According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the Patriots are releasing cornerback Alfonzo Dennard.

After playing 10 and 13 games the first two years of his career respectively, the 2012 seventh round pick played in just six games last year before being played on injured reserve at the end of the year. He appeared to lose the confidence of the coaching staff.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the Patriots are releasing cornerback Alfonzo Dennard.

After playing 10 and 13 games the first two years of his career respectively, the 2012 seventh round pick played in just six games last year before being played on injured reserve at the end of the year. He appeared to lose the confidence of the coaching staff.

Dennard had off field issues as well. He was arrested for felony assault on a police officer in 2013 and was arrested on suspicion of DUI just a few months later. He served 35 days in jail last March.

His cap hit for 2015 was just over $500,000.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Some of Bill Belichick's draft picks have raised eyebrows around the NFL.</p>
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Blog Author: 
WEEI

It appears the Patriots have managed to trump the Raiders in pursuit of undrafted free agent Vince Taylor.

It appears the Patriots have managed to trump the Raiders in pursuit of undrafted free agent Vince Taylor.

The former Vanderbilt defensive lineman told The Tennessean on Monday that he had initially accepted a non-contracted invite to attend Oakland’s minicamp, but had since changed his mind and signed a UDFA deal with New England.

The 6-foot-1, 307-pounder led Vanderbilt interior defensive linemen with 43 tackles and a team-high two fumble recoveries in 2014. He finished his career with 87 tackles in 50 games. Taylor has played nose in a 3-4 scheme and defensive tackle in a 4-3, which would make him valuable to New England, which frequently changes looks up front.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Rob Gronkowski is a finalists in the race to be on the cover of Madden NFL 16, according to an announcement from Electronic Arts on Monday.

Rob Gronkowski is a finalists in the race to be on the cover of Madden NFL 16, according to an announcement from Electronic Arts on Monday.

The Patriots tight end is one of four players in the field, joining a group that includes Arizona cornerback Patrick Peterson, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown.

Voting is open now via Madden NFL Mobile or Madden Ultimate Team in Madden NFL 15. The initial round of voting will close on Monday, and the two finalists will be revealed the next day. Then, beginning May 13, people can vote for an ultimate winner at ESPN.com, with the winner will be announced during the 6 p.m. edition of SportsCenter on May 13.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

A few notes about the Patriots and the 2015 NFL draft.

— Since Bill Belichick took over in 2000 (including this year), the Patriots have used most of their picks at defensive back (28), while defensive line (25) and offensive line (24) round out the top three. They’ve drafted 20 linebackers, 13 wide receivers, 11 tight ends, eight running backs, eight quarterbacks, three fullbacks, two long snappers, two kickers (one, Owen Pochman, also worked sparingly as a punter) and one punter.

— In that same stretch, the Patriots have had 25 picks in the top 50. They’ve spent seven of those on defensive linemen. In addition, there’s been six defensive backs, four offensive linemen, three tight ends, two wide receivers, two linebackers and one running back picked with those selections.

— Per Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports, 42 players who were drafted did not attend the combine. Three of the players taken by the Patriots did not get an invite: Shaq Mason, Matt Wells and Darryl Roberts.

— According to Gil Brandt of NFL.com, here’s a look at the 2015 draft by position:
Defensive back: 47; linebacker: 37; wide receiver; 34; offensive tackle: 26; defensive end: 23; running back: 23; tight end: 18; defensive tackle: 18; offensive guard: 16; quarterback: 7; center: 5; punter: 1; long snapper: 1.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
The Patriots selected space-eating nose tackle Malcom Brown out of Texas. (Getty Images)

The Patriots selected space-eating nose tackle Malcom Brown out of Texas. (Getty Images)

We’ve always tried to find clues as to the level of interest the Patriots have in a player throughout the pre-draft process. Whether it’s through private workouts at Gillette, time together at the combine or a conversation at a pro day, those events can provide some idea as to how interested New England can be in a prospect. (And sometimes, frankly, it’s all a meaningless smokescreen.) With that in mind, here’s a look at the pre-draft contact the Patriots had with some of their 2015 draft class. (By way of comparison, here’s a look at the pre-draft connections New England made with some of their top picks over the last few years.)

First-round pick Malcom Brown said his pre-draft connection with the Patriots was “the same” as it was with many other teams. “I didn’t really get a lot of contact with many teams,” he said. “That’s the hardest part about this whole process — you never can get a real feel for who likes you or who is thinking about drafting you. That’s the hardest part.”

Second-round selection Jordan Richards on his pre-draft contact with New England: “I mean, it’s a long process, so you’re trying to market yourself to all the teams, and you don’t really know how much of an impact or an impression you make on any of them in particular. But throughout the whole time I just tried to put my best foot forward and be who I am. And obviously, the Patriots saw some interest in that — and I’m juiced for the opportunity and can’t wait to go.”

Oklahoma defensive end Geneo Grissom, who was taken in the third round on Friday, connected with the Patriots on a number of levels. “I had a private workout with them and also went to Foxboro and saw the facilities and met Coach Belichick and the rest of the staff,” he said. “It was awesome. I had a great time. We talked some ball and I got to meet the coaches. I feel like — well, obviously — I made an impression. And I feel like we had a good vibe when I left.”

Florida State offensive lineman Tre Jackson, who was taken in the fourth round, worked with former offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia at his pro day, and took a visit to Gillette Stadium: “It was a great experience, just being able to see (Gillette Stadium)  and things like that. Walking through the facilities and talking with the coaches was a great experience.”

Sixth-round pick A.J. Derby, a tight end out of Arkansas, visited Gillette StadiumBill Belichick joked that during their meeting, the coach reminisced about working with Derby’s father John when he was in camp with the Browns in the early 1990s.

Seventh-round selection Xzavier Dickson said he “had a workout and a visit” with the Patriots prior to the draft — the linebacker, who played for Belichick’s pal Nick Saban at Alabama, acknowledged he connected with New England coaches in Foxboro and at Alabama’s pro day.

Cornerback Darryl Roberts — a seventh-round pick out of Marshall — said Saturday he had a workout with the Patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price