|07.20.15 at 7:57 pm ET|
Tom Brady may be waiting for Roger Goodell to render his decision on Brady’s appeal of his four-game suspension.
But that was the furthest thing from his mind, at least on Monday. The Patriots’ four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback wished his supermodel wife Gisele a happy 35th birthday.
“Happy Birthday to the Love of my Life,” Brady wrote on his Facebook page. “The best is yet to come. We love you!”
Brady, himself, will turn 38 on Aug. 3. Maybe by that time, he’ll have some idea if he’ll be getting an early birthday gift from the NFL Commissioner.
|07.20.15 at 11:29 am ET|
|07.20.15 at 11:21 am ET|
The “Reggie Wayne-to-New England” rumors are pretty familiar around these parts. The veteran receiver has always intrigued Bill Belichick and the Patriots, going all the way back to 2012 when Wayne was a free agent. He ended up returning to Indy, but the courtship was enough to catch the attention of the rest of the NFL.
Belichick has always been very open about his admiration for Wayne. He called him one of the best “route runners” in the history of the game last year, and despite the fact that Wayne turned 36 last November, said that the former Miami product is “still dangerous with the ball in his hands.” In this context, it’s also important to remember that the Patriots have not been shy when it comes to kicking the tires on former Colts: Joseph Addai, Anthony Gonzalez, Marcus Pollard, Dallas Clark and Austin Collie all got at least a brief once-over from New England after they departed Indy.
According to reports, Wayne has drawn the interest of several other teams, including the Ravens, Texans and Packers. (From this viewpoint, despite the fact that the Broncos have reportedly “backed off” in their pursuit of the veteran, the siren song of playing with Peyton Manning again at a new address would certainly be a big attraction for Wayne. As a result, Denver certainly cannot be discounted.)
In the end, the Patriots would likely have to weigh the importance of his presence in the lineup against the likes of younger pass catchers like Aaron Dobson and Brian Tyms, as well as (to a lesser extent) Brandon LaFell, all of whom play a similar role as Wayne. Wayne does not play special teams, and that will also figure into any personnel decision the Patriots make at the wide receiver position. In the end, however, the question surrounding Wayne is a simple one: Does Belichick and the Patriots believe Wayne can provide an upgrade, even in a situational role? If the answer is yes, there’s certainly no harm in the Patriots at least exploring Wayne as an option.
|07.18.15 at 1:02 pm ET|
Speaking at a football clinic at Reading High School north of Boston Saturday morning, the Patriots receiver dubbed “Minitron” by none other than Brady – and one of Brady’s best friends on the team – said he can sense the Patriots quarterback is angry and motivated from Deflategate.
“He’s fired up,” Edelman told reporters. “You don’t want a mad Tom Brady, and he’s a little ticked off.”
Speaking to MMQB.com, Harrison, who won back-to-back Super Bowl titles with Brady in 2003-04, said Brady will be “supremely motivated” to take out his anger on the rest of the NFL over his character assassination in Deflategate.
A decision is expected any day now in Brady’s appeal of his four-game suspension by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for his role in the saga. But Edelman insisted Saturday in his brief session with the media that he’s not focused on the appeal or the drama but rather getting ready for the opening of camp on July 30.
“I’m not really thinking about that right now,” Edelman said. “I have 10 more days to get ready for camp and I’m going to worry about what I can do to put myself in the best situation to help this team. Whatever happens, it happens. I’m sure our coaches will have their thing and have us prepared either way.”
There’s something else Edelman would like to mimic of Harrsion – winning back-to-back Super Bowls.
“It’s what you’ve been training for,” Edelman said. “You go out in spring and you get to play touch football almost with the helmets on, then you get to strap up now and mold your team. It’s going to be an exciting time to get out there and see the fellas. You haven’t seen them in a while. [You want to] shape your team.”
“I’ve played my whole career with Dan and he’s been an awesome teammate. It’s unbelievable to have him and share him as a teammate,” Edelman said. “With his family, he’s had me over for Thanksgiving and he’s the type of guy you want in the locker room, so I wish him and his family the best.”
“He’s the best kicker in the league, so you expect nothing less from him to be back and it’s awesome to see him get his contract,” Edelman said.
|07.18.15 at 10:53 am ET|
There are few, if any, former or current teammates know Tom Brady better than the safety who played with Brady from 2003-2008.
In an interview with MMQB’s Jenny Vrentas, Harrison said that the Patriots quarterback will be fired up this season more than ever, and looking to take it out on his competition.
“You’ve got way over $100 million in the bank. You’ve got a beautiful wife,” Harrison told Vrentas. “You’ve got a beautiful family. The natural tendency would be to say, ‘I can lie in my silk sheets and just enjoy life now. I don’t need football.’ But I’m telling you: This is the best thing that could have happened to Tom Brady. This will rejuvenate him. The rest of the league better look out. This year, he’s going to make everybody pay for what’s happened.’
The last time the Patriots were challenged like this, it was as team, following the “Spygate” controversy of 2007. That season, the Patriots responded with the only 16-0 regular season in NFL history before losing to the Giants in Super Bowl XLII. This time, it’s Brady who has been the target of cheating allegations. Except for public comments to Jim Gray at a Salem State appearance, Brady has been quiet this offseason.
“Believe me, he’s not saying anything right now, but this is pissing him off, big-time,” says Harrison. “He will be supremely motivated this year. I know him. I know how he thinks. And this is going to be very bad for the rest of the league when they play Brady this year.”
|07.18.15 at 10:08 am ET|
We now know how much a Deflategate football is worth.
According to the world renowned auction house Lelands.com, a football from the AFC championship game that the NFL indicated was among those deflated in the first half sold Saturday morning for $43,740, a remarkably high price for any football ever sold.
For some historical perspective, a football used in 1958 NFL championship game sold for $16,730 in February, and a game-used ball from Super Bowl XXXVI, signed by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, sold for “only” $4,915 in December. The ball sold Saturday bettered that by ten-fold. The story was first reported by ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
Who was the lucky seller?
Lelands.com sold the ball on behalf of Laura Nichols, who was given the ball by Patriots wide receiver Brandon LaFell in the third quarter after LaGarrette Blount scored a touchdown on a 13-yard run, making it 38-7 Patriots. The ball Nichols received was inflated to a proper level by the league at halftime. Ted Wells indicated in his report, commissioned by the NFL, that they were in fact the same balls used during the first half.
Saturday’s sale of the ball comes six months to the day the Patriots obliterated the Colts, 45-7, to move onto Super Bowl XLIX.
The deflated balls ended up costing the Patriots two draft picks (one each in 2016 and 2017) and a $1 million fine. Brady also was suspended four games to start the 2015 season but that could be wiped out based on his appeal currently being considered by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Lelands.com chairman Joshua Evans said in June that Nichols’ prized possession could wind up selling for over $100,000. While the price was well short of that, the sale could end up setting a record. Last August, a ball from the most lopsided game in college football history (Georgia Tech 222, Cumberland 0) sold for $40,388.
|07.17.15 at 12:53 pm ET|
On Friday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick released a statement, saying he was “proud” to coach a player like Connolly.
“Dan Connolly exemplified everything our program requires of players,” Belichick said. “He was tough and dependable, smart and team-oriented, and his work ethic ensured he improved on an annual basis to reach his potential. From where his career began as a developmental player to where it finished as a team leader and champion, Dan Connolly was a player I was proud to coach.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.