Yesterday the Patriots announced that they had signed first-round pick, Dominique Easley. As the day went on, more details came out about the contract. According to reports, Easley's deal is worth $7.3 million over four years. The 22-year-old defensive tackle will also receive a $3.63 million signing bonus. For more information, Zuri Berry highlighted all the details in a recent post on *Boston.com.
With the team off for the next month, NESN's Doug Kyed decided to make a list of "offseason superlatives". The 'Workout Warrior' award was given to Jamie Collins, while Julian Edelman was awared the 'MVP' and Kenbrell Thompkins earned the title of 'Most Improved'.*
"Thompkins obviously added some bulk over the offseason and didn't appear to lose any speed or agility. Thompkins looked more comfortable in the offense, and he already appeared to be earning the trust of his quarterback, Tom Brady," says Kyed.
Kenbrell Thompkins has been the talk of the town over the past two weeks. Many Patriots reporters agree that the second-year wide receiver has been impressive this offseason during OTAs and mini-camp. Comcast Sports Net's Phil Perry says that Thompkins has made the most of his chances this spring.
"If he continues to do that, there's a chance he could continue to fly under the radar all the way through August and end up with a roster spot just as he did last season," says Perry.
However, no one is as optimistic about the former University of Cincinnati receiver as Connor Fulton. In an article on Rant Sports, Fulton said that Thompkins will emerge as a star in 2014.
"Like [Troy] Brown, Thompkins has a tendency to be where Brady expects him to be," writes Fulton. "As long as he keeps that up, Thompkins should have at least 70 receptions, 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns. With numbers like that, Thompkins will make a name for himself in the NFL."
That's a bold prediction if I've ever seen one.
Last week during mini-camp we saw James Develin running routes and catching passes during the 11-on-11 drills. According to Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal, that's something we should get used to seeing. He believes that Develins ability to catch the ball may be the key to making the 53-man roster.
"With the uncertainty surrounding Rob Gronkowski, Develin could be in the mix at tight end come training camp," says Daniels. "His development could be a reason why the Patriots haven't added any other veterans to the tight end group this offseason."
Last night, Julian Edelman appeared on the NFL Network for a short interview. He talked about mini-camp, Gronk, and Darrelle Revis as well as his quarterback, Tom Brady. Edelman said that it wouldn't surprise him if Brady plays until he's 40, but that his only focus right now is on the 2014 season.
As WEEI's Christopher Price points out, Brady could move up several all-time statistical lists in 2014. Assuming he stays healthy -- knock on wood -- Brady should surpass Warren Moon and John Elway in career passing yards this year. Additionally, Brady is only 61 touchdown passes behind Dan Marino's 420 career TDs.