New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Patriots Won’t Work With Another Team in a Joint Practice This Summer During the Preseason

Tom Brady and Vince Wilfork are walking to training camp practice today!
(Photo From Patriots.com)

Coming off a Super Bowl appearance in which they lost a tough game to the champion Philadelphia Eagles, the Patriots are still in the hunt to not only make it back to the big game, but this time get the job done again and win it.

Many betting sites predict that the Patriots will be back in the Super Bowl in February, but just like after any Super Bowl loss, the team is looking to do some tweaking to their summer schedule.

That schedule for the first time since 2012 will not include joint practices with another team in the league, something that the team has used to not only get the veterans ready, but also to take a long look at the young players and even the draft picks on the teams’ roster.

The typical routine for the Patriots in the summer is for them to work out with a team sometime between the first and second preseason game, but this year they have decided to go in another direction.

Oddly enough the teams’ second preseason game is a home game in Foxboro against the champion Eagles, and it might be that the team (knowing that the Eagles are a threat again to get to the big game) does not want to show Philly anything that they can use against them down the road should there be a Super Bowl rematch.

It is a stretch, but it is logical knowing that Bill Belichick never likes to show teams much of anything that even six months before the Super Bowl he doesn’t want any film floating around to a team they may face well down the road.

The Patriots first preseason game is another home game, this time against the Washington Redskins, another NFC East team, but one that is not expected to be anywhere near as much of a contender as the Eagles are in 2018.

One interesting note about when that Pats work with a team is that every time they have met another team in camp since 2010, they’ve later taken a chance on an opposing player they saw during those practices.

That chance to scout other teams won’t happen in 2018, but in the mind of Belichick and the coaching staff, it might mean more to work with their own team than with another.

Free Agent Wide Out Eric Decker Thinks He’d Be a Good Fit with the Patriots

Free Agent wide receiver Eric Decker in an appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio that he thinks he would be a good fit in New England. Decker added that he wanted to go to a team that has a chance to win a championship.

“I think the Patriots would be a good fit and being drafted by Josh McDaniels in Denver,” Decker said. “I talked with New England last year during the free agency process in June. That is always an option that I would definitely love to entertain.”

Rob Gronkowski Says He and Bill Belichick Are All Good; Wants a New Deal

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski maintains he is still on good terms with the team and coach Bill Belichick, Rachel Bowers of the Boston Globe reports.

The All-Pro was present for Day 1 of New England’s mandatory minicamp, taking his usual place with the starting offense and getting his usual number of reps.

Gronkowski also seemed to have a lot of fun, galloping into the end zone for a few long touchdowns and playfully taunting some teammates and coaches.

“Whenever I step on the field for the first time, you get those jitters,” he said. “It just felt good to be back out there, get some rust off, see what I got to work on, what I can improve, what my strengths are to make them stronger. It was just good to be out there competing.”

After practice, Gronkowski told reporters that he is “trying to’’ get a new contract. He is set to be the fourth-highest-paid tight end for 2018 at $8.75 million, behind Jimmy Graham ($13 million), Greg Olsen ($12.35 million), and Trey Burton ($11.3 million). Jordan Reed, Travis Kelce, and Zach Ertz are also making in the $8 million range.

Rob Gronkowski Says He’s Not at Patriots Minicamp to ‘Take Care of My Body’

Rob Gronkowski made an energetic return for the first practice of the Patriots’ mandatory minicamp Tuesday, and then explained that he didn’t attend seven weeks of voluntary workouts because he believed training on his own was the best decision for him, Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston reports.

“I wanted to take care of my body, take care of myself and see where I was at before I came out here. I think it was a good decision,” he said. “I was having all different thoughts — see if I really wanted to go through it again.

“I feel like I’m just going to do what’s best for myself and take care of myself, because if I can’t take care of myself, I can’t take care of anyone else and help out the team.”

Gronkowski, who at one point let out a loud yell of excitement after catching a pass from backup quarterback Brian Hoyer against double coverage, acknowledged the approach was different for him as he enters his ninth NFL season.

“But coming back, definitely the same. I felt like I was never gone,” he relayed, adding that he initially had some “jitters” at the start of practice.

“It just felt really good to be back out on the field, and that’s what matters most,” he said. “I enjoyed it a lot today. I love playing the game of football. The game of football is fun when you’re feeling good. If you’re not feeling good, myself, I’ve asked many other players, you really don’t like the game of football. But if you’re feeling good, your body feels good, your mind feels good, the joy of playing the game of football is off the charts. At the same time, if you’re not feeling good, it can be awful.

“I just want to be feeling good, keep my mind clear, and keep playing the game and enjoy it.”

Patriots QB Tom Brady Not at the Start of the Teams’ OTA Practices

It’s not been an easy offseason for the Patriots, with losing to the Eagles in the Super Bowl and all the offseason drama that people seem to think exists, the news about quarterback Tom Brady not being at the opening of the Patriots’ organized team activities Monday was just more fuel for the fire of those that want to bring the empire down.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday morning the news about Brady not being present, though for now 4NJBets still has New England listed as the AFC favorite to get to the Super Bowl in February of 2019.

Brady regularly has participated in the Patriots’ voluntary OTAs in the past. He has skipped all of the team’s offseason program so far this season.

In the past the Patriots future Hall of Fame quarterback had stated that his decision to miss earlier portions of the offseason program as being based on family while also helping him be “really rejuvenated” for the 2018 season.

Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels noted May 11 that he would like all players at the workouts but understood the quarterback’s decision, for now.

Brady is making plenty of people nervous about the overall direction of the team, with the drama last year regarding the teams’ decision to stop his trainer from helping out the franchise, to now him not being at camp, there’s plenty of reasons to be nervous with the overall direction the team is taking this offseason.

Rapoport along with fellow NFL Network insider Mike Garafolo pointed out on April 18 that Brady is looking to get more more mega deal with the franchise, despite having two years remaining on his current deal and is currently scheduled to earn a base salary of $14 million in 2018.

At some point it sounds more and more like Robert Kraft, Patriots owner, is going to have to decide the fate of the team with Brady being at the head, or coach Bill Belichick.

Expect more drama this summer with the Pats, and this latest Brady news should have more people on alert as to what’s next for New England.

Patriots Dump 2017 Third Round Pick OL Antonio Garcia

The Patriots have released offensive tackle Antonio Garcia according to Mike Reiss of ESPN, quickly cutting ties with their third-round draft pick of a season ago.

It is a shocking move considering the team traded up to nab Garcia in the third round out of Troy just one year ago.

Garcia missed his entire rookie season while battling blood clots in his lungs but had been declared fully healthy and cleared to play in late March. Just a week ago the Patriots were talking about the 24-year-old as a legitimate option to replace Nate Solder at left tackle. Garcia did lose 40 pounds during his medical ordeal so conditioning may have been an issue.

Apparently the Patriots lost patience but, given his talent, it will likely not take Garcia long to resurface in the NFL.

Patriots Not Expected to Pick Up Options on CB Malcom Brown or DT Danny Shelton

The Patriots are not planning to pick up the fifth-year option in Malcom Brown’s contract, Kevin Duffy of Masslive reports.

Brown was eligible for the fifth-year option because he was a first-round pick in 2015.

If the Patriots had picked up the option, they would have owed him $7.15 million for the 2019 season, per Miguel Benzan of Boston Sports Journal.

Brown, who was the No. 32 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, enters the final year of his rookie deal this season.

He has started 37 games in three seasons for the Pats.

Additionally, the Patriots are not planning to pick up the option on Danny Shelton’s contract, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

Shelton, who was acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Browns earlier this offseason, will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

Tom Brady Says He Wished Malcolm Butler Would Have Played in Super Bowl LII

Malcolm Butler going through drills.
(Photo By: David Silverman)

Most of New England has moved past Super Bowl LII, but the Malcolm Butler benching was broached on Monday during Tom Brady’s hour-long interview with Jim Gray, Kevin Duffy of Masslive reports.

Speaking at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Santa Monic, Calif., Brady said he wished Butler had played in Super Bowl LII.

Curiously, Brady also said he wasn’t aware that Butler had been benched until the game was over.

“I’ll say this: For a team, this side of the room is the offense and this side is the defense,” Brady said. “We don’t interfere with them much. I didn’t know. Malcolm kept coming over to me during the game and was like ‘Come on, TB, let’s go!’ And I kept going, ‘What defense are we in where Malcolm’s not on the field?’ Is it short-yardage, goal line? And then after the game, I found out. So I just didn’t know. And I asked Malcolm and Malcolm said, ‘I don’t know. Coach has just decided something different.’ I said, ‘OK.’ So I don’t know what was a part of that decision-making, but I know we were trying to win the game. I don’t think we were trying to do anything but win.”

“Well, I don’t make those decisions. I wish he would’ve played, but the coach didn’t play him and we still had a chance to win,” Brady said,.