Here’s a look at this morning’s top stories:
Sherman in Patriots Future? – With Malcolm Butler’s future in New England still in question, it sounds like New England is already trying to come up with a contingency plan in the event they lose the veteran cornerback.
According to the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe, the Patriots, who have already expressed interest in Richard Sherman, may see their interest in him increase should they lose Butler through either restricted free agency or via a trade.
Howe suggests a three-way trade could occur that would see New England send Butler to New Orleans in exchange for draft picks that they could use to acquire Sherman, with Bill Belichick having close ties with both Sean Payton and Pete Carroll.
Seahawks GM John Schneider addressed the recent rumors surrounding Sherman Wednesday morning on 710 ESPN radio out of Seattle, which includes former WEEI host Mike Salk, saying that the rumors are true but whether or not they’ll follow through is another story.
“What you’ve seen lately in the news is real,” Schneider said via USA TODAY. “That’s on both sides, just open communication. He knows what’s going on, we know what’s going on. I don’t know if anything would ever happen, but like I tell people all the time, 98% of the deals that we’re involved with, we don’t follow through with.”
For now, the fact it’s been quiet on that front could still mean Butler will play out his restricted free agent tender in 2017 before either receiving an extension to stay in New England, or testing the free agent market after this season. It remains one of the big storylines of the offseason, and one that should hopefully find some clarity with the NFL Draft approaching.
Bolden back in the fold – Just Tuesday the future of Brandon Bolden was the topic of discussion and on Wednesday, the Patriots brought him back into the fold.
The free agent running back reportedly received a new deal to return, which now brings the number of players in New England’s backfield to five, joining newcomer Rex Burkhead, Dion Lewis, James White and D.J. Foster.
Bolden’s contributions have primarily been on special teams in recent years, with LeGarrette Blount having been the Patriots primary back. Blount is currently still a free agent, although a recent report says that there’s still a mutual interest between the two sides about a possible return.
Bolden was a standout at Ole Miss and originally signed as an undrafted free agent in 2012 and has been a consistent hard-worker for the Patriots, having appeared in 67 games, including two Super Bowl Championships. Thanks to this news, he’ll get to hopefully continue his career in New England for at least another season.
Brian Daboll brings a solid resume with him to Alabama.
Daboll Already Making His Mark at Alabama – Brian Daboll’s decision to leave New England and head to Alabama to become their offensive coordinator appears to be a good one, with the former Patriots assistant already making his mark.
According to ESPN’s Greg Ostendorf, Daboll is already developing a good relationship with Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Hurts, with the two already hard at work as they continue getting ready for the upcoming 2017 season.
Hurts said that Daboll has already called his former players via FaceTime and allowed him to talk to players like Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. While Hurts didn’t get a chance to talk much to Brady, it was a reminder of where Daboll comes from and the respect he’s earned thanks to the success he’s helped create.
“We’re running some of the same stuff they’ve ran, so he’ll call Tom Brady and ask him what his top five plays are,” Hurts said via ESPN. “It’s cool because we’re running the same plays he’s ran.”
Daboll faces a daunting challenge of leading a Crimson Tide team that made it all the way to the National Championship Game last season and came up just short against Clemson and he’s already faced harsh criticism from some analysts who feel he’s not quite up to the task.
“He’s worked for Bill Belichick over a long period of time and he’s never been a coordinator,” said ESPN’s Paul Finebaum last month. “I think it’s a reach. I’m uninspired by the choice and I think you have to keep your eye on exactly what Nick Saban is saying by this choice. Is he changing philosophy with two quarterbacks on his roster right now who necessarily don’t fit the pro-style philosophy?
“I’ll say it: I think Nick Saban is settling for Daboll. I think he’s tired of the Lane Kiffins of the world. I think he’s tired of running not only the best football program in the country, but he’s tired of running a kindergarten class in his coaching offices. So he wants someone who will come in and do what he (Saban) wants to do. I think it’s really that simple.”’
Hopefully Daboll can prove those critics wrong.
Actor Evans Professes His Love for Brady – Chris Evans might be Captain America in the movies, but he has a lot of affection for a certain Patriots player that he watched lead his favorite team to a win back in February.
Evans admitted that seeing the Patriots pull off the win against the Falcons was the best game he’s ever been a part of.
“[It was] the most emotional game I’ve been a part of, truly any one of you has been a part of too. I don’t care what sport you’re into. It’s the best game you’ve ever seen,” Chris said via Patriots.com.
You can view Evans’ reaction from that game via the Tweet he posted moments after the win.
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) February 6, 2017
Evans was featured in Esquire magazine last month where he mentioned that prior to the Super Bowl that all he was hoping for was watching Goodell be forced to hand the trophy to Brady after the game.
Like any self-respecting Pats fan, Evans is super-wicked pissed at NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for imposing that suspension on Tom Brady for Deflategate. Grabbing two beers from a fridge that’s otherwise basically empty, Evans says, “I just want to see Goodell hand the trophy to Brady. Goodell. Piece of [expletive].”
Thankfully, Evans got to enjoy that moment with the rest of Patriots Nation, who likely share his same opinion of Goodell.
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