Here’s a look at this morning’s top stories:
Dual McCourtys in the Secondary? – Jason McCourty was once a player the Patriots explored acquiring when trade rumors surfaced a couple of years ago, which seemingly had him as a potential Patriot. That never happened because McCourty was a member of the Titans and it never came to be.
However, Thursday’s news of his release by Tennessee sparked a lot of discussion from people hoping that his newfound freedom could make the possibility of joining New England become more of a reality. Given some of the turmoil in the secondary with the departure of Logan Ryan and the uncertainty surrounding Malcolm Butler, the addition of a player of his caliber certainly couldn’t hurt.
McCourty played relatively well last season, finishing second on the team in tackles with 69, along with two interceptions and 12 passes defensed. The reason for the Titans releasing him seemed to stem from an issue likely due to the fact his contract needed to be restructured thanks to the fact he was due to make $7 million this season, which was the final year of the five-year extension he signed back in 2012.
Instead, they’ll part ways, which will now leave everyone wondering where his next stop will be.
Back in 2015 when the rumors about the two being reunited first came up, his brother admitted that it might happen eventually.
“I missed the rumors, I was in a meeting yesterday,” Devin McCourty said at the time via MassLive.com. “No, it was funny just hearing about it. So someday we’ll play together — just not this year.”
Will 2017 be the year it finally does? Stay tuned.
Thanks to one fan, Brady got his Super Bowl Jerseys back.
Fan Who Helped Recovered Jerseys Invited to Opener – Dylan Wagner probably had no idea what a big story he would become thanks to his keen eye in helping solve the mystery of the stolen Tom Brady Super Bowl jerseys, but he apparently got some good news this week.
According to CBS Boston, the 18-year old found himself the recipient of a special invitation from Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who invited him to the home opener this season.
He told I-Team Chief Investigative reporter Cheryl Fiandaca via Skype that it was certainly a call that left him speechless.
“Dylan, this is Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots,” Kraft apparently said in the message. “I just want to thank you for the great role you played in helping us get Tommy’s jerseys back.”
Wagner had previously mentioned that he had hoped to one day meet Brady in person. Kraft didn’t confirm it would happen, but the possibility seems to be there. It’s certainly well-deserved considering he helped recover two jerseys that came from two historic wins for the veteran quarterback.
“Hopefully it will happen,” said Wagner. “He [Kraft] said maybe I’ll get to meet some people and he kind of left it at that but it’s pretty open ended. I think that’s hinting at meeting Brady at the home opener,” he said.
And hopefully, for his sake, he’ll get his wish.
Patriots Exploring the Restricted Market – The Patriots are always exploring their options, and given the success they found by stealing away Chris Hogan last season, it looks like they’re kicking the tires on a few others.
According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, New England hosted three current restricted players who have yet to sign their tenders, with defensive end Kerry Wynn and running backs Mike Gillislee and Damien Williams each visiting Foxboro.
Wynn is the obvious one that stands out, especially when you take into account the need they have at that position. Wynn’s best season was his rookie year back in 2014 when he joined New York as an undrafted free agent. He played just five games but totaled 1.5 sacks including an interception.
Since then he’s played in 29 games with 65 tackles along with two passes defensed and half a sack. At 6’5″, 264-pounds he’s got the physical attributes that the Patriots look for and he’s definitely an intriguing prospect. He’s currently tendered at the original round level, which means he’ll earn $1.797 should he sign his deal. That seemingly opens an up an opportunity for New England to get creative and come up with a contract to steal him away if they really want him.
As for Gillslee and Williams, running back is obviously still a need and the prospect of raiding the roster of a fellow AFC East rival is always something that’s enjoyable if it makes New England better and hurts an opponent they face twice per season.
Both players are similar in size and it was Gillislee who at 5’11”, 219-pounds, had the more productive year last year after scoring 8 touchdowns, as well as breaking off 8 runs of 20 or more, including one of over 40 after he carried the ball 101 times for 577 yards in 2016.
Williams, meanwhile, is a little heavier at 5’11”, 228-pounds carried 35 times for 115 yards with three touchdowns.
For now the Patriots continue doing their due diligence, and we’ll have to wait and see if one of these players sees them make a move to take them away from their respective teams.
Belichick Surprising Open With CNBC – It’s not often you get to hear what Bill Belichick really thinks, but he was surprisingly candid in a recent interview with CNBC’s Suzy Welch.
The Patriots head coach was asked a variety of questions during a 16-minute segment, as he sat in Mission Barbeque, a restaurant in Annapolis Maryland, which Belichick called “home”.
One reason why that venue means so much to Belichick is for the incredible support they give those who serve the country.
“Well, first of all, I love Annapolis, this is home,” said Belichick. “I love what Mission Barbeque stands for. I love their message, the fact they support the people that serve. When I was here last night, they were packing up a few hundred pounds of their barbecue to ship off to Iraq.”
Within the restaurant there’s a sign that read, “Every Battle is Won Before It is Fought”, which is one of the signs that hangs in the Patriots’ locker room.
Welch asked him about that, and Belichick said there are some similarities.
“Sun Tzu, Art of War, it’s all about preparation. You know what you’re doing and you have an idea of what the opponents can do, what their strengths and weaknesses are. Then once you get into the game, then those adjustments will be, I won’t say easy, but relatively easy or more manageable.”
One of the more interesting points was when Belichick was asked about the Super Bowl and if he ever felt they might lose.
“It was funny, this was one of those game where we didn’t have control of the score, but I didn’t feel like we had lost control of the game,” said Belichick. “We could move the ball, we were able to stop them on third down. We were able to do things, but the scoreboard was very much against us. As long as there was still time, I thought we had a chance.”
What did it feel like?
“Close to a miracle.”
There’s a ton more, so be sure and check it out below:
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