Belichick cracks wise during bye-week media meet

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Belichick cracks wise during bye-week media meet

Business at Gillette is usually a little more relaxed during the bye week.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick was in a swell enough mood Tuesday, offering up quotes for the media that measured more in inches than the usual millimeters. One topic Belichick rapped about was linebacker Jerod Mayo's resurfacing in practice.

Mayo, a defensive captain and 2010's league-leader in tackles, sat out the last two games with a left MCL injury. Initially, his timetable was set at 6-8 weeks; last Friday's return to practice was something of a surprise.

Belichick was asked about Mayo's involvement with the team during those two weeks -- about any player whose status turns questionable. His answer wasn't terribly surprising. The trainer's office just sounded more crowded than one might imagine.

"Not to give you a long-winded answer, but we have a lot of players in our system. The guys who are playing, they need treatment on some of their stuff too. They get it during the break periods before the meetings, at lunch, maybe after practice. That room fills up pretty quickly with those guys.

"Sometimes the players who arent able to participate or who need more rehabilitation, some of that work gets done during the meeting time so that our medical staff can be more hands-on and can do more things with them because they have so many other guys to deal with at other points of time during the day."

Excusing himself for saying too much? There's a new one. When it came to applying the process specifically to Mayo, though, Belichick wasn't interested.

"I know you guys think its like this big secret society going on here, but whats most important to us is to get healthy players on the field. Believe it or not, thats at the absolute top of our list is to get players healthy and get them on the field. The quicker that happens, the better it is for the player, the better it is for the team, the more work we can get done and the more we can improve."

No secret societies. Got it.

The conversation continued to wind through the alleys of individual players and their progress, like offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer ("I think he's doing better. We'll see where he is." and receiverspecial teamer Julian Edelman (It's the same process with everybody.")

But after all that, and after refusing any interest in Carson Palmer-trade talk, Belichick was thrown a curveball. What's with the new hoodie? Is this limited bye-week edition or what?

He replied with a dinger.

"Might be," Belichick said, smiling that steel-trap smile of his. "You dont want to make it too popular and take over the gray one."

Duly noted.

How does Derek Carr's new deal impact Jimmy Garoppolo?

How does Derek Carr's new deal impact Jimmy Garoppolo?

Ever since Derek Carr signed a five-year, $125 million extension with the Raiders to give him the highest average annual contract value in league history, some version of the same question has been posed over and over again. 

What does this mean for other quarterbacks looking for new deals? 

Despite the fact that Carr's average annual value surpasses the previous high set by Andrew Luck ($24.6 million), and despite the fact that Carr's contract provides him the security that alluded him while he was on his rookie contract, his recent haul may not mean much for the likes of Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins and other top-end quarterbacks.

They were already expecting monster paydays down the road that would hit (or eclipse) the $25 million range, and Carr's record-setting contract may not even serve as a suitable baseline for them, as ESPN's Dan Graziano lays out.

So if Carr's contract did little more for upper-echelon quarterbacks than confirm for them where the market was already headed, then does it mean anything for someone like Jimmy Garoppolo? 

Carr and Garoppolo were both second-round picks in 2014, but from that point, they've obviously taken very different roads as pros. Carr started 47 consecutive games in his first three years and by last season he had established himself as one of the most valuable players in the league. Garoppolo, by comparison, has started two games. 

Both players still hold loads of promise, but unless Garoppolo sees substantial playing time in 2017 and then hits the open market, he won't approach Carr's deal when his rookie contract is up.  

ESPN's Mike Reiss projected that a fair deal for Garoppolo on the open market might fall between the $19 million that was guaranteed to Chicago's Mike Glennon and Carr's contract, which includes $40 million fully guaranteed and $70 million in total guarantees, per NFL Media.

Perhaps something in the range of what Brock Osweiler received from the Texans after Osweiler started seven games for the Broncos in 2015 would be considered fair: four years, with $37 million guaranteed. Because Osweiler (before his deal or since) never seemed as polished as Garoppolo was in his two games as a starter in 2016, and because the salary cap continues to soar, the argument could be made that Garoppolo deserves something even richer. 

Though Garoppolo is scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency following the 2017 season, there is a chance he doesn't get there quite that quickly. The Patriots could try to come to some kind of agreement with their backup quarterback on an extension that would keep him in New England, or they could place the franchise tag on him following the season. 

Either way, Garoppolo will get paid. But until he sees more time on the field, a deal that would pay him in the same range as his draft classmate will probably be out of reach.

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Football is coming.

The Patriots announced on Thursday that veterans will report to training camp on Wednesday, July 26 and that the first public practice will take place the following day.

Each of the team's first four practices -- from July 27-30 -- are scheduled to take place on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium "in the nine o'clock hour," according to the Patriots. Updates to the training camp schedule, including more specific start times for practices, can be found at patriots.com/trainingcamp.

The Patriots Hall of Fame will hold its induction ceremony for former corner Raymond Clayborn on Saturday, July 29 around midday following that morning's training camp practice. Held on the plaza outside the Hall at Patriot Place, the ceremony will be free and open to the public.

The Patriots will host the Jaguars for two days of joint practices open to the public on Monday, Aug. 7 and Tuesday, Aug. 8. The preseason opener for both clubs will take place at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 10.