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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Articles tagged: New England Patriots

Oddsmakers set Patriots’ win total at lowest mark since 2003

Bill Belichick

The New England Patriots have arguably the greatest head coach in NFL history and are still expected to have a solid defense this season, but Las Vegas oddsmakers view them as a fringe playoff team without Tom Brady.

Caesars Sportsbook released NFL win totals for the 2020 season on Thursday, and New England’s total opened at 8.5. As ESPN’s Ben Fawkes notes, that is New England’s lowest gambling win total since 2003, when they were coming off a season in which they went 9-7 and missed the playoffs. Caesars head oddsmaker Jeff Davis told Fawkes he has very low expectations for the Patriots in their first season without Brady.

“My raw number on the Patriots is less than eight [wins],” Davis said. “Outside of the secondary, which is one of the best in the league, the rest of their roster I think is one of the worst in the NFL.”

Betting the over on the Patriots’ win total was almost been free money when Brady was the starting quarterback. They have gone 14-3-1 to the over against their win total since 2002, but they now have an uncertain QB situation and even less offensive weapons than they had last year.

Caesars also does not think the Patriots will win the AFC East, as the sportsbook has set the Buffalo Bills’ win total at 9 and has them as the favorites to win the division at +100.

“I’m very much struggling to find this team being a 10-win team,” Davis said of the Patriots. “I’m just not buying this team at all. This team will show just how good Belichick and his staff are, compared to some of the other staffs. This might be the year that reality sets in with New England.”

For what it’s worth, Caesars lists the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Brady’s new team — with a win total of 9.

Brady and Belichick are likely both excited to see what they can accomplish without the other. The Patriots went 11-5 in 2008 after Brady tore his ACL in the first game of the season, so many believe Belichick will still be able to coach them to the playoffs without the four-time Super Bowl MVP. Others think they are in serious trouble at the most important position on the field.

Bill Belichick dodges questions about Tom Brady: Patriots are ‘moving forward’

Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick is going to be peppered with questions about Tom Brady for the foreseeable future, but we already know the New England Patriots coach is going to avoid answering them at all costs. Less than a month after Brady officially signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, that trend has already begun.

Belichick spoke with reporters on a pre-draft conference call on Monday, and there were several questions about Brady. In response to one of them, Belichick said it is not possible to sum up everything Brady accomplished in New England over the past 20 years. The coach also said the Patriots are “moving forward.”

Belichick was then asked if he wanted Brady back. To no one’s surprise, he didn’t take the bait.

The Patriots appear to be headed for an open quarterback competition between Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer, though they could draft a QB or add another veteran at some point. Belichick would not shed much light on the QB situation, only saying that the team has a “pretty good feel” for both players and will give everyone a chance to compete.

There has been a lot of speculation that Brady’s decision to leave the Patriots stemmed from a rift with Belichick, but the four-time Super Bowl MVP dumped more cold water on that during his recent interview with Howard Stern. Belichick has always avoided speaking about players who are no longer with the Patriots, and he will do his best to treat the Brady departure no differently.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have teamed up yet again! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.

Report: Patriots ‘love’ Justin Herbert

Justin Herbert

It seems entirely plausible if not likely that the New England Patriots will take a quarterback at some point in the NFL Draft, but could they do it in the very first round?

One rival general manager told Peter King of Football Morning in America that the Patriots “love” Justin Herbert. It’s not clear, however, that they would be willing to trade up to get him, which they would likely have to do. Due to a lack of early picks in 2020, trading up for Herbert would likely cost New England a 2021 first-round selection at the very least.

The Patriots usually trade down in the draft, not up. They appear to have a fair amount of confidence in Jarrett Stidham as well. Even if the Patriots are infatuated with Herbert, this just doesn’t seem like a likely scenario.

What is clear is that the Patriots are at least looking at some high-end quarterbacks. Their first round selection will be intriguing.

Could Patriots have interest in kicker prospect Chase Vinatieri?

Bill Belichick

The New England Patriots are eyeing rookie kicker prospects, and one of the players they may check out has a very familiar last name.

With the Patriots having released Stephen Gostkowski earlier in the offseason, they are scouting rookie kickers aggressively. ESPN’s Mike Reiss believes Chase Vinatieri, the nephew of longtime Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri, might be one of the prospects that they scout.

Chase Vinatieri is a kicker from South Dakota State. He has worked with kicking coach Mike McCabe, who has some ties to the Patriots through his work with former New England punter Ryan Allen.

“From watching the draft the last few years, maybe one, two or three kickers get drafted, and so realistically, it’s more likely I’ll be an undrafted free agent,” Chase Vinatieri told Reiss. “I’m definitely OK if that’s what it is. I’m just looking for a team to give me an opportunity.”

ESPN’s Todd McShay lists Vinatieri as the fifth best kicker in the draft. It would be a very intriguing story, as his uncle is a future Hall of Famer and a key part of Patriots’ history.

Report: Patriots among teams interested in Jordan Love

Jordan Love is one of the more intriguing quarterback names in the NFL Draft, and it sounds like there is widespread interest in him as a potential first-round pick.

According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, at least six teams are at least somewhat looking into Love. That includes the New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, and Green Bay Packers, as well as possibly quarterback-needy teams such as the Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Chargers, and Washington Redskins.

Texas Tech coach Matt Wells, who coached Love at Utah State, said he has spoken to seven NFL head coaches this past week about the quarterback.

The Patriots’ potential interest is definitely worth watching. We know that they have an open roster spot and have been linked to other quarterbacks in the draft. Love would be a pretty big investment, so this definitely bears watching.

Report: Patriots did not know Tom Brady was leaving until night before

Tom Brady

Tom Brady made a number of interesting revelations during his interview with Howard Stern on Wednesday, and one of them was that he knew before the start of the 2019 season that he was likely entering his final year with the New England Patriots. Apparently the team found out much later.

Brady visited Robert Kraft at the Patriots owner’s home the night before Brady announced on Instagram that he is leaving the team. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the Patriots felt right up until that day that they had a chance to re-sign the four-time Super Bowl MVP.

“Based on the people I’ve spoken with, they were still holding out hope that Brady would say to them, ‘Yes, I want to stay in New England’ and engage in some sort of contract discussions — anything to give them an inkling that he still wanted to be there,” Rapoport said. “That’s what they were waiting for.”

Not long after Brady announced his decision, Rapoport reported that the 42-year-old wanted to leave and that the Patriots would have been willing to match the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offer. While the former may be true, the latter seems highly unlikely. Bill Belichick has been taking it year-to-year with Brady for two years now, so it would make no sense for the coach to give Brady a two-year, fully guaranteed deal when the quarterback was coming off a down year and will turn 43 in August.

Even though Brady chose to leave New England, that does not necessarily mean there are hard feelings. He also tried to set the record straight on his relationship with Belichick during the Stern interview.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have teamed up yet again! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.

Tom Brady thanks Patriots fans with emotional video

Tom Brady

Tom Brady has expressed excitement for the next chapter of his career in a number of different ways since he announced he is signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the six-time Super Bowl champion wants fans in New England to know they will always have a special place in his heart.

Brady penned a piece for The Players’ Tribune in which he wrote at length about how New England became his home but how excited he is to lead a new team. Not long after the piece was published on Monday, he thanked Patriots fans on social media and shared an emotional video.

There’s no reason Brady would ever hold any ill will toward Patriots fans. He will always be a legend in the New England area, and fans treated him like royalty for the better part of two decades. It’s possible Brady’s relationship with Bill Belichick got to a point where a divorce was necessary, but that has nothing to do with Pats fans.

As we mentioned before, we think Brady may have even intentionally chosen Tampa Bay to make sure he didn’t alienate many of his fans. With how important his TB12 brand is to him, that should not be all that hard to believe.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have teamed up yet again! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.