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Eli Manning explains why he was so somber near end of Super Bowl 50 02.11.16 at 8:00 am ET
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In the late stages of Super Bowl 50, there was a shot of the Manning family suite broadcast on television with family members celebrating after a Denver touchdown. Everyone appeared to be having a good time, except for Eli Manning. The Giants quarterback explained why he was holding back his emotions in an interview with TMZ Sports:

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Breaking down offseason timeline, key dates for Patriots 02.10.16 at 11:22 am ET
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With the 2015 season complete, here’s a timeline of some key offseason dates, and how they relate to the Patriots.

Feb. 16: First day for clubs to designate franchise or transition Players. The Patriots aren’t expected to use the franchise tag this year.
Feb. 23-29: NFL xcouting combine, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis. Usually coach Bill Belichick or personnel chief Nick Caserio speaks with the media about the offseason.
March 1: Prior to 4 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate franchise or transition Players.
March 7-9: The legal tampering window. Clubs are permitted to contact and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents when the new year begins (March 9). However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4 p.m., New York time, on March 9.
March 9:  The 2016 league year and free agency period begins at 4 p.m., New York time. Prior to 4 p.m., clubs must exercise options for 2016 on all players who have option clauses in their 2015 contracts. In addition, all clubs must be under the 2016 salary cap prior, and the trading period for 2016 begins at 4 p.m., after expiration of all 2015 contracts.
March 20-23: Annual league meetings, Boca Raton, Florida. Another opportunity to hear from Belichick at the annual AFC coaches breakfast.
Mid-April: Usually, the upcoming regular-season schedule is unveiled. The Patriots will likely be in the mix as one of the Broncos‘ opponents for the regular-season opener, expected to be in Denver on Sept. 8.
April 4: Teams with new head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.
April 18: Teams with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.
April 22: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets.
April 28-30: 2016 NFL draft, Chicago. The Patriots do not have a first-round pick.
April 30: After the final selection in the draft has been made, clubs may begin signing undrafted free agents who were eligible for the 2016 draft.
May 6-9: The first weekend after the NFL draft, clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-draft rookie minicamp.
May 13-16: The second weekend after the NFL draft, clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-draft rookie minicamp.
June 19-25: Rookie Symposium, Aurora, Ohio.
July 15: At 4 p.m., New York time, deadline for any club that designated a franchise player to sign such player to a multiyear contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his prior club for the 2016 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the club’s last regular-season game.
Late July-early August: Start of training camp.

Read More: because it's the offseason,
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.

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

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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

Read More: Cam Newton,
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.

Read More: Cam Newton, Wes Welker,
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.

Could Patriots end up traveling to Denver for 2016 opener? 02.08.16 at 9:07 am ET
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Rob Gronkowski and the Patriots could open the 2016 season in Denver against the defending champions. (Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Rob Gronkowski and the Patriots could open the 2016 season in Denver against the defending champions. (Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Now that the 2015 season is in the books, it’s time to start looking toward the 2016 campaign.

And given the fact that the defending champion always opens at home on the first Thursday night of the regular season — and the Patriots are slated to travel to Denver this season — it’s worth wondering whether or not New England will open 2016 in the same location where it closed 2015.

Considering the Broncos home slate for next year, there’s a real possibility we’re going to see New England-Denver on September 8 to open the season. In addition to their contest against the Patriots, the Broncos will have their usual divisional schedule that features games against the Chiefs, Chargers and Raiders. In addition, they’ll host the Panthers, Colts, Texans and Falcons.

While a Super Bowl rematch remains an intriguing possibility, from this perspective, a Patriots-Broncos showdown to open the season — even if Peyton Manning‘s possible retirement precludes us from seeing Brady-Manning XVIII — is the far more palatable option.

The ultimate decision will come down in April when the complete schedule is announced. But until then, we’ll be checking the cost of flights from Boston to Denver in early September.

Read More: because it's the offseason,
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