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News Blitz 1/28: Mankins earns spot on 2013 Sporting News All-Pro team
"Amendola is coming off a disappointing season in which he missed four games and lost Tom Brady’s trust, and could be in danger of being cut," writes Volin. "It would cost the Patriots $4.8 million against the cap to outright cut him, which seems unlikely given their tight cap situation, but they could designate him a post-June 1 cut, which would give him cap charges of $1.2 million in 2014 and $3.6 million in 2015. The Patriots could then use those savings to sign free agent Julian Edelman."
Nick Underhill of MassLive.com reports that it's unlikely Danny Amendola will need offseason surgery to repair his groin injury that was suffered in the 2013 season opener. According to a source, the belief is that Amendola can heal through rest.
"Amendola moved better later in the season, showing some flashes, but both he and quarterback Tom Brady admitted that their chemistry wasn't where they would like it to be heading into the playoffs," adds Underhill.
"Regardless of his supporting cast, Brady is just a winner," writes Machota. "Sure, having the game's best head coach is a huge advantage, but Brady has been extremely effective with a consistently changing group of offensive weapons. Over the last four seasons, the three-time Super Bowl champ has tossed 134 touchdowns, only Drew Brees has thrown more during that time.
Josh Norris of NBCSports.com shares his latest 2014 NFL mock draft. He projects the Patriots to select Pitt DL Aaron Donald with the 29th overall pick in this year's draft.
"Sure, Donald is “undersized,” checking in at 6’0/290 pounds, but consistent interior disruption trumps everything," writes Norris. "Donald has great length and wins from the one, three, and five techniques. I prefer Dominique Easley overall, but Donald has no health concerns and could really help the Patriots’ interior push. Chris Jones played admirably, and I would not be surprised if he has a soft spot in Bill Belichick’s heart, but Donald is an immediate improvement."
Sporting News shares their 2013 NFL All-Pro team, with G Logan Mankins the only Patriot to make the squad.
On Mankins: "The Patriots’ offensive line had to reshuffle a bit, which threw it off early in pass protection. But, Mankins' ability to play multiple positions kept it together. New England was at its best when it could pound away, and Mankins was the most valuable facilitator in the running game."