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Patriots Talk: Team Holds Workouts for Damien Williams and Mike Gillislee

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Patriots Talk: Team Holds Workouts for Damien Williams and Mike Gillislee

 

The Patriots are back to free agency once again as they held workouts yesterday. The Running Backs that were brought in were Buffalo Bills’ Mike Gillislee and Miami Dolphins’ Damien Williams. This came to light today through Ian Rapoport and Field Yates on Twitter.

Now this is quite interesting as they had recently re-signed Brandon Bolden and acquired Rex Burkhead from the Cincinnati Bengals. So why are the Patriots still getting workouts with running backs from teams in their own division? I believe the answer comes back once again to free agent LeGarrette Blount. He has yet to respond back to the team and while his offer was given to him at the start of free agency, he hasn’t taken it. The mainly issue of course money, Blount wants more money but the Patriots are not going to overspend for a 30 year old running back even with the recent talks of players like Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch.

 

In addition, there is a very small chance the Patriots will go for either running back that were brought in yesterday because they are restricted free agents. What this means is they have a tender placed onto them. Gillislee was a fifth round pick in the 2013 draft, and he was signed to an original-round tender (meaning the round he was selected in). This means a fifth-round pick is needed to get any offer for him on the table. Williams, on the other hand, was an undrafted free agent and was offered a low-round tender. (meaning anywhere between the 6th and 7th rounds) Both tenders are worth about $1.797 million. Coincidentally, both Williams and Gillislee were teammates back in Miami before Gillislee ultimately added up on the Buffalo Bills in 2015.

 

Miami Dolphins Running Back Damien Williams

Miami Dolphins Running Back (26) Damien Williams stiff arms’ New England Patriots (32) Safety Devin McCourty

 

The Patriots don’t hold workouts for restricted free agents unless they are: 1) in serious need of depth, 2) trying to convince certain players that the team can loo elsewhere. Burkhead being signed to a one year contract worth 3 million is the highest contract currently for all the Patriots running backs. That aren’t likely to give up much more money even with the amount of cap space they still have.

 

Damien Williams has run only 87 times for 296 yards and caught 65 passes for 578 yards over 47 games for the Dolphins in the last three seasons. Gillislee in 2016 had 101 carries for 577 yards and eight touchdowns and led all running backs in yards per carry (5.7 yards per carry). If either were signed it would have to be from now till April 21st.

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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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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: 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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