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Patriots waive Kai Forbath, 4th kicker of season

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The New England Patriots waived kicker Kai Forbath on Monday, a source tells ESPN’s Field Yates.

Forbath had been signed to replace Nick Folk, who had an appendectomy last week and was released Friday.

Folk still had a locker set up in the Patriots facility after his release, and the expectation was that he could return to the team later in the season.

Forbath missed an extra point Sunday night in the Patriots’ loss to the Houston Texans, and also made a chip-shot, 23-yard field goal and one extra-point attempt.

Forbath was the fourth kicker the Patriots had used this season.

Stephen Gostkowski, who was in his 14th season with the Patriots, was placed on season-ending injured reserve on Oct. 2 and had surgery for a left hip injury.

The Patriots first signed Mike Nugent to take Gostkowski’s place, but he was ineffective, missing three of eight field-goal attempts and one point-after in four games.

Nugent was released Oct. 29 and the Patriots brought in Folk, who connected on 7 of 9 field goals he attempted and made all three of his PATs.

The Patriots also claimed defensive tackle Albert Huggins off waivers from the Philadelphia Eagles, a source told Yates.

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Dolphins sign former Colts WR Chester Rogers to one-year deal

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The Miami Dolphins have signed former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Chester Rogers to a one-year contract, his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Rogers’ signing follows the decisions by Dolphins wide receivers Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson last week to opt out of the 2020 season.

Rogers, 26, spent the majority of his four seasons with the Colts as a punt return specialist, though he had a breakout year as a receiver in 2018, when he caught a career-high 53 passes for 485 yards and two touchdowns.

He suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Tennessee Titans in Week 13 of the 2019 season, finishing with 16 catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns.

Rogers, an undrafted free agent out of Grambling State, averaged 9.2 yards on 60 punt returns with the Colts. Overall, Rogers has 111 receptions for 1,221 yards and five touchdowns in his career.

The Dolphins also signed wide receiver Ricardo Louis on Saturday. Louis, who has not played since 2017 with the Cleveland Browns due to injuries, had been released by Dolphins last month.

ESPN’s Mike Wells and Cameron Wolfe contributed to this report.

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Short-handed at CB, Giants plan to sign Ross Cockrell

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The Giants are planning to sign CB Ross Cockrell, a source confirmed to ESPN.

Short-handed at the CB position with DeAndre Baker facing armed robbery charges and Sam Beal having opted out, the Giants desperately needed reinforcements and went with a somewhat familiar face in Cockrell.

The Record (N.J.) was first to report the Giants’ plans to sign Cockrell, who played for the team in 2017.

Cockrell played in Carolina last season alongside James Bradberry, also now with the Giants. He has started 43 career games for the Giants, Panthers and Steelers.

The Giants also plan to sign OL Jackson Dennis, a undrafted free agent out of Holy Cross, according to a source. He spent time with the Arizona Cardinals earlier this year.

Signings have been a process in recent days since players have to pass COVID-19 tests and physicals before deals can be completed.

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What constitutes a successful 2020 NFL season for each NFC East team?

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As NFL training camps begin to look more “normal,” with players getting on the field with their teams for the first time on Friday and pads set to come on for the first time on Aug. 17, there seems to be a natural sense of optimism around every team.

Even with the positive thought that every team is undefeated at this point in the season, the NFC East figures to be a two-team race between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. Those franchises have won the division in six of the past seven years and should follow the same path in 2020. The New York Giants and Washington Football Team have new head coaches and are at different places when it comes to their roster building compared to their division counterparts.

With that in mind, NFC East reporters John Keim (Washington), Jordan Raanan (Giants), Tim McManus (Eagles) and Todd Archer (Cowboys) take a look at what would constitute a successful 2020 season for each team.


Dallas Cowboys

Simple — get to the playoffs. There have been previous Cowboys’ seasons that have had “Super Bowl or bust” feelings to them, but considering coach Mike McCarthy did not have a traditional offseason to fully implement his program, the expectations should be dialed back. McCarthy’s résumé is better than any new NFL head coach this season. He went to the playoffs nine times with the Green Bay Packers, a conference title four times and won a Super Bowl. The Cowboys have not made it to an NFC Championship Game or Super Bowl since 1995.

There is talent, especially on offense with quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott, wide receivers Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb, and offensive linemen Tyron Smith and Zack Martin. There are questions on defense — pass rush and the ability to take the ball away — but the Cowboys might be able to mask some of those issues with a prolific offense.

The Cowboys had similar talent on offense and questions on defense a year ago and missed the playoffs, leading to the hiring of McCarthy. While some might have Super Bowl thoughts, just getting to the tournament is a more proper expectation. — Archer


New York Giants

The Giants are in the midst of a rebuild, even if that is not what they want to call it, and this is effectively Year 2, but with a new head coach.

Coach Joe Judge made it clear throughout the interview process that this would be a process, so the Giants’ success isn’t going to be dictated solely by wins and losses or by making the playoffs. If the Giants go 7-9 or 8-8 and second-year quarterback Daniel Jones makes strides, it would be a significant step in the right direction. If the defense went from being one of the league’s worst to a middle-of-the-road unit, that would be welcomed, as well.

On paper in the NFC East, there are the Cowboys and Eagles on one level. The Giants and Washington fall well below those two, at least talent-wise. All the Giants need to do in order for the 2020 season to be a success is just be competitive in games. They have the worst record of any team in the NFL over the past three seasons (12-36) and have not beaten the Cowboys or Eagles since late in the 2016 season. The bar isn’t especially high; the Giants just need make progress in an unprecedented and unpredictable 2020 season. — Raanan


Philadelphia Eagles

A division title and a playoff win are what it will take for the Eagles to be considered a success in 2020.

The Eagles feel they have a much-improved roster from the one they fielded in a wild-card loss to the Seattle Seahawks in January. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson is healthy, Darius Slay was added to the secondary, they beefed up the defensive front with the Javon Hargrave signing, and spent much of their draft capital on speedy wide receivers, led by 2020 first-round pick Jalen Reagor. The Eagles hope continuity will carry them a long way as the rest of the division breaks in new coaching staffs under the most unique of circumstances.

There are enough questions around the team to resist the most bullish of predictions: Is Andre Dillard ready to take over left tackle? Can they fill the voids left by safety Malcolm Jenkins and guard Brandon Brooks? Can they generate a steady pass rush off the edge?

Fending off the Cowboys to secure a third NFC title in four years would be another feather in the cap of coach Doug Pederson. But the season will not be a success unless quarterback Carson Wentz gets his first playoff victory. His postseason debut was cut short by a concussion last season, and he missed the playoffs the previous two years because of injury. He needs to finish the 2020 campaign on his own terms, and with at least one playoff win under his belt. — McManus


Washington Football Team

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Washington coach Ron Rivera goes in depth on the culture he wants to instill and his surprise when he learned of the Washington Post article detailing sexual harassment by former members of the organization.

This team will prove a success in 2020 if quarterback Dwayne Haskins develops and the defense shows signs of being a top unit, led by rookie end Chase Young. There are other factors, too, that would make it a successful season: how the offensive line performs, for example.

But this season won’t be about the win-loss record as much as it will be about how the team progresses under first-year coach Ron Rivera. They’re not set up for instant success, not in a year when they had no offseason practices and a shortened summer with no preseason games. Washington knows a slow start could be inevitable, but that a strong finish will be necessary.

If Haskins establishes himself, this team can cross one question off its list. If not, Washington could be searching for another QB in the spring. And if the defense, led by the line, performs, then the team knows it has a young group that could be good for a few years. — Keim

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