Quick hits from Belichick on Day 3 of mini-camp

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Quick hits from Belichick on Day 3 of mini-camp

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick shared a few thoughts before saying goodbye to the media (happily) for the summer. Joke was on us; he ended up canceling mini-camp's Day 3 session just an hour later.

Mini-camp is just over a month away, but the players won't get to take their playbooks home and study in the meantime. But there is a reason why.

"We'll make some revisions to it based on some of the things that happen over the week, weeks -- make some modifications to it. The way the playbook's set up, we make some modifications to it every year based on the installation schedule."

Did Belichick really fax Saints interim coach Joe Vitt about joint practice? Yes. Once you get beyond the faxing-as-primary-mode-of-communication part, it's easy to hold interest in the idea. The teams meet in a preseason game on August 9, but just imagine the kind of media response a practice prior to that date would have. Unfortunately, the logistics might be too complicated. The Saints play in the Hall of Fame game on August 5, so fitting a practice somewhere in between would be tough. Still . . .

"It's a possibility. Right now we're really just trying got focus on getting through this mini-camp here." Belichick added they could practice against a different team.

The coach confirmed injured tight end Jake Ballard did make it to Gillette on Wednesday.

"He was here yesterday afternoon. I talked to him and we'll move along with his rehab. We'll see how that goes. He seems to be doing relatively well for where he's at when he had the surgery. "

How about that AFC Championship bling?!

"Bittersweet," Belichick said of the recently received rings. "Whatever it was last year, it was. So it's time to move on." Okay, then.

Of the guys digging in for receiver competition this offseason, you probably don't have Britt Davis high on your watch list. But keep him in mind. The first-year player -- at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds -- has caught the attention of reporters during mini-camp and Belichick said the study is warranted.

"He's been an interesting guy to work with. One of our bigger receivers. He has good size. He's had some experience in our system through former Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels, some familiarity. I think he's adapted well and put himself a good position for training camp."

Even if the Patriots wanted to bring back free agent defensive end Andre Carter, there's currently one issue . . .

"Um . . . We'll see. There isn't a spot now," Belichick said. "Somebody would have to move off." Good point.

We were reminded again of how much higher the stakes are during training camp. Belichick said the players, now left to their own devices, will be counted on to get in shape for the late July practices.

"I think overall these guys are in pretty good shape, but I don't think they're in training camp shape -- real football shape. That will come over the next few weeks -- getting back to their offseason training -- lifting and conditioning and doing things that really get them prepared for the football season from a conditioning standpoint.

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.