Arian Foster has spent a lot of time in New England the last 24 hours or so.  (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Arian Foster has spent a lot of time in New England the last 24 hours or so. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

So what’s the deal with Arian Foster?

The veteran was spotted at Logan Airport and at Fenway over the last couple of days. The Patriots ostensibly have a need for depth at running back after passing at the position in the draft. The veteran is still on the market. According to our pal Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Foster’s visit to New England doesn’t include a meeting with the Patriots. But per Jason Cole of Bleacher Report, New England has expressed a “preliminary” interest in Foster.

So what does that all add up to?

At this point, it’s nothing more than pure speculation. But if the Patriots are interested in kicking the tires on the veteran, he’s certainly an intriguing prospect. The 29-year-old, who is coming off an Achilles injury that ended his 2015 campaign, is a 6-foot, 232-pound veteran who has 6,472 career rushing yards — including four seasons where he topped 1,000 yards on the ground — in his seven years in the NFL, all of them with Houston.

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Roberto Aguayo was drafted in the second round by Tampa Bay.  (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Roberto Aguayo was drafted in the second round by Tampa Bay. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Tampa GM Jason Licht said he made his notable decision to draft kicker Roberto Aguayo in the second round this year in part because of his background with the Patriots and Bill Belichick.

In an interview with PewterReport.com, Licht, who made his bones in the New England front office before taking the reins with the Bucs, said that Belichick once asked all his scouts to break down the entire roster in order of value

“None of us had the kicker, Stephen Gostkowski, in our top 10 — even though he was an excellent kicker,” Licht said. “After we were done, Bill said, ‘Nobody wants to put Gostkowski in our top 10? Why, just because he’s a kicker?’ Bill made us ‘rethink that’ and he got his point across. He said, ‘You tell me 10 other players that are more important than him?'”

Gostkowski was taken in the fourth round of the 2006 draft out of Memphis, and has gone on to become one of the better kickers in the league over the last decade.

Licht said his resolve to draft a kicker early was strengthened when he saw Tampa kicker Kyle Brindza miss five field goals and two extra points in consecutive losses to Houston and Carolina last year.

“It was an eye-opening moment for me. I had been around Adam Vinatieri and Gostkowski, and those are two of the best,” Licht added. “I know how good of a feeling that is to have a guy like that when you know that a lot of the games are going to come down to field goals — a lot of the games come down to the kicker.”

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Rob Ninkovich meets the media Thursday at Gillette. (WEEI.com photo)

Rob Ninkovich meets the media Thursday at Gillette. (WEEI.com photo)

FOXBORO — Rob Ninkovich isn’t an overly superstitious guy, but when he was asked Thursday about his consecutive games played streak, he shot a mock-serious look at a reporter.

“Let’s not talk about that,” said the 32-year-old defensive end, who is set to start his 11th year in the league — and eighth with the Patriots — this fall.

Sorry, Rob. It’s gotten to a point where it can’t be ignored anymore: The 6-foot-3, 251-pounder, who has been with the Patriots since 2009, has now racked up 81 straight regular-season starts with New England, second-best in the league among all defensive ends. And he’s played in a total of 102 straight regular-season games with the Patriots, third-best in the league at his position. (Julius Peppers is tops in both categories with 128 straight games played and 102 consecutive starts.)

He acknowledges he’s probably a little fresher than most defensive ends because he didn’t play much at all in his first three years in the league — he played in a total of eight games with the Dolphins and Saints before signing with the Patriots in 2009. That’s why he said he subtracts three years from his career.

But the streak remains a point of pride.

“I like knowing that I can continue to contribute and help the team,” said Ninkovich, who has 42 career sacks, including 14.5 the last two years. “I do understand the business aspect of the game, so that’s exactly what I have to do: I have to help the team, contribute to win, and if I can continue to do that I’ll stay on the field.

“Other than that, I think that there’s a little bit of luck involved with that, because the first three years I couldn’t stay on the field,” he said of the streak. “Let’s just continue to work hard. I feel really good right now and just look forward to year 11.”

Ninkovich has been around long enough to know he’s not surprised when there’s roster movement. That includes the franchise decision to ship fellow pass-rushing defensive end Chandler Jones off to Arizona for offensive lineman Jonathan Cooper and a draft pick. Ninkovich and Jones had been teammates for four seasons, and on Thursday, Ninkovich called Jones “a really good football player.” But he seems enthused about the arrival of veteran free agent Chris Long.

“Chris is a great guy. He’s excited to be here and to just jump into the Patriot way. I know previous location was tough for him, so I just said to him, ‘Hey man, you come here and get to work and we’ll start winning football games.’

“Since then we’ve kind of hit it off. He’s a great guy,” added Ninkovich. “He’s definitely been great so far. It’s fun when you can learn from other guys, other pros. He’s been doing it a long time as well and he’s happy to be here so we’re happy to have him.”

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

The Patriots continue to look to add depth to their secondary.

According to ESPN’s Adam Caplan, the team worked out Vinnie Sunsieri last week, a fifth-round pick by the Saints in 2014 out of Alabama.

The Patriots, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, also recently worked out former Falcons safety William Moore.

Oct 15, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson (82) is tackled by Atlanta Falcons strong safety William Moore (25) during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Saints tight end Benjamin Watson (82) is tackled by Falcons strong safety William Moore (25) during a game in 2015. (Derick E. Hingle/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots continue to look to add depth to their secondary.

According to ESPN’s Adam Caplan, the team worked out Vinnie Sunsieri last week, a fifth-round pick by the Saints in 2014 out of Alabama.

The Patriots, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, also recently worked out former Falcons safety William Moore.

Sunseri has a history of knee issues. In his final year at Alabama, he tore his ACL. He missed all of last season with another torn ACL. In his rookie year with the Saints, he had five tackles in nine games before being placed on injured reserve with an arm injury.

The 6-foot, 210-pound safety recorded 20 tackles with two interceptions and four passes defended in six games at Alabama in 2013. Adding to his potential value with the Patriots is the fact that he was a special teams star at Alabama.

Moore, 31, has 16 career interceptions, including two last season with the Falcons before being released. He signed a 5-year, $32 million deal to stay with the Falcons in March 2013.

The Patriots are currently at the 90-man limit on their roster, with OTAs set to begin next week. Nate Ebner is on leave from the team to try out for the U.S. Olympic rugby team. The Patriots also have Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon, Jordan Richards, Brock Vereen and Cedric Thornton on their safety depth chart.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

In the new It Is What It Is podcast, Chris Price talks with capologist Miguel Benzan of Patscap.com about some of the biggest misconceptions about the NFL salary cap, why some media members don’t want to talk to him, the Patriots cap situation for 2016 and beyond, and the looming payday for the likes of Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins and Malcolm Butler.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

Tom Brady’s team added another lawyer to the mix on Thursday, as multiple reports indicate that Thomas H. Dupree has been included as part of the quarterbacks’ defense team.

Dupree is a partner at the law firm of Gibson Dunn, the same firm that employs Ted Olson, who has also been retained by Brady and the NFLPA. Jeffrey Kessler is also already working the case.

Tom Brady’s team added another lawyer to the mix on Thursday, as multiple reports indicate that Thomas H. Dupree has been included as part of the quarterbacks’ defense team.

Dupree is a partner at the law firm of Gibson Dunn, the same firm that employs Ted Olson, who has also been retained by Brady and the NFLPA. Jeffrey Kessler is also already working the case.

According to his bio, Dupree has argued more than 70 appeals in the federal courts, including in all thirteen circuits as well as the United States Supreme Court. In addition. he “he played a substantial role in the successful representation of George W. Bush before the United States Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore, and represented Time Inc. and Time’s White House reporter Matthew Cooper in connection with the investigation into the leak of the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame.”

Monday marks the deadline for Brady and his attorneys to file an official request for an en banc rehearing in the Second Circuit, one that could overturn his four-game suspension.

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — When it came to selling cornerback E.J. Biggers on the Patriots, it probably didn’t take a long time.

Speaking Thursday afternoon during a break in the action at Gillette Stadium, the 28-year-old veteran said he held the franchise in pretty high regard over the course of his career.

E.J. Biggers sounds excited to join the Patriots.  (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

E.J. Biggers sounds excited to join the Patriots. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — When it came to selling cornerback E.J. Biggers on the Patriots, it probably didn’t take a long time.

Speaking Thursday afternoon during a break in the action at Gillette Stadium, the 28-year-old veteran said he held the franchise in pretty high regard over the course of his career.

“Top of the food chain,” he said when asked about the chance to play in New England. “It’s somewhere you want to be.”

He added: “Being in the league going on (six) years now, you kind of know what to expect when you come here. It’s a job. You come in here to the best organization in football, so you have to make sure you have your ‘A’ game. You just fall in line.”

The 6-foot, 180-pound Biggers has played with the Bucs, Redskins and Eagles over the course of his NFL career, with his best year coming in 2012 with Tampa. That season, he played in 13 games with 12 starts and finished with seven passes defensed, two forced fumbles, one sack and 39 tackles.

The Patriots likely got a good look at him recently, as he was part of a Washington team that conducted joint practices with the Patriots in 2014. Asked what stood out about New England in those workouts, Biggers smiled.

“Everything they run through will be full speed,” he said. “(They’re) an A-1 group of guys. Just watching how they do things each and every day, there’s always something. When you’re not here, you kind of envy that. It’s always something you want to be a part of.

“(Now), you know you’re in an A-1 organization, and you put your cleats on and you’re ready to strap it up every single day.”

With New England, Biggers will likely provide depth at corner, either in the slot or outside. In addition, he should provide a boost on special teams. (For the record, in the Eagles’ 35-28 win over the Patriots last December in Foxboro, he had three tackles, one pass defensed and one special-teams tackle.)

But at this point on the calendar, he sounds like someone who will play wherever he’s asked.

“You see the success. You see how those guys go about things,” he added. “You get (to Foxboro), and you understand what all that was for.”

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price