JUNE 4: New England Patriots tight end Matt LaCosse (83) takes part in day one of a Patriots three-day minicamp at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA on June 4, 2019. Throughout NFL training camps, Yahoo Sports will track the new faces, holdouts, injuries and position battles that will shape your team's season. It's going to be a tall talk to replace all-time physical freak Rob Gronkowski in the Patriots offense, but an early candidate is emerging.

Former New England Patriots guard Mitch Petrus died on Thursday night in Arkansas as a result of a heat-related illness, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Petrus was 32 years old. Petrus had a brief stint with the Patriots during the 2012 season.

One study shows Patriots have second-best fans in the NFL originally appeared on nbcsportsboston.com Patriots fans aren't tired of winning, and it shows. According to one study, the Patriots have the second-best fan base in the NFL. Emory University business professor Michael Lewis conducts the report annually, and has listed the Patriots as No.

For a month in 2013, Julian Edelman was in football purgatory. Wes Welker was gone but the Patriots passed over Edelman as Welker's replacement. Stung and bitter, Edelman took a free agent visit with the New York Giants, who, truth be told, were the only team kicking the tires on a guy who'd been a backup and special teamer for four injury-riddled seasons.

Duron Harmon has perfect response to Bill Belichick reportedly calling defensive plays originally appeared on nbcsportsboston.com The New England Patriots lost their defensive playcaller from last season when linebackers coach Brian Flores became the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, but his replacement is more than qualified. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reportedly will call the team's plays on defense next season, although nothing official has been announced. Belichick is a defensive-minded coach and helped lead the New York Giants to Super Bowl victories in 1986 and 1990 as the team's defensive coordinator.

Patriots' collection of 2020 NFL Draft picks is laughably impressive originally appeared on nbcsportsboston.com The New England Patriots entered last week's 2019 NFL Draft with 12 selections (tied with the New York Giants for the most of any one team), and they ended up picking 10 players after making a few trades to move up and down the order. It's pretty early to be looking ahead to the 2020 NFL Draft, but the Patriots do have an impressive stockpile of picks coming up next year.

Seattle Seahawks (via New York Giants) 38. Jacksonville Jaguars 39. Tampa Buccaneers 40.

Last year's failures will look to spark a new era, loaded with a precious early first round pick (or three in total as is the case with the Oakland Raiders), fans place an enormous amount of pressure on the top end of the organisation to pick wisely. No more so than the Arizona Cardinals, who must use the No 1 pick wisely to reinvigorate a franchise on the slide. Oklahoma's Kyler Murray, who turned his back on a career in MLB with the Oakland Athletics, looks most likely to be the first pick of 2019.

The NFL's full 2019 schedule came out Wednesday night, and if you use opponents' 2018 win percentage as your gauge, the Patriots actually have the second-easiest schedule in the league this year. Here's the full list, ranked from hardest (highest opponent win percentage) to easiest (lowest opponent win percentage) schedule: 1. Oakland Raiders (.

The New England Patriots will open the defense of their Super Bowl LIII title against the Pittsburgh Steelers on "Sunday Night Football" in Week 1, the NFL announced in its unveiling of the 2019 schedule. The league announced in late March that the opening game of the season would pit the Green Bay Packers at the Chicago Bears on Thursday, Sept. 5. The defending Super Bowl champion normally opens the season with a home game on Thursday night, but the NFL wanted to feature its oldest rivalry to open its 100th season, which bumped New England to Sunday night, Sept. 8.

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