Tag Archives: Matt Lengel

Final New England Patriots 53-Man Roster Projection 4.0

Steve Balestrieri
August 28, 2017 at 6:30 am ET

As we’ve been saying all summer, the New England Patriots will have many difficult decisions to make when the final 53-man cut down is due after the Giants game. The hour glass is running out and if players are going to make a move, they have a week remaining to convince the coaches that they’re worth keeping.

With some serious injuries to Derek Rivers and Julian Edelman, that will open up two spots that we had as locks. Ditto for the release of Kony Ealy. So, despite that, we can expect that the Patriots initial 53-man roster will change rather quickly as they’ll probably pick up a player or two via the waiver wire. I wouldn’t rule out a trade for an edge player either as they are really thin there right now.

With that in mind, we’ll take our final crack at the roster here on Sunday night with time to digest and re-watch the Lions game.

First up is the offense…

OFFENSE (24)
QUARTERBACK (3): Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett

Out: None
New England has traditionally kept two QBs on their roster. Last year they kept three because of the crazy Brady suspension. I didn’t expect Brissett to push Garoppolo for the #2 slot this season, but his play has been really disappointing. He holds the ball far too long and his arm, though cannon-like has the accuracy of an old smooth-bore musket and not where it should be.

But I just don’t see them cutting bait with Brissett yet. Is it possible? You betcha, but not this year. I think they will stick with three but Brissett isn’t a lock by any means.

RUNNING BACK (5): James White, Mike Gillislee, Rex Burkhead, Dion Lewis, James Develin

Out: D.J. Foster, Brandon Bolden, Glenn Gronkowski, LeShun Daniels
No changes here, I really wanted to find a way to keep both Foster and Bolden. Foster is going to be on a roster somewhere on Opening Weekend. If it isn’t here, it will be somewhere else. I thought of keeping only two TEs and utilizing him in an RB/Slot receiver mode where Devlin and an extra tackle can help in the blocking. And they still may do that.

Bolden is a superb STs performer but with Gillislee back and looking healthy, I don’t see how they keep him without cutting from somewhere else.

TIGHT END (3): Rob Gronkowski, Dwayne Allen, James O’Shaughnessy

Out: Matt Lengel, Sam Cotton, Jacob Hollister
While he’s played well the past few weeks, O’Shaughnessy’s slot is still tenuous at best. He’s a better blocker but not as good as a receiver as Hollister. The UDFA rookie from Wyoming had a big game against Jax and then was barely used after that. It is obvious the team likes O’Shaughnessy and wants to keep him. Lengel, who is banged up didn’t show enough to warrant keeping him around.

WIDE RECEIVER (5): Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell, Danny Amendola, Austin Carr

Out: Julian Edelman (IR), Matthew Slater (IR), Devin Lucien, Cody Hollister, Tony Washington, K.J. Maye
Julian Edelman’s injury opens the door for the Patriots to keep Austin Carr, who to me has just barely edged out Devin Lucien for the final spot at the position. Both Edelman and Slater go to IR, Slater will return later this season, which will make for another interesting decision. The top four are locks and will be needed to step up a bit more.

INTERIOR OFFENSIVE LINE (4): David Andrews, Shaq Mason, Joe Thuney, Ted Karras
Out: Jason King, James Ferentz, Chase Farris

No changes here. Center David Andrews and guards Mason and Thuney were all starters last year, are locked and have played well this summer. Karras gets the nod over Ferentz who will be a primary practice squad candidate

OFFENSIVE TACKLE (4):  Nate Solder, Antonio Garcia, Marcus Cannon, Cameron Fleming

Out: LaAdrian Waddle, Conor McDermott, Cole Croston, Max Rich, Andrew Jelks (IR)
The good news is that Nate Solder is back at practice and although he didn’t make the trip to Detroit, he should be ready for the Chiefs game on Opening Night. Garcia has been banged up, does his injury preclude him from making the roster and going on IR? That may open the door a crack for Conor McDermott or LaAdrian Waddle (also banged up) to step in. But it appears that Solder, Cannon, and Fleming are locked in right now.

Next up in the defense.

DEFENSE (25):
DEFENSIVE TACKLE (5): Alan Branch, Malcom Brown, Lawrence Guy, Vincent Valentine, Adam Butler

Out: Woodrow Hamilton, Darius Kilgo, Josh Augusta,
With the lack of enough edge players and the release of Kony Ealy, this opens the door for another player to step up inside and that is Adam Butler who has had a very solid camp. He’s shown the ability to penetrate inside and disrupt things in the running game. Branch, Brown, and Lawrence Guy are locked. Guy had a solid camp and with Butler, the team may opt for more of a 3-4 look with the bigger bodies inside.

Hamilton, Kilgo, and Augusta played well this summer and are victims of numbers more than anything else.

EDGE RUSHER (3): Trey Flowers, Deatrich Wise, Geneo Grissom,

Out: Derek Rivers (IR), Caleb Kidder, Keionta Davis
Ealy was released early…which means that he was in no way in their plans for 2017 after an up and down training camp. Depth has become a serious issue here. Wise will be looked to now, to provide the pressure with Trey Flowers. Grissom right now is my 53rd player on the roster. He could be replaced somewhere else but sticks around for his STs play. But he’s been virtually invisible on defense and that isn’t a good sign.

Look for the linebackers to provide help in this realm. Dont’a Hightower, Van Noy, and Langi will all be utilized as edge rushers as well. This is an area they may cherry pick off of the waiver wire and/or swing a trade. I think Davis will go to the practice squad and possibly play a factor down the road sometime in the future.

LINEBACKER (6): Dont’a Hightower, David Harris, Kyle Van Noy, Shea McClellin, Harvey Langi, Trevor Bates

Out: Elandon Roberts (IR), Jonathan Freeny, Brooks Ellis
I had the team keeping just five linebackers all summer but with the dearth of edge players, they keep an extra LB and those guys will help out on the edge as well. David Harris is an early-down inside run stuffer who is a liability in coverage (see Roberts). But the difference is, he’s a guy who is an established, smart veteran and will be rarely out of position. Hightower is a guy who can play inside or on the edge as a rusher, as well as Van Noy.

Langi and Bates, the last addition to the linebacking crew both had a good summer and training camp. Langi was a bit overaggressive at times as a pass rusher, but he’ll learn to temper those tendencies. Bates noses out Belichick favorite and STs standout Freeny and Roberts goes to IR.

CORNERBACK (6): Stephon Gilmore, Malcolm Butler, Eric Rowe, Jonathan Jones, Kenny Moore, Cyrus Jones

Out: Justin Coleman, DJ Killings, William Likely
The top four are locked and ready for the season. Gilmore had, in my opinion, a terrific summer. He’s adapted extremely well to the Patriots system and should be an outstanding addition. He and Butler promise to be a dynamic pair of corners on the edge. Rowe and Jonathan Jones have split the nickel corner duties and will continue to do so, depending on the matchups. Both played well this summer. Kenny More displayed a nose for the ball all summer and just beats out the veteran Justin Coleman. Cyrus Jones, for now, is a corner in name only. He’s the primary Kick returner but the team may ultimately decide to go with Dion Lewis/Amendola, in which case he’d be expendable.

SAFETY (5): Patrick Chung, Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, Brandon King, Nate Ebner

Out:  Jordan Richards, David Jones, Damarius Travis, Jason Thompson
The top three of Chung, McCourty, and Harmon have been solid and are locked. The team has depth for those two with Nate Ebner and Brandon King who are mainly special teamers, neither of whom plays much defense although Ebner has played in spots in the past.

Jordan Richards is a favorite of Belichick and the team is trying every way of keeping him around. They switched him to the linebacker position in the “Big Nickel” look, the Pat Chung role and he was as inconsistent as he’s been elsewhere. Too slow, too stiff with a penchant for taking bad angles. Jones was hurt all summer, Travis played well in spots. Both may be candidates for the practice squad.

SPECIAL TEAMS (3): Stephen Gostkowski, Ryan Allen, Joe Cardona,

Out: None
A good solid group who have had a good camp thus far. Gostkowski still seems to have a mental block for extra points. But is solid on his field goal attempts and his kickoffs which are outstanding at getting the team great field position on defense. Allen has had a very strong camp. We haven’t mentioned Cardona much at all….which tells you his snaps have been right on the money.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

New England Patriots Training Camp Primer – Tight Ends

Steve Balestrieri
July 12, 2017 at 6:29 am ET

Gronkowski’s Health Always A Key Concern

The Patriots head into training camp in just 15 days and there should be no shortage of competition at a number of spots. As a lead-in to the beginning of camp, we’ll break down the positions and give our take on who is a lock, a near lock for the 53-man roster and who is on the bubble. Next up is the Tight End position.

Bill Belichick likes to say that the spring’s OTAs and Minicamp is a learning exercise and that the real competition begins in training camp. With a roster of 90 players and no cuts needed before the final 53-man roster cut down, there will be plenty of time for evaluation.

So next up are the tight ends. The Patriots have six players vying for roster spots.

This position will ultimately be judged on how healthy Rob Gronkowski can stay in 2017. When he’s good to go and on the field, he’s the most dangerous tight end in the game and an absolute game changer.

The team knows that just by the nature of his game and how he plays, he’s apt to get dinged up. That’s why the second tight end spot is very important and Allen will have to be a guy who can be relied upon.

So, with that in mind who is locked in and who’s on the bubble?

Roster Locks: Rob Gronkowski, Dwayne Allen
Gronkowski is still the gold standard among tight ends in the NFL. No one possesses the entire package that he brings to the table. He has the type of athleticism at the position where he can attack the field down the seams, move the chains, and be a huge physical target in the red zone. And he’s an outstanding blocker in the running game.

He’s one of those players that opposing teams must game plan around. He creates mismatches, as linebackers can’t run with him and safeties, aren’t big enough to stand up to his physicality.

Gronkowski, along with Julian Edelman are two of Tom Brady’s most favorite targets. Both have tremendous football I.Q.s and can read the defense pre-snap and understand and see exactly what Brady is seeing. This frequently means that no audible has to be called. QB and receiver are in tune and the play is changed silently as the two have worked on their reads and chemistry after long hours on the practice field.

Gronkowski in minicamp appeared 100 percent healthy with no restrictions, which is great news for 2017. It will be interesting to see how the Patriots manage his snaps in preseason and training camp as they have plenty of players to use. They want him healthy for a stretch run, not necessarily an early September matchup.

Allen was brought in to replace the departed Martellus Bennett who was a big addition in 2016 and had much to do with the team’s success during the Super Bowl run. Allen is known as a tremendous run blocker, just like Bennett and that will be how the coaches judge him first. Once the pads come on in camp, is when Allen’s fit can be judged.

We saw the commentary on his struggles during the first day of minicamp, his drops and Bill Belichick’s acerbic comments to him about “this isn’t Indy” on that rainy day. We watched Allen closely the next day and I thought he did fine.

Dwayne Allen catches a pass during Patriots minicamp in June. (SBalestrieri photo)

Obviously, if he struggles during training camp it will be a concern moving forward but I’m not buying into much of the talk that he’s on the bubble. He’s had good but not great numbers in the passing game but has been very productive in the red zone.

That could have a significant impact as teams usually pay close attention to Gronkowski in the red area. If Allen’s performance holds true to form, he could have some very good production in 2017.

Near Roster Locks: None

On the Bubble: James O’Shaughnessy, Matt Lengel, Jacob Hollister, Sam Cotton
The Patriots usually like their third tight end to be more of a blocker but in the case of O’Shaughnessy, that may change. The Patriots spent some time looking at him prior to the 2015 NFL Draft and when the opportunity availed itself, they swung a deal with the Chiefs to trade for him. He could be looked at as a move tight end as opposed to the traditional in-line role as well as a special teams’ performer.

Matt Lengel was on the team a year ago and is a big (6’7, 265-pound) blocking tight end who the team snatched off the Bengals’ practice squad. He chipped in with a couple of catches, including an 18-yard touchdown against the Jets, but he’s a blocker first and foremost.

Jacob Hollister is an intriguing UDFA tight end out of Wyoming. (SBalestrieri photo)

Hollister comes to the Patriots via the UDFA route from Wyoming where he had a standout senior season with 32 catches for 515 yards and seven touchdowns. He is more of a move tight end (6’4, 240-pounds) than an inline blocker. He’s still a bit raw and needs to work on his blocking, but he turned our heads a bit during minicamp so he’ll bear watching in training camp.

Cotton is an intriguing guy, the 6’4, 250 tight end had pretty pedestrian numbers at Nebraska but the Cornhuskers are very much a running team first. For a good sized tight end, Cotton showed some nice athleticism during his Pro Day. He ran a very respectable 4.80 but his time in the 3-Cone Drill, a Patriots staple was what turned heads. Cotton ran that in 6.87 which would have been second among tight ends at the Combine in Indianapolis. He also turned in an impressive performance with a 127-inch broad jump and his 35.5-inch vertical leap which would’ve been sixth in Indy. He’s a longshot to make the team but he’s got the Bo Pelini connection that Belichick likes.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

Best Of Social Media: The New England Patriots Celebrate Fathers Day

Robert Alvarez
June 19, 2017 at 1:29 pm ET

Sunday marked Fathers Day celebrations across the country and to honor the occasion, current, former, and family members of the New England Patriots took to their social media accounts to thank the father’s in their lives.

According to a recent story, written by Sports Illustrated’s Kalyn Kahler, six Patriots players have had seven babies since winning Super Bowl LI back in February. Congratulations to all the new dad’s!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVgOGsKHVRb/?taken-by=vrvj99

Happy Fathers Day to the best role model I could ever have. Love you, pop!

A post shared by Matt Lengel (@matthewlengel) on

While this may not be recent, this might be a good time to reflect back on one of the more memorable media day moments in Tom Brady’s career.

Best Of Social Media: New England Patriots Super Bowl Championship Ring Night

Robert Alvarez
June 12, 2017 at 9:42 pm ET

On Friday night, New England Patriots owner and CEO Robert Kraft hosted the teams Super Bowl championship ring ceremony at his Brookline MA home.

The headliner for the night began with news the 2016 ring contained quite possibly one of the greatest subtle tributes to the teams historic comeback victory. The ring contained exactly 283 diamonds, meant to commemorate the 28-3 deficit the team overcame in the second half and included an engraved message that read “Greatest Comeback Ever.”

The social media posts that followed as the night progressed would make any Patriots fan light up like it was February 5th, 2017 all over again, so without further ado below are some of the best sights and sounds.

Date night ❤ #Patriots super bowl ring ceremony

A post shared by Gisele Bündchen (@gisele) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVJI9XYBVgM/?taken-by=tombrady

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVJT6mLhPdS/?taken-by=tombrady

Turn Up Champs!

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

A rare occasion for Head Coach Bill Belichick as he was spotted wearing all of his championship rings from his NFL career. Seven Super Bowl titles across the Giants and Patriots including three AFC Championship rings from 1996, 2007 and 2011.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVLAXCGgVyf/

This happened last night ~ and then this happened! #MagicalNight #TheGreatestCombackEver *Scroll through!

A post shared by Linda Holliday✨ (@lindaholliday_) on

@bombsquad #family

A post shared by Julian Edelman (@edelman11) on

#sundayze

A post shared by Julian Edelman (@edelman11) on

That feeling when you see your Super Bowl ring.

A post shared by New England Patriots (@patriots) on

"I'm so Icyyyyy" – @laflare1017

A post shared by LeGarrette Blount (@l_blount29) on

A crazy/fun night to remember!! #Blessed

A post shared by LeGarrette Blount (@l_blount29) on

Last night was dope @tombrady . Tonight will be even better. #Celebrating6

A post shared by Martellus Bennett (@martellusb) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVKtwejhhDB/?taken-by=realloganryan&hl=en

LEGENDARY NIGHT #2timechamp -Dmac

A post shared by Jason+Devin McCourty (@mccourtytwins) on

Wow–just a small sample of the night we all had!! #superbowlchamps #rings

A post shared by Robert Ninkovich (@nink50) on

2X W O R L D C H A M P I O N #PATSNATION

A post shared by Malcolm CB Butler (@mac_bz) on

It was lit !!!!!'

A post shared by Dion Lewis (@d_lew33) on

2X

A post shared by Nate Ebner (@ebs43) on

Special teamer Nate Ebner shared his unique collection of hardware, both of his Super Bowl rings along with the one given to him by the United States Rugby Olympic team when he participated in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio last year.

LI… Rio 16'… XLIX

A post shared by Nate Ebner (@ebs43) on

Long Snapper Joe Cardona sported his US Naval Academy graduation ring with his new bling.

https://twitter.com/zeus30hightower/status/873150240798461953

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVKi_tpAWKZ/?taken-by=_boomtower

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVLKu4nF-_0/?taken-by=iii_flowers

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVLfRRlBeaW/?taken-by=sweetfeet_white28

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVKSZRMnT-B/?taken-by=vrvj99

"…Big rings, champagne…"

A post shared by Matt Lengel (@matthewlengel) on

https://twitter.com/EricRowe32/status/873300301650030594

Following the presentation of the rings, guests were treated to performances by rappers Snoop Dogg and Gucci Mane.

https://twitter.com/gucci1017/status/873580366505938944

https://twitter.com/SBNation/status/873537175605846016?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sbnation.com%2Flookit%2F2017%2F6%2F10%2F15774972%2Fnfl-super-bowl-2017-patriots-ring-ceremony-gucci-mane-popeyes

All in all it was a very special night that officially closes the door on the 2016 Patriots season, as Quarterback Tom Brady would say the best ring is “The Next One”.

Best Of Social Media: The New England Patriots Honor Memorial Day

Robert Alvarez
May 30, 2017 at 10:30 pm ET

On social media Monday, multiple members of the New England Patriots took time out of their Memorial Day holiday to pay their respects to the true Patriots that paid the ultimate price serving in the United States armed services.

Below are some of the best postings beginning with one by quarterback Tom Brady featuring a quote from President Ronald Regan.

"We are gathered at the National Cemetery, which provides a final resting place for the heroes who have defended our country since the Civil War. This amphitheater, this place for speeches, is more central to this cemetery than it first might seem apparent, for all we can ever do for our heroes is remember them and remember what they did — and memories are transmitted through words. Sometime back I received in the name of our country the bodies of four marines who had died while on active duty. I said then that there is a special sadness that accompanies the death of a serviceman, for we're never quite good enough to them — not really; we can't be, because what they gave us is beyond our powers to repay. And so, when a serviceman dies, it's a tear in the fabric, a break in the whole, and all we can do is remember. It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country, in defense of us, in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray haired. But most of them were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives — the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for our country, for us. And all we can do is remember." – Ronald Reagan Thanks for the inspiration @domraso #Honor

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BUrqLxog8Ds/?taken-by=gronk&hl=en

https://www.instagram.com/p/BUsNF23BEHi/?taken-by=edelman11&hl=en

Happy Memorial Day!!! Thank you!! #memorialday #thankful

A post shared by Robert Ninkovich (@nink50) on

https://twitter.com/SweetFeet_White/status/869315556473745412

New England Patriots Draft Profile Michigan TE Jake Butt

Steve Balestrieri
April 4, 2017 at 6:00 am ET

Player Injured in the Orange Bowl May Fall to Middle Rounds

As the 2017 NFL Draft draws closer we’ll profile some of the players that may be on the Patriots radar or that we feel would be a great fit.

The Patriots’ offense despite a plethora of weapons for Tom Brady can still use another tight end. Rob Gronkowski was injured for much of the season and was eventually placed on IR. Michael Williams, primarily a blocking tight end, tore his ACL in June minicamp and was also placed on IR.

Free agent Clay Harbor was signed but was released and fellow free agent Martellus Bennett who played very well for the Patriots all season and was their best target in the playoffs at the position was signed away in free agency by the Packers.

The team worked a trade for the Colts Dwayne Allen during the offseason and he and Gronkowski, if they can stay on the field (an issue for both) should give New England a terrific 1-2 punch. They still have Williams and Matt Lengel from a year ago as depth.

But adding another tight end would seem like the prudent thing to do, given the injury history of both Gronkowski and Allen. There are several intriguing choices but a hidden gem may fall into the middle rounds.

Jake Butt from Michigan is a very intriguing prospect as he’s a versatile target in the passing game that can line up in a variety of different positions creating matchup problems for the opposing defense.

He has good but not great size for an inline tight end at 6’5, 246-pounds and will have to get a big bigger and stronger to become a fully productive Y-type tight end (inline). But has very sticky hands, and shows good quickness off his release. Butt runs good routes and has shown the ability to get separation coming out of his cuts.

He has a large catch radius and is a good runner after the catch despite not being a speed guy. He’s a willing and tough blocker in the running game and does a decent job of pass protection as well. In 2015 and 2016 Butt was the Big Ten Tight End of the Year and put very solid numbers 51 catches for 654 yards (12.8-yard Avg) with three TDs in 2015 and 46 receptions for 546 yards (11.9-yard Avg) with four touchdowns in 2016.

He’s not going to attack the deep seams like Gronkowski but can be a very solid addition to the passing game by being a reliable target that gets open and will move the chains. With Gronk in the lineup, Butt can move around as the “F” or move-type tight end initially but the coaches will find ways to use all three with Allen as well into creating matchup wins for the offense.

Pros:

– Good size, release, and quickness

– Very versatile, can line up in a variety of spots

– Runs excellent patterns and has a large receiving radius

– Very good hands, and a good runner after the catch

Cons

– Tore his ACL in the Orange Bowl, may not be ready

– Not a breakaway threat and doesn’t possess great top end speed

– Needs to get a bit bigger and stronger in the NFL.

What his Role Will Be:
Butt’s role will vary depending on the matchups. He can line up wide, in the slot, or inline. He’s a very good receiving tight end and while he may not be the deep seam threat the Gronk is, he’s a very good move-the-chains type of guy.

Will his Role Change from Year 1-2?
Yes, he may not even be ready to start the season due to his ACL tear in the Orange Bowl. So in 2018, he should be ready to go and having a year in the system, would definitely be ready for a bigger role.

How Many Downs Can He Play?
Three

What Current Player on the Roster Will He Replace?
Matt Lengel

What is his ST Value?
Limited to extra points and field goal blocking units.

Conclusion:
Butt has all of the markings of being a very productive pro tight end. He’s got the frame to be a big, physical presence. He runs good routes and uses his hands well to create a bit of separation coming out of his breaks.

He’s good at recognizing the weak spots in zone coverage and will set down and give the quarterback a big target who will chew up zones. He’s not afraid to work the middle part of the field and will be a tremendous move the chains target.

He’s tough, competitive, comes from a big-time program at Michigan with Coach Harbaugh and will fit in very nicely with the Patriots offense. Bill Belichick loves players who are versatile and Butt will be able to highlight that side of his talent with the Patriots.

Butt is a 2nd round talent but may fall to the middle rounds due to his ACL injury and the fact that he may not be ready to start the season. The Patriots are in a great position with Gronkowski and Allen where they wouldn’t have to rush him back but give him all the time he needs to get completely healthy.

Butt’s highlight reel tape can be seen here:

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

Best of Social Media: Super Bowl LI Postgame and Championship Parade

Robert Alvarez
February 10, 2017 at 9:07 am ET

The instant New England Patriots running back James White crossed the goal line plane for the winning touchdown, the largest comeback in Super Bowl history was complete.

Facing a 25 point deficit, the Patriots never led until the final score. An unprecedented 31-0 run to end the game set off one of the wildest finishes in football history and a fifth Lombardi to One Patriot Place in Foxborough.

Below is a compilation of some of the best social media postings shared by the players, media, and fans during the celebration on the field and the parade in Boston two days later.

It takes a team. And so much love. #NeverStopBelieving

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

My everything

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQLRA8wjXBg/?taken-by=gisele&hl=en

https://twitter.com/NFL/status/828463124059738112

Catch me at the parade How Bout Dat

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

"If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise: If you can dream – and not make dreams your master; If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools: If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!' If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, ' Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch, if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And – which is more – you'll be a Man, my son!"

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

Rain drop. Drop top. Benny dabbin on the boat with his Papa!

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQRCyqXDQv0/?taken-by=tombrady

"If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise: If you can dream – and not make dreams your master; If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools: If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!' If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, ' Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch, if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And – which is more – you'll be a Man, my son!"

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

#patsnation we love you!!!!! coming home with another one! #wegotsomereallybigrings

A post shared by Julian Edelman (@edelman11) on

A post shared by Julian Edelman (@edelman11) on

A post shared by Julian Edelman (@edelman11) on

5 boston 5

A post shared by Julian Edelman (@edelman11) on

Boston you are the #champions #gottabelieve

A post shared by Julian Edelman (@edelman11) on

Best ever no questions asked! # 2 for me and # 5 for that guy!!

A post shared by Rob Gronkowski (@gronk) on

My brother @glenn_gronkowski and I super bowl champs together!!

A post shared by Rob Gronkowski (@gronk) on

Tag team Gronk Bro's VS the Hype bro's! @mojorawleywwe @zryder85 #duckboat #champs #gronksquad #wwebelt

A post shared by Rob Gronkowski (@gronk) on

Champs!! #GronkBro's #Gronkfitness #patriotsnation #parade

A post shared by Rob Gronkowski (@gronk) on

When you're a CHAMP!!!

A post shared by Jason+Devin McCourty (@mccourtytwins) on

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Me: Tom we won the SUPER BOWL AGAIN…YEAAAAA Tom: LETS GOOOOOOO….Parade was epic!!!!! -Dmac

A post shared by Jason+Devin McCourty (@mccourtytwins) on

For Life I have my beautiful wife and TWO Super Bowl Championships!!! I am blessed!!! #wifeforlife #bymyside

A post shared by Robert Ninkovich (@nink50) on

World Champs!!!!!!! #itsneverover #patriots

A post shared by Robert Ninkovich (@nink50) on

A post shared by Robert Ninkovich (@nink50) on

Champs!!!!!!!

A post shared by Robert Ninkovich (@nink50) on

A post shared by Robert Ninkovich (@nink50) on

Never quit.

A post shared by Danny Amendola (@dannyamendola) on

A post shared by Sheard (@jabaalsheard) on

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A post shared by Malcolm CB Butler (@mac_bz) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQNudTXjN47/?taken-by=dharm30

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQTKfhcDfT9/?taken-by=dharm30

2x World Champ

A post shared by Logan Ryan (@realloganryan) on

Champions….

A post shared by Martellus Bennett (@martellusb) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQKecO0hN4l/?taken-by=martellusb&hl=en

When your boy gets the baddest girl in the club phone number!! Swish.

A post shared by Martellus Bennett (@martellusb) on

Letsss gooooooo! Shoutout to everyone who came to the parade! #champs #sb51 #patsnation #doyourjob #parade

A post shared by Chris Hogan (@chrishogan_15) on

No better feeling!! 2x World Champs!! #GoPats

A post shared by Nate Ebner (@ebs43) on

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Reason for my being!

A post shared by Patrick Chung (@23patrickchung) on

When you're happy so you just tackle people

A post shared by Patrick Chung (@23patrickchung) on

We worked for every bit of this. Awesome time today with the boys #hulksmash #patsnation #fam

A post shared by Brandon Bolden (@bbhulksmash) on

We always the littest @sweetfeet_white28 @gronk @d_lew33 @martellusb

A post shared by LeGarrette Blount (@l_blount29) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQKuEV8DO-F/?taken-by=laflamablanca95

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQLhXkID_w3/?taken-by=laflamablanca95

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQNxhp2D6os/?taken-by=laflamablanca95

https://twitter.com/III_Flowers/status/828731813891813376

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQNwJFWjcIq/?taken-by=iii_flowers

Champs.

A post shared by Matt Lengel (@matthewlengel) on

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Belichick SMILE ALERT!

NO DAYS OFF! NO DAYS OFF!

(Everyone in attendance took the day off)

Some current and former Boston athletes got in on the congratulations.

Curse broken?

Captain America was on the edge of his seat.

The greatest troll tweet of all time.

Just remember, always think before you tweet.

Roger That.

Patriots Have a Long List of Free Agents in 2017

Steve Balestrieri
February 9, 2017 at 9:28 am ET

The Patriots will enter the 2017 offseason with a ton of cap space ($61,248,593 according to our own salary cap guru in Miguel @patscap) but have a lot of players hitting free agency.  There is a total of 19 players that are free agents this spring. It begins with 13 unrestricted free agents, three restricted free agents, and three exclusive-rights free agents.

Here is a list of the Patriots free agents and their ages in parenthesis:

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS:
TE Martellus Bennett (30)
RB LeGarrette Blount (30)
RB Brandon Bolden (27)
DT Alan Branch (32)
FB James Develin (28)
WR Michael Floyd (27)
FS Duron Harmon (26)
LB Dont’a Hightower (26)
DE Chris Long (31)
LB Barkevious Mingo (26)
CB Logan Ryan (26)
TE Greg Scruggs (26)
DE Jabaal Sheard (27)

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS:
CB Malcolm Butler (26)
OT Cameron Fleming (24)
LB Trevor Reilly (29)

EXCLUSIVE-RIGHTS FREE AGENTS:
CB Justin Coleman (23)
LB Brandon King (23)
TE Matt Lengel (26)

So, what are the differences in the categories you ask? Well, I’m glad you did… sort of. The Patriots can extend any of the players below to a new deal prior to the March 9th deadline. Once the deadline hits, then that is when the different categories come into play.

The Unrestricted free agent is free to sign with any team for basically the best deal for the player, whether it be the money, the team or any other reason.

Restricted free agents can be offered one of three “tenders” by the team holding their rights. They are for players with just three years of accrued service in the league. Since most rookie contracts run for four years now, they are becoming rarer.

A tender is a one-year contract for a pre-determined amount and here are the categories: (note the amounts listed here are in 2016 money and will be subject to change.)

First round tender: 1 year, about $3.582 million
Second round tender: 1 year, about $2.516 million
Right of first refusal/Original round tender: 1 year, about $1.647 million

The original round tender means that if another team swoops in and signs a player, his last team would get a draft pick from the round that player was drafted in. In the case of a UDFA, the team would get nothing.

The team has the right of first refusal as well if a team were to offer a restricted free agent an offer, the Patriots have the right to match it.

Exclusive rights free agents haven’t accrued three years of NFL service and if the team extends them an offer sheet, they have to sign it.

So while the Patriots have tons of cap room, they also have some big decisions to make in regards to 21 free agents. The ERFAs are the most easily done if they want to keep them they are the easiest to retain. But from there the questions become a bit stickier.

We’ll be looking at some of the free agents in depth in the upcoming days. Who may stay and who may go.

Any questions regarding the salary cap and the inner workings of it should be addressed to Miguel aka @Patscap who covers the salary cap of the Patriots better than anyone else anywhere. We are fortunate to have him here at PatsFans.com and he has the breakdowns of the deals and how it all works.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

Best of Social Media: Week 16 Jets vs Patriots

Robert Alvarez
December 28, 2016 at 5:20 pm ET

The New England Patriots entered their Week 16 regular season home finale versus the rival New York Jets as they looked to maintain their status as the number one seed heading into the playoffs.

At 17.5 point favorites coming in, the Patriots were seeking their first dominant win over the Jets in nearly four years. (Buttfumble game anyone?)

The Patriots defense continued its recent tough play as Malcolm Butler recorded his first of two interceptions on the day.

It didn’t take long for quarterback Tom Brady and the offense to get going. After an early field goal by Stephen Gostkowski, Brady found tight end Martellus Bennett in the back of the end zone for the games first touchdown. A 10-0 Patriots through one quarter of play.

https://twitter.com/NFL/status/812725891373494274

In the second quarter, Gostkowski tacked on his second field goal of the game to extend the Patriots lead to 13-0 before one of Brady’s most unexpected touchdown passes to former practice squad member and one time Northeastern Husky, backup tight end Matt Lengel.

20-0 Patriots midway through the second quarter before James White caught Tom Brady’s second touchdown pass of the game to conclude the first half. A 27-0 lead and the rout was on.

In the third quarter, Tommy “Vick” pulled off some Harry Houdini trickery with this elusive escape from the rush and a big gain downfield to Julian Edelman.

The play setup LeGarrette Blount to join the scoring as he added on to his record setting season with his 16th rushing touchdown of 2016.

With the game well out of reach at 34-0 nearing the end of the third quarter, the Jets unraveled.

Jets quarterback Bryce Petty would be knocked out of the game but it wouldn’t make a difference for cornerback Malcolm Butler who recorded his first career multi-interception game to go along with a fumble recovery.

A 34-0 Patriots lead after three quarters saw Tom Brady’s day end early as Jimmy Garoppolo gained his first significant playing time since Week 2.

LeGarrette Blount would find the end zone for a second time in the fourth quarter as the Patriots refused to let up, number 17 of the season and a 41-0 lead.

With six minutes to go in the game, the Jets pulled off one of the biggest Jets moves ever, by attempting a field goal down by 41.

The Jets found a way to avoid the shutout with the 29 yard field goal by Nick Folk but it would be all they would be able to muster as the Patriots handed them their first blowout loss to their rival since the 49-19 thrashing on thanksgiving back in 2012 during the infamous buttfumble game.

Posted by Tom Brady on Saturday, December 24, 2016

https://twitter.com/TheRealVRVJ/status/812776960568999936

https://www.instagram.com/p/BOau4OiBxcc/

Hi Tom, I'm Marty! Remember when I said I was ready to do this?! #theimaginationagency #footballMarty #patriots

A post shared by Martellus Bennett (@martellusb) on

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https://www.instagram.com/p/BOfpl0PBqYY/?taken-by=d_lew33

Matt Lengel’s Brother Expresses Joy On Twitter Following Touchdown

Robert Alvarez
December 27, 2016 at 1:07 pm ET

During the New England Patriots blowout victory of the New York jets on Sunday, one of the highlight moments was former practice squad wide receiver Matt Lengel scoring an unexpected first career touchdown pass from Tom Brady.

Lengel’s family was in attendance at Gillette Stadium for the game as his brother shared a tweet in the moment following the score that went viral over the internet after the game concluded.

Lengel then thanked everyone for their show of support as more and more reaction to the touchdown followed including their hometown newspaper a day later.

Moments. #proudbrother

A post shared by Mike Lengel (@mikelengel) on