While the Patriots manage playing three preseason games in 10 days, a major change to the big-picture landscape is looming.
New England's 90-man squad must be shaved down to 75 by 4:00 PM Monday. The compressed and hectic schedule colored Bill Belichick's opening remarks on his Saturday afternoon conference call.
"We had a quick turnaround last night so were just trying to work through the film here and get organized this week; get ready for the Giants, evaluate our players, get ready for the 75 cut, all that. We have a lot of balls in the air, a lot of work to do here the next couple days.
Might personnel moves be made in the waning hours of the weekend?
"I really don't know," Belichick said flatly. "We just got in about 4:30 this morning, watched the film here. We have a lot of things to do in a very short period of time. What exactly time frame will be and how it will all play out I don't know.
"That's something after we're done with this call, one of the many things we'll talk about in our staff and scouting meetings and so forth over the next couple days. We'll see how it all comes together. When we know what we're doing, we'll do it. We know what the deadlines are, if it happens before that it does; if it doesn't then we'll do it by the deadline."
After eight playoff-less seasons with the Rams, Chris Long came to his father's hometown town -- the Patriots -- in 2016 with one goal: To win a championship. And he did, even though he wasn't an every-down player for the first time in his career.
Now his goal is to play regularly again. So he's headed to the city where his father played collegiately -- Philadelphia -- to try and make that happen.
Long, 32, the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Howie Long (a Charlestown native and Villanova product), signed a two-year contract with the Eagles Tuesday:
CSN Philly reports that Long isn't guaranteed a starting job on the Eagles' defensive line, but will be a valuable addition in any case:
The Eagles had a definite need -- and likely still do -- at defense end following the departure of Connor Barwin. . . . This signing doesn't mean Long will come in and start. The Eagles still have Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry under contract. But, at the very least, this is a depth signing to bring in a veteran locker room presence, like the one they lost when Barwin left.
Long had four sacks and 10 quarterback hits in 16 games for New England and was an integral part of a defense that allowed an NFL-low 250 points.
The New England Patriots first took a stand against domestic violence in 1996, when Myra Kraft, wife of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, convinced the team to release recent draftee Christian Peter, who had four convictions for assaulting women while playing at the University of Nebraska.
That stand continues to this day.
Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reported Wednesday that Robert Kraft said the team will not draft Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, who was seen on video punching a woman in the face in 2014. He was suspended by the Sooners for a season because of the incident.
The Herald quoted Kraft as saying: “While I believe in second chances and giving players an opportunity for redemption, I also believe that playing in the NFL is a privilege, not a right. For me, personally, I believe that privilege is lost for men who have a history of abusing women.”
The Dolphins have also said they won't draft Mixon, who is the most talented running back availabile in the draft. The Pats could soon be looking for help at the position, as James White and Dion Lewis are both in the final years of their contracts and they signed Rex Burkhead to just a one-year deal.
But Mixon won't be the answer to those problems.