Slowly but surely, the New England Patriots roster is looking more like an NFL team and less like a MASH unit. After watching a fleet of linebackers leave via free agency, the Patriots are filling some of the gaps.
On Sunday, just minutes after news broke regarding QB Brian Hoyer being brought back to the team for a third run, former New York Jets outside linebacker Brandon Copeland reportedly agreed to terms with the Patriots. The Boston Globe’s Jim McBride tweeted the news on both signings:
Here are five things you should know about Copeland and his signing with the Patriots.
Brandon Copeland’s Contract Terms
As of now, all of the details of Copeland’s deal aren’t known, but it is reportedly a one-year deal. When the money terms are available, this post will be updated with the relevant information.
Brandon Copeland’s Age and Experience
When the 2020 NFL season begins, Copeland will be 29 years old. He has played four seasons in the NFL. His first two years, from 2015-16, were with the Detroit Lions. Copeland missed all of the 2017 season after tearing his pectoral muscle. He played for the Jets during the 2018-19 campaigns.
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Brandon Copeland’s Career Stats, Strengths, and Weaknesses
Copeland has appeared in 60 NFL games and started 15 of them. He has tallied seven sacks, 104 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 19 quarterback hits. At 6’3″ 260 pounds, he is a stout player at his position.
He has never established himself as an elite pass rusher. His best season in that regard came in 2018 when he had five sacks and a respectable 14 QB hits in 16 games. He started 10 of those contests. However, you can see strong evidence of a high motor and good pursuit in flashes, like this sack against the Chicago Bears’ nimble QB Mitchell Trubisky. Jordan Moore has video evidence:
While the pass-rushing production may not be there in spades, Copeland has shown himself to be strong against the run. He is able to hold his ground against blockers, disengage and still handle ball carriers.
Pats’ Pulpit Taylor Kyles has the video:
Where Brandon Copeland Fits With the Patriots
Based on his skill set, Copeland looks to be a strong option to step in for the departed Elandon Roberts who left for the Miami Dolphins along with Kyle Van Noy and Ted Karras.
Copeland’s acquisition could ensure the Patriots don’t miss a beat on this front.
Brandon Copeland is More than Just a Player
Away from the field, some of Copeland’s best qualities are his humanitarian efforts, intelligence and sense of humor. As the Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan points out, Copeland graduated from Wharton School and won the NFLPA’s Alan Page Community Award. The award recognizes a player “who demonstrates a profound dedication to positively impacting his community and others.”
Copeland also appeared on CNBC discussing his remarkable money-management techniques. He apparently only spends 10 percent of his salary from the NFL, and saves the other 90 percent:
Last but not least, Copeland has a heck of a sense of humor and quite an adorable child. Copeland gave the world one of its most light-hearted and desperately needed moments of laughter on social media during the coronavirus pandemic with this pranking of his baby. If you haven’t seen it, enjoy:
In totality, this seems like a strong addition to the organization on a whole.