New England Patriots Rundown: Joe Flacco, Lamar Miller, Combine News

1. According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, the Baltimore Ravens could franchise Joe Flacco, and he calls the Ravens decision to do this “likely”. Florio says that “the current speculation” is that the Ravens will give the $14.6 million non-exclusive tender to Flacco, as opposed to the $20.464 million exclusive tender in order to prolong negotiations. He adds that Flacco would have to give the Ravens any other potential offers so that the team can match it.

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Even though there is all this talk about what the Ravens are doing with Flacco, there is pretty much no chance of him leaving Baltimore. The question is all about how much money Flacco will get from the Ravens organization, because his contract will dictate what the Ravens do with their other players (most notably the receivers) as they have some cap issues. Flacco bet against a top-five QB deal last year, won the Super Bowl, and now he wants an even bigger deal.

2. Miami Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland loves second-year running back Lamar Miller, and it seems like the entire Dolphins organization is extremely high on Miller. They want to give him the chance to start next year, and all this talk about Miller’s upside and how much the Dolphins want him means that Reggie Bush will likely be playing elsewhere next season- even if he really wants to stay in Miami. Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel  tweeted that it is “universally understood” the Dolphins will give Miller “every opportunity” to start next year.

3. WEEI’s Christopher Price tweeted that South Carolina Gamecocks safety D.J. Swearinger met with New England Patriots scouts, while LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu did not. I am extremely high on Swearinger and hope he falls into the Pats laps in the second-round at pick 29, because he has terrific aggressiveness, explosiveness, hard-hitting ability, and enough coverage skills to fit as an SS in the pros. He said he likes New England’s defense, as well as Bill Belichick and his coaching discipline (also from Price).

4. Nick Underhill tweeted that Oregon State Beavers cornerback (mocked to the Patriots by FanSided.com at one point) Jordan Poyer also met with Patriots scouts, but this came during the Senior Bowl. I hope Poyer is available in a favorable spot for the Patriots as well, because he would be a nice selection for this team a bit after the first round (second or third, hopefully).

5. Below are two interesting quotes that Florida Gators safety Matt Elam (another guy I really like in this draft at safety) shared with ESPN Boston.

“My physicality, I play very hard. I love to strike people, I feel like that will help me stand out the most. I’m very versatile, I can cover slot receivers, I can go in the box and tackle, I can play in the post. I feel like that makes me stand out the most.”

“I’m very athletic. Growing up I was very athletic, and I feel like that separates me. I’m not the biggest safety I guess, but I feel like I play hard, and that makes me stand out.”

His older brother, Abram Elam, has been a safety in this league for a while, but Matt Elam said that he molds his game on Ravens safety Ed Reed. So do you want Reed or Elam? Personally, I think this defense needs youth so I’ll take a safety in the draft instead of Reed- even if that safety isn’t Matt Elam.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

Topics: Baltimore Ravens, D.J. Swearinger, Florida Gators, Football, Joe Flacco, Jordan Poyer, Lamar Miller, Matt Elam, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Oregon State Beavers, South Carolina Gamecocks

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