Brady remembers 'dependable' Gaffney

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Brady remembers 'dependable' Gaffney

FOXBORO --- Many talented players have passed through the Patriots turnstile during Tom Brady's 12 seasons with the team. The weeks he matches up against these former teammates ensures a look back during his lead-up press conference.

Week 4, he grimaced and smiled in regard to facing Richard Seymour. Two games ago he had to worry warmly about Asante Samuel. Last week, he watched Adam Vinatieri kick Indy's first three points.

Brady will watch another one of his old favorites work against him in Washington: Jabar Gaffney. The quarterback reminisced easily about Gaffney's worth as a third receiver.

"Jab could do, he does, everything well," Brady said. "He's just one of those guys that, from the day we got him here, was so reliable, dependable because he knew what to do and he did it well. You gain a lot of trust from the quarterback when a lot of those things match up.

"I was bummed when he went to Denver and I was bummed when he went to Washington."

Gaffney had 85 catches for 1,059 yards and eight touchdowns in 43 games with the Patriots. He was signed away during free agency, inking a four-year, 10 million contract with the Broncos in February of 2009, when former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels took the head coaching job in Denver.

Brady said he misses Gaffney on the field because of the receiver's versatility and smarts. It could have been daunting for a guy to come in and get reps within a wideout corps boasting Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Donte Stallworth (another current, albeit little-used, Redskins player).

But Gaffney got time and Brady says he earned it.

"He came here at a bye week and basically took over the starting receiver position. There's times when you're in the slot and then you've got to go outside, now you're in a bunch of receivers or you're in a combination route with another receiver -- whatever it was -- he'd figure out a way to understand what he had to do and get open."

Once a blessing, now a curse.

Game-planning for Gaffney -- against him -- is a task for New England's defense now. In his first Redskins season he leads wide receivers with 46 catches for 665 yards and three touchdowns. Only tight end Fred Davis has more receptions with 59. That will likely change; Davis has been suspended for four games for violating the league's drug policy.

More targets for Gaffney? Belichick wouldn't be surprised.

"We know Jabar is an excellent route runner, hes a good receiver, very disciplined and dependable guy," the coach said Wednesday. "They change their passing game around from week to week.

"Jabar, we know is a really intelligent receiver and very instinctive. Im sure he handles those things well for them taking routes that they havent really run before and then putting them in for that game and running them the way that it really hurts the team that theyre playing."

This week it's you, New England Patriots. Better keep that trip down memory lane short and sweet.

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.