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Sunday NFL Notes: Deconstructing Patriots roster by age, 2016 edition

06.19.16 at 5:00 am ET
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Unless something truly crazy happens, Tom Brady will again be the oldest guy on the New England roster this season. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Unless something truly crazy happens, Tom Brady will again be the oldest guy on the New England roster this season. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

1. Tracking the overall age of the Patriots roster is something we’ve had some fun with over the last few years at this point on the calendar, and with New England done with the spring portion of the offseason workout program, it’s a good a time as any to measure the state of the current Patriots roster, which sits at 89 players.

Let’s make sure we all understand one thing here: these numbers will change between now and the start of the regular season — the team-building process will inevitably bring some shuffling of personnel, while the roster has to be cut from 89 to 53 prior to the start of the year. But as things stand on the precipice of the summer break, here’s how things break down.

June 2016 — average age of Patriots roster: 25.6
June 2015 — average age of Patriots roster: 26.3
June 2014 — average age of Patriots roster: 25.3
May 2013 — average age of Patriots roster: 25.3

3 quarterbacks — average age: 28
June 2015 — 3 QBs, average age: 27.7
June 2014 — 3 QBs, average age: 28
May 2013 — average age: 28

6 tight ends — average age: 25.7
June 2015 — 6 TEs, average age 26.3
June 2014 — 5 TEs, average age: 24
May 2013 — average age: 25

15 offensive linemen — average age: 25
June 2015 — 14 OL, average age: 24.9
June 2014 — 14 OL, average age: 25.7
May 2013 — average age: 26

9 running backs — average age: 25.7
June 2015 — 8 RBs, average age: 25
June 2014 — 8 RBs, average age: 23.5
May 2013 — average age: 25

10 wide receivers — average age: 25.9
June 2015 — 10 WRs, average age: 25.3
June 2014 — 11 WRs, average age: 24.8
May 2013 — average age: 25

5 special teamers — average age: 27.8
June 2015 — 4 STs, average age: 27
June 2014 — 4 STs, average age: 25.25
May 2013 — average age: 25

9 cornerbacks — average age: 23.9
June 2015 — 7 CBs, average age: 25.3
June 2014 — 6 CBs, average age: 25.8
May 2013 — average age: 25

8 defensive backs — average age: 25
June 2015 — 9 DBs, average age: 24.2
June 2014 — 11 DBs, average age: 24.1
May 2013 — average age: 25

14 defensive linemen — average age: 26.4
June 2015 — 15 DL, average age 25.1
June 2014 — 16 DL, average age: 25.5
May 2013 — average age: 25

10 linebackers — average age: 24.9
June 2015 — 14 LBs, average age 25.2
June 2014 — 12 LBs, average age: 24.9
May 2013 — average age: 26

Here are a few things that stand out about those numbers:

2. The biggest changes in average age came on the defensive side of the ball. At corner, the decision to go after so many cornerbacks (either as draft picks or undrafted free agents) the last two years caused a dip in the average age at the cornerback spot, which now has the lowest average age of any position on the team. That could change once cuts come and some of the younger players are released. But the age difference at the corner position now compared to the last few years is pretty dramatic. Likewise for the defensive line position, which saw a spike with the additions of Chris Long and Terrance Knighton and the decision to deal Chandler Jones. That position saw the largest average increase in age at any position on the team when compared to last June.

3. This will mark the fifth consecutive year Brady will be the oldest player on the New England roster. (The last time Brady wasn’t the oldest player on the New England roster was at the end of the 2011 season, when offensive lineman Brian Waters, defensive lineman Shaun Ellis and running back Kevin Faulk were all on the team at the time, and all older than the quarterback.) As we noted here, the biggest age difference on the roster is between the 38-year-old Brady (who will turn 39 in August) and Cre’von LeBlanc, a 21-year-old who will celebrate his 22nd birthday on July 25th. To put that into perspective, LeBlanc was seven years old when Brady and the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI.

3. The Patriots have 11 players on the roster age 30 or older — including four defensive linemen (Rob Ninkovich, Alan Branch, Markus Kuhn and Chris Long), as well as three full-time wide receivers (Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, Nate Washington) and one part-timer (Matthew Slater). That plus-30 number has vacillated wildly over the last few seasons: at this time last year, the Patriots had six players on the roster age 30 or older. In the spring of 2014, they had nine players 30 or older.

4. Two more notes when it comes to the news of Mike Lombardi and the Patriots deciding to go separate ways:

a) When Lombardi was with NFL Media before jumping back into the game to work as a GM in 2013, he was known as an unofficial sounding board for Bill Belichick. The two had a longtime friendship that dated back many years, and although Lombardi wasn’t technically working with him, it was well established that Belichick trusted his judgment and wisdom. With the news from Mike Reiss that Lombardi is expected to land a media job — likely with his old colleague Bill Simmons — it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Belichick seek out Lombardi’s counsel from time to time in the same fashion that he did before he landed in Foxboro. (For what it’s worth, we fully endorse this move, especially if Lombardi returns to speak with Simmons on an occasional podcast. Lombardi was one of the best regular guests Simmons had on the old “B.S. Report,” and it would be especially great to hear form him now that he had two years working in direct contact with Belichick.

b) One Tweeter asked me Friday night when the news broke if the Patriots were going to fill the position with a new face. Belichick has occasionally sought out front-office veterans who he was close with to help provide guidance — prior to Lombardi, Floyd Reese was also on staff with the front office in a relatively similar capacity. From this viewpoint, this isn’t the sort of gig where the coach could simply hire someone who is available and have him do the same job. It has to be someone he respects, and someone he’s known for a long time. Taking a look around the league right now, on the surface, there probably aren’t too many of those types out there. But it’ll be interesting to see if he does bring in a veteran sounding board to try and serve as an occasional counterpoint moving forward.

5. Take it with a grain of salt, but according to this report, the Patriots will be wearing all red when it comes to their participation in NFL Rush in this season’s Thursday Night Football. New England will be playing Houston in Foxboro on Sept. 22 as part of its “TNF” obligation. Say what you will about the idea of an all red uniform, but from the Patriots’ perspective, it’s probably more palatable than the idea of all blue. The all blue uniforms were a brief experiment by the franchise in 2002, but they were quickly ditched. (The fact that New England lost both games in all blue likely hastened the demise of the idea.)

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Source: Mike Lombardi parting ways with Patriots

06.17.16 at 9:42 pm ET
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Mike Lombardi spent two years with the Patriots. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)

Mike Lombardi spent two years with the Patriots. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)

Mike Lombardi, who spent the last two seasons working as an assistant to the Patriots coaching staff, has decided to part ways with the franchise, according to a source.

Lombardi was hired by Bill Belichick following a short stint as GM of the Browns in 2013, as well as a four-year stretch as a member of NFL Media (2008-2012). In addition, Lombardi spent a stretch of time in the Oakland front office as well (199-2007) as well as Philly (1997-98).

Over the last two years, Lombardi was thought to be responsible for helping bring in a few of role players who grew into important puzzle pieces with the Patriots, including running back Dion Lewis and defensive end Jabaal Sheard.

The news was first reported by Mike Reiss of ESPN.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Mike Lombardi,

Tom Brady shows off new Steph Curry shoes while watching NBA Finals

06.16.16 at 9:17 pm ET
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Apparently Tom Brady is a fan of Steph Curry’s new “straight fire” shoes.

The quarterback posted a picture on Facebook Thursday night watching the NBA Finals with the shoes on and the caption: My straight [fire emoji] weapons of choice this week… Locked in to watch Curry and LeBron, two of the greatest, face off tonight! ‪#‎letsgoooooo‬

Curry and Brady are both Under Armour clients.

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Report: Robert Kraft among investor group vying to buy UFC

06.16.16 at 6:14 pm ET
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Robert Kraft

Robert Kraft

Robert Kraft is already synonymous with winning in football, and apparently he wants to expand his empire to include the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

According to a report on ESPN, Kraft is part of a group attempting to buy the UFC in a deal that could top $4 billion. The report, from business reporter Darren Rovell, said that Kraft and other investors have agreed to put up $25 million to $50 million each with WME-IMG in conjunction with Dalian Wanda Group. WME is co-chaired by Ari Emanuel, reportedly the inspiration for Jeremy Piven’s Ari Gold character on HBO’s Entourage.

A group of investors from China are also in the running for the wildly successful UFC, the brainchild of former Boston resident Dana White.

The UFC, which has made crossover stars out of fighters like Ronda Rousey, Conor McGregor, and Chuck Liddell, reportedly grossed over $600 million last year.

Bidding is drawing to a close and could be decided on Friday, ESPN reported.

Read More: Dana White, Kraft Group, Patriots, Robert Kraft

Ed Reed on why his son roots for Patriots: ‘The kid likes champions’

06.16.16 at 2:25 pm ET
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Former Ravens defensive back Ed Reed was recently hired as an assistant coach by the Bills, which means things might get a little dicey in the Reed household twice a year.

Reed told the media Thursday that his son is a diehard Patriots fan.

“His mom is from Boston, though she’s not a Patriots fan. His grandmother lives up there, and the kid likes champions, man,” Reed said. “What can I say? I grew up in New Orleans, I loved my home [town] team, but I was a San Francisco [49ers] fan. I was a Joe [Montana] fan. So that’s just how it is.

“When you’re a kid and you’re watching sports growing up, who’s winning those championships? You tend to gravitate toward winners. Which is a good thing. It helps you from a work ethic standpoint, who you’re watching. Who wants to follow losers? Just saying.”

Reed said his son is “adjusting” to having his Dad work as an assistant coach for a division rival of one of his favorite teams.

“He’s adjusting, man,” Reed said. “When he came here, he left me some notes on the board. He’ll draw me some Bills stuff when I come home. It’s the best. But in his heart, I know.”

Read More: Ed Reed,

Patriots announce individual tickets on sale July 14

06.16.16 at 1:11 pm ET
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The scene at Gillette Stadium just before kickoff. (USA Today)

The scene at Gillette Stadium just before kickoff. (USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — There will be a chance to buy tickets to Patriots games this year.

As has been the case in years past, a limited number of individual game tickets will be put on sale for the general public on Thursday, July 14, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. through Ticketmaster.

When those tickets are sold, it will mark the 23rd consecutive season that the Patriots have sold out every game prior to the start of the season, extending the current streak to 249 consecutive games by season’s end. The streak began in 1994, the year Robert Kraft purchased the franchise, and includes preseason, regular season and postseason games.

The Patriots annually cap season ticket sales, leaving a limited number in reserve for Patriots fans who wish to purchase individual game tickets. All ticket orders will be processed exclusively through Ticketmaster. Tickets will not be sold at the Gillette Stadium Ticket Office.

Ticket orders can be completed online at Ticketmaster, or by phone by calling 800-745-3000. Visa, a Patriots and NFL sponsor, will once again be the only form of payment accepted to purchase Patriots tickets. Purchases will be limited to four tickets per game. In recent years, all tickets to regular season games sold out within minutes.

For wheelchair accessible seating, the number is 508-384-9191. The Patriots have once again limited sales to four tickets per game.

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Reports: Patriots, QB Jacoby Brissett reach agreement on contract

06.16.16 at 10:46 am ET
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The Patriots and Jacoby Brissett have reportedly come to an agreement on a four-year contract, according to multiple reports.

The 6-foot-4, 231-pound quarterback, who was a third-round pick of New England out of North Carolina State, is the last of the Patriots’ draft class to come to terms on a deal.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Jacoby Brissett,

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