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Patriots S Devin McCourty: ‘I Love it here’, Fine With Franchise Tag

McCourty sounds amenable with being given the franchise tag designation. (USA TODAY Images)

Patriots safety Devin McCourty is currently at the end of his contract and a lot of people feel that New England will place the franchise tag on him, which sometimes is a tactic a lot of players aren’t a fan of.

Yesterday while appearing at Lowell High for a Fuel Up to Play 60 event, McCourty talked about his situation and is open to being given the designation, calling it a ‘player-friendly’ move.

“I guess the worst case scenario would be I’d be franchised and I’d come back to play for another year. For me, that’s no reason to stress. I love it here,” said McCourty, via the Boston Herald. “The franchise tag is player friendly now. It’s a good number. There’s no reason for me to feel stressed. If I hit free agency I hope there are some teams that will want me to play there. Hopefully that goes over well. It’s still exciting.”

McCourty also talked about the fact that having been around and seen how the business sometimes plays out with players like Logan Mankins, he’s learned it’s a business and he’s treating it that way.

“I would say the biggest thing I’ve learned is it’s a business,” said McCourty via ESPN Boston. No matter what, you have to put your business hat on in a sense. I think everyone in the facility wanted Logan to be back here. That’s everyone, not just players. It just came down to business. I think that’s what everything comes down to – a business decision for a team, or a player. You have to kind of think it that way.”

While getting him locked up for one year is nice, hopefully the two sides can keep him in the fold for the long-term.

Patriots CB Logan Ryan Announces He’s Going to Be a Dad

After winning a Super Bowl earlier this month, cornerback Logan Ryan announced another reason to celebrate on Saturday night.

According to Ryan, he’s going to be a father and announced the news on his Instagram account:

This year just keeps getting better..#Blessed

A photo posted by Logan Ryan (@realloganryan) on

Congratulations, and best wishes for a healthy little one, who is apparently due in August.

McCourty’s Brother Ready to Try Recruiting Him to Tennessee

McCourty’s become one of the best safeties in the NFL. (USA TODAY Images)

Most reports seem to believe that Patriots safety Devin McCourty will be given the franchise tag designation this offseason if the two sides can’t reach an agreement on an extension. However, in the off chance that he hits the free agent market, it appears he’s already drawing interest from one player who would love to see McCourty playing alongside him.

According to’s Dan Duggan, Tennessee’s Jason McCourty would love to see his brother wearing a Titans uniform in 2015 should Devin hit the market.

“I’ll see what I can do. It’s going to be hard to get him out of New England,” said Jason. “You know how the business side of it goes. We’ll see. If he becomes a free agent, I’ll be doing everything in my power to try to get him to Tennessee.”

It would be a surprise to see the Patriots lose the veteran safety, who has become one of the best at his position after transitioning from cornerback since being selected in the first round back in 2010.  After being paired with Darrelle Revis in 2014 Devin had a terrific season, which should have him set for a good pay day here in New England.

Our own Miguel Benzan has outlined a potential long-term deal for him, but for now it’s up to the two sides to hopefully keep him in the fold for more than just 2015.  Should Devin get the opportunity to start being pursued by other clubs,  one would guess their mother would love to see them wear the same uniform for the first time since college.

Hopefully for fans in New England, they’ll continue to play in different cities and Devin will remain a Patriot for years to come.

Wilfork Laughs At His Wife For Almost Falling Down, and then Falls Himself

Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork has been enjoying himself with his family since winning a championship earlier this month, and his wife Bianca caught another funny moment while the Wilfork’s remain on vacation.

She posted this on instagram. Check it out:

Patriots O-Line Coach DeGuglielmo: “If we trust Coach, we go with Coach”

DeGuglielmo did well in his first season as offensive line coach. (USA TODAY Images)

For those fans out there who didn’t hop on the bandwagon when the Patriots were rolling their way through opponents late in the season, they’ll likely remember that the journey to the top was certainly a rocky one.

One of the biggest stories early on were the Patriots’ struggles along the offensive line, which were accentuated by the surprising trade of guard Logan Mankins just before the beginning of the season.  Following the retirement of former Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, new coach Dave DeGuglielmo had the challenge of having to figure out what to do after getting the news, which he apparently didn’t receive any warning of.

In his weekend column, Greg Bedard of MMQB revealed that DeGuglielmo found out at the same time the rest of the team did, with Bill Belichick giving him a difficult challenge that he was forced to deal with.

There were a lot of different personnel combinations experimented with up front over the course of the season, and despite the 2-2 start he told Bedard that ultimately it came down to finding the right grouping, along with changes made by Josh McDaniels in the passing game to help Tom Brady get the ball out faster that helped them turn things around.   One of the more interesting things DeGuglielmo said was that after being elsewhere and seeing how other organizations operated, it was Belichick’s fearless attitude about trying things with a big-picture outlook instead of doing things based on the  short-term that made the biggest impact on him.

That approach obviously won them a title, and DeGuglielmo has certainly bought in.

“He’s not afraid to try [new things] and reap the benefits somewhere down the road,” DeGuglielmo said. “That’s where he’s different than others. Everyone else is worried about how this is going to affect us today. He’s more worried about how this is going to affect us later on. It ruffles some feathers, ruffles some feathers of guys in the room, it is what it is. We all fall into the same category that there’s a greater plan that we have to understand. I have to learn it and they have to learn it. Coach has a plan, and if we trust Coach, we go with Coach.”

In Belichick we trust.  You know it’s true when even the coaches admit it.

LaFell Chipped Brady’s Tooth During Super Bowl TD Celebration

LaFell did a little damage after his touchdown in the Super Bowl. (USA TODAY Images)

Tom Brady tends to get pretty fired up on game day and even once chipped the tooth of teammate Jerod Mayo after he was so amped up before a game when he head-butted the veteran linebacker.

It appears he now knows what that’s like after Brandon LaFell recently said on NFL Network’s Total Access program on Tuesday that he suffered the same fate when the receiver head-butted him following his touchdown in the Super Bowl.

“He texted me the other day, ‘Hey man, great season, like way you played, but a side note you chipped my tooth on a headbutt,” said LaFell via ESPN Boston. I was like ‘I’m sorry, I was trying to get to you before you got to me.’ In the Green Bay game, he almost knocked my helmet off.”

LaFell said that since winning the Super Bowl he’s been enjoying himself, and for now he’s just riding the wave until it’s time to get back to work.

“Post-Super Bowl has been great, man. It’s been like you’re going on a recruiting visit for college and everybody is buttering you up, tapping you on your back. You know it’s going to end one day, but you just want that wave and ride to carry on for a long time.”

Julian Edelman and Malcolm Butler Represent Patriots at Grammy Awards

When you win a Super Bowl, you get a lot of opportunities and a lot more exposure, and two Patriots were center stage in front of a big audience on Sunday night.

A clean-shaven Julian Edelman and Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler were on hand for the Grammy Awards on Sunday night, representing the World Champion New England Patriots during one of the biggest nights in Music.

Edelman and Butler appeared along with actor Josh Duhamel to present the award for Best Rock Album, with Edelman making a little joke after Butler swiped the envelope away from Duhamel, saying that the cornerback “intercepted” the envelope before announcing the winner, with Beck taking home the award for his album “Morning Phase”.

Rice made some questionable comments recently about the Patriots. (USA TODAY Images)

Jerry Rice will obviously go down as the best receiver to ever play the game, but his comments this week in the wake of “Deflate-Gate” should be enough to infuriate Patriots fans who had to endure two weeks that took the air out of the enjoyment of winning an AFC Championship leading up to last Sunday’s win.

Rice admitted to using stickum recently in a segment with Jim Rome back on January 22nd, which is a banned substance.  Then ironically, accused the Patriots of “cheating”.

‘I’m going to be point blank, I feel like it’s cheating,” Rice told Rome on January 22 via PFT. “Because you have an edge up on your opponent and its unfortunate that it happened. I’m not saying the outcome of the game would have been different or anything like that because they got beat 45-7, but they still had an edge.”

Rice then went on to admit that he used stickum on his hands, which was deemed illegal by the league after gloves were introduced into football.

“I know this might be a little illegal, guys, but you put a little spray, a little stickum on them, to make sure that texture is a little sticky,” said Rice.

Rice apologized at around 4am ET after apparently taking a lot of heat for his recent comments and facing the ire of fans who likely didn’t appreciate them.

The bad news is there were plenty of other QB’s over this stretch that felt softening the footballs a bit is something that had been going on with everyone for a while, and the Patriots were essentially cleared of any wrongdoing after reports came out last week that the officials never tested the footballs, and the fact that the 11 balls were deemed just “a tick” below the requirement. Those revelations back up the claims and tests Bill Belichick and the Patriots made during their tests leading up to last Sunday’s win over the Seahawks.

So defending himself with the “All players did it” certainly falls under the umbrella of the fact all QB’s prepare balls a certain way, and many, including Aaron Rodgers, admit that sometimes they push the envelope. That’s why it’s so maddening to hear former players speaking out who obviously have an axe to grind. It’s disappointing because Rice is one of the best to ever play the game on the field. It’s just too bad he didn’t think before making that statement, although the Patriots have slowly put themselves at the same level his 49ers were once at, so maybe that’s his issue.

Patriots Have “Placeholder” Contract, Hopefully Paving Way for Revis Deal

The big question this offseason will be whether or not these two will be back on the field together in 2015. (USA TODAY Images)

What happens when you put Bill Belichick and Tom Brady together with the best cornerback in all of Pro Football?

Well, you watched the result last weekend. Now the goal will hopefully be to make sure he’s around for at least a few more seasons so they can potentially do it a few more times.

Coming off a Super Bowl victory Darrelle Revis was riding high and was all smiles, grinning ear to ear coming off the field in Arizona after he helped win New England’s fourth championshop, and the first of his career.

For a guy who has already earned plenty of money and established himself as one of the best in the game, Revis did one big thing that all the currency in the world can’t provide for him.  He helped further build on his legacy after adding “Super Bowl champion” to his resume.

What’s even better than that?  How about “Two-Time Super Bowl Champion”?

Revis had a terrific first season as a member of the Patriots.
(USA TODAY Images)

If Revis stays, he cements a secondary that already has a solid group with plenty of experience. One additional story to watch this offseason will be whether or not the team can put together a long-term extension for Devin McCourty, which would potentially give them more flexibility financially that having to use the franchise tag designation.  Not to mention it gives them two critical players in a defense that has the potential to be even better next season depending on how the offseason plays out.

Will Revis want to be a part of it?  That’s the question he’ll likely be asking himself when the team begins negotiating with him in the months ahead.  However, after Sunday’s win, he certainly wasn’t having any second thoughts about becoming a Patriot last year.

“This was a no-brainer,” said Revis Sunday night.  “This was a no-brainer to come here and be a part of this organization and help be one of the missing pieces – that the organization felt – at the cornerback position.”

Patriots president Jonathan Kraft was interviewed on WEEI on Friday morning and said that the option in place that will push Revis’ cap charge for 2015 to $25 million is simply a “placeholder” and that they’re going to get to work on trying to keep him here.

“Hopefully both sides want to make a deal and we’ll be able to get one done,” said Kraft.  “People understand that that’s a placeholder and we’ll get to work on trying to make it happen.”

It will be one of the bigger stories of the offseason, but Revis has to be thinking about the guys he lined up with this season while believing that a repeat performance is definitely a possibility.  Adding another title to his resume just further enforces how great he already knows he is, and he has to know this is really the best situation he could have ever hoped to have fallen into. That only leaves the two sides with the job of trying to reach a common ground to keep it going for at least another couple of seasons.

“The offseason will weigh itself out,” said Revis.  “I’m just so happy for us as a team. Accomplishing the ultimate goal and that’s winning the Super Bowl. Like I said, I have a great team on my side and we’ll figure my future out in the offseason.”

Hopefully that future will involve him playing again in the month of February with New England for years to come.

Wilfork on Brady Criticism: ‘It really pisses me off’

Wilfork wasn’t pleased about the criticism people have about Brady. (USA TODAY Images)

Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork has been with Tom Brady a long time.

He’s seen how hard he works, the amount of time and preparation he puts in, and he’s seen all that goes on with the veteran quarterback on a day-to-day basis.  In his mind Brady has already proven that he’s the best in the game, and after hearing some of the critics in recent weeks, he told WEEI on Wednesday that having people question him as a player is something that doesn’t make him happy.

“When they try to, you know, say Brady isn’t as good as he is, that’s one of the things that really pisses me off,” said Wilfork via CSNNE.  “To have the best quarterback in the game, and for people to say that he isn’t who he is, it’s so freaking crazy. It bothers me.

“I think it bothers me more than it bothers Tom because I see this guy everyday. I’ve been with him for 11 years. I see the work he puts in, the commitment he has, the dedication he has. I see everything that makes him so good. For people to judge that and say ‘He’s not that,’ or, ‘He’s losing this,’ or, ‘He’s doing that,’ they’re out of their minds. They’re out of their minds.”

In Wilfork’s mind, he said Brady “torched up” the best defense in the league on the biggest stage during their win over Seattle Sunday night and that anyone who doubts that Brady’s one of the best in the game, he feels that performance should put that argument to rest.  To take it a step further, while their defense also didn’t get nearly as much credit, Wilfork doesn’t care because they have the only thing that matters, and that’s a Lombardi Trophy.

Said Wilfork, “We don’t need the credit no more, because you know why? Because we Super Bowl champs.”

So there you go.

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