Connect with us

Patriots Daily

Patriots Football Sunday: NFL Lying Season Edition



Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) throws a pass during the first half of the Rose Bowl CFP NCAA semifinal college football game against Alabama Monday, Jan. 1, 2024, in Pasadena, Calif. McCarthy is one of the quarterbacks under consideration for the Patriots in the 2024 NFL Draft. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The period leading up to the NFL Draft is referred to in many circles as the NFL’s lying season. Rumors spread about teams’ intentions, often without merit, to throw other teams off their scent. With that in mind, today’s edition of Patriots Football Sunday will have a lying season theme. Rumors started here feature the New England Patriots and their plans for the upcoming season. These rumors may have originated with the author, his friends or relatives, Patriots Football Now readers, anonymous social media accounts, or any other number of unnamed sources.

And remember, if any of these stories end up being accurate, you heard it here first!

New England is Interested in Michael Penix Jr.

The Patriots have met with and/or attended the Pro Days of every top quarterback prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft. The lone omission? Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. Why would the Patriots do their due diligence on every top quarterback prospect except one? New England is interested in drafting Michael Penix Jr. and doesn’t want others to know.

A big concern about Penix is his medicals. News surfacing as the draft nears about concerns certain teams have is likely. New England won’t take the Huskies QB with the third pick. Where would they take him? The key is figuring out how far they can move down, pick up draft capital, and still secure their target. Stay tuned!

Why the Large Patriots Contingent at Michigan’s Pro Day?

The New England Patriots sent an important group of evaluators to the Michigan Wolverines Pro Day. It included executive Eliot Wolf, head coach Jerod Mayo, offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, and quarterbacks coach T.C. McCartney. The assumption was that the Patriots have a significant interest in QB J.J. McCarthy. Is that true?

New England shows great interest in McCarthy as rumors float that the Patriots are not enamored with UNC QB Drake Maye. However, Maye will be the New England selection if they stay at No. 3 and he is still on the board. People questioned McCarthy in Round 3 just a few months ago. Now he is being considered at three overall? New England giving the impression McCarthy is their guy could increase offers for their selection, or even have somebody leapfrog them to take him at No. 2. Eliot Wolf approves of either scenario.

Aside from WR Roman Wilson and RB Blake Corum, some under-the-radar Wolverines to keep an eye on for New England on Day 3 of the draft include OT Trente Jones, DE Braiden McGregor, WR Cornelius Johnson, OT Karsen Barnhart, and DE Jaylen Harrell.

Veteran Wide Receiver Headed to New England?

It’s a deep NFL Draft crop at wide receiver. But if the Patriots could work a deal to obtain Brandon Aiyuk or Tee Higgins they will do so. Based on the asking price in a trade and the cost of the possible extension, Higgins is likely a better fit in New England. The two questions are, what will it cost New England in a trade and what are Higgins’ contract demands? Would Higgins agree to a four-year contract similar to the one signed by Calvin Ridley? Does Cincinnati accept an offer of two third-round picks (2024 and 2025) plus JuJu Smith-Schuster? If so, there could be a deal.

Such a move enables New England to take their quarterback at three as planned. No longer needing to address wide receiver as early, they can draft a left tackle at No. 34 or move up into the bottom half of the first-round to take one. That player would be able to fight for a starting job with the Patriots as a rookie.

More Additions in Free Agency

New England already brought in several free agents on one-year deals. This includes Chukwuma Okorafor, Austin Hooper, Armon Watts, Nick Leverett, K.J. Osborn, and Jaylinn Simpson. There are several players still on the market of interest to the Patriots. The question is whether or not these players are happy with a one-year deal to show what they can do before hitting the market again in 2025. The Patriots want to bring these players aboard, but as long as there are so many players unsigned there is no rush from the franchise to change their stance on one-year incentive-laden deals. If players want a chance to come to New England, earn playing time, increase their value, and hit the market again in a year the opportunity exists.

Extensions on the Way

The NFL Draft and free agency are not the only areas where rumors are flying at this time of year. Before training camp, there will be several extensions signed by veteran New England Patriots players. PFN reported on the 28 Patriots set to become unrestricted free agents in 2025. That total will be shrinking soon. Christian Barmore, Matthew Judon, Jahlani Tavai, and Julius Peppers are all players the Patriots will look to sign to long-term deals to remain in New England. Getting Kyle Dugger locked up on a three-year deal will likely take place before any extensions are announced.

Reason Behind Malcolm Butler’s Benching Revealed Soon

And finally, one bit of gossip away from the current team altogether.

Episode 9 of “The Dynasty” covered Malcolm Butler’s benching in Super Bowl 52, a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, at length. Butler stated in the episode that he didn’t find out about not playing until game time. Butler and Josh McDaniels were among those claiming to not know why Butler did not play. Is this true? Over six years have passed since that game. The secret behind Butler’s benching has yet to be revealed. Sources indicate that will change very soon. Perhaps even in a Patriots Football Now exclusive?

The reason coming to light at this point does present a problem. It doesn’t necessarily benefit anybody involved. Is uncovering a tightly guarded secret in New England Patriots lore worth it if nobody comes out looking better for it? Hmmmm.

Award-winning blogger, Dan's work has also been featured on Fox Sports, Boston Metro, Barstool Sports,, and many other outlets.