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New England Patriots In The Midst Of A NFL Free Agency Signing Frenzy

New England Patriots Reportedly Resigned Branch And Harmon

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New England Patriots nose tackle Alan Branch (97) during the NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. The New England Patriots won 28-24. (AP Photo/Ric Tapia)

New England Patriots Reportedly Resigned Branch And Harmon

According to CSNNE’s Mike Giardi, the Patriots and Alan Branch are finalizing a two-year deal. Branch was the best defensive tackle last season for the Patriots and will provide good leadership for the Patriots’ defensive line. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport adds the deal is worth up to $12 million. Branch, 32, finished the season with 49 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Prior to joining the Patriots in 2014 he played for the Cardinals, Seahawks and Bills.

Patriots Reportedly Also Re-Signing Duron Harmon

The Patriots are also expected to re-sign safety Duron Harmon, per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. Harmon has fit in well with Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung, giving the team many different looks in the secondary. Harmon was drafted by the Patriots in the third-round of the 2013 draft.

Prior to Super Bowl LI, Harmon made it clear to WEEI.com he would love to return to New England.

“Definitely. I love it here. I definitely love it here,” he said. “I like playing for this organization. I love this organization. They do things the right way and I know they play the game the right way. I’ve learned so much being here. I’ve become a good player here and I wanted to continue to grow here.”

The Patriots have also reportedly come to an agreement to sign free agent Cornerback Stephon Gilmore

This is according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who has said the Patriots will sign free agent cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a five-year deal. He’s played his first five years in the league with the Bills after being the No. 10 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft out of South Carolina.

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport adds the deal is expected to exceed $14 million per year. Over his five-year career, Gillmore has 14 interceptions. This signing also likely means cornerback Logan Ryan will not be returning to New England, as it doesn’t make much sense to pay two cornerbacks top money when it also has Malcolm Butler.

Another Report Has The Patriots Offering New Orleans Saints Malcolm Butler For Brandin Cooks

This is according to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, the Patriots are considering trading Malcolm Butler to the Saints for Brandin Cooks. With the Gilmore news the Patriots could be using this as a negotiation with Butler. Malcolm’s free market value is about $14 million per year, given his RFA status a fair offer would be around $12 million.

Patriots Are Still In Contact With Dont’a Hightower

A lot more to come here on NFL Free Agency opening day, most of the transactions for the league year will come in the next 24 hours and with a lot of open spots in New England the Patriots are expected to be very active. As of right now the Patriots cap is at $50,375,843 in case you were wondering.

Tanner founded Trifecta Network in Spring of 2016 and has been the Chief of Content for the Network since that time. Currently Tanner covers all the sports teams in Boston and has contacts in many of the teams in the city. Before starting Trifecta, Tanner was a Site Expert for the FanSided site Chowder and Champions before leaving to cover Boston teams on the ground as a member of the media for Trifecta.

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Heaps Out, But Who’s to Blame in New England?

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New England Revolution

Heaps Out, But Who’s to Blame in New England?

Hope springs eternal one week into the post-Jay Heaps era for the New England Revolution after a surprise 2-1 victory over table-toppers Toronto FC on Saturday. But despite taking three points from their first match since the skipper’s dismissal last week, the Revs will likely need to win out and receive a good bit of help to avoid missing the MLS Playoffs for a second consecutive year.

Who’s to blame for the slide into mediocrity since their 2014 MLS Cup appearance? Heaps was the first on the chopping block, yet many have questioned Revolution General Manager Mike Burns as well. Voices around the league from prominent agents, to national soccer writers, to the Twitter artist formerly known as @FakeJayHeaps have pointed to the GM’s culpability.

Burns stepped into his role as GM at the same time as Jay Heaps was brought before the 2012 season. In the build to 2014, he played a role in earning the Revolution a reputation for drafting well, utilizing homegrown players and making clever low risk-high reward acquisitions. Is any of that true in 2017? Has it been true since 2014?

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Editorial

State of Trifecta Network

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State of Trifecta Network

The last two months have been a whirlwind. There are no words that can truly describe what has happened to us as a website.

We went from a site that was getting an average of 2-3k viewers a week to getting that in a single day on average since the start of June. Since the start of June, we have been a credentialed member of the media to several of the teams in the area and look to increase that in the Fall.

Ultimately everything we create is meant to be read/consumed by our readers, you.  Often it is tough to get a vibe on what is or isn’t working in terms of content. That is why we would greatly appreciate if you guys give your thoughts in the comment section of this post to help us curate better content.

One thing we are looking forward to in the Fall is more reader/writer interactions. We will start doing Q and A’s related to all the Boston sports teams as well as a live Fantasy Football podcast where we will take your lineup questions.

The launch of the Fantasy podcast has yet to be decided, but expect it ahead of week 1 of the NFL season with a draft podcast. We will also be launching a Fantasy Football league to run alongside it if interested in joining fill out the contact form below with your information.

Trifecta Network is a growing platform, we will always be free and made for our readers. We appreciate your readership and want to build the best product we can to ensure the best Boston sports experience in the city.

You may have noticed more video content on the site, it is an area we are looking to improve, but not focus solely on. Many sports sites are going away from traditional writing, a move that I believe is a mistake.

If you ever have any thoughts or comments please feel free to reach out to us.

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Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox: Realistic Trade Deadline Possibilities

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Fenway Park

Third Base for the Red Sox has been a void for the last few months, and these names could help them fill it.

As we normally do, every Trade Deadline year after year the Red Sox always throw their hat in the race for the biggest name on the market. This season, Jose Quintana has been the biggest name that was moved and to no surprise the Red Sox checked in on him at some point in the season. With names like Sonny Gray, Todd Frazier, and David Robertson all potentially on the move, I assess the realistic opportunities for the Red Sox to cash in and find their missing puzzle piece at third base. These are some players that you may not of heard of that are likely on the radar for the Red Sox this season:

Jed Lowrie playing infield for the Oakland Athletics.

Jed Lowrie, Oakland Athletics

It shouldn’t be a surprise, but the former Red Sox infielder may find his way back into Boston. With Oakland exploding their team quicker than anyone in the bay area can fathom, most of the Athletics players become a target for trade opportunities (as we saw with Doolittle and Madson). In Boston, Jed Lowrie makes sense.

Lowrie is probably the most obtainable of this list. The switch hitter is hitting a respectable .272 with 10 homers and 33 RBI in 83 games. He’s on pace to have one of his better seasons since 2014, but this is only due to injuries. Lowrie is notoriously injury prone, and his low cost can provide a valuable third/short/second option without moving an important player. He was a platoon player while in Boston before ultimately losing his job completely to Jose Iglesias, then Bogaerts, then Will Middlebrooks so platooning is nothing new to him. With Oakland owing him $6 million next year, you would expect the Red Sox to take part of the contract and give up a fringe prospect for him and to Dave Dombroski, this is pocket change. Prepare for the return of Jed Lowrie in Boston.

Josh Harrison at bat against the Miami Marlins.

Josh Harrison, Pittsburgh Pirates

While this is more of a stretch than a reality, I still want to talk about it in case it happens (making me look smart). Harrison has been a sort of Brock Holt style player for the Pirates since breaking into the league in 2011. A career .282 hitter, he doesn’t wow you with flashy power and high RBI totals. Instead he provides a reliable bat that in the lower half of the lineup.

Despite being a very reliable part of the Pirates lineup, and a potentially good fit for Boston, he is under contract through 2020. If the Red Sox plan on moving Devers like they did with Moncada, they better haul in a bigger return than 30 year old Josh Harrison. But if Dombrowksi pulls the trigger and decides to go with Harrison expect him to move to a different position if he sticks around. He might even end up at pitcher. Who knows.

Eduardo Nunez taking batting practice before the 2016 All Star game. He represented the Minnesota Twins for the American League.

Eduardo Nunez, San Francisco Giants

The former Yankee (and All Star, believe it or not!) is yet another player that provides flexibility when it comes to filling holes, but once again – all we are focusing on is third base. Red Sox Nation may be hesitant to see another former Giant taking reigns over third base but I promise you that Nunez is nothing like that dude that the Sox just DFA’d. In 67 games this year Nunez is just a tick under .300, batting .297 with 4 homers and 25 RBI. He’s also got 17 steals, so the tangible of stealing bases makes him more of an attractive pick up.

Nunez is also signed through this season – potentially making him an even better suit for Boston with prospects waiting. His numbers aren’t flashy, but they’re maybe the most respectable of this list considering he has spent some time on the disabled list. With the Giants in free fall, and more than likely selling the house in two weeks, I would put my money on Eduardo Nunez as one of the first to go.

With the deadline two weeks away, I think these three guys could end up in Fenway Park playing third base really soon. While the main point of focus is finding another reliable arm in the bullpen, it is necessary to find a major league ready third baseman who can provide a tangible that Marrero and Lin can’t at this early in their careers – and that is to hit with consistency. Check back in on July 31st and see the madness unfold.

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