Edelman at Wednesday practice; six missing


Edelman at Wednesday practice; six missing

FOXBORO -- The Patriots might be playing in 80-degree temperatures this weekend in Miami. But there will be no warmup beforehand.
"We'll be outside on the grass," head coach Bill Belichick said before practice. "I think that's the best setup for us right now."
So New England held its Wednesday workout on the lower field in 37-degree weather. Six players on the active roster were missing from the shorts and shells session: DE Chandler Jones (ankle), LG Logan Mankins (calfankle), OT Sebastian Vollmer (backknee), TE Rob Gronkowski (forearmhip), and OT Markus Zusevics.
There was also a No. 17 on the field, likely receiver Jeremy Ebert, who was signed back to the Patriots practice squad today. The team made room for Ebert with the promotion of running back James Develin to the 53-man roster.
Note that Julian Edelman was warming up with the team during the media availability portion. There was question as to the receiver's status as he left Thursday night's Jets game with a third quarter head injury and did not return.

Hawkins says he passed up more lucrative deals to sign with Patriots


Hawkins says he passed up more lucrative deals to sign with Patriots

The Patriots went into Wednesday with what could have passed as the deepest receiving group in team history, yet by lunchtime they had added another. 

Former Browns and Bengals wideout Andrew Hawkins announced on Twitter (via uSTADIUM) that he had chose to come to terms with New England. He explained that the opportunity to work with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick proved to be enough to convince him that he should pass up more lucrative offers from other clubs.

"After giving it a lot of though, I've decided that I'm going to join the New England Patriots," he said. "Super excited about the opportunity, man, to join the reigning football champions. In Cleveland, I said it was about joining a contender, and the Patriots are the contender, the reigning champs.

"The program is top-notch, and you get the opportunity to play with the best quarterback and the best coach in NFL history, man, so it's super exciting. It was never really about the money. To be honest, I passed up on deals that were probably double the compensation . . . but it was all about winning for me at this point, and putting myself in the best position to do so."

Hawkins (5-foot-7, 180 pounds) may be a familiar name to Patriots fans as he caught four passes for a season-high 56 yards and one touchdown against New England in Week 5 of last season. He finished the year with 33 catches for 324 yards and three scores. The 31-year-old has recently seen his name in the headlines as he completed his Sports Management degree at Columbia and graduated last week. 

The Patriots have receivers room that's currently pretty loaded with talent. Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola and Malcolm Mitchell figure to make up the top end of the depth chart, while former practice-squad wideouts Devin Street, Devin Lucien and DeAndrew White figure to compete for playing time as do undrafted rookies Austin Carr and Cody Hollister.

"Nothing's for sure. I got my work cut out for me. It's an opportunity," Hawkins said. "That's how I'm approaching it. Going there and seeing how I stack up with the best and try to earn my keep and prove my worth. I'm jsust excited to get there, get to work, and hopefully I can be part of something special and kind of join that Patriot legacy."