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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Articles tagged: New England Patriots

Is Deshaun Watson really a possibility for the Patriots in 2021?

Deshaun Watson

The New England Patriots may not be able to afford a star quarterback heading into next season, but their salary cap situation should be a lot more manageable in 2021. At that point, Bill Belichick will likely have the flexibility needed to pursue a top free agent. If the coach and GM decides to go that route, Deshaun Watson will be a name to watch.

Odds are offered for just about everything these days, and truthfully they don’t mean a whole lot. However, you may find it interesting that gambling website BetOnline.ag lists Watson as the favorite to be the starting QB for the Patriots in Week 1 of the 2021 season.

Watson is signed through next season but has a fifth-year team option for 2021. The Texans will almost certainly pick up the option, but that does not necessarily mean they will hang on to the former Clemson star.

There has been talk about Watson landing a massive contract extension this offseason, but he may be waiting for Patrick Mahomes to reset the market. It’s also unclear if the Houston Texans are willing to pay Watson more than $35 million per year, especially after they traded DeAndre Hopkins this offseason. Though, you could argue that trading Hopkins will make it easier for Houston to afford Watson.

The Patriots are likely going to head into 2020 with second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham and newly acquired veteran Brian Hoyer. Those two have the best chance of competing for the starting job, especially with New England having more than $20 million in dead salary cap money this year. If Stidham is unable to lock down the starting job by next offseason, Belichick will explore other options.

Texans head coach Bill O’Brien comes from the Belichick coaching tree, but the two may not currently be on the best terms. That could make any potential blockbuster trade between Houston and New England more complicated. The most likely scenario is that Watson will sign an extension with the Texans, but the thought of him being the next great Patriots quarterback is an exciting one for NFL fans.

Brian Hoyer signs with Patriots in free agency

Brian Hoyer

Brian Hoyer is, as many expected, returning to the New England Patriots.

Hoyer has signed with the Patriots a day after being released by the Indianapolis Colts. It will be his third stint with New England.

According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Hoyer is getting a one-year deal.

Bringing back Hoyer makes perfect sense for the Patriots. He’s deeply familiar with the system, having spent parts of five seasons as Tom Brady’s backup. Now that Brady is gone, he could theoretically back up second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham, or potentially even challenge for the starting role.

Stidham actually beat Hoyer out for the backup role in 2019. Now they may be fighting for the Patriots’ starting job.

Report: Tom Brady, Bill Belichick had ‘blowup’ over 2017 contract talks

Bill Belichick

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick had their fair share of issues over the years, but they managed to downplay almost all of them and continue winning championships no matter how hard the media tried to drive a wedge between them. When it came to Brady’s contract negotiations, however, it is clear the two have not been on the same page in a very long time.

ESPN’s Seth Wickersham published a lengthy piece about the divorce between Brady and the Patriots, and in it he discussed how the tension between coach and quarterback hit a boiling point in 2017. It was around that time that Brady began heavily promoting his TB12 brand, and that and the growing presence of Brady’s personal trainer Alex Guerrero was clearly a source of frustration for Belichick. However, Wickersham says Brady’s contract situation was always the biggest issue between Brady and Belichick.

Brady signed a series of short-term deals in his final years with the Patriots. When he was 39 in the fall of 2017, he made it clear he intended to play into his mid-40s and wanted an extension from the team that would allow him to finish his career in New England. Belichick refused to give him one, and Wickersham reports that Belichick and Brady had a “blowup” during a meeting to discuss the quarterback’s contract in late 2017.

Brady then met with Patriots owner Robert Kraft and is said to have received “mixed signals.” Not long after Brady’s meetings with Belichick and Kraft, team president Jonathan Kraft told the media Brady has “earned the right” to decide when he wants to leave New England. The implication seemed to be that Brady would leave when Brady was ready, but that’s not what happened.

Prior to the 2018 season, the Patriots added $5 million in incentives to Brady’s contract. He never reached the incentives and probably never wanted them. What he really wanted was a multi-year extension. When Belichick refused to give him one again last offseason, Brady had the Patriots give him assurances they would not franchise tag him. He also almost walked out of training camp because he was so disgusted with the situation.

Given everything we know, the report we heard about what the Patriots were willing to pay Brady for 2020 and beyond does not sound accurate. In the end, Belichick handled Brady the same way he would handle any other aging player with declining skills. Brady felt he earned the right to be treated differently, and you can certainly understand why. Belichick has never given any player preferential treatment in contract negotiations, and the way he the Brady situation unfolded proves The Hoodie never will.

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.

Patriots thank Tom Brady in classy Tampa Bay newspaper ad

Tom Brady

The Patriots have been expressing their gratitude toward Tom Brady in a number of different ways throughout the New England area, but they want the people of Tampa to know how much the six-time Super Bowl champion means to them as well.

On Sunday, the Patriots took out a full-page ad in the Tampa Bay Times to honor Brady. The ad referred to Brady as the GOAT and urged the quarterback’s new fans to “take care of him.”

Players and teams taking out full-page ads in their local newspaper is something we have seen countless times throughout the years, but that was a unique idea for Robert Kraft and the Patriots to also run one in a Tampa Bay paper.

The Patriots seem to be doing everything they can do convince their fans Brady wanted the divorce and not the other way around. Running classy newspaper ads is another way to gain fan favor, though that does not mean the gestures are disingenuous.

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 not currently considering Andy Dalton

It appears entirely plausible that the New England Patriots could stand pat and not bring in a veteran starter to replace Tom Brady.

The Patriots have been linked to Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, who is available via trade. However, according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, the team has not discussed Dalton as a potential option at this point.

Dalton is not currently a target, and neither is Jameis Winston. That essentially means the team is prepared to stick with Jarrett Stidham at quarterback. That could certainly change, but right now, the Patriots don’t seem eager to rush out and get a veteran quarterback.

Report: Patriots unlikely to pursue Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston

Now that teams more or less have their starting quarterbacks settled, a handful of guys are left looking for new homes and struggling to find them.

One of them is Jameis Winston, who won’t be back with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after they signed Tom Brady. Winston doesn’t really have any prospects as a starter right now.

The one team that is still being linked to potential starters is the New England Patriots. According to Michael Giardi of NFL Media, however, any pursuit of Winston by the Patriots is unlikely.

The Patriots value ball protection, and Winston’s 30 interceptions would not fly with them. He’s not a safe enough option. That means Winston is looking at a backup job, but it’s not even clear where that will end up being.

Tom Brady reportedly did not ask Patriots to match offer, wanted to leave

Tom Brady

The New England Patriots were reportedly willing to match the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offer to Tom Brady, but apparently the four-time Super Bowl MVP never gave them a chance.

Brady officially signed his contract with the Bucs on Friday, and the deal is reported to be worth $50 million guaranteed over two years. It also includes an additional $9 million in incentives, a no-trade clause and a guarantee that the team won’t franchise tag Brady when the deal expires. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the Patriots would have matched the contract. Brady never gave them a chance.

What exactly does that mean? It’s hard to say. On the surface, it looks like Brady never gave the Patriots a chance to match the offer because he had no interest in returning. However, keep in mind there was a report earlier in the week that the Pats did not make a tangible effort to bring Brady back.

We may never know if Brady actually wanted to return or if Bill Belichick genuinely wanted him back. Robert Kraft has certainly made it sound like he would have done what he could to keep Brady, and the Patriots owner even seemed to hint that issues between Belichick and Brady preceded the divorce.

Reports early on made it seem like the Patriots were willing to spend big to keep Brady, so perhaps they did not communicate that to Brady early enough. It’s possible Belichick tried to slow-play the negotiations and Brady felt he deserved better and decided he wanted a fresh start. Or, maybe he wanted a fresh start all along. The answer likely lies somewhere in between.

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.