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Tom Brady will be on the cover of Madden’s ‘G.O.A.T’ edition this season

05.12.17 at 10:25 am ET
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Tom Brady will be on the Madden cover for the first time this season.  (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

Tom Brady will be on the Madden cover for the first time this season. (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

Tom Brady has accomplished it all during his illustrious NFL career. And now, he can add being on the “Madden” cover to his list of accolades.

EA Sports will honor some of the league’s all-time best players in “Madden NFL 18: G.O.A.T. Edition.” Brady, who’s won five Super Bowl champions and two MVPs, seems like the perfect cover choice.

“The Madden NFL 18 cover is a great honor for me,” he said. “Especially since I have been playing the game since growing up next to EA headquarters in the Bay Area. I’m not one to believe in curses, so I’m ready to take the challenge head on like always! It doesn’t stand a chance!!!”

Rob Gronkowski, who was on the cover last season, succumbed to the infamous Madden Curse. He missed eight games due to injury and was forced to watch Super Bowl 51 from the sidelines after undergoing back surgery.

The cover and official trailer for the game are below:

 

Read More: Madden, Tom Brady,

Willie McGinest thinks Robert Kraft will pay Aaron Hernandez’s family his lost wages

05.12.17 at 9:24 am ET
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The Patriots might be obligated to pay Aaron Hernandez's estate $6 million. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

The Patriots might be obligated to pay Aaron Hernandez’s estate $6 million. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

Now that Aaron Hernandez’s murder conviction has been overturned, former Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest thinks Robert Kraft is going to pay the disgraced ex-NFL star’s family the guaranteed money remaining on his contract.

Under Massachusetts law, a defendant’s convictions are void if he doesn’t exhaust all of his legal appeals upon his passing. Judge Susan Garsh exonerated Hernandez Tuesday, because he was in the process of appealing his first-degree murder conviction when he hanged himself in his cell last month.

With Hernandez now technically an innocent man, the Patriots may be forced to pay his estate roughly $6 million in the form of a $3.5 million signing bonus and $2.5 million in guaranteed salary.  In an interview with TMZ Sports, McGinest said he predicts Kraft will pony up the cash.

“Mr. Kraft is a little more sentimental towards the lives that are lost and not really the money,” he said. “At the end of the day, it affected two families. There’s a little girl with no father and there’s a family with no son. At the end of the day, the money is minute, because you’re talking about lives and a tragedy that happened. Mr. Kraft has a heart. At the end of the day, he understands that that little girl is probably never going to have the means or a father or somebody in her life. And if it’s the law, then he’s a law abiding citizen. You’ve got to follow the law.”

Even though Hernandez’s murder conviction is void, the Patriots will likely argue he was in breach of his contract. On WEEI’s OM&F earlier this week, sports law expert Daniel Wallach said it’s unlikely the Patriots will be forced to pay, because Hernandez wasn’t available to play football after he was arrested for the 2013 Odin Lloyd shooting.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Robert Kraft,

David Andrews, Patriots reportedly agree to contract extension

05.12.17 at 7:48 am ET
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David Andrews and the Patriots reportedly agreed on a contract extension. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

David Andrews and the Patriots reportedly agreed on a contract extension. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots have their center position in good hands for the next several years.

According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the Patriots and David Andrews have agreed on a contract extension through the 2020 season. Andrews was going to be a restricted free agent after this season after he went undrafted in 2015.

Andrews has started 30 of the 35 games (includes postseason) he’s played in his NFL career, as he was able to earn the starting center job last season when he won it over Bryan Stork during training camp. The Georgia product has a great relationship with Tom Brady.

The extension means the Patriots’ interior line is pretty much set as starting left guard Joe Thuney is signed through 2019 and starting right guard Shaq Mason through 2018.

CSNNE’s Mike Giardi was first to report the signing was close.

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

Read More: David Andrews,

Stephon Gilmore says it wasn’t difficult getting No. 24 from Cyrus Jones

05.12.17 at 6:00 am ET
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Cyrus Jones has allowed Stephon Gilmore to take his No. 24. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Cyrus Jones has allowed Stephon Gilmore to take his No. 24. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Stephon Gilmore wore No. 24 with the Bills, but once he signed with the Patriots in March No. 24 was occupied by cornerback Cyrus Jones.

When jersey numbers were released earlier this week, Gilmore had No. 24 and Jones had No. 41.

Speaking to reporters at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, Gilmore said it wasn’t difficult getting the jersey number from Jones.

“I just asked him ‘can we do it?’ and we just came to the conclusion that we were going to switch,” Gilmore said. “He was genuine enough to do it so I was happy for it.”

Added Gilmore: “We just – we talked about it. I already knew him from previous years. We just made a decision that we would make it happen.”

Gilmore said he’s worn No. 24 because of players before him that he looked up to like Johnathan Joseph, Sheldon Brown and Champ Bailey.

Besides getting the jersey number of his choice, Gilmore is feeling welcomed by his new teammates in the secondary.

“It’s fun,” he said of his first impressions. “The biggest thing that I noticed is that the guys welcomed me. [They’re] some great teammates. The secondary welcomed me in and they said if I have any questions to ask them. I’ll hit the ground running and do whatever I can to help the team.”

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

Read More: Cyrus Jones, Stephon Gilmore,

Stephon Gilmore: ‘It’s going to be fun’ teaming up with Malcolm Butler in Patriots secondary

05.11.17 at 2:34 pm ET
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Stephon Gilmore is excited to team up with Malcolm Butler. (Kevin Hoffman/USA Today Sports)

Stephon Gilmore is excited to team up with Malcolm Butler. (Kevin Hoffman/USA Today Sports)

Once Stephon Gilmore signed with the Patriots, it didn’t seem like he would be teaming up with Malcolm Butler in the secondary.

Butler was unhappy with the move and the team not giving him a long-term contract, and even visited the Saints, but after nothing came about, it appears Butler will in fact remain with the Patriots.

Gilmore is looking forward to playing opposite him next season.

“It’s going to be fun,” Gilmore told reporters Thursday at Gillette Stadium. “I know he’s a talented player but I just try to stay in my lane and handle the things I can handle. It’s a competitive group so I’m looking forward to it.”

Added Gilmore: “He just competes no matter what. He just competes to the end of the play. I mean all the guys do in the secondary so that’s one thing that stuck out to me.”

The Patriots were not connected to Gilmore much before they signed him on the first day of free agency. The cornerback was glad it worked out that way.

“You just never know with that type of stuff,” he said. “I was just sitting back waiting to see who was going to call. I was excited that they called me. I was humbled. I heard a lot of great things so I’m just happy to be here.”

Gilmore has spent his first five seasons in the NFL with the Bills and has totaled 226 tackles and 14 interceptions. He’s looking to take his game to the next level now that he’s on the Patriots, and part of the reigning No. 1 scoring defense in the NFL.

“It’s pretty much what I thought,” he said. “[They’re] a close group of guys that play for each other. A lot of people have good relationships with each other on this team so that always makes it better when you’ve got a good relationship with the players you play with. They’re going to help a lot with me coming in and doing whatever I can do.”

Read More: Stephon Gilmore,

Patriots reportedly could still get compensation pick for LeGarrette Blount following using seldom used tender

05.10.17 at 4:45 pm ET
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The Patriots reportedly used a seldom used tender on LeGarrette Blount. (Bob Donnan/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots reportedly used a seldom used tender on LeGarrette Blount. (Bob Donnan/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots could actually get a compensation pick for LeGarrette Blount after all.

Signings made beginning Wednesday, May 10 do not count against the comp-pick formula, but because of a move the Patriots made before the deadline if he signs elsewhere by July 22 he could factor into the formula.

According to multiple reports, including the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe, the Patriots extended a rarely used tender to Blount. The running back has no plans to sign it as of now, but this was offered so the Patriots could get a compensatory pick in the 2018 draft for when/if he signs with another team.

Blount can sign with any other team by July 22, but if he doesn’t by then, he can only sign a deal with the Patriots in order to play in 2017.

The tender offered to Blount has a $1.1 million base, including a $110,000 signing bonus, plus the $1 million in bonuses that were also part of his contract in 2016. If Blount were to sign this tender, he would earn just over $2 million in 2017.

This puts Blount in a tough spot as other teams might be hesitant to sign him because he would count towards the comp-pick formula.

New England doesn’t appear at the moment to have room on its roster for him given it already signed Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee this offseason.

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

Read More: LeGarrette Blount,

Why Patriots will no longer get compensation picks for LeGarrette Blount, Michael Floyd

05.10.17 at 11:37 am ET
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LeGarrette Blount will not count towards the comp-pick formula.. (Dan Powers/USA Today Sports)

LeGarrette Blount will not count towards the comp-pick formula.. (Dan Powers/USA Today Sports)

Although pretty small in the grand scheme of things, compensatory picks are actually a big deal to the Patriots.

Just look at their Jamie Collins trade last season where they acquired a 2017 compensation pick for the linebacker wherethey likely would have received a 2018 compensation pick if they kept him the entire season and then he signed with another team as an unrestricted free agent.

Compensation picks are given out based on a complex formula that factors in players lost in free agency. This is relevant now because any signings that take place beginning Wednesday (May 10) do not count towards the formula.

As it relates to the Patriots, whenever LeGarrette Blount and Michael Floyd sign they will not count towards the formula where as Martellus Bennett, Logan Ryan, Jabaal Sheard, Chris Long and Barkevious Mingo, who the Patriots lost in free agency, will all factor into the comp-pick formula.

It would appear likely based on the players lost via free agency, the Patriots will get two 2018 compensatory picks. Also, don’t be surprised to see a few moves made official across the league on Wednesday since it is the first day these players do not count against the comp-pick formula.

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

Read More: LeGarrette Blount, Michael Floyd,

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