The New England Patriots are examining their options at quarterback after three-time NFL MVP Tom Brady’s departure to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Jarrett Stidham and Cody Kessler were joined on the roster Sunday by former Patriots backup Brian Hoyer. Released by the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, Hoyer reached a deal to return for his third stint with New England, the Boston Globe reported.
Stidham, who appears to be the first man up for coach Bill Belichick, was selected by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The 23-year-old beat out Hoyer in the preseason last summer to serve as the top backup in New England.
Hoyer, 34, began his career with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent from Michigan State, then had stops with Arizona, Cleveland, Houston, Chicago and San Francisco before returning to New England in 2017.
—The Kraft Family and the Patriots took out a full-page ad in the Tampa Bay Times, thanking quarterback Tom Brady for his years of excellence and telling his new city they are gaining a treasure.
“THANK YOU TOM,” the ad starts. The 42-year-old Brady, who quarterbacked the Patriots to six Super Bowl victories in 20 seasons, signed a two-year contract with the Buccaneers on Friday.
The ad lays out Brady’s achievements in a Patriots uniform, which include nine conference championships and 17 AFC East division titles, and states, “There will never be another Tom Brady.”
—The Patriots agreed to a one-year contract with former New York Jets linebacker Brandon Copeland, according to multiple reports.
The Boston Globe first reported the agreement, which ESPN later termed a deal worth $1.05 million.
The 6-foot-3, 268-pound Copeland, 28, joins the Patriots during a free agency period in which they have already lost three linebackers to other teams (Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts to Miami, Jamie Collins to Detroit).
—The Jets reached agreement on a one-year contract with cornerback Pierre Desir, multiple outlets reported.
Desir, 29, can earn up to $5.5 million with the deal, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. He registered 50 tackles, 11 passes defensed and a career-high three interceptions in 12 games (11 starts) last season with Indianapolis.
The Colts released Desir on Saturday, saving $6.85 million in salary cap space.
—The Atlanta Falcons are signing free agent wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, WSB-TV reported.
The Falcons also announced the re-signing of cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson to a one-year contract, and ESPN reported the signing of free agent guard Justin McCray.
—The New Orleans Saints bolstered their secondary by signing safety D.J. Swearinger to a one-year, $1.1 million contract, multiple media outlets reported.
Swearinger will join free-agent acquisition and fellow safety Malcolm Jenkins, who signed a four-year contract last week. The 28-year-old Swearinger played in one game with the Saints after signing with the club on Dec. 18, also playing in four games each with Oakland and Arizona in 2019.
—Linebacker Jon Bostic re-signed with the Washington Redskins, the team announced.
Terms of the deal were undisclosed, however ESPN’s Field Yates previously reported that the two-year pact would have a base value of $5 million with $1.75 million guaranteed.
—The Chicago Bears signed safety Jordan Lucas to a one-year deal worth $1 million, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported.
Lucas, 26, played in 14 regular-season games for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019, mostly on special teams, and registered seven tackles. He appeared in three postseason contests for the Super Bowl LIV champs.
—The Arizona Cardinals re-signed backup quarterback Brett Hundley to a one-year contract, the team announced.
Financial terms were not revealed. His 2019 salary was $1.875 million, according to Spotrac. Hundley, 26, is an Arizona native. Last season with the Cardinals, he appeared in three games behind No. 1 overall draft pick Kyler Murray.
—The Seattle Seahawks reportedly agreed to terms with guard Chance Warmack.
Warmack, 28, was out of the NFL last season. A first-round pick (10th overall) in 2013, he has played in 68 games (51 starts) with Tennessee (2013-16) and Philadelphia (2017-18).
—Eagles cornerback Darius Slay plans to pay tribute to one of Philadelphia’s most celebrated athletes by donning his former jersey number.
Slay will wear No. 24 to honor the late Kobe Bryant. The 29-year-old Slay wore No. 23 for six seasons with the Detroit Lions before being traded to Philadelphia on Thursday for third- and fifth-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft.
— Field Level Media