June 13, 2024

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Patriots trade Nick Folk to Titans, sources say: Why New England is betting on Chad Ryland

Patriots trade Nick Folk to Titans, sources say: Why New England is betting on Chad Ryland

Written by Diana Rossini, Jeff Howe, Chad Graff, and Joe Rexrod

The New England Patriots have traded kicker Nick Folk to the Tennessee Titans, according to league sources. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The sources said the Patriots will receive a 2025 seventh-round draft pick in the deal.
  • Faulk, 38, has spent the past four seasons with New England. He made 86.5 percent of his field goal attempts (32-of-37) in 2022.
  • New England selected Maryland outfielder Chad Ryland in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

the athleteInstant analysis:

Why did New England take this step?

Bill Belichick has raved about Faulk and the fortitude he has brought to a stage of the game that the Patriots care deeply about. Still very consistent at 45 yards.

But the Patriots were hurt last season by a lack of a solid player, specifically when they were unable to pass the ball through Buffalo’s end zone in Week 18 as the Bills returned two kicks for touchdowns. So the Patriots drafted Ryland, arguably the rookie with the strongest leg, in the fourth round. It may not be as stable as the Volk, but it offers more distance. The Patriots are hoping he’ll be next in a (indirect) line of great players from Adam Vinatieri to Stephen Gostkowski to Faulk. — graff

How does the people fit into the titans

The Giants have been aimlessly searching for a long-term kicking solution since letting Ryan Succup go after the 2019 season — a season that saw him struggle after being activated off-IR — and watch him return to excellence and win the ring with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In folk, the Giants settle for another short-term solution, but this is the right play given this season’s “last round” theme.

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Randy Bullock has been decent the past two seasons but has never been more reliable than 50 yards. The folks were 4-for-5 after 50 last season and 12-for-17 in four stellar seasons with the Pats. The Pats improve his leg strength in moving from folk, but so do the Giants in getting him. — rexroad

Dramatic story

Folk began his career with the Dallas Cowboys after they selected him in the sixth round of the 2007 NFL Draft, and he earned a Pro Bowl nod during his rookie year. He went on to play for seven seasons with the New York Jets and had a short stint with the Pirates in 2017 before joining the Patriots. He has an 82.9 field goal percentage over his 15-year career.

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(Photo: Mark J. Rebellas/USA Today)