|04.14.17 at 11:12 am ET|
When Jason McCourty announced he was being released by the Titans on Thursday, everyone had the same reaction.
Will Jason join his twin brother Devin on the Patriots, and what potential pranks could they play on Bill Belichick as well as the media?
The two have been on record saying they would love to play together on the same NFL team, and the Patriots potentially could be in the market for a cornerback, but while on the surface it may seem like a fit, taking a step back and looking at the big picture it may not actually work out.
First off, the Patriots would only really be in need for a cornerback if Malcolm Butler isn’t around, and at this point, it seems like he will be returning to New England. He hasn’t received any offer sheets and why would a team want to give up compensation and a long-term deal to acquire him when teams could wait a year and sign him as an unrestricted free agent next offseason without giving anything up. Barring a trade, Butler will be back with New England and playing for $3.91 million in 2017.
If Butler is in the mix, McCourty would be competing for the No. 3 cornerback spot with Stephon Gilmore and Butler ahead of him. The Patriots also have Eric Rowe and Cyrus Jones in the mix, so playing time would not be guaranteed for McCourty. This would be a huge change for McCourty who was one of the top corners in Tennessee.
Secondly, the Titans let him go because of financial reasons and not wanting to pay him $7 million this season. The Patriots likely wouldn’t be willing to pay him that much money considering their commitments to Gilmore and others, and why would McCourty take such a big pay cut to fit the Patriots’ needs when he likely will have higher offers from other teams where he would also be assured playing time.
Sure, McCourty could take less money and playing time in order to compete for a Super Bowl and play with his brother in New England, but looking at the the Patriots roster and how they approach contracts, it doesn’t seem like a fit.
|04.14.17 at 10:25 am ET|
The NFL will need to find someone to head its new replay system in New York.
A month after the NFL revealed a new instant replay system with Dean Blandino leading the way in a headquarters at a New York office, Blandino is now leaving the NFL for a network television position.
“Dean has done an outstanding job leading our officiating staff,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement provided to all 32 NFL teams Friday. “He has been a trusted colleague and friend to so many of us around the league. Dean’s knowledge of the playing rules, his tireless commitment to improving the quality of NFL officiating and his unquestioned dedication to his job has earned him the respect of the entire football community.”
As for how this relates to the Patriots, he was highly involved in the Deflategate case. Blandino said the testing PSI at halftime of the 2014 AFC title game was not a sting operation.
“The issue came up during the first half, as far as I know there was an issue that was brought up during the first half, a football came into question, and then the decision was made to test them at halftime,” he said at the time.
This came after it was known Colts GM Ryan Grigson sent a memo to the league with his suspicions before the game. In other words, Blandino lied.
It is worth noting Bill Belichick did seem to have a good working relationship with him, asking him questions numerous times over the course of the season.
|04.13.17 at 6:30 pm ET|
On Thursday, Steelers owner Dan Rooney passed away Thursday at the age of 84.
Like many owners around the league, Robert Kraft released a statement on his passing.
The statement read: I am deeply saddened to hear the news regarding Dan Rooney. When I first entered the NFL, Dan and his family were so gracious to me and my family. They provided guidance on how to build a winning organization, both on and off the field. As important as winning was to Dan, he never lost sight of the importance of giving back to his community. My goal was to build a team that could sustain a winning tradition just like the Rooney family had with the Pittsburgh Steelers. I feel the success we have had as an organization is directly tied to the lessons I learned from Dan. He represented the heart and soul of the National Football League. In my experiences with him at the NFL meetings, I always admired the way he conducted himself, with great humility, dignity and kindness. He was a leader who was respected by everyone associated with this wonderful game. My condolences go out to his wife Patricia, his son Art, as well as his entire family, the many players who played for him and the countless Steeler fans who will mourn his loss.
|04.13.17 at 4:14 pm ET|
It’s becoming very clear the Patriots would like to add another defensive end to their rotation.
New England has been connected to a number of different defensive ends coming out in the draft with meetings and visits, and on Wednesday according to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, it hosted defensive end Kerry Wynn, who is currently a restricted free agent with the Giants.
Wynn received a low tender last month, so the Patriots wouldn’t need to give up a draft pick, but the Giants would have the right to match an offer.
The 26-year-old has played in 34 games (seven starts) in his three-year career, all coming with the Giants. The Richmond product has two career sacks.
By losing Chris Long and Jabaal Sheard this offseason and only gaining Kony Ealy, it makes sense as to why the Patriots would be looking for another edge rusher.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|04.13.17 at 3:11 pm ET|
The Martellus Bennett quote machine evidentially doesn’t stop during the offseason.
Speaking to the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, Bennett was asked what it will be like going from Tom Brady as quarterback to Aaron Rodgers.
“That’s like leaving J. Lo and going to Halle Berry,” Bennett said via a Facetime interview from Hawaii following him donating copies of his children’s book to Alief School Libraries on Thursday. “We talk often. I’m excited about playing with him. We’ve known each other for a while. I’m excited about working with him and learning his quarterback language and showing him what type of player I am. I think I’m a lot better player than they think I am.”
After winning a Super Bowl in his one year with the Patriots, Bennett signed a three-year, $21 million deal with the Packers as a free agent this offseason.
The tight end is coming off arguably his best season in the league, as he finished with 55 catches for 701 yards and seven touchdowns, while playing through various injuries to play in all 16 games, and then the postseason.
It’s not too often players can switch teams and still have a potential Hall of Famer as a quarterback, but that’s what Bennett will be doing.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|04.13.17 at 11:53 am ET|
For years, Bill Belichick has expressed his dislike for social media, or InstantFace and MyFace as he refers to it as, but he’s never really gone into exactly why he doesn’t like it.
Speaking to CNBC’s Suzy Welch in a wide-ranging interview this week, the soon-to-be 65-year-old explained exactly why he isn’t a big fan of social media.
“Yeah, that would be putting it mildly,” Belichick said when asked about not being a fan of social media. “I think I do all that I can to fight it. We have rules that prohibit our players from posting things on InstantFace and all that. I think it’s important for us as a team to know each other, to know our teammates, to know our coaches, to interact with them more than it is to be liked by whoever on a chat room. We try to encourage the interaction and the personal contact and experiences and not really pay attention to what people are saying out there who we don’t even know.
“Look, I understand I’m not going to eliminate it. I don’t even care whether people go on it, or our players go on it or not. I care about it as it relates to our football team. And as much as I can eliminate it on our team, I’m going to try to stamp it out.”
Belichick said he sometimes holds team-building activities where he bans cell phones altogether.
“Off the field we do team-building things where we get to know each other,” he said. “We throw away the cell phones and just do things that we’re together as a team and that we’re experiencing together, whether it be going to a movie, or we play games, or do trivia or do something like that that just kind of brings everybody together. Have fun, and take all the outside distractions out of it.”
|04.13.17 at 11:34 am ET|
With the NFL draft coming up at the end of the month, cue the Jimmy Garoppolo rumors.
Many have assumed the Patriots will not be dealing Garoppolo, especially with how adamant ESPN’s Adam Schefter has been with the story, but appearing on ESPN’s Mike & Mike on Thursday, one of Bill Belichick’s good friends Mike Mayock didn’t completely rule out a potential trade.
“The whole thing with New England and [Jimmy] Garoppolo I think is intriguing,” Mayock said. “They drafted Jacoby Brissett a year ago and I think he is the key whether or not Bill Belichick ultimately ends up feeling Garoppolo on draft day.”
Added Mayock: “Meaning he has a year left on his contract and if he wants to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, who knows if Tom Brady is going to last one year or five more. Really the guy that has all the leverage in this, I think is Garoppolo. I think Belichick is a very smart man and he is sitting back there thinking, ‘I drafted Brissett in the third round.’ And whatever Bill thinks about Brissett — can he be a starting quarterback in two years, or not, I think will determine whether or not they deal Garoppolo.
“In other words, all the stuff about Cleveland and Garoppolo, they should be trying to trade for him. … They should be trying to get him. Garoppolo is better than any quarterback in this draft, but it comes back to how Bill feels about Brissett — whether he has to keep Garoppolo around for at least another year, or whether he feels confident enough to deal him before he loses him next year to free agency.”
It would not be a surprise for there to be more and more rumors as the draft nears, especially considering how desperately Cleveland needs a quarterback and all the draft picks that they have.
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