Patriots News: Bill Belichick, Mac Jones, Michael Onwenu and Chad Ryland

  • Bill O'Brien's support of Bill Belichick is not wavering
  • Mac Jones lets his feelings about the Patriots well-known
  • Chad Ryland's season appears unsafe with latest list of free agent workouts

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Indianapolis Colts v New England Patriots / Ralf Ibing - firo sportphoto/GettyImages
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Patriots had five kickers in for workouts on Tuesday after Chad Ryland's game-tying miss in Week 12

Besides the endless conversation about the potential futures of Bill Belichick and Mac Jones as a result of another Patriots loss, the other focus has been on rookie kicker Chad Ryland's missed 35-yard field goal to tie the game against the Giants in Week 12.

Drafting the position was clearly a priority for Belichick in the 2023 draft, as he traded up in the fourth round to take Ryland, who was considered one of the best of the class. Although they needed to hit a home run with a young kicker, Mr. Consistency Nick Folk was still on the team, and his performance hadn't deviated much despite any concerns regarding his age.

However, it seems that was a concern by the team since they released Folk during roster cutdowns in August and decided to go full-force with Ryland for the season. Unfortunately, it hasn't gone exactly as planned.

Folk signed with the Titans after his release from New England and has been consistently one of the best kickers in the league every week. On the other hand, Ryland has been problematic all season, only making 12 of his 18 field-goal attempts through 11 games.

His latest miss may have led to Belichick's decision to have five kickers in for workouts on Tuesday, a detail that ESPN's Mike Reiss wasn't sure was coincidental.

The players that were brought in were:

  • Tanner Brown (Oklahoma St)
  • Matthew McCrane (Kansas State)
  • B.T. Potter (Clemson)
  • John Parker Romo (Virginia Tech)
  • Parker White (South Carolina)

How this will ultimately impact Ryland for the rest of the season will be worth following, especially since workouts don't tend to lead to signings right away. But because the Patriots need a lot of help to score, it wouldn't be surprising to see at least one of the free agents sign with the practice squad, as two spots remain available as of this writing.

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