New England Patriots Capsule
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (13-5)
OPEN CAMP: July 27, Foxborough, Massachusetts
LAST YEAR: Tom Brady was initially hit last offseason with four-game suspension he will serve for role in ''Deflategate.'' Appeal overturned Commissioner Roger Goodell's punishment in time for Brady to suit up for 2015 season. Led by league-best 36 regular season touchdowns, New England weathered rash of injuries on way to AFC East crown. But Patriots couldn't overcome health issues in AFC championship game, as they fell to eventual Super Bowl champion Broncos.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: TE Martellus Bennett, G Jonathan Cooper, WR Chris Hogan, LB Shea McClellin, DT Terrance Knighton, CB Cyrus Jones, QB Jacoby Brissett.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: DE Chandler Jones, DTs Akiem Hicks and Dominique Easley, WR Brandon LaFell.
CAMP NEEDS: Despite having punishment reinstated, Brady will participate in all preseason practices and games. Still, team will need to balance how he splits reps with backup Jimmy Garoppolo and Brissett, who will both need to be ready to play. Readiness of RB Dion Lewis, working way back from torn left ACL, is focal point. Integrating Bennett and evaluating new additions like Cooper and Knighton are also priorities.
EXPECTATIONS: New England has been juggernaut in AFC East since it became Brady's team. Whether it has chance at another division crown could depend on how its record looks when he's eligible to return Oct. 3.
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