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[BN] Blitz newsletter: What's up with Preston Brown and the Patriots?

Bills fans are always a little wary of losing players to the Patriots, who have snapped up Bills like Chris Hogan, Stephon Gilmore and Mike Gillislee. So ears perked up around town when free-agent-to-be Preston Brown was quoted extensively in the Boston Herald saying he thinks he can definitely help the Patriots.

What gives? Brown surely wants to maximize his value in the free-agent market; that's a given. He led the NFL tackles last season, and while that number can be inflated by a team's defensive system, it's still an impressive resume point. But why the Patriots?

It's possible Brown just happened to run into a Boston reporter at the Combine in Indianapolis, where the story is datelined. It's not like he's going to say he doesn't think he can help a team. But that explanation sounds too easy. Another route to consider is that Brown and/or his agent wanted the story to come out specifically in regard to the Patriots.

Are contract talks with the Bills not going the way Brown's side wants? Does Sean McDermott want to replace Brown with someone faster? This story seemed to me like a play from Brown's camp to gain leverage in negotiations. As in, fine, you're not going to pay me? Imagine what it'll be like when I'm beating you next season with the Patriots! 

Or maybe he just really wants to play for Bill Belichick. We'll see.

Bills visit with free-agent running back Chris Ivory: Backup running back was an area of need for much of last season. The Bills would get a big boost there – and gain insurance against a LeSean McCoy injury – if they signed Chris Ivory, who visited Tuesday.

Bills rank last in NFL among snaps by "homegrown" players: In case you have forgotten, the Bills' drafts under former GM Doug Whaley were not very productive. They rank last in snaps played by their own draft picks.

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An answer on the D-line? Washington DT Vita Vea fits the big-man-in-middle need for the Bills, Mark Gaughan wrote.

Signed and sealed: Vontae Davis and the Bills made the signing official Tuesday, and Davis' contract terms were reported.

Looking at the free-agent running back crop: There's one big fish out there in Le'Veon Bell, who the Steelers may re-sign, but after that there is plenty of depth in running back pool, Jay Skurski wrote.

USC's Sam Darnold reportedly will not throw at NFL Combine: Oh well, that's what Pro Days are for. The main focus of the combine is meetings and medical tests, anyway.

What will Gronk do? Latest tweets by Rob Gronkowski keep fans guessing about his future.

Vikings QB update: Teddy Bridgewater expected to be unrestricted free agent; no franchise tag for Case Keenum.

Daily Drive Podcast: Discussion of adding Davis and maybe Ivory.

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