As we look forward to tonight’s schedule release, here’s a quick rundown of this morning’s top stories.
Could the Patriots Make a Deal with the 49ers? – With all the discussion about Tom Brady’s future dominating the discussions on Wednesday, the question now is trying to figure out how the Patriots will begin planning their future.
One solution posed by ProFootballTalk was for New England to go back to the 49ers and make a deal to get up into the top 10, with the Patriots possibly dealing the 23rd and 31st pick to obtain San Francisco’s 9th pick overall to go after their next signal-caller.
Mike Florio points out that given the fact New England only picked up a second-round pick for a player who is currently undefeated in his seven starts in the league in Jimmy Garoppolo, it makes sense for Kyle Shanahan to potentially work a reasonable deal to give Bill Belichick an opportunity to replace him. Florio believes it could be Josh Rosen who could be on their radar, which would put that pick in the vicinity of where he might be selected.
It’s an interesting idea and while the Patriots aren’t known for making big moves when it comes to their draft picks, there’s certainly a little more at stake given where Brady is at this point in his career. While Wednesday’s reports hinted that the quarterback’s future is up in the air for 2018, the more logical thought is that it could be his future after 2018 that may be the bigger question and it will be interesting to see how the Patriots try and answer it.
It would be hard to imagine Brady not playing in 2018.
Brady Looking For a New Deal? – While Brady may be pondering his future, it sounds like for now it’s just business as usual and part of that business could potentially involve a new deal for the quarterback.
According to the NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport, Brady is looking for a new deal before the upcoming season. Some may wonder if Brady’s recent decision to miss offseason workouts and the questions behind his future could be stemming from his contract, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. According to Garafolo, the contract is “not a pressing issue”, nor is it “anything that is contentious right now”.
As for his playing status for this season, Rapoport absolutely believes he’ll be out there.
“Tom Brady is going to play in 2018,” Rapoport said via NFL.com. “He said it. Everyone close to him has said it. Everyone I’ve spoken to has said it. The Patriots are going forward with the very strict and stern belief that he will be playing for 2018. I don’t get the sense that they considered any of these reports this morning about ‘maybe he doesn’t play.’
“I also know Brady is planning a little passing camp with some of his buddies before training camp. That does not sound like the kind of the thing you would do if you were not going to play in 2018.”
That certainly seems logical, especially given the fact he’ll have an opportunity to take the field this season with two people he has a lot of respect for in Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski, which is a strong enough offensive group to make another run. 2018 appears to be a certainty that he’ll be under center. However, beyond this season is the bigger question that we’ll just have to wait and see how it plays out.
2018 Hall of Fame Finalists Announced – The Patriots issued a press release Wednesday night announcing the finalists to make it into the Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon, which will be held at a time to be announced at a later date.
Among the finalists this year are offensive tackle Matt Light, defensive lineman Richard Seymour and linebacker Mike Vrabel. The three were each teammates at one time, which is a unique situation and marks the first time that it’s worked out that way.
Starting Wednesday, fans are encouraged to vote for the former Patriot who they believe is the most deserving of hall of fame enshrinement. Fans can vote at patriots.com/2018hof through May 14. The Patriots will announce the 2018 Patriots Hall of Fame selection that week.
Team Partnering With Ticketmaster – The Patriots put out a press release Thursday morning announcing a partnership with Ticketmaster, which they believe will improve the buying experience for fans.
According to the release, fans will be able to purchase tickets at Patriots.com/tickets. The goal is to offer more tickets while also allowing the fans the convenience of digital tickets.
“Ticketmaster’s technology enables us to offer more tickets than ever before to our fans and we’re excited to roll out this new platform when the 2018 schedule is announced,” said Jen Ferron, Chief Marketing Officer for the New England Patriots. “Our renewed partnership also means that Patriots fans can reap the many benefits of Ticketmaster’s innovative digital ticketing system for all upcoming home games.”
One other thing that will be interesting to see is whether or not this will improve the amount of inventory fans have available to them, which has been an issue in past years. According to the release, that seems to be one of the things they were trying to also improve, so we’ll have to see if it pans out.
“The New England Patriots are one of the most storied franchises in the NFL, and we’re proud to extend our partnership with them to bring the safety and convenience of digital ticketing to their fans,” said Greg Economou, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Sports for Ticketmaster North America. “After the 2018 NFL schedule goes live, Patriots fans will have access to significantly more tickets than in previous years while enjoying the best ticket buying experience possible.”
The NFL 2018 Regular Season Schedule will be announced later tonight.
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