“Competition breeds excellence, in my opinion,” Epenesa said, via Vic Carucci. “That’s the way of the business. These guys are great guys and they’ve been working hard. They’ve done some great things out on the field. Competition just pushes people to get better and that’s what it’s all about. So, we have more people to compete with and I’m just looking forward to how far they can push me to get better at the game.”
- NJ.com’s Mike Kaye named the Bills as a potential suitor for Eagles TE Zach Ertz. The veteran would be another weapon for QB Josh Allen and Buffalo has enough cap space to fit his contract after restructuring WR Stefon Diggs. Kaye doesn’t expect Ertz to cost more than a Day 3 pick in a trade.
- Mike Klis reports that the Broncos will hold joint practices with the Vikings leading up to their first preseason game on August 14.
- Regarding the Broncos’ quarterback battle between Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater, HC Vic Fangio said they will likely “play them a little more” in their preseason games: “Probably play them a little more in preseason than teams may play their No. 1 quarterback. I did a semi-study a few years ago when teams were not playing their quarterbacks at all in preseason. Some were and some weren’t.” (Klis)
- Fangio added that he’s hopeful to find a healthy balance between Lock and Bridgewater until the starter becomes apparent: “These guys need snaps and they need to play, especially when you have a young quarterback like we have in Drew and a new quarterback like we have in Teddy. Hopefully we’ll get them a lot of snaps and the decision will be made easy.” (Klis)
- Broncos seventh-round rookie OLB Jonathan Cooper has been cleared to travel with the team following an ablation procedure to fix a heartbeat issue, and hopes to be available for the start of training camp. (Klis)
- The one-year contract for new Broncos’ T Cameron Fleming is worth up to $1.67 million with $1 million guaranteed. It includes a $255,000 signing bonus, a salary of $1.075 million with $745,000 guaranteed, and $340,000 in game-day roster bonuses. (Klis)
Patriots TE Hunter Henry is excited to work with and learn from HC Bill Belichick and OC Josh McDaniels.
“On the outside looking in, obviously they’re great coaches,” Henry said, via Doug Kyed of NESN. “And then when you get hands-on with them, they’re phenomenal as well, even more than you think. They’re two of the best minds football can offer, so just trying to pick as much as I can from them and continue to learn.”
Henry figures to start opposite other notable FA signing Jonnu Smith in two-TE sets, but notes that the Patriots culture and locker room are both outstanding.
“I enjoy this culture,” Henry said. “I think it fits me really well, and I’m excited to just embrace myself in it and really just be a complete Patriot and what it means. It’s just such a winning culture. There’s a tradition here. There’s a high level of expectation. So I think a lot of us, even including myself, are very excited about trying to elevate ourselves to meet those expectations and this culture. Excited to be here in this locker room and go to work every single day with these guys.”
- According to Neil Stratton, former Northwestern and Tampa Bay assistant Jason Hinch will be joining the Patriots as a scouting assistant.