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Patriots Release Wide Receiver Malcolm Mitchell

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

 

Patriots release Malcolm Mitchell

The New England Patriots released wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell on Monday, just days before their first preseason game.

“New England, thank you! My heart hurts, but I smile when thinking about all the love, support, and patience you have given me. To the community this is not goodbye, it’s I’ll see you later. Go Pats,” said Mitchell in a post on his Instagram account.

Mitchell missed all of last season due to a knee injury and has not participated in training camp due to the knee.

According to Ian Rapoport, the Patriots looked to trade Mitchell before just releasing him, but had no luck.

Mitchell With Patriots

Mitchell has not played a game for the Patriots in over a year due to knee surgery.

As a rookie in 2016, Mitchell played in 14 games and hauled in 32 catches for 401 yards and four touchdowns.

In the playoffs that season, Mitchell had seven catches for 75 yards en route to helping the Patriots win the Super Bowl over Atlanta.

Wide Receiver Depth

The release of Mitchell is a blow to the Patriots depth at the receiver position.

Wide receivers include Chris Hogan, off-season acquisition Cordarrelle Patterson, newcomers Eric Decker, who just signed last week and Kenny Britt, who has been injured during training camp.

Julian Edelman is back, but he will miss the first four games due to suspension for PED use and Phillip Dorsett is expected to have an increased role this season.

 

Related Slideshow: Everything to Need to Know About Patriots Training Camp 2018

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Training Camp Dates Open to Public 

Gates will open one hour before practice and close one hour after practice ends. 

Practice schedule throughout training camp is subject to change at any time.

See the schedule below:

July 26 | Practice Time - 9:15 AM

July 27 | Practice Time - 9:15 AM

July 28 | Practice Time - 9:15 AM

July 29 | Practice Time - 9:15 AM

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New Faces From Draft

The Patriots added a total of nine players in the 2018 NFL Draft. 

First Round

The New England Patriots drafted guard Isaiah Wynn out of Georgia with the #23 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. 

At Georgia, Wynn made 39 starts at left tackle to help the Bulldogs to the 2017 SEC Championship.

According to Pro Football Focus, Wynn allowed just five pressures during the 2017 season, and just 26 pressures in his 2,609 college snaps.

The New England Patriots selected Georgia running back Sony Michel with the 31st overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. 

In four seasons with Georgia, Michel rushed for over 3,638 yards and 33 touchdowns on 591 carries.

In his senior season, Michel rushed for 1,227 yards and 16 touchdowns to help Georgia win the SEC Championship.

He averaged 7.9 yards per carry.

Michel also has shown the ability to be effective in the passing game. In his college career, he hauled in 64 passes for 621 yards and six touchdowns in his career.

2nd Round

The Patriots selected Florida cornerback Duke Dawson with the 56th overall pick.

Dawson is a 5’11” slot corner who was named first-team SEC in his senior season.

In his final year at Florida, Dawson recorded four interceptions and 13 passes defended.

5th Round

The Patriots picked Purdue's Ja'whaun Bentley with the 143rd overall pick. 

According to Pro Football Focus, Bentley is the top linebacker when it comes to stopping the run.

As a senior, he was named all-conference honorable mention by coaches in the Big 10 after recording 89 tackles, including 9.5 tackles for a loss, three pass breakups, two forced fumbles and an interception return for a touchdown.

6th Round

New England picked linebacker Christian Sam with the 178 overall pick (sixth round).

Sam is expected to compete with Marquis Flowers, Elandon Roberts and Bentley for one of the backup spots behind Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy.

6th Round 

The Patriots selected Braxton Berrios with the 210 overall pick (round 6).

He is a slot wide receiver from the University of Miami.

At Miami, he appeared in 46 games with 20 starts, hauling in 100 catches for 1,175 yards and nine touchdowns.

He can also return punts as he averaged 15.9 yards per punt return in college.

7th Round

The Patriots picked quarterback Danny Etling in the seventh round. 

7th Round 

The Patriots selected cornerback Keion Crossen in the seventh round. 

At Western Carolina, Crossen played in 46 career games with 23 starts.

He recorded 165 tackles, one sack, five tackles for loss, three interceptions, 19 passes defensed and one forced fumble, as well as, two fumble recoveries

7th Round 

The Patriots selected tight end Ryan Izzo with the 250th overall pick. 

At Florida State, Izzo appeared in 41 games with 36 starts.

He hauled in 54 career passes for 761 yards and six touchdowns. His 761 receiving yards rank third most in program history among tight ends.

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New Faces From Signings 

This offseason the Patriots have brought in eight new players by either trade or free agency. 

The Patriots acquired wide receiver and kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson from the Oakland Raiders. 

Last season in Oakland, Patterson played in all 16 games with two starts and caught 31 passes for 309 yards, had 13 rushing attempts for 121 yards and two touchdowns and returned 19 kicks for 538 yards.

In mid-March, the Patriots acquired Devin McCourty’s brother, Jason, from the Cleveland Browns. McCourty will add depth to the secondary, who will look to replace Malcolm Butler.

The last player that the Patriots acquired via trade is defensive lineman Danny Shelton.

Last season, Shelton started all 14 games that he played in and finished with 33 total tackles.

In his career, he has played in 46 NFL games and has 128 total tackles, but only 1 1/2 sacks.

In free agency, the most notable player that the Patriots picked up was former Atlanta Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn.

Last season with Atlanta, Clayborn played in all 16 games with two starts and finished with a career-high 9½ sacks.

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Who is Gone

This offseason was a bit of a mass exodus from New England. 

It started in mid-March when wide receiver Danny Amendola announced that he was leaving New England to sign a two-year deal worth $12 million with $8.25 million in guarantees with the Miami Dolphins. 

On the same day Amendola left, Malcolm Butler signed a 5-Year Deal Worth $61 Million with the Tennessee Titans. 

His departure comes as no surprise after he was benched for the Patriots Super Bowl loss to the Eagles. 

Running back Dion Lewis would join Butler in Tennessee on a four-year deal. 

Arguably the biggest loss of the Patriots offseason was left tackle Nate Solder. 

Solder signed a four-year deal worth $62 million, with $35 million guaranteed with the New York Giants. The deal made Solder the highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL.

Following those losses, the Patriots traded wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the LA Rams for the #23 overall draft pick. 

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Position Battles

Running Back

While James White's role on the team is locked up, there are questions surrounding the roles of Rex Burkhead, Mike Gillislee and first-round pick Sony Michel. 

Burkhead was effective last season for New England when he was healthy. In his first season with the Patriots, he played in ten games and accumulated 264 rushing yards and 254 receiving yards. 

Gillislee played in just nine games for the Patriots last season, making only two starts after coming over from Buffalo. Gillislee will need a strong camp and preseason in order to lock up his role on the team. 

Michel comes to the Patriots from the University of Georgia where he rushed for over 3,638 yards and 33 touchdowns on 591 carries in four seasons. 

“We think that he is a pretty good football player so we picked the player. He’s got skills, he’s athletic, he’s good in space, he is a strong runner for his size of 210, 215 pounds, whatever he is so our thing is to pick good football players that have good traits,” said Patriots Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio.

Jeremy Hill was also added in the offseason, though he enters training camp behind White, Michel, Burkhead and Gillislee 

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Weaknesses

Left Tackle 

With Nate Solder no longer protecting Tom Brady's blindside, the left tackle position is now a concern. 

Marcus Cannon is a candidate to fill the role, as he did at times last year. 

During the draft, the Patriots traded for Trent Brown, a left tackle with the San Francisco 49ers. Brown played in ten game last season with the 49ers, and appears to be the favorite to get the job. 

The Patriots also looked to fill the role via the NFL Draft by selecting Isaiah Wynn from Georgia. 

"Isaiah has a lot of experience, started for three years, he has played both guard, he’s played tackle, he has played multiple spots and has been productive in both of those areas. He’s a good player, has good traits and was in a good program. He had to block a lot of good people in that conference," said Patriots Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio in his post-draft press conference at Gillette Stadium

In college, Wynn made 39 starts at left tackle to help the Bulldogs to the 2017 SEC Championship.

According to Pro Football Focus, Wynn allowed just five pressures during the 2017 season, and just 26 pressures in his 2,609 college snaps.

 

Slot Receiver (at least for the first 4 games) 

Julian Edelman is suspended for the first four games of the season due to PED use, and Danny Amendola left to sign with Miami. 

Meaning the Patriots have an issue at the slot receiver position. 

Of the Patriots returning receivers, Chris Hogan has the most experience working with Tom Brady and likely will see some time in the slot. 

Phillip Dorsett returns to the Patriots this season, but mostly saw time as an outside receiver. 

One sleeper to make the team and fill the role is sixth-round draft pick Braxton Berrios out of Miami. 

At Miami, he appeared in 46 games with 20 starts, hauling in 100 catches for 1,175 yards and nine touchdowns.

“This guy’s really, really smart. He graduated in, I want to say three to three-and-a-half years, whatever it was. Played inside the formation at the University of Miami, really productive, really tough, good traits, smart, good quickness, was productive, had more opportunities here this season in Miami and he made the most of them,” said Caserio. 

 

Cornerback 

The Patriots secondary got shredded in the Super Bowl against the Philadelphia Eagles, giving up 538 total yards, including 374 passing yards. 

The Patriots enter training camp with Stephon Gilmore as their top cornerback followed by Erik Rowe and newcomer Jason McCourty. 

Rookies Duke Dawson and Keion Crossen could also compete for a role in the secondary. 

About Crossen, Caserio said, “The way this guy kind of got on the radar screen initially was he worked out at the Wake Forest Pro Day, so that’s where he showed up and tested extremely well, so a lower level of competition, obviously, at Western Carolina. He showed up on a big stage just from a workout perspective. It really blew it out of the water. He’s undersized, just from a size standpoint, but he’s athletic. He runs well, he’s explosive, he’s really competitive, probably more of a perimeter corner."

On Dawson, Caserio added, “He's played safety, he's played corner, he's played slot corner, so a pretty versatile player. He played in the kicking game a little bit, so he has a lot of experience doing multiple things. We'll put him in the mix with everybody else in the secondary and see how it goes."

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Patriots Odds to Win Superbowl 

Despite losing the Super Bowl last season, the Patriots are still big favorites to win Super Bowl 53. 

According to the Westgate Las Vegas Super Book, the Patriots are 6-1 favorites to win the Super Bowl. 

The Eagles, Steelers, Minnesota, and Rams all follow at 10-1. 

The last team to make it back to the Super Bowl after losing it the year before was the 1994 Buffalo Bills. 

 
 

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