans before signing with the Lions.

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — After a 2019 season in which the New England Patriots finished last in the NFL in tight end receptions and targets, according to research by ESPN’s Stats & Information, what has the club done to address the position this offseason?

[Insert sound of crickets].

There has been no movement, other than subtraction (the retirement of veteran Benjamin Watson).

In one sense, it is understandable. The free-agent market was thin, especially once the Los Angeles Chargers placed the franchise tag on Hunter Henry. The Cleveland Browns moved fast to lock up Austin Hooper, formerly of the Atlanta Falcons, but at a hefty price tag (four years, $44 million, with $23 million guaranteed) that was likely out of the Patriots’ consideration.

Patriots tight end Matt LaCosse will be working with second-year QB Jarrett Stidham this season. Billie Weiss/Getty Images
Likewise, veteran Jimmy Graham’s two-year, $16 million deal with the Chicago Bears, which included $9 million guaranteed, was viewed by Football Outsiders as overspending. And it’s hard to imagine Graham being a fit in New England, regardless.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ two-year, $12 million deal with Eric Ebron was more reasonable, yet the Patriots’ lack of interest spoke volumes of how they didn’t view Ebron as a fit.

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Clearly, the supply didn’t meet the demand for the Patriots, who return 2019 free-agent signing Authentic Matt LaCosse Jersey and 2018 seventh-round draft choice Authentic Ryan Izzo Jersey on the depth chart. Improvement from LaCosse and Izzo would be part of upgrading the position, and perhaps working with second-year quarterback Authentic Jarrett Stidham Jersey — a player on a similar development track/knowledge base in the system — helps spark that progress.

But the Patriots still need help, whether it’s via trade, the draft or the waiver wire. That’s why, when assessing the team’s needs, it starts at tight end — even more than quarterback, with one caveat: Only if the Patriots felt like a franchise QB option was available would they pounce (and that seems unlikely with their first pick at No. 23 and a trade up doubtful).

The following is one view of the Patriots’ top needs, paired with a realistic, early-round prospect from ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay’s new tiers piece:

  1. Tight end
    With 12 draft picks, the Patriots have some capital to trade that might interest teams with an excess at the position. One suggestion: See if the Chicago Bears might be willing to move disappointing 2017 second-round pick Adam Shaheen for a late-rounder.

This year’s draft isn’t considered deep at the position, but then again, analysts were saying something similar in 2013 when Tyler Eifert was viewed by many as the only first-round-caliber option. But how many teams would now covet a player such as Zach Ertz (second round) or Travis Kelce (third round)?

Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet could be a good fit for New England. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
McShay’s match: Notre Dame’s Cole Kmet (No. 42 overall draft prospect). At 6-foot-5¾ and 262 pounds, Kmet has huge mitts and enters the draft after his junior season (43 catches, 515 yards, 6 TDs). He fits the mold of the combination tight end that is highly valued in New England — equally as effective as a blocker and pass-catcher.

  1. Off-the-line linebacker
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Losing Jamie Collins and Elandon Roberts in free agency has thinned the depth chart, leaving captain Authentic Dont’a Hightower Jersey, 2018 fifth-round pick Authentic Ja’Whaun Bentley Jersey and practice-squad player Authentic Terez Hall Jersey as the top options. Safety Adrian Phillips is also a projected factor at this spot in certain sub packages.

Ideal characteristics: Speed, take-on ability in the run game and a presence on special teams.

Veteran Nigel Bradham is one of the top available free agents, and if the Patriots wanted to take a flier on a highly touted prospect who hasn’t panned out, 2016 Jets first-round pick Darron Lee could be worth a look.

McShay’s match: Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray (No. 27 overall prospect). If the Patriots are going to select a linebacker early, the key is that he can play all four downs. The 6-foot-2, 241-pound Murray fits that mold, and might be the closest thing to Collins in terms of playmaking ability in this year’s draft.

  1. Offensive line
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Top interior backup Ted Karras signed with the Dolphins in free agency, and starting right tackle Marcus Cannon is in the latter stages of his career with a high salary-cap charge, so any position up front could be targeted to help solidify the ranks. Offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste, the 2019 third-round pick from West Virginia who spent his rookie season on injured reserve, is a wild card who could be viewed as a “new” draft pick himself.

Former Patriots, Titans and Vikings center/guard Josh Kline (30) is a free agent who could fit, assuming he was amenable to a projected role as a top backup.

McShay’s match: Michigan’s Cesar Ruiz (No. 36 overall prospect). With center/guard flexibility, the 6-foot-2, 307-pound Ruiz would represent a safer choice in an altered offseason in which scouting has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. He would initially project as a top backup at all three interior spots. If any of the top offensive tackles slide — a group headlined by Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs, Alabama’s Jedrick Wills and Georgia’s Andrew Thomas — the Patriots should pounce.

  1. Wide receiver

Penn State receiver K.J. Hamler has the kind of speed and versatility the Patriots could use. Adam Ruff/Icon Sportswire
A Damiere Byrd-for-Phillip Dorsett swap in free agency could ultimately be an upgrade when considering the speedy Byrd as a factor as a return man. But even more speed and playmaking ability is needed to pair with Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry, Mohamed Sanu and Byrd atop the depth chart.

The draft is widely viewed as deep at the position, making that the more likely avenue for the Patriots to pursue than free agency. A duplicate to what the Chiefs added last year with Mecole Hardman would be ideal.

McShay’s match: Penn State’s K.J. Hamler (No. 75 overall prospect). With Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III projected to be off the board early, Hamler is one of the receivers next in line in terms of speed and explosiveness. He was a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award as college football’s most versatile player, as he projects as a factor in the return game, as well.

  1. Defensive end/outside linebacker
    Kyle Van Noy was one of the Patriots’ top defenders, and now that he signed with the Dolphins as a free agent, it opens a spot for 2019 third-round pick Chase Winovich to possibly emerge opposite John Simon. Derek Rivers, the 2017 third-round pick who has spent two of his three seasons on injured reserve, is in the mix alongside Keionta Davis, Shilique Calhoun and practice-squad player Authentic Tashawn Bower Jersey.

If the Patriots are looking to build more depth, former Giants and Bengals edge player Kerry Wynn might be of interest. The club had explored him as a fit in its scheme when Wynn was a restricted free agent two years ago. Old friend Jabaal Sheard is on the market, while Clay Matthews would fall more into the Chris Long situational-pass-rusher category.

McShay’s match: Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa (No. 26 overall prospect). The scheme versatility of the 6-foot-5, 275-pound Epenesa could be appealing, as he potentially fits as a 4-3 end or as a 3-4 end.

  1. Kicker
    The often-overlooked position figures to be a target for the Patriots this year, similar to 2006, when they selected Stephen Gostkowski in the fourth round to replace Adam Vinatieri. Georgia’s Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia Southern’s Tyler Bass and Stanford’s Jet Toner are among those viewed as possible draft picks.

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A continuing series looking at how the Patriots could fill positions through the NFL Draft, April 23 to 25.

When it comes to the offensive line, you can never have enough depth.

That was evident last year. The Patriots had three offensive linemen retire during the offseason (Jared Veldheer, Brian Schwenke and J.J. Dielman). The Pats then traded for three players at the end of training camp (Russell Bodine, Corey Cunningham and Jermaine Eluemunor). It still wasn’t enough.

This offseason, the Patriots have lost two interior backup offensive linemen from last season’s team. Ted Karras, who started at center last year in place of Authentic David Andrews Jersey (blood clots), became a free agent and signed with Miami. He had been the Pats top backup center and guard over the last three seasons. Last year’s top backup center, James Ferentz, is also a free agent.

The Pats currently don’t have a backup center on the roster. Their backup guards — Hjalte Froholdt, Eluemunor and Authentic Najee Toran Jersey — are all untested. That’s a big reason why no one should be surprised if the Patriots draft a guard or center.

The average guard/center drafted by Bill Belichick stands 6-feet-3 and weighs 307 pounds. Athletically, he runs a 5.25 40-yard dash, has a 27-inch vertical leap, makes more than 27 reps on the bench press, broad jumps 102 inches, has a 3-cone time around 7.79 and has a shuttle time around 4.58.

After combing over every player at this year’s NFL Combine, here are five who fit the Patriot mold.

Matt Hennessy, Temple

Hennessy is one of the best athletic fits at either guard/center or tackle. That’s how athletic he is. For interior offensive linemen, he hits six of eight categories — height, weight, 40 time, vertical jump, broad jump and 3-cone. Athletically, his numbers are comparable to former Patriots center Dan Connolly.

At Temple, Hennessy was a standout center and a finalist for the Remington Trophy, which is given to the nation’s top center. He earned All-American honors. He even played some guard. Hennessy is a projected Day 2 draft pick.

John Simpson, Clemson

Simpson ties with Hennessy for the best fit among interior offensive linemen. He also has six hits — height, weight, 40 time, vertical jump, bench and broad jump. He’s also a projected Day 2 draft pick.

Simpson is coming off a fantastic career at Clemson. He played for three seasons, making 29 of 30 starts at left guard. He was named third-team All-ACC in 2018 and first-team all-conference last season. He also garnered second-team All-American honors. He’s lauded for his technique and physicality.

Cesar Ruiz, Michigan

Ruiz ties for the third most hits among interior offensive lineman. He hits for what the Patriot like in terms of weight, 40 time, vertical jump, bench press and broad jump. He’s a projected first-round pick, who at worse falls to the early second round. The Patriots have already shown interest, meeting with Ruiz at the NFL Combine.

Ruiz had a great career at Michigan, where he played both guard and center (five starts at right guard and 26 at center). He enters the draft where he profiles as a starter at either position.

Damien Lewis, LSU

Lewis ties with Ruiz and four others with five hits. He meets what the Patriots look for in weight, 40 time, vertical jump, bench press and broad jump. It’s possible he hits more, but he didn’t participate in the 3-cone or shuttle drill. He is projected as a Day 3 pick.

After transferring to LSU from junior college, Lewis started two seasons at right guard. Last year, he earned second-team All-SEC honors. He was a part of a national championship and helped the Tigers win the Joe Moore Award, which is given to the top offensive line in the country. The Patriots met with him at the NFL Combine and had a FaceTime interview with him.

Danny Pinter, Ball State

Pinter also hits five of the eight targets. He matches up what the Patriots look for in height, 40 time, vertical jump, broad jump and 3-cone time. He’s also projected to go somewhere in Day 3 of the draft.

Pinter has an interesting story. He started at Ball State as a tight end and played there for two seasons before transitioning to tackle as junior. He started at right tackle over the last two seasons and excelled. Considering he stands 6-4 and weighs 306 pounds, teams will look to move him to guard. In fact, one athletic comparison is Patriots left guard Joe Thuney.

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On Wednesday, the New England Patriots signed former Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Damiere Byrd. It was a typical move by the Patriots, who like to make low-key free-agent acquisitions during this time of the year.

New England signed Byrd to a one-year contract, and now that the details of his contract have been made available, it’s evident that he is no lock to make the roster come September.

Byrd’s contract has a base salary of $1 million and gets $600,000 in guarantees, which includes his signing bonus and $250,000 of his base salary, according to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe. Additionally, Byrd has up to $900,000 in incentives he can earn, which are tied to receptions, per ESPN insider Field Yates. He’s currently taking up 0.7% of the team’s salary cap space, per OTC. If the Patriots were to cut Byrd during the preseason, he would leave behind $600,000 in dead money. So, there’s little for New England to lose if they want to part ways with him.

Byrd will certainly have his work cut out for him when he hits the practice for the first time in New England. He joins a receiver room that consists of Julian Edelman, Authentic Mohamed Sanu Jersey, Authentic N’Keal Harry Jersey, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski, Authentic Quincy Adeboyejo Jersey and Authentic Devin Ross Jersey. But what Byrd has going for him that the other wideouts on the roster don’t possess is blazing speed. Back at his pro day in 2015 Byrd ran a 4.28 40 time, which only a handful of players in the NFL have been able to run.

Unfortunately for Byrd, his blazing speed hasn’t translated to on-the-field success since entering the league in 2016. In four seasons he has 44 receptions for 488 yards and three scores. However, most of his production came last year in Arizona, when he caught 32 passes for 359 yards and one score.

If Byrd can stay on the Patriots roster in 2020, he has the opportunity to make his first NFL paycheck with seven figures on it.

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Lance Kendricks of the New England Patriots has been suspended without pay for the first game of the 2019 regular season for violating the NFL’s policy and program on substances of abuse.

Kendricks is eligible to participate in all remaining preseason practices and the team’s final preseason game. He will be eligible to return to the Patriots’ active roster on Monday, Sept. 9, following the team’s Week 1 game vs. Pittsburgh.

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Eric Saubert, a reserve tight end who spent his first two NFL seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, has been traded from Atlanta to New England for a 2020 seventh-round conditional pick, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero has reported.

A fifth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the 6-foot-5, 253-pound tight end has caught just five passes (all coming during the 2018 season) in 30 NFL regular-season games. He received one start in two seasons in Atlanta before being traded to New England, who continues to try to solidify their tight end position following Rob Gronkowski’s retirement.

Matt LaCosse, a 2019 offseason signee who was slated to win the job as New England’s starting tight end coming into training camp, sustained a lower-body injury during the Patriots’ preseason-opening victory over the Detriot Lions and was not present during the team’s practice on Monday. Lance Kendricks, a nine-year veteran who spent the past two seasons in Green Bay, did return to practice on Monday after missing New England’s previous six sessions with an undisclosed injury. Kendricks was joined at practice by fellow tight ends Ryan Izzo and Stephen Anderson.

Ben Watson, a 38-year-old and 16-year NFL veteran who was part of New England’s Super Bowl XXXIX championship team, is back in New England after being talked out of retirement this offseason. Watson will have to serve a four-game suspension to start the season after failing a league-issued drug test in March.

Watson, who recently spent time catching passes from future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees in New Orleans, is excited to be back in New England catching passes from future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady.

“It is amazing how tremendously you can grow as a player when you have the right coach, the right system, the right offensive coordinator, but also the right quarterback,” Watson said, per the Boston Herald.

“There is a certain gene in a lot of quarterbacks that makes them compete and perfect their craft with other players. With Tom and Drew, it was staying after practice and running extra routes, it was in the meeting room and watching on films.

“Them vocalizing helps you grow as a player.”

Watson is the favorite to see the most snaps at tight end on a per-game basis once he returns from his suspension, but the Patriots are likely to use multiple players at the position — a committee approach — in 2019. In the back half of the 2018 regular season, the Patriots shifted to a run-first offense behind 2018 first-round running back Sony Michel. This change in offensive style led to an increase in the usage of multiple tight end personnel packages. This style of offense is projected to carry over into the 2019 season Brady enters his age-42 season.

The Patriots are surely hoping to get some production out of Saubert, who caught 190 passes for 2,253 yards and 21 touchdowns in four seasons at Drake. Despite his production at Drake, Saubert received an extremely negative review from an AFC team regional scout in his pre-draft bio on

“He’s body [is] beautiful but he can’t catch,” the scout wrote of Saubert, an All-American during his last two college seasons. “I don’t think it’s correctable either. I just think he doesn’t see the ball well and doesn’t have good hand-eye. You are drafting an athlete and not a tight end if you take him.”

If anyone can correct Saubert’s mechanical issues, it’s Bill Belichick, who will look to do just that during Saubert’s time in Foxboro.

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QB Tom Brady’s been more active than usual on social media this offseason, and today he kept up the pace. On his official Instagram account, TB12 posted a short video clip of himself hard at work, throwing a football on a grassy field to a receiver who looks a lot like Josh Gordon.
Meanwhile, an ESPN blog post ranks the offseasons of all 32 NFL teams and explains why the Super Bowl Champs’ was just “average.” continues its ranking of the 15 most important Patriots of 2019, with one of the specialists checking in at No. 14.

And how about this gimmick… the Buffalo Bills are looking for a couple of fans willing to tie the knot at their 50-yard line this September when the Super Bowl Champion Patriots come to town.

Almost as quickly as it surfaced, the Houston Texans’ pursuit of New England’s Nick Caserio has ended. Late this past Friday, the Texans issued the following statement from their owner, via the team’s official Twitter account:
Texans PR

Statement from #Texans Chairman and CEO Cal McNair:

5:34 AM – Jun 15, 2019
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The Patriots, who had filed tampering charges with the NFL against Houston, apparently were satisfied with the Texans’ statement, as indicated by this Twitter statement distributed by the Super Bowl Champs:
New England Patriots

Statement from #Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft:

6:14 AM – Jun 15, 2019
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New England is said to have dropped its tampering charge against the Texans, but that doesn’t necessarily mean this case has been fully resolved, according to some media pundits. The Pro Football Talk website writes that the language to which Houston referred in the above Tweet is coming under scrutiny by some higher-ups in the league.

And a columnist speculates on what the future might hold for Caserio, the Patriots, and the Texans. NFL Network adds this further nugget of information, about a potential trade of Caserio to Houston.
Michael Giardi

· Jun 15, 2019
Discussed this a couple days ago with a source who said it was his belief there was contractual language that might dissuade the Texans. Now we have our answer. Caserio is staying, for now. #Patriots …

Texans PR

Statement from #Texans Chairman and CEO Cal McNair:

View image on Twitter

Michael Giardi

Per @TomPelissero, Caserio’s contract expires at the end of next season. There was a discussion about a potential trade. The end result is the Texans walking away.

7:45 AM – Jun 15, 2019
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Meanwhile, a trade last week between the Patriots and Lions has fallen through after tight end Michael Roberts failed his physical here in New England, according to ESPN.

Finally this Monday, NFL Films produced and posted a Father’s Day-related video about Patriots WR Julian Edelman and his father over the weekend. NBC Sports Boston provides a link and a convenient recap of the story.

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For the first time in the Belichick era, the Patriots drafted a wide receiver in the first round when the team selected N’Keal Harry with the 32nd pick on Thursday night. The wide receiver out of Arizona State is the focus of Patriots Nation, and while has you covered for stats and performance (like the epic one-handed catch below), we are making sure Patriots Nation gets to know their newest member off the field too.

Good [email protected] | #PatsDraft

wr N’Keal Harry New England Patriots
Joejuan Williams New England Patriots
Chase Winovich New England Patriots
rb Damien Harris New England Patriots
Yodny Cajuste New England Patriots
Hjalte Froholdt New England Patriots
qb Jarrett Stidham New England Patriots
Jake Bailey New England Patriots

— New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 26, 2019
Family is first for the Patriots draft pick. Not only was N’Keal surrounded by his extended family when he got the call from the Patriots, it was the first time he had seen much of his family in two years. His family hails from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a southern Caribbean nation, and some of his family members just recently received their U.S. visas, he said in his post-draft conference call.

The moment your dream comes true. @NkealHarry15 gets the call from Coach Belichick. #PatsDraft | NFLN/ESPN/ABC | April 25-27

— New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 26, 2019
According to That Football Girl’s Melissa Jacobs, his family had applied for visas multiple times and had been denied, but “this time when they gave their reason for entry into the United States – to be with Harry when he’s drafted – their 10-year Visas were approved. Finally, the family will get to spend time with Harry, be there for one of the top moments of his life, and see him play football live for the first time.”

And being able to share this moment with his mom, grandmother and the rest of his family was priceless.

“A lot of my friends were here – you know, people that have just been by my side since Day 1. So, it was an extremely special moment for all of us,” N’Keal said.

Though he had 50 or 60 family and friends with him, it had previously been just him and his grandmother living in Arizona. But coming to the States wasn’t an easy decision.
When N’Keal was four, his mother, Naudine, and his grandmother, Felna, decided it was best for Felna to take him to the United States. For years, Felna raised N’Keal, working hard to support him and give him a life of love and opportunity. As he grew up and excelled in sports, his grandmother took on job after job to care for him, even if it meant coming out of retirement to do so.

It is a special bond, and he told ESPN before the Combine that his first paycheck was going to his grandmother to thank her for everything she did for him to succeed. He went to Arizona State to stay close to Felna, and she never missed a home game.

“I really do believe that it was for the best for my grandma raising me. That woman taught me so much, everything from having very good manners to how to speak to people, how to speak well, how to speak fluently. I’m just thankful,” he told ESPN.
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The day is finally here. The part that makes it so special is the fact that my family is able to be with me. Still missing some of my brothers, sisters, aunties & uncles, but it’s a blessing nonetheless to be able to get the amount of family members we did over from the island to share this moment with me. No matter what happens or where I go in the draft, I get to fulfill a lifelong dream. I’m going to the big leagues✨#Vincy #NFLDraft2019

A post shared by N’Keal Harry (@nkealharry) on Apr 25, 2019 at 10:27am PDT

N’Keal being drafted surely will make his family proud, but he is also making history as the first person from St. Vincent and the Grenadines to play in the NFL. He will also reunite with former ASU teammate Christian Sam in New England, and Tom Brady even tweeted his excitement about the newest Patriot.

Glad to have you N’Keal. Big things ahead, excited to work with you.

— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) April 26, 2019
Football wasn’t the only sport in which he excelled. His AAU basketball coach, T.J. Howard, told ESPN N’Keal could play in the NBA. As a high school senior, he went up for a shot and shattered the backboard, so Howard isn’t exaggerating.
But the athletic talent doesn’t stop with N’Keal. N’Keal and his girlfriend, Kianna Ibis, are something of a power couple. Kianna was a star player for Arizona State’s basketball team, which made its first Sweet 16 this year.
Though he has yet to step on an NFL field and compete, N’Keal is already considering how he will use his platform to give back. He told “That Football Girl” that he wants to start a sports academy on St. Vincent and the Grenadines to help kids there hone their skills, so they don’t have to move elsewhere to seek out opportunities.

Though he is new to the Patriots, N’Keal showed he has the New England mindset when talking with media after he was selected.

“Whatever Coach wants me to do – if he wants me to do one or the other or both – I wouldn’t hesitate to jump at it,” he said.

Welcome to New England, N’Keal.