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#pounditSunday, September 26, 2021

Articles tagged: New England Patriots

Eagles player savagely trolled Cam Newton during joint practice

Cam Newton

The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles have held joint practices this week ahead of their preseason game, and Cam Newton was on the receiving end of some serious smack talk during Tuesday’s session.

Eagles linebacker K’Von Wallace trolled Newton after the former MVP completed a couple of checkdown passes. Mike Kaye of NJ Advance Media says Wallace called Newton “checkdown king!” at one point as Newton threw to his running backs on consecutive plays.

Newton has had shoulder problems in the past and underwent surgery a little over two years ago. While he insisted that was not a factor in his poor 2021 season, there were times where he looked incapable of throwing the ball downfield. If that continues this season, he probably won’t keep his job for very long.

It hasn’t been all tension and smack talk between the Eagles and Patriots this week. For evidence of that, just look at the exchange Bill Belichick had with one Eagles player on Monday.

Cam Newton is back with the Patriots! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Cam Newton Patriots shirt. You can buy it here.

Cam Newton reveals what Bill Belichick has told him about starting job

Cam Newton

Bill Belichick hinted earlier in the offseason that Cam Newton is going to be the New England Patriots’ starting quarterback in Week 1, but he apparently has not shared that same message privately with Newton.

Newton told reporters on Monday that Belichick has not assured him he will be first on the depth chart heading into Week 1. The former MVP claims he knows no more about the situation than the media.

That is somewhat hard to believe. While Belichick probably hasn’t named Newton the starter behind closed doors, it’s safe to assume he has discussed the situation with the team at some point.

Mac Jones looked comfortable in last week’s preseason game against Washington. The rookie completed 13-of-19 passes for 87 yards and did not throw an interception. Newton didn’t play as much as Jones, which could be a good sign for the former. Cam did, however, share a cryptic Instagram post about loyalty after the game. He said Monday that the post had nothing to do with football.

Belichick labeled Newton his starting QB after the Patriots drafted Jones in the first round. The coach has since implied that there is an open competition.

Cam Newton is back with the Patriots! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Cam Newton Patriots shirt. You can buy it here.

Cam Newton has interesting Instagram post after first preseason game

Cam Newton

There has already been a lot of talk about Mac Jones beginning the season as the New England Patriots’ starting quarterback, and that narrative did not change after the team’s first preseason game. Cam Newton may have had a subtle response to all of that talk.

Newton played less than Jones in Thursday night’s win over the Washington Football Team. The former NFL MVP completed just 4-of-7 passes for 49 yards before being replaced by Jones late in the first quarter. On Friday, he shared some photos on Instagram with a caption (in his token font) that read, “I’m far from perfect … but loyalty, I deserve it.”

Jones looked comfortable in his first live NFL action. He completed 13-of-19 passes for 87 yards and did not throw an interception. His stat line would have been even better had Bill Belichick challenged an obvious bad call.

Newton is likely going to begin the season as the Patriots’ starter. However, there’s no question he’ll feel the pressure of Jones waiting to take over. If he plays as poorly as he did last season, it won’t be long before the rookie gets a shot — no matter what Newton says on social media.

Cam Newton is back with the Patriots! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Cam Newton Patriots shirt. You can buy it here.

Bill Belichick had great explanation for not challenging Mac Jones incompletion

Bill Belichick

Mac Jones looked sharp in his preseason debut with the New England Patriots on Thursday night, and his stat line could have been even better if not for a bad call. Bill Belichick had an opportunity to challenge the play, and you can probably guess what the coach’s explanation was for passing it up.

Jones had a 15-yard pass attempt to Jakobi Meyers in the first quarter that Meyers had to pick off the turf. It was ruled incomplete. Replays showed that Meyers got his left hand under the ball and kept it from hitting the ground. You can see the video below:

The incompletion came on 2nd-and-6. Jones completed a 7-yard pass on the next play for a first down, so it didn’t cost the Patriots much. When asked after the game why he didn’t challenge the ruling, Belichick said he simply didn’t feel like it.

That explanation would be a lot more infuriating for Patriots fans during the regular season. At the same time, it’s good to see Belichick already in midseason form with the media.

Jones completed 13-of-19 passes for 87 yards in his team’s 22-13 win. He looked comfortable in his first live NFL action. Belichick recently shared a small hint about New England’s QB situation, but Cam Newton is the favorite to start in Week 1. If Jones keeps playing like he did on Thursday, Newton will have to be at the top of his game to keep his job.

Why Patriots-Buccaneers may not be Tom Brady’s final game at Gillette Stadium

Tom Brady Bucs

This year’s regular season game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots is one of the most highly anticipated NFL contests of all time. Tom Brady is returning to Gillette Stadium for the first time as a visiting player, and the belief is that it will be his last. But what if it isn’t?

ESPN’s Mike Reiss shared an interesting observation on Sunday when discussing the 17th game that has been added to the NFL’s regular season schedule. The 17th game is a home game for the Patriots in 2023, and they will host the NFC South team that finishes in whatever place New England finishes in the AFC East that season. That means the Patriots could, in theory, host the Buccaneers again in two years.

Brady’s goal for a while has been to play until he is 45. He’ll turn 45 just before the start of next season, and his longtime trainer recently said he expects Brady to play through 2022 and potentially beyond. Depending on how things go the next two seasons, it is not unrealistic to think Brady might play in 2023.

If you have seen how much Patriots-Buccaneers tickets have been selling for, you know the the general consensus is that Brady’s trip to Gillette Stadium this season will be his last. It still might be even if he plays in 2023, but there is no guarantee.

The Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski Tampa party continues! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.

Cam Newton offers optimistic outlook for his 2021 season

Cam Newton

New England Patriots fans have very low expectations for Cam Newton heading into the season, which is understandable when you look at how the former MVP played in 2020. While Newton is not quite ready to tell people to get their popcorn ready, he seems like he expects much better results this year.

During an appearance on ESPN Radio’s “Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin Show” on Thursday morning, Newton spoke about what has changed for him between his first and second years in New England.

“I don’t want to get so caught up in promises and things like that, but I can guarantee you that there’s been a shift in comfort of knowing more,” Newton said, via ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “And I think that’s added value in itself.”

There were many, many factors working against Newton last season. He was signed late in the offseason, and there were a number of restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic. That limited the amount of time players were able to spend working out with their teammates. Newton then contracted COVID-19 during the season and was out for a while.

The Patriots also had arguably the worst collection of skill position players in the NFL last season. They have since added star tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry as well as wide receivers Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor.

While the new weapons should help, Newton clearly knows he will be under a microscope this year.

“I know who I am. At times, I do remind myself people forget who you are, and what you’ve done,” he said. “So now I’m a position now where I need to be my best self. It’s really put-up or shut-up time.”

The Patriots used the 15th overall pick in the draft on Mac Jones. Based on everything we have heard about the former Alabama star this offseason, Newton may need to play very well to keep his job. Bill Belichick has repeatedly said that Newton is the team’s starter, but there is virtually no chance it stays that way if the 32-year-old struggles the way he did in 2020.

Cam Newton is back with the Patriots! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Cam Newton Patriots shirt. You can buy it here.

Stephon Gilmore breaks silence on his contract holdout

Stephon Gilmore

Stephon Gilmore made it clear that he wants a new contract from the New England Patriots when he chose not to show up to minicamp, but the All-Pro cornerback has now removed all doubt.

Gilmore confirmed to NFL reporter Josina Anderson on Friday that he is seeking a new deal. He said he simply wants to be paid what he is worth and is hopeful he and the Patriots can work something out.

“I just want what I’m worth, however that plays out,” Gilmore said. “Every player should be paid what they’re worth. That’s just how it is. … Hopefully we can find some common ground and get it situated. I just know what I bring to the table and my style of play. Right now I’m just trying to focus on myself and make sure I’m good mentally and physically.”

A report earlier in the offseason claimed it was a foregone conclusion that Gilmore would be traded. That was before the Patriots went out and spent more during free agency than they ever have. Gilmore told Anderson he is not looking to be traded.

Gilmore suffered a quad injury last season, but he says his recovery is going well. Some of the reports we heard this week should make Patriots fans feel more optimistic about the situation, though it’s never a great sign when a player goes public with his frustrations.

Report: Stephon Gilmore, Patriots working toward contract extension

Stephon Gilmore

Stephon Gilmore has yet to report to the New England Patriots this offseason, but there seems to be plenty of optimism surrounding the situation.

Gilmore, who is set to make less than $8 million this season, wants a new contract. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said on “SportsCenter” Thursday that the Patriots are open to giving him one. The two sides are expected to sit down before training camp in hopes of working out an extension.

There was talk early in the offseason that the Patriots wanted to trade Gilmore, but that was before they went on a free agent spending spree. Now, the belief is that Bill Belichick is committed to contending in 2021, and it would be a lot tougher for New England to do that without Gilmore.

While Gilmore is coming off a significant quad injury, he’s still one of the best cornerbacks in football when healthy. At least one rival player has tried to recruit Gilmore, but all signs point to the Patriots doing what they can to keep him around.

Patriots not open to trading Stephon Gilmore?

Stephon Gilmore

Stephon Gilmore is seeking a new contract, and there has been talk that the New England Patriots may have to trade the All-Pro cornerback. They are hoping to avoid that outcome, however.

Gilmore held out of minicamp and likely will not report to training camp without a new deal. He is set to make a base salary of $7.9 million in 2021, which is well below market value for a top cornerback. Despite that, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe notes that the negotiations between Gilmore and the Patriots have not seemed tense. The reporter also does not believe the Patriots have interest in trading Gilmore.

As Volin notes, New England shelled out $175 million in contract guarantees this offseason. Bill Belichick obviously wants to field a playoff contender this year, and trading his best defensive player would create a huge hole in the roster. Even with Gilmore coming off a quad injury, his importance to the Patriots’ defense cannot be overstated.

A report earlier in the offseason claimed it was viewed as a foregone conclusion that the Patriots would trade Gilmore. That seems like a last resort at this point, though things could change if contract negotiations take an ugly turn.

Draft bust N’Keal Harry publicly requests trade from Patriots

N’Keal Harry is the latest in a long line of wide receivers who have struggled in the NFL after being drafted by the New England Patriots. Clearly, the former Arizona State star believes that is the team’s fault, not his.

Harry’s agent, Jamal Tooson, said in a statement on Tuesday that he has informed the Patriots his client wants a trade. Tooson pointed to the fact that Harry has drawn just 86 total targets in two seasons in New England since he was drafted 32nd overall in 2019. The agent said Harry “understands a key ingredient to production is opportunity.”

Here’s the full statement:

The Patriots signed two starting-caliber wide receivers this offseason in Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. They are almost certainly open to trading Harry, but they probably have not received an offer that they deem worthy.

Harry, who flashed serious playmaking ability at Arizona State, has 45 catches for 414 yards and just four touchdowns in two seasons with the Patriots. He has missed a total of 11 games.

Harry’s trainer previously pointed the finger at Cam Newton for Harry’s struggles last season. Now we have his agent blaming the Patriots for not giving Harry enough opportunities. It will be interesting to see if the 23-year-old can salvage his career elsewhere.