Foxborough, MA– In an off-season that has been thus far unexpectedly busy for the New England Patriots, a number of their players have been making headlines for some small-scale bits of news that are still noteworthy nonetheless.
For one, last week the Patriots signed offensive tackle Cedrick Lang to a very minuscule deal, as the team is essentially taking a flyer shot at the former New York Giant and Minnesota Viking. Over six and a half feet tall, Lang also played basketball at one point and even though he is unlikely to stay on the roster for long, offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia is an exceptional talent and there's no telling what he can achieve with offensive line talent of any kind.
In terms of contract structures, the Patriots also reworked the deal that was struck with newly acquired defensive end Michael Bennett. The deal guaranteed Bennett more money with a base value of almost $17 million dollars for two years. However, the restructuring also allotted the Patriots $700,000 in cap space, which is presumably to help them re-sign kicker Stephen Gostkowski, but no deal has been struck yet. A felony charge against Bennett from years ago was also dropped due to lack of evidence.
As for other offensive line members, both new and old have made waves in the Patriots' off-season news.
Currently, the Patriots Hall of Fame committee is deliberating on who will be the final candidates to be enshrined in the Hall. Last year, Matt Light, Richard Seymour, and Mike Vrabel were the final candidates, with Light winning out, so it seems likely that Seymour and Vrabel might be in the mix again. As for the seniors committee of the Patriots Hall of Fame, they elected Leon Gray, an offensive tackle for New England from 1973-78, to a place of honor in the hall. Gray, along with John Hannah, was a Patriots stalwart in the 1970s and definitely deserves a spot.
Lastly, the Patriots said that their center, David Andrews, will announce the third round draft picks for the Patriots in the NFL Draft. Andrews was an undrafted free agent who has become one of New England's most important players and his presence will be part of an effort to have overlooked draft picks announce later round selections to show that no draft pick is irrelevant.
A lot of balls are in motion for New England and the off-season is made that much better by the fact that a Super Bowl championship still shines over the region.
Image via Wikimedia Commons / Leoparmr