A few links from around the Web that caught the eye from a Patriots perspective:
1. Patriots links to Browns clean-out: In an eye-opening piece by Peter King on TheMMQB.com, King writes on what led Browns owner Jimmy Haslam to make a major shakeup. In the piece, we learn that Bill Belichick’s strong recommendation of Greg Schiano as a head coaching candidate contributed to Haslam’s feelings, as that was something that outgoing CEO Joe Banner wasn’t interested in pursuing despite Haslam’s desires. Also, King reports that outgoing Browns general manager Michael Lombardi made a second effort to pursue Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels after McDaniels had withdrawn his name from consideration in their head coaching search.
2. Sudfeld not part of solution with Jets: In his ongoing series assessing team needs, ESPN.com Jets reporter Rich Cimini details the team’s outlook at tight end and he doesn’t view former Patriot Zach Sudfeld as a big part of the future plans. “They need two immediate contributors,” Cimini writes, noting the Jets de-emphasized the position in 2013. “In an ideal world, it would be a pass-catching tight end and a thumper at the point of attack.”
3. Mock drafts in a one-stop shop: The Patriots’ team website, Patriots.com, has put together a mock draft tracker with all analysts’ mock drafts in one place. Curious to see which prospects are most connected to the Patriots? It's a good place to look. NFL.com’s Charles Davis and CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco just released their latest mocks, with Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro on the radar for the Patriots.
4. High Sam-related praise for Patriots continues: One of the common themes we’ve heard in recent days is that the Patriots’ culture is one where Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, who publicly announced Sunday that he was gay, would thrive. As the first openly gay player in the NFL, Sam figures to draw some added attention, and former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe joined the chorus in explaining why New England would be a good fit (via NFL.com).