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#pounditSaturday, May 15, 2021

Articles tagged: New England Patriots

Patriots reportedly have this QB at top of their wish list

Bill Belichick

The New England Patriots are facing an uncertain quarterback situation for the second consecutive offseason, but they reportedly have a Plan A in place. The question is whether or not they will be able to execute it.

According to Greg A. Bedard of Boston Sports Journal, the ideal scenario for the Patriots this offseason would be to trade for Jimmy Garoppolo. The San Francisco 49ers would have to acquire another quarterback before they’d consider dealing Garoppolo, and they may be in the process of trying to do that.

The Niners have reportedly spoken with the Carolina Panthers about a potential trade for Teddy Bridgewater. As Bedard notes, Bridgewater is due to make $37 million in base salary over the next two seasons. The 49ers may feel they can get him for a reasonable price due to his contract and then flip Garoppolo for a high draft pick.

That is where the Patriots could come in. Bedard is confident that acquiring Garoppolo is still “far away their plan” and they would likely be willing to give up a second-round pick to bring him back. If Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch feel Bridgewater is an upgrade over Garoppolo or, at the very least, a lateral move, they may be inspired to make a deal.

Lynch recently threw public support behind Garoppolo, but we know how quickly things can change. A recent report claimed the 49ers would only consider trading Garoppolo for one specific quarterback, but the Bridgewater rumors may be a sign that the situation is not that simple.

Patriots planning to trade Stephon Gilmore?

Stephon Gilmore

The New England Patriots are currently in a great position with more than $60 million in salary cap space, and they could free up even more money if they trade All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore. According to one report, that is likely to happen.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports wrote in his insider notes column this week that most general managers around the NFL believe it is a “foregone conclusion” that Gilmore will be traded. Gilmore is entering the final year of his contract with the Patriots, and the two sides have not discussed an extension.

Gilmore, who was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2019, has a cap hit of $15 million next season. While the 30-year-old is still one of the best cover corners in football, the Patriots are looking to rebuild in many areas.

We wouldn’t be surprised if we hear from Gilmore’s wife about the trade rumors, but they make sense.

Cam Newton could return to Patriots in 2021?

Cam Newton

Amid all the chatter about the New England Patriots’ quarterback position, some may be overlooking the guy who was there for them in 2020.

Sources told Ben Volin of the Boston Globe that Patriots coach Bill Belichick has “done nothing but rave” about Cam Newton and the effort the quarterback put in during the 2020 season. The same sources added that it would not surprise them if the Patriots brought Newton back for 2021.

This is slightly surprising considering how much Newton struggled with the Patriots in 2020. The 31-year-old threw for only 2,657 yards and eight touchdowns against ten interceptions in 15 games, and the Patriots went 7-8 with him starting under center. Newton thinks he knows why he was so mediocre, though, so perhaps a second year with New England would solve some of these problems.

Others have a very different view of how the Patriots’ 2021 quarterback situation will develop. If Belichick really likes Newton this much, though, the chances of a return may be better than previously thought.

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

Oddsmakers have interesting prediction about Patriots’ QB situation

Bill Belichick

The New England Patriots seem to have no idea who their starting quarterback will be in 2021, but that has not stopped oddsmakers from speculating. Interestingly enough, some of them feel the most likely option to start for the Patriots in Week 1 is currently on another team’s roster. released some odds on Wednesday for who will take the first snap of the 2021 season for the Patriots. Marcus Mariota is listed as the favorite at 5:2. Jacoby Brissett is a close second at 7:2 followed by Jarrett Stidham at 4:1 and Cam Newton at 5:1.

Here’s the full list:

Mariota has been mentioned in trade talks for a few weeks now. He has a salary cap hit of more than $10 million for next season, and all indications are that the Las Vegas Raiders are committed to Derek Carr. That is a lot of money to pay a backup quarterback, so the Raiders may be willing to trade Mariota.

The Patriots will almost certainly draft a quarterback, but they currently have the 15th overall pick. It’s unlikely that any QB they would select at that spot would be ready to start in Week 1.

Bill Belichick seems determined to not overpay for a quarterback, and some believe he is waiting for the market to regulate itself a bit before pulling off a trade. Mariota could be a potential target, or they may decide to go with something more familiar.

Here is why Cam Newton could return to Patriots in 2021

Cam Newton

It has been both reported and widely assumed that Cam Newton will not return to the New England Patriots next season. But now that it suddenly seems like the Pats could have trouble attracting free agents, is there a scenario where Bill Belichick could give Newton another shot?

Michael Giardi of NFL Network was asked on Monday if the Patriots will consider bringing Newton back, and the reporter said he would not rule it out. The rationale is that New England did not sign Newton until June last year, which gave him minimal time to learn a complicated offense while juggling coronavirus restrictions. Giardi also noted how few weapons the Patriots gave Newton to work with, especially after Julian Edelman went down with an injury.

“Maybe if they look back on what they did this past season, they’ll decide, ‘We didn’t do enough for Cam to make Cam as comfortable as possible in this offense,'” Giardi said.

There’s no denying that the Patriots put Newton in a tough position. Very few quarterbacks would thrive with Jakobi Meyers as their top wide receiver and no legitimate pass-catching option at the tight end position. That said, a poor supporting cast wasn’t Newton’s only issue.

Newton finished the season with 2,657 yards, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He even looked physically limited at times, which is concerning given his history with shoulder problems.

We have heard reports that make it seem like the Patriots could have trouble trading for a starting quarterback or attracting free agents. If their only option is to draft a QB, perhaps they will bring back Newton for another season and see if he can improve in a bridge role.

Matthew Stafford responds to rumor about avoiding Patriots

Matthew Stafford

Did Matthew Stafford really ask the Detroit Lions to avoid trading him to the New England Patriots? He’s not confirming it, but he’s not denying it either.

Stafford sat down for a lengthy interview with Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press after the quarterback was traded to the Los Angeles Rams. Stafford was asked directly about rumors that he specifically asked not to be traded to the Patriots, and he had an interesting response.

“Well, what’s accurate is — and this is an incredible thing by (the Lions) — I asked to go to a team that was ready to win a championship,” Stafford said. “And, you know, there were a few teams on that list. There were a few teams that were not on that list. And they were respectful of that and understood completely. I had thoughts and reasons for each one of them.”

Reports indicated that Stafford was very adamant about not wanting to wind up in New England. If true, it certainly speaks to how at least one player views that organization quite differently than the days where veteran players would go out of their way to land there and buy in with the knowledge they stood a good chance at winning a title. Stafford appears very happy to be with the Rams, but this might not sit well with Patriots fans.

Photo: A Healthier Michigan/Flickr via cc-by-sa 2.0

Patriots go viral for tweets about Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski after Super Bowl

Robert Kraft

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski both left the New England Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and they won the Super Bowl in their first year with their new team. Many were wondering how those associated with the Pats would feel about the outcome. We at least have somewhat of an answer.

The Patriots’ Twitter account wasted no time sending tweets about Brady and Gronk after the game. They congratulated Brady on the win by calling him the greatest of all time.

They also made an appropriate Gronk joke.

Gronk has a bit of a history with damaging trophies. When the Boston Red Sox hosted the Patriots to celebrate their Super Bowl win back in 2019, Gronkowski used one of New England’s six Lombardi trophies to bunt a baseball. He left a dent in the hardware.

We already knew that Patriots owner Robert Kraft was cheering for Brady. The person whose reaction we most want to know about is Bill Belichick’s.

That was classy of the Pats to congratulate both Gronk and Brady and to recognize them.

Bruce Arians hints Patriots were misusing Tom Brady

Bruce Arians

Bruce Arians has earned the right to brag a bit now that he has led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Super Bowl, and he continues to stop just short of criticizing the New England Patriots for the way they handled Tom Brady last season.

Arians spoke about Brady’s arm strength during an appearance on the “Tiki and Tierney” show on CBS Radio on Monday. He said the Bucs studied film on Brady and didn’t feel he lost any zip on his throws. Arians believes some of that talk may have come from New England’s refusal to throw the ball outside the numbers.

“Everybody talked about his arm. We studied that tape pretty good and we didn’t see any downfall in his arm,” Arians said. “They just quit throwing it outside. Now, whether they didn’t believe his arm was good, I don’t know, but when we got him he could make every throw.”

Of course, Brady had far fewer offensive weapons last season. You can blame the Patriots for not giving him a better group of receivers, but they really didn’t have the option of throwing outside. Brady’s best target was Julian Edelman, and he’s hardly an outside threat.

If the Patriots had Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Rob Gronkowski, they would have thrown outside a lot more in 2019. That doesn’t mean they felt Brady’s arm was shot.

This isn’t the first time Arians has hinted that he believes he’s doing a better job with Brady this season than the Patriots did a year ago. He’s earned the right to feel that way, at least for now.

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.

Danny Amendola takes shot at Bill Belichick over ‘Patriot Way’

Bill Belichick

Now that Tom Brady has led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Super Bowl, many people feel he has already proven he was more important to the New England Patriots’ dynasty than Bill Belichick. Danny Amendola certainly feels the six titles his former team has won have a lot more to do with the quarterback than the head coach.

During an appearance on FS1’s “First Things First” on Monday, Amendola was asked if he believes it will be hard for Belichick to get new players to buy in without Brady in New England. The Detroit Lions receiver made it clear he believes Brady made the “Patriot Way” what it is, not Belichick.

“Well first thing’s first, when you see ‘Patriot Way’ in the dictionary, it’s gonna have Tom Brady’s name next to it,” Amendola said. “None of those coaches threw any passes. None of those coaches caught any passes. None of those coaches made any tackles. They got guys in the right position because they watched a lot of film and spent a lot of time at the facility, but Tom Brady is the Patriot Way. That’s the reason why Tom Brady is in the Super Bowl right now and the Patriots aren’t.”

The Brady vs. Belichick debate is pretty useless. The duo won six — that’s right, SIX — Super Bowls together in New England. It’s true that NFL teams are only as good as their quarterbacks, but you need a great coach and a great QB to win that many titles. Even if Brady goes on to win a Super Bowl with the Bucs, that hardly means he would have won six without Belichick in New England.

Of course, Amendola has never seemed like the biggest Belichick fan. We knew that based on the remarks he made about one of Belichick’s most controversial coaching decisions.

Belichick should have several more years to prove he can win without Brady, but there’s no denying that Brady has drastically improved his legacy in his first season away from New England.

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.

Matthew Stafford was open to playing for any team except this one?

Matthew Stafford

The New England Patriots were considered one of the top suitors for Matthew Stafford before the veteran quarterback was traded to the Detroit Lions. While they may have had interest, the interest was apparently not mutual.

According to Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston, Stafford informed the Lions that he was open to playing for any team except the Patriots. Stafford reportedly had no interest in following in Tom Brady’s footsteps after Cam Newton failed so miserably in New England this past season.

The Patriots have nearly $60 million in salary cap space, which is one of the reasons they were considered a front-runner for Stafford.

You can understand why Stafford did not want to play in New England. For starters, he has played in a dome throughout his career and may not want to endure the harsh winters in Massachusetts. The Patriots also have almost no offensive weapons aside from an aging Julian Edelman.

Curran speculates that Stafford may have no interest in assimilating to Bill Belichick’s strict culture at this point in his career. Former Lions head coach Matt Patricia is also returning to the Patriots as an assistant coach after his failed stint in Detroit.

While it makes sense that Stafford would prefer other teams over the Patriots, his insistence on not playing in New England says a lot about the current state of the team. The Pats are no longer a perennial Super Bowl contender without Brady. Remarks like the ones Rob Gronkowski recently made about his new team (see them here) probably aren’t helping Belichick, either.

Photo: A Healthier Michigan/Flickr via cc-by-sa 2.0