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#pounditSunday, January 23, 2022

Articles tagged: New England Patriots

Does this signal the end of Jarrett Stidham’s time with Patriots?

Jarrett Stidham

The New England Patriots used a fourth-round draft pick on Jarrett Stidham two years ago, and the idea at the time was for him to be the heir apparent to the Tom Brady throne. That has not exactly worked out, and the former Auburn star may wind up looking for work elsewhere this offseason.

The Patriots re-signed Brian Hoyer this week, and it sounds like the veteran backup is confident he will have a roster spot. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported on Thursday that Hoyer chose sticking with the Patriots over serving as the primary backup behind New York Jets rookie Zach Wilson.

That means the Patriots now have four quarterbacks, and two seem like they are guaranteed roster spots. Mac Jones obviously isn’t going anywhere, and Belichick has made it clear that Cam Newton is New England’s starter heading into the season. We doubt Belichick will carry more than three quarterbacks on the active roster in Week 1, which means Stidham could be the odd man out.

There were some reports last offseason that the Patriots were high on Stidham, but that is now hard to believe. Newton struggled for most of 2020, yet Stidham never took over as the Patriots’ starter. They have since drafted a QB 15th overall and re-signed their most trusted veteran backup. Don’t be surprised if Stidham is waived in the coming weeks.

Here is how much tickets to Bucs-Patriots are selling for

Tom Brady Bucs

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots will square off in one of the most highly anticipated sporting events in history on Oct. 3, and the ticket prices for the game are already reflecting that.

As soon as the NFL released its official regular season schedule on Wednesday, ticket listings began popping up for the Week 4 game. Greg Auman of The Athletic scanned through some prices on different websites, and most of the listings have been comparable to Super Bowl prices. As of Thursday, the cheapest ticket was $1,150.

Patriots fans never really got a chance to say goodbye to Brady. His last game as a Patriot at Gillette Stadium was an embarrassing playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans two years ago. No one knew for sure at the time that he would be leaving in free agency, but he later signed with the Bucs.

Brady obviously has the Week 4 game circled on his calendar, and he sent a great tweet about it on Thursday. His father, Tom Brady Sr., also talked some trash in a funny phone call to a Boston area radio station. The hype should continue to build, and ticket prices may rise along with it.

Tom Brady sends great tweet about big showdown with Patriots

Tom Brady

The NFL released its official 2021 regular season schedule on Wednesday, and the game that stuck out above the rest is the Week 4 matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots. In case you were wondering, Tom Brady took note of that game as well.

Brady sent a great tweet on Thursday about his return to Gillette Stadium. The 43-year-old joked that it is going to feel like introducing his college friends to his old high school friends.

Brady’s return to New England will be one of the most highly anticipated regular season sporting events of all time. There are already reports swirling that ticket prices will be comparable to the Super Bowl, with the cheapest ones likely being around $1,000 each.

The tweet Brady sent came not long after his father, Tom Brady Sr., called into a radio show with some awesome trash talk for the Patriots. Week 4 really can’t come soon enough.

Tom Brady’s father has awesome trash talk for Patriots

Tom Brady Bucs

Tom Brady’s return to New England is one of the most highly anticipated storylines of the 2021 NFL season, and his father is already bringing the smack talk.

Tom Brady Sr. called into the “Zolak & Bertrand Show” on 98.5 The Sports Hub on Thursday morning to share how excited he is for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to face the Patriots in Week 4. The elder Brady said he started “salivating” when the schedule came out.

Brady Sr. added that he expects his son and the Bucs to “beat the Patriots rather handily.” He then admitted he still roots for New England when the situation allows.

Brady’s father has always been pretty outspoken about his son’s career. The seven-time Super Bowl winner even banned Tom Sr. from speaking with the media at one point. That unofficial ban likely came after Tom Sr. ripped Roger Goodell for the way the NFL commissioner handled Deflategate.

For what it’s worth, Brady Sr. also defended Bill Belichick last year for moving on from his son.

The Week 4 game between the Patriots and Bucs is circled on every football fan’s calendar. You can’t blame Brady Sr. for already being hyped.

Will this be the biggest game of the 2021 NFL season?

Bill Belichick

The NFL is set to release its full 2021 regular season schedule on Wednesday night, but the dates of many big games have already leaked. Perhaps the most noteworthy matchup will take place on “Sunday Night Football” in Week 4.

According to multiple reports, the New England Patriots will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the Week 4 Sunday night game. That will mark the first time Tom Brady faces his former team and returns to the place where he won six Super Bowls in two decades.

It would not be a surprise if that game draws higher ratings than any other regular season contest in 2021. The storylines will be endless, as there has been a lot of talk about the relationship between Brady and Bill Belichick souring before the quarterback left in free agency last year. Both future Hall of Famers will undoubtedly want to get the best of the other, whether they admit it publicly or not.

Belichick and Brady will probably do their best to convince people the Week 4 matchup is “just another game,” but there is no reason to believe that. The Patriots will come up with some extravagant tribute to Brady prior to kickoff, and fans in New England will give him the reception he deserves. Brady will then turn into the enemy as soon as the clock starts winding.

In addition to Brady, Rob Gronkowski will also be returning to Foxboro for the first time as a visiting player. Belichick and Gronk have played nice since Gronk left the Patriots (evidence here), but there is probably some tension there, too.

The Week 4 “Sunday Night Football” game will be must-see TV.

Could Matt Patricia succeed Bill Belichick as Patriots coach?

Matt Patricia

It’s long been assumed that Bill Belichick’s eventual successor as New England Patriots head coach is being groomed as part of the staff already. The latest speculation, however, centers on a name we haven’t heard before.

Boston Globe NFL writer Ben Volin suggested in an appearance on WEEI’s “The Ken and Curtis Show” that the Patriots may be grooming Patricia as Belichick’s heir apparent. Volin noted that Patricia’s signature has been on every contract the Patriots have agreed to this offseason, suggesting he has taken on many of the responsibilities of former director of player personnel Nick Caserio. Volin thinks this was notable because it suggests Belichick trusts Patricia to handle these contractual responsibilities despite Patricia not really operating in that area before.

“They had to choose one person, and they chose him,” Volin said. “It does seem like they are broadening his skill set, and it makes me wonder if they are setting him up to be the heir apparent to Belichick.”

It wasn’t a huge shock that Patricia rejoined the Patriots’ staff following his ill-fated tenure as head coach of the Lions. However, it’s been clear that Belichick is giving him significant responsibilities quite quickly. The Patriots might also believe that Patricia would have better luck coaching a team that’s already more accustomed to New England’s unique organizational culture.

Of course, there have been other names tossed around as potential successors to Belichick. Patricia’s name seems to be one to watch, though.

Patriots take Mac Jones in first round of NFL Draft as predicted

Mac Jones

Long before all the rumors that had Mac Jones going No. 3 overall to the San Francisco 49ers, he was tied to the New England Patriots. And now that fate has come true.

The Patriots did not trade up or down in the first round. Instead, they stayed put and waited for several quarterback to go ahead of them. Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson and Trey Lance went Nos. 1-3. The Chicago Bears traded up to take Justin Fields at No. 11. The Patriots waited for Jones to fall to them and took him when he was on the board.

Recall that veteran ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. had Jones going to New England at No. 15 in his original mock draft. Kiper further put the pressure on by comparing Jones to Tom Brady.

Patriots fans shouldn’t expect the next Tom Brady. Not only would that be unfair, but it would also be unrealistic.

Still, at least New England has a young quarterback to get excited about finally, and we’re not talking about Jarrett Stidham. Maybe Cam Newton and Jones will battle it out to see who starts at first. But New England would love to see Jones become their franchise QB.

Could Patriots acquire Jimmy Garoppolo without trade?

Bill Belichick

The New England Patriots have been consistently linked to Jimmy Garoppolo throughout the offseason, and many believe there is a chance they could trade for him at some point during the NFL Draft. Even if they don’t, Garoppolo may still wind up being their starting quarterback this season.

Greg A. Bedard of Boston Sports Journal does not think the Patriots will feel any sense of urgency to trade for Garoppolo even if they don’t land a quarterback in the draft. The way he sees it, New England can just wait patiently for the 49ers to “inevitably release Jimmy at some point.”

Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan seemed to confirm this week that Garoppolo has no future with the team. He said the decision to trade up to No. 3 in the draft stemmed from San Francisco needing a starting quarterback. He also gave a very interesting response when asked if he could guarantee Garoppolo will be on the roster after the draft.

Garoppolo is set to earn more than $24 million in base salary this season. The 49ers would absorb a dead cap hit of just $2.8 million if they release him. They intentionally structured Garoppolo’s contract that way and are now in position to take advantage of it.

The Patriots and other teams likely believe there is no way the Niners can keep Garoppolo at his current salary, especially if they plan to start their rookie quarterback right away. If teams believe Garoppolo is going to be released, that helps explain this report.

Could Patriots trade up to No. 4 to draft this QB?

Bill Belichick

If the New England Patriots are leaning toward taking a quarterback in this week’s NFL Draft, it certainly seems like they have one particular player at the top of their wish list.

Jeff Howe of The Athletic was the latest to report on Wednesday that the Patriots have explored potential scenarios that would allow them to move from their current pick at No. 15 into the top 10. The name to watch would be Justin Fields, as Howe says the Patriots think “highly enough” of the former Ohio State star that they have spoken with the Atlanta Falcons about the possibility of trading up to No. 4.

A move from No. 15 to No. 4 would be very expensive. The Patriots would most likely have to give up a future first-round pick to move up that many spots, and a trade like that would be out of character for Bill Belichick. That said, New England has never had a more desperate need for a quarterback in the more than two decades that Belichick has been with the team.

Several reports have claimed the Patriots are looking for ways to move into the top 10. They have also discussed a deal with at least one other team that would allow them to do that.

Belichick has already changed his approach this offseason from previous years. The Patriots spent a ton in free agency, which shows they’re feeling a sense of urgency to re-tool their offense and bounce back after a 7-9 season. Cam Newton may be better in his second season in New England, but he’s not a long-term solution for the team.

It’s tough to sift through smokescreens leading up to the draft, but this is far from the first rumor we have heard about Belichick’s high opinion of Fields.

Patriots have reportedly discussed draft day swap with this team

Bill Belichick

The New England Patriots are likely exploring all of their options heading into the NFL Draft, which is why there have been so many conflicting reports about whether they want to trade up, back or stay put. If they do decide to move up, they have apparently contacted at least one team to get a feel for what it would cost.

Albert Breer of The MMQB published his final mock draft on Tuesday, and he projected that the Patriots will remain at No. 15 and draft Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons. However, Breer noted that he could envision a scenario in which New England makes a trade with the Carolina Panthers to move up to No. 8 — especially if Justin Fields falls that far. Not only that, but the reporter says “some groundwork has been done on what a deal might look like.”

If that is accurate, it means the Patriots have discussed specifics of a trade with at least one team. They have likely contacted others as well.

No one seems to know the Patriots’ intentions, which is exactly how Bill Belichick wants it. ESPN’s Todd McShay said this week that he has heard New England is more likely to trade down than up. A separate report claimed the Pats are watching closely to see how far Fields falls and are prepared to move up.

Belichick added more intrigue to the situation with a quote he had about the Patriots’ draft plans, but the coach has been notoriously unpredictable on draft day.