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Patriots waive RB Montee Ball

02.09.16 at 5:19 pm ET
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The Patriots have waived running back Montee Ball, according to the NFL transaction wire.

Ball, 25, was signed by New England to the practice squad in December. The former second-round pick of the Broncos in 2013 did not see any game action with the Patriots this season.

Ball was charged with two misdemeanors in a domestic assault case involving his girlfriend earlier this winter, but it was revealed Monday that he won’t face felony charges.

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Cam Newton defends actions in Super Bowl: ‘Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser’

02.09.16 at 12:01 pm ET
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Cam Newton defended his actions Sunday in Super Bowl 50. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)

Cam Newton defended his actions Sunday in Super Bowl 50. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)

Cam Newton was one of the biggest stories in Super Bowl 50.

One, for not diving for his own fumble late in the fourth quarter with the game on the line and then after the game, he only spoke to the media for about three minutes with a few one-word answers. Afterwards, some called him a sore loser.

The quarterback defended both actions on Tuesday — two days after the game.

“Show me a good loser and I’€™ll show you a loser,”€ Newton said, via the Charlotte Observer. ‘€œIf I offended anyone, that’€™s cool … I don’€™t have to conform to anybody’€™s wants for me. I’€™m not that guy. This is a great league with or without me. I am my own person.”

Newton also defended not diving for the fumble, adding the Panthers didn’t lose the game because of that.

“I don’€™t dive on one fumble because the way my leg was –€” it could have been [contorted] in a way,”€ Newton said. “OK, you say my effort. I didn’€™t dive down. I fumbled. That’€™s fine. But we didn’€™t lose that game because of that fumble. I can tell you that.”

Carolina finished the regular season 15-1 and Newton was the league MVP.

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Can Panthers avoid so-called curse of Super Bowl loser?

02.09.16 at 11:54 am ET
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Cam Newton and the Panthers will be looking to flip the script next year. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Cam Newton and the Panthers will be looking to flip the script next year. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Come next season, Carolina will be looking to duck one of the stranger hexes in all of sports: the so-called Curse of the Super Bowl Loser.

Seven of the last 15 Super Bowl losers have missed the playoffs the following season, and while there have been some that have ended up winning playoff games the following year, no Super Bowl loser in that stretch has come back to win the title the following year. In fact, since 2000, only two teams have even made it as far as the conference title game the year after losing the Super Bowl. (The last team to even play in a Super Bowl the season after losing it? The 1993 Bills, who lost back-to-back big games to the Cowboys.) Of the 49 previous Super Bowl losers, only two won the big game the next season –€” the 1972 Miami Dolphins were the last team to do it.

Here’€™s a look at the year that team lost the Super Bowl, and their record and playoff performance the following season.

Super Bowl 49: Seahawks (10-6) lose in divisional round to Panthers, 31-24
Super Bowl 48: Broncos (12-4) lose in divisional round to Colts, 24-13
Super Bowl 47: Niners (12-4) lose in NFC championship game to Seahawks, 23-17
Super Bowl 46: Patriots (12-4) lose in AFC championship game, 28-13
Super Bowl 45: Steelers (12-4) lose in wild card round to Broncos, 29-23
Super Bowl 44: Colts (10-6) lose in wild card round to Jets, 17-16
Super Bowl 43: Cardinals (10-6) lose in divisional playoffs to Saints, 45-14
Super Bowl 42: Patriots (11-5) miss playoffs
Super Bowl 41: Bears (7-9) miss playoffs
Super Bowl 40: Seahawks (9-7) lose to Bears in divisional playoffs, 27-24
Super Bowl 39: Eagles (6-10) miss playoffs
Super Bowl 38: Panthers (7-9) miss playoffs
Super Bowl 37: Raiders (4-12) miss playoffs
Super Bowl 36: Rams (7-9) miss playoffs
Super Bowl 35: Giants (7-9) miss playoffs

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NFL reportedly considering suspending Aqib Talib for vicious facemask penalty in Super Bowl 50

02.09.16 at 11:13 am ET
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Although the Broncos won Super Bowl 50, 24-10 over the Panthers, cornerback Aqib Talib didn’t have the best of games.

Talib will most be remembered for his blatant facemask penalty on Carolina wide receiver Corey Brown at the 5-yard line in the second quarter. It only resulted in a 2.5-yard penalty since it was half the distance to the goal, but after the game Talib admitted he did it on purpose.

“It was B.S. flags,” Talib told reporters after the game. “€œOne was on our sidelines [for taunting] –€” the guy [Brown] was talking on our sideline. One I just did on purpose, and I just had to show him. It’€™s probably going to be a fine. But, hey, we’€™re world champs.”

With Talib admitting he committed the penalty on purpose, according to Pro Football Talk, the NFL is considering suspending the former Patriots cornerback. The report says the league will look back at Talib’s history and also his penalty being a major safety issue.

For video of the play, check out the GIF below:

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Trying to provide some context to Cam Newton’s abrupt podium walkout after Sunday’s Super Bowl

02.08.16 at 11:51 am ET
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The scene in the interview area after a Super Bowl can be a little crazy.

There are literally hundreds of people coming and going — players, family, support staff and reporters — in a tight, confined space. Players are all delivered to postgame podiums, and many of their comments are broadcast over a public address system loudly so that everyone can hear. Winners are losers are in sometimes uncomfortably close proximity. There’s media on deadline trying to drum up quotes, players still caught up in the throes of victory or trying to process a crushing defeat, and league officials and security trying to keep everything in some semblance of order. The noise adds to the frenzy.

I mention all of this in the context of the scene involving Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, who appeared to prematurely leave his postgame Q&A session Sunday because of perceived frustration or anger regarding the defeat against Denver. It appeared that at one point, Newton could hear Denver cornerback Chris Harris Jr. talking happily about the win and what they were able to do to Newton.

That, combined with the rawness of the difficult loss, was likely what made Newton cut his time at the podium short. But unfortunately for him, the narrative of the bitter young quarterback had been entrenched in the minds of many, regardless of the situation.

None of this is to excuse Newton’s actions — part of his postgame obligations include a session with the media, and as I said, it can be extremely difficult process for any member of the losing team to try and endure. (I can still recall a sad-eyed Wes Welker talking with us after New England’s loss to the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI while New York players gleefully celebrated on the other side of a curtain, no less than 15 feet away.) It’s only to provide a little more context to what happened, and serve as a small reminder that the narrative doesn’t always fit with the facts.

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Julian Edelman credits NFL success ‘in large part’ to Tom Brady

02.08.16 at 11:50 am ET
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Julian Edelman credited Tom Brady to a lot of his NFL success. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Julian Edelman credited Tom Brady to a lot of his NFL success. (Elsa/Getty Images)

During the first full week of the offseason, Julian Edelman was in New York City for men’s fashion week where he was named menswear style ambassador by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

The Patriots wide receiver sat down with Forbes for an extensive 1-on-1 interview touching on a number of different subjects.

Edelman just finished his seventh NFL season and has developed into one of the best wide receivers in the league, after being a college quarterback at Kent State University and being taken in the seventh round by the Patriots.

He gives a lot of credit to where he is now to Tom Brady.

“To comprehend the reason that I am where I am in the NFL right now is in large part thanks to Tom Brady,” Edelman told Forbes. “The trail and grind that we have put in together during offseason is very important. The entire time throughout my second year on the league and even after my first year (my rookie year), I heard that Tom requested to have receivers come out to L.A. (where he had resided at that time), and he would throw to them. I went to L.A. and we worked on timing and body mechanics which we refer to as ‘getting on the same page’ — €”meaning being in the zone on the field together. For this reason, I moved out to Los Angeles.

“At that time, I was a young whippersnapper. I did not know too much. Moreover, I did not know anyone. I went to L.A. just in case he needed someone to throw the football to. The first year he called me twice. In fact, I was out there for four months and he called me twice. Naturally, I dropped everything at once and went to throw with him. The following year, I returned to L.A. and he called me a few more times. Soon thereafter we were throwing three days a week. Sure enough, we started to develop a concrete friendship and solid trust in one another. Ultimately, what we look forward to is that our relationship is both on the field and off the field. The teammates spend 14 hours together on many occasions. The team has a strong camaraderie and bond together. By developing my friendship with Tom has resulted in support and developing a huge part of my professional athletic career.”

As has been well-documented over the past year, Edelman credits his father for being his biggest inspiration in life.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Patriots already among favorites to win Super Bowl LI

02.08.16 at 10:42 am ET
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The Patriots’ 2015 season ended with a loss to Denver in the AFC title game, but according to Las Vegas, New England has already emerged as one of the favorites to win Super Bowl LI.

According to Bovada, the Patriots, Panthers and Seahawks have all been installed at 9-1 favorites when it comes to the next Super Bowl, set for February 2017 in Houston. Meanwhile, the Westgate SuperBook in Vegas has the Patriots, Seahawks and Steelers listed as 8-1 favorites. And OddsShark has Carolina (+800), New England (+825), Seattle (+1100) and Arizona (+1100) as the best bets to win it all in 2017.

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