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Friday, June 5, 2020

Articles tagged: New England Patriots

Patrick Chung agrees to two-year extension with Patriots

Patrick Chung

The New England Patriots may have to heavily rely on their defense for the next few years with Tom Brady gone, and they will now have a key member of that unit under contract for at least four more seasons.

The Patriots have agreed to a two-year extension with safety Patrick Chung, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

Chung’s base salary was scheduled to be $2.9 million this season and $1.9 million in 2021, so the Patriots gave him a raise while likely freeing up some salary cap space.

The Patriots drafted Chung with the 34th overall pick in 2009. He spent the first four years of his career in New England before playing for the Philadelphia Eagles for one season in 2013, and he has been back with the Patriots since. The safety has been a Bill Belichick favorite despite some recent off-field issues he had.

Tom Brady checked out of Patriots’ offense after 2018 loss to Steelers?

Tom Brady

There are a number of reasons why Tom Brady ended up leaving New England this offseason, and both sides are to blame for different issues. Brady probably wanted more love and respect shown by the Patriots and didn’t get the contract offer he sought. The Patriots always gave Brady less than his market value in order to win, didn’t give him great weapons, and probably low-balled him to start their contract negotiations.

Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard wrote a recent article on Brady’s departure from the Patriots, comparing it to how many other great quarterbacks left their teams.

In the article, Bedard says Brady was intent on making sure he orchestrated his separation from the Patriots rather than letting Bill Belichick dictate it. Bedard also said that Brady “largely checked out in 2018 after the loss to Pittsburgh and hated how the offense pivoted to a more run-based attack.”

That infamous loss to the Steelers came after a loss to the Dolphins on a miracle play the previous week. The game effectively ended after Brady threw four straight incompletions in Steelers territory down 17-10. Three of the incompletions were intended for Rob Gronkowski.

The Patriots ended up winning the Super Bowl, but Brady was hearing it from the doubters then. He only threw for two touchdowns and three interceptions in the three playoff wins.

There has also been some recent talk that Brady had issues with Josh McDaniels, though Brady disputed that.

Brady probably had been thinking about his exit as he got later and later in his Patriots career. His camp even made it public last year that the quarterback wasn’t set on returning to 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.

H/T Barstool Sports

Former Patriots executive does not rule out team signing Cam Newton

Cam Newton tie

The New England Patriots have repeatedly been linked to Cam Newton since he was released by the Carolina Panthers, and one Bill Belichick confidant is not ready to rule out the possibility of the Pats signing the former NFL MVP.

Michael Lombardi, who served as an assistant to the coaching staff with New England from 2014-2016, told WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni and Fauria Show” on Thursday that he still believes there is a possibility the Patriots will sign Newton. While Lombardi thinks the Patriots like what they have in Jarrett Stidham, he said Belichick is always looking to acquire talent at a discount.

“I think if there has been one player hurt by the coronavirus in terms of being able to get in front of people — to be able to take a comprehensive physical not only on his shoulder, but on his foot to really understand where he is medically — it’s been Cam Newton,” Lombardi said. “If you just understand Coach Belichick … he loves to play the market like Warren Buffett does, ‘I am going to buy low and sell high.’ This is a blue-chip, MVP player who is out there at a position that there is a degree of uncertainty.”

The Patriots have barely any salary cap space, which is something Lombardi alluded to. However, $14.7 million of the cap is currently dedicated to offensive lineman Joe Thuney, whom the Patriots franchise tagged earlier this offseason. If New England signs Thuney to an extension or trades him, that could open up a significant chunk of money.

“You’re talking about a team that has always, always, and this has been Belichick’s mantra forever, is always looking for ways to improve the team, not necessarily on draft day, but 365 days a year,” Lombardi said. “Until they can get a medical, until they can get an understanding of where he is, I don’t think you can rule him out.”

Lombardi is obviously a lot more familiar with Belichick’s thinking than the average person. Not only did he work with Belichick for several years, but Lombardi’s son Mick is also currently a wide receivers coach with the Patriots.

The Patriots seem content to move forward with second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham as their starter, though that may have more to do with finances and a shortened offseason than anything. Belichick hinted recently that the team could add another quarterback, and there is reason to believe Newton’s expectations for the 2020 season are changing. He’d surely welcome the opportunity to play for the Pats and prove the doubters wrong.

Report: Tom Brady’s relationship with Josh McDaniels was factor in Patriots divorce

Josh McDaniels

Tom Brady decided to leave the Patriots to sign with the Buccaneers for a number of different reasons, but the most popular theory is that he could no longer coexist with Bill Belichick. While that may have been true, there was apparently another prominent member of New England’s coaching staff that Brady grew tired of.

Brady’s relationship with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels also deteriorated through the years, according to NFL reporter Gary Myers. Myers cites an “excellent source” who says Brady had become worn out by McDaniels and wanted more input into the game plan.

Brady never had anything but positive thoughts to share about McDaniels publicly. The two had some ugly sideline confrontations over the years, but they always laughed it off afterword and said it was simply their competitive personalities showing through. Perhaps there was more to it than that.

Brady has tried to set the record straight on his perceived relationship with Belichick, and he would likely say the same about working with McDaniels. In reality, there was no one thing that led to Brady’s departure from New England. After 20 years together, it may simply have been the best thing for both sides.

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.

NFL says Tom Brady-Buccaneers schedule quirk is ‘coincidence’

Some were quick to notice an unusual quirk in the 2020 NFL schedule. Tom Brady’s new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, don’t play at the same time as his old team, the New England Patriots, until Week 15. Conspiracy theorists wondered if that was a subtle move from the NFL that would allow Patriots fans to follow their former quarterback without missing any of their team’s games.

Not so, according to NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy. The scheduling quirk is a total coincidence.

“Putting together the 256-game schedule is very complex — it’s a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma,” McCarthy said, via Mike Reiss of ESPN. “The minimal conflicts here are coincidental.”

McCarthy is probably right. A big reason why this is the case is that both teams have five primetime games. That’s ten weeks in which it is impossible for both teams to play at the same time.

Even if this was intentional, there are reasons that Patriots fans should probably be more concerned about their own team than anything Brady is up to in 2020.

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 could have interest in Cam Newton under these circumstances

Cam Newton tie

The New England Patriots have been frequently mentioned as a potential fit for Cam Newton, but multiple reports have said they have no interest in the former NFL MVP. Should the team’s financial situation change in the coming weeks, however, things might get a bit more interesting.

One of the reasons that has been listed for the Patriots’ lack of interest in Newton is that offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who was linked to the Carolina Panthers head coaching job earlier this offseason, is not all that high on Cam. Greg Bedard of Boston Sports Journal wrote on Sunday that McDaniels hasn’t really formed an opinion on Newton, and the coach never actually met with the Panthers to have an opportunity to express any negative thoughts about the 30-year-old.

As Bedard sees it, Bill Belichick’s interest in Newton is linked to the Patriots’ salary cap situation. The team had less than $1 million in cap space as of Sunday, which leaves no room to sign a player like Newton. However, $14.7 million of the cap is currently dedicated to offensive lineman Joe Thuney, whom the Patriots franchise tagged earlier this offseason. If New England signs Thuney to an extension or trades him, that could open up a significant chunk of money. Should that happen, Belichick might circle back on Newton.

The Patriots seem content to move forward with second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham as their starter, though that may have more to do with finances and a shortened offseason than anything. Belichick hinted recently that the team could add another quarterback, and there is reason to believe Newton’s expectations for the 2020 season are changing. He’d surely welcome the opportunity to play for the Pats and prove the doubters wrong.

Bill Belichick hints Patriots could add another quarterback

Bill Belichick

Are the New England Patriots done adding quarterbacks this offseason? That’s been a huge question from fans since the team lost Tom Brady. And while the Patriots have added some quarterbacks to their depth chart, Bill Belichick seemed to indicate they might not be done at the position.

Appearing on NFL Network’s 2020 schedule release show Thursday, Belichick left open the possibility for the team to add another QB.

“That’s where we are. You never know what’s going to happen down the road. We feel like we have four good players there. We added Brian (Lewerke) and J’Mar (Smith) to (Brian) Hoyer and (Jarrett) Stidham. Like to work with all of those guys and see how it goes,” Belichick said.

Hoyer has had two previous stints in New England, making him an option that makes sense as their backup. Stidham seems lined up to start for them, and Belichick likes the progress the former Auburn quarterback has made.

“He worked hard last season and made a lot of progress in terms of understanding our offense and understanding opponent defenses,” Belichick said of what Stidham has done this offseason.

Still, there is one free agent quarterback available that many think could be a possibility for them.