After a good first week in pads, the Patriots players got a well-deserved day off on Saturday, but the team was still busy according to a number of reports across the league.
The first report of the day came from ESPN's Field Yates reporting the Patriots gave Lawrence Guy a raise for this season. With some extra space the team was able to reward their most valuable defensive lineman. Since arriving in 2017, Guy has quickly carved himself into Patriots history, making the 2010s All-Decade Team. He's never missed a game and started 46 of 48 games with New England.
Brett Bielema, Guy's 2019 position coach, gave a glowing review of what Guy brought to the team last season.
"He is an extremely intelligent player, a great football I.Q," said Bielema. "So, as an interior defensive lineman, he has a great understanding of what an offense is trying to do, how they align, what they're doing. He also, if you remember back to a play earlier this year when he kind of jumped the snap and made an interception of all things – you don't see that a lot of times for a defensive lineman – that was all kind of an instinct-reaction. He plays with really good leverage, he has extremely strong hands. I would say all of those things coupled with a high football I.Q. and a good motor make him very tough to block, and he's probably one of the more prideful guys, too, in his preparation. I'm truly blessed to have him in our room. He does a great job with the rookies, he does great with the guys that come into the room for the first time, and just a really good role model. Bill [Belichick] always kind of stresses smart, tough, dependable, and he's the epitome of that."
Later in the afternoon came Ian Rapoport's report that the Patriots hosted Nick Folk and intend to sign him. Folk was perfect on extra points and inside the 40-yard-line in seven games with the Pats in 2019 and his return wouldn't be much of a surprise. Justin Rohrwasser has kicked only one day in practice and could be limited. At the very least, Folk could provide some veteran competition and mentorship for the young kicker.
Finally, the team announced some bottom-of-the-roster moves, swapping defensive tackle Darius Kilgo out for Xavier Williams and tight end Alex Ellis out for Paul Quessenberry.
Williams has 44 NFL games under his belt, with his best year coming in 2017 with the Chiefs when he recorded 25 solo tackles and two-and-a-half sacks. Williams has good size and is a solid veteran addition at a position that has battled injuries and could use a boost.
Quessenberry instantly becomes one of the most interesting additions the team has made in recent memory. He graduated from the Naval Academy and hasn't played football since a rookie tryout with the Texans in 2015. Quessenberry spent four years as a Naval officer and is now trying to break back into the NFL as a defensive-end-turned-tight-end. He had two older brothers play in the NFL, including one who is a cancer survivor.
He'll join long snapper Joe Cardona giving the Patriots two Midshipmen and should be a lot of fun to keep an eye on.
The Patriots will be back at practice Sunday at 10am and are scheduled to continue practicing at 10am through Thursday.