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Martellus Bennett responds to report of ‘real possibility’ he leaves Patriots this offseason

02.21.17 at 8:22 pm ET
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Martellus Bennett tweeted he hasn't thought about free agency. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

Martellus Bennett tweeted he hasn’t thought about free agency. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

Early Tuesday night, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported there is a “real possibility” Martellus Bennett leaves the Patriots via free agency.

Rapoport noted Bennett’s asking price and offers he likely will receive as reasons why he will likely sign with another team. Since the Patriots already have Rob Gronkowski, it is unlikely they will be able to pay Bennett what he wants.

Minutes after the report surfaced, Bennett responded on Twitter in a way only Bennett could.

“I haven’t given free agency a ton of thought at this moment to be truly honest,” Bennett tweeted. “I’ve been in MartyLand creating for @ImaginationAgcy.”

He added: “I haven’t asked for anything either. I’m just chilling. Lol”

Free agency begins in early March and it appears likely Bennett will get a number of offers.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

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Martellus Bennett reportedly could be done in New England after 1 season

02.21.17 at 7:27 pm ET
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Martellus Bennett could be moving on after one year in New England. (Jerry Lai/USA Today Sports)

Martellus Bennett could be moving on after one year in New England. (Jerry Lai/USA Today Sports)

It was a good fit after being traded from the Bears last offseason, but Martellus Bennett’s time in New England could be up.

According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Bennett will test free agency, and based on his asking price along with likely offers, it’s a real possibility he leaves the team.

Rapoport also notes the two sides have a “mutually respectful” relationship, but keeping Bennett will be hard.

Bennett made over $5 million this past year as he was in he final year of a four-year, $20 million deal. After winning the Super Bowl and having such a productive season, Bennett likely will want more than that. Being 30 years old and the Patriots already having Rob Gronkowski under contract on a team-friendly deal, the Patriots don’t seem to have the money to be able to pay Bennett what he wants.

The tight end displayed tremendous amounts of toughness playing in all 16 games this season with both shoulder and ankle injuries and finished the season with 55 catches for 701 yards and seven touchdowns.

Right after the Super Bowl, Bennett said “you know they overpay Super Bowl champions” in reference to him being a free agent, which was the first sign he might not return.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

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When asked about Deflategate, Robert Kraft notes he doesn’t hold grudges, but remembers everything

02.21.17 at 6:39 pm ET
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Robert Kraft will be on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on Tuesday. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)

Robert Kraft will be on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on Tuesday. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)

Patriots owner Robert Kraft will join Andrea Kremer on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” that premieres Tuesday night and prior to the airing a sneak preview was released.

The preview showed Kraft getting asked about Deflategate and if he holds a grudge towards the league.

“I really don’t hold grudges,” Kraft said. “I mean, I remember everything, but I move on.”

Added Kraft: “Envy and jealousy are incurable diseases. The haters still hate. And I understand it, and we’ll do our best to keep them in that position.”

Kraft also defended Tom Brady, who obviously Deflategate centered around.

“He’s just not the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL,” Kraft said. “He’s an amazing human being. And is genuine. And as nice as everybody thinks he is, he’s nicer. And to see anyone attack him as an individual or his integrity. And that just wasn’t fair.”

The complete interview will air Tuesday at 10 p.m. on HBO.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Deflategate, Robert Kraft, Tom Brady,

Shannon Sharpe: Tom Brady’s demise with Patriots could come within next two years

02.21.17 at 4:40 pm ET
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Tom Brady led the Patriots to a historic 25-point comeback victory over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI. (Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports)

Tom Brady led the Patriots to a historic 25-point comeback victory over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI. (Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports)

Last year, ESPN’s Max Kellerman was the standard-bearer of Tom Brady boogeymen, for proclaiming the Patriots quarterback was “going to be a bum in short order.” This year, it seems like Fox Sports’ Shannon Sharpe is ready to take the mantle from him.

In a segment Tuesday with Skip Bayless on FS1’s Undisputed, which routinely draws fewer viewers than reruns of M*A*S*H during the same time slot, Sharpe said the Patriots should be prepared to face Brady’s decline within the next two years.

“The Patriots should keep Jimmy Garoppolo. And I know Tom Brady has convinced a lot of people –– I read the column that he had in MMQB with Peter King  –– that he’s going to play five or six more years. He’s convinced all the Patriots fans, and he’s convinced the guy that sits across from me that he’s going to play five to six more years,” he said. “I don’t like to be the bearer of bad news, but I will anyway. He’s not playing five or six more years. OK… he might, but he won’t be in a Patriots uniform, so let’s just leave that. I give him two more years.”

There have been conflicting reports about whether the Patriots will trade Garoppolo this offseason. Peter King and Ed Werder say he’s going to stay in New England, whereas Adam Schefter insists the Patriots will trade him for at least a first- and fourth-round pick. But in Sharpe’s world, Garoppolo’s status with the team shouldn’t even be a question, because he could soon take over for Brady.

“But do you know what happened when Peyton Manning was 37 years old? He threw for 5,467 yards, 55 touchdowns,” he said. “They scored the most points in NFL history, had four different guys with at least 10 touchdowns. And then he followed that up into 38 with 39 [touchdowns] and 15 interceptions, 4,700 yards. And then he stepped off a cliff.”

The Manning comparison is often made when the topic of Brady’s football mortality comes up. But it’s invalid, because warning signs were there for Manning. Late in the 2014 season, his play slipped after he had suffered a quad injury that December. Manning limped to the finish line that year, throwing four touchdown passes and six interceptions with a 79.98 quarterback rating over the final four games. So, his decline in 2015 didn’t come out of nowhere. It started happening the previous year.

Brady. meanwhile, led the AFC in passer-rating last season (112.2) at 39 years old. But Sharpe says that could all change when he’s 40, because, well, he’s 40.

“What you’re not looking at, also, is that the four games he missed – that was four games of licks that he didn’t have to take,” Sharpe said. “And as you get older, you can get the body faster, you can get the body stronger, you can get it to withstand more stress. You can’t make it younger. He’s going to be 40. And as you get older, the licks, the dings, they linger longer.”

In theory, Sharpe is correct. Brady will stop being the best at his position one of these days. But it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon. If Sharpe is going to predict Brady’s demise, he has to prove there are signs of a downturn in performance. Right now, he’s got nothing.

Read More: New England Patriots, Shannon Sharpe, Tom Brady,

LeGarrette Blount wants to return to New England next season

02.21.17 at 1:39 pm ET
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LeGarrette Blount would like to return to the Patriots. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

LeGarrette Blount would like to return to the Patriots. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

It was a record-setting season for LeGarrette Blount as he rushed for 18 touchdowns, but the 30-year-old is now a free agent once again.

With putting up such great numbers and winning a Super Bowl, Blount likely will be attractive to some teams across the league, but he says he wants to stay in New England.

“I just want to make sure that I go [into] this free agency with an open mind knowing that I definitely want to go back to New England,” Blount said Monday on NFL Network’s “NFL All Access”. “I love it there. I love the culture. I love the players. I’ve become close with a lot of the guys. Obviously, you know how my running back group is. But we’ll cross that bridge whenever we cross it.”

Even though Blount has played seven NFL seasons and is in his 30s, he is feeling good.

“I feel great,” the 30-year-old said. “I’m in amazing shape, and I feel like I could play 100 more years if I have to.”

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

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Tom Brady’s missing Super Bowl LI jersey is worth $500,000, according to Houston Police

02.21.17 at 12:55 pm ET
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Tom Brady completed 21-of-27 passes in the fourth quarter and overtime in Super Bowl LI. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Tom Brady completed 21-of-27 passes in the fourth quarter and overtime in Super Bowl LI. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

The search continues for Tom Brady’s missing game jersey from Super Bowl LI. In a report, the Houston Police say the piece of memorabilia is valued at $500,000.

It’s been more than two weeks since the Patriots’ historic comeback victory over the Falcons. After the game, Brady handed his jersey to a team employee, who took it into the locker room. Once he arrived to his locker, Brady stuffed it into his bag and went on to socialize with members of his family and teammates. When he returned, the jersey was gone.

Since the locker room was closed to the public during this time, only a finite number of people were allowed to be back there while the theft took place. But that apparently hasn’t made solving the case any easier. The Texas Rangers and NFL security officials continue to work on solving it.

“I hope I get it back,” Brady said on Pro Football Talk Live last week. “If I don’t, I don’t. It’s a jersey. … I put it in my bag because I wanted to keep it. It’s just a nice piece of memorabilia to have, but I’m not sure where they’re [investigators] at with that.”

Patriots owner Robert Kraft, whose ring from Super Bowl XXXIX was taken by Russian president Vladimir Putin during a 2005 meeting, compared Brady’s missing jersey to the robbery of a “great Chagall or Picasso.” But Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo apparently doesn’t feel that way. In a statement earlier this month, he said his department “won’t be burning the midnight oil worrying about a jersey.”

Read More: New England Patriots, Tom Brady,

Jimmy Garoppolo admits there are times he gets impatient backing up Tom Brady

02.21.17 at 11:20 am ET
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Jimmy Garoppolo has been backing up Tom Brady for three years. (John David Mercer/USA Today Sports)

Jimmy Garoppolo has been backing up Tom Brady for three years. (John David Mercer/USA Today Sports)

Jimmy Garoppolo has been in the league for three years and is good enough to be a starter, but he just hasn’t got an opportunity because he’s been backing up Tom Brady.

Garoppolo was supposed to start the first four games of 2016 because of Brady’s four-game suspension, but that ended up being six quarters after he suffered a shoulder injury against the Dolphins in Week 2.

In those six quarters, Garoppolo went 42-for-59 with 496 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Over his three seasons, he has completed 63-of-94 passes for 690 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions.

Appearing on Adam Schefter’s “Know them from Adam” podcast, Garoppolo admitted he does get impatient at times being Brady’s backup and not getting on the field much.

“There’s times,” Garoppolo said. “Obviously the kickoff happens and you are ready to roll. The juices get flowing again. You get the adrenaline, the butterflies. It’s football, you have to love the atmosphere.”

Schefter also proposed a hypothetical question looking ahead to next season and if Garoppolo were to stay with the Patriots in 2017. After next season Garoppolo will be a free agent and he could look to stay with the Patriots or try and sign with another team where he likely be a starter and not play behind Brady.

Garoppolo was asked what he would want to do, but answered in typical Patriots-fashion.

“That is a good question,” Garoppolo said. “Between now and then there are so many different thing that can happen, that might not happen. It’s tough to say. We all play the game. We all want to be out there on the field and get an opportunity to play. I guess we will cross that bridge when we get there is probably the best way to put it. We’re competitors at the end of the day. We want to be out there, I want to be out there competing and playing with my teammates.”

Read More: Jimmy Garoppolo, Tom Brady,
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