Had some site-related technical things that required some fixing the last couple of evenings, but with everything back in order, here’s a look at this morning’s top stories as we close out the week.
Patriots Lock Up Edelman Through 2019 – When it comes to keeping their core players in place, the Patriots took a step on Thursday to ensure one of them will be in the fold for at least two more seasons.
According to the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe, Julian Edelman agreed to terms on a two-year extension that will keep him in New England through 2019. The deal reportedly includes incentives that would allow him to earn up to $15 million, but the best part of the deal is the fact that it keeps the Patriots’ most valuable receivers in place through the next two years. Both Brandin Cooks and Chris Hogan are under contract through 2018, while Malcolm Mitchell’s rookie deal runs through the 2019 season.
Quarterback Tom Brady, the most important piece of the puzzle, is signed through 2019 and if Rob Gronkowski can get back to form, he’s also under contract through that season as well.
The deal is also great for Edelman, who thankfully won’t have to hit free agency. He hit the market back in 2014 and received little interest, with just Cleveland, Baltimore and San Francisco expressing interest before he eventually re-signed with the club.
It worked out quite well, since his eventual return was a big part of the team’s Championship run that season.
The receiver is coming off of a career season in receiving yards, finishing with 1106 yards on 98 receptions. He was also the team’s most-targeted receiver on third down last season, having been targeted 49 times with 28 receptions, 24 of which moved the chains including two touchdowns.
It’s a remarkable story considering how far the former seventh-round pick out of Kent State has come. He’s won two Super Bowl rings and now, thanks to Thursday’s news, he’ll at least be around long enough to have a good opportunity to win a couple more before his career here comes to an end.
The Patriots and Belichick have dominated the AFC East since he took over in 2000.
Kraft’s Son Mocks Jets – For anyone wondering whether or not a rivalry remains between the Patriots and the Jets, one of Robert Kraft’s sons made a comment on Thursday mocking them at a charity event.
Josh Kraft, who is the president of New England’s Charitable Foundation, mocked the Jets during his comments as he addressed the 2017 Myra Kraft Community MVP Award winners at Gillette Stadium.
At the end of his speech, he invited the winners to tour the Patriots’ Hall of Fame and mentioned the fact that the Jets don’t have such a facility of their own.
“It’s a great take,” Kraft said via ESPN, referring to the tour. “I’m not biased, but it’s a lot better than the Jets’ Hall of Fame, right? Which is non-existent.”
For the Jets, they’ve faced a Patriots team that has been a thorn in their side since Bill Belichick took over in 2000. They’ve had just 9 winning seasons over that span as the Patriots have dominated the AFC East and just one in the last six years.
Needless to say, there’s certainly reason to poke fun at a club that hasn’t won a championship in 49 years. Given the jealousy that tends to go on between the two teams, one can expect construction to begin on a facility relatively soon once the Jets catch wind of Kraft’s comments.
Gilmore Already Pushing Pats Receivers – The physical side of newcomer Stephon Gilmore has been on display this week at minicamp, and his teammates have already been talking about the impact he’s made by having to practice against them.
Wide receiver Chris Hogan talked about having to battle against Gilmore, with the two having previously battled during their time in Buffalo.
Now that they’re getting to do it in New England, it’s an opportunity to take things to the next level and Hogan admitted that Gilmore being a Patriot is already having a positive impact.
“Going against him, just makes you better,” Hogan told the Boston Herald . “Anyone who’s out there going against him knows he’s a big-time competitor. He’s physical, he’s strong, you have to be prepared for that. He’s going to try to disrupt guys off the routes with their timing or whatever it is. He’s a good player and he’s got good ball skills.”
Between having to battle against GIlmore along with Malcolm Butler, this is a group that should face some solid competition day in and day out. Even better, it works both ways and should help in making sure each unit is at their best heading into 2017.
Amendola Throws Out First Pitch At PawSox Game – Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola was in Pawtucket Thursday night and threw out the ceremonial first pitch, with the PawSox posting the video on their Twitter page.
— Follow @WooSox (@PawSox) June 8, 2017
Amendola then spent some time signing autographs and creating some smiles for the kids who were on hand for the game.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) June 8, 2017
We’ll End on this video posted by the Patriots for “National Best Friend Day”
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) June 8, 2017
Posted Under: Daily Patriots Rundown