New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

USA Today Picks the Patriots to Go Perfect in the Regular Season

NFL training camps are set to get underway, and with it national publications are starting to make their picks – with one giving the Patriots a LOT of love.

USA Today has the Patriots running the table, much like they did in the 2007 season, going 16-0 in the regular season. Here’s what they had to say about the Pats:

New England Patriots (16-0): Is it bold? Sure. Kinda. But it’s not like Tom Brady hasn’t gone 16-0 before … (and, really, wouldn’t he and Bill Belichick secretly love to add 19-0 to their otherwise incomparable resumes?). And from the FWIW department, Brady went 14-1 last season and appears to be surrounded by an even better cast now, especially if Rob Gronkowski is, in fact, back to 100%. The division should be a cakewalk, and even one of New England’s toughest road games — against the Raiders — will be at a neutral site (Mexico City). The most difficult stretch comes from Weeks 13-15, when the Pats play at Buffalo, at Miami (where they typically struggle) and at Pittsburgh for a Monday nighter Dec. 17.

Sure the Pats would love to get a chance to duplicate history like they did in 2007, but more importantly the defending Super Bowl champs don’t want a repeat of what happened in 07 after they ran the regular season table – that being a Super Bowl loss.

Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Says the NFL Future is in Livestreaming Games

Patriots owner Robert Kraft said the future of NFL broadcasts is in “over the top” deals like the livestreaming agreement the NFL signed with Amazon this spring, Claire Atkinson of the New York Post reports.

Amazon will charge advertisers $2.8 million for an “OTT” ad package around its 10 Thursday night games, Reuters revealed on Thursday. Amazon paid $50 million for the non-exclusive rights to NFL games starting this season, nudging aside Twitter, which had paid $10 million to stream Thursday night NFL games last season.

“There has been a dramatic shift,” Kraft said at Cannes Lions, speaking as part of an interview with WPP Group CEO Martin Sorrell. “This year we’re with Amazon and for us the future is OTT.”

Kraft continued: “We’ll be very interested to see how Amazon goes as it’s behind the paywall. The thing we have to be careful of is millennials. They don’t watch TV, they don’t have TVs or subscribe to cable. So we have to bring that audience in. Partly it’s done through fantasy games and linking to that. Over-the-top is a great opportunity.”

Amazon will air the games to members of its $99-a-year subscription service, Amazon Prime Video.

Patriots Agree to Terms with Veteran Wide Out Andrew Hawkins

Already loaded at the wide receiver position, the New England Patriots added another layer Wednesday by agreeing to a one-year deal with Andrew Hawkins, Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston reports.

Hawkins confirmed the deal on Uninterrupted, the network developed by LeBron James and his business partner Maverick Carter, saying, “I’m super excited about the opportunity to join the reigning football champions.

I exited Cleveland, and I said it was about joining a contender and the Patriots are the contender, the reigning champs. The program is top-notch and you get the opportunity to play with the best quarterback and the best coach in NFL history.”

Hawkins added that he passed up on deals that “were probably double the compensation” with other teams.

“It’s all about winning for me at this point, and putting myself in the best position to do so. I have my work cut out for me, it’s an opportunity, and that’s how I’m approaching it: Go in there, seeing how I stack up with the best, and try to earn my keep and prove my worth. Hopefully I can be a part of something special and kind of join that Patriots legacy.”

Tom Brady’s Wife Gisele Bundchen Says Patriots QB Suffered a Concussion Last Season

Tom Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen, says the New England Patriots quarterback has a history of concussions, including one suffered last year ESPN reports.

“He had a concussion last year. He has concussions pretty much every — I mean, we don’t talk about it. He does have concussions,” Bundchen said on “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday. “I don’t really think it’s a healthy thing for a body to go through that kind of aggression all the time. That could not be healthy for you.”

Bundchen was responding to a question about comments Brady has made that she wanted him to retire. She did not specify when Brady suffered a concussion or whether it was medically diagnosed and was not asked a follow-up question.

The Patriots did not list Brady as having a concussion at any point in the 2016 season, and no concussion or head injury is listed for Brady in his professional career, according to Stats Pass. New England did report leg, thigh and ankle injuries for Brady during the 2016 calendar year.

A Rundown of All the New England Patriots 2017 NFL Draft Picks

Sports Illustrated has a complete rundown of all of the Patriots 2017 Draft Picks and some commentary as well.

Round 3, Pick 19 (No. 83 overall, from Titans)

Derek Rivers, DE, Youngstown State: The wait through 82 picks (including a trade down Friday) was a long one for the Patriots. Landing Rivers could make it worthwhile. He’s a hard-working edge rusher who will provide the defending champs some depth on passing downs. There were some folks who thought he could sneak into Round 1, so mid-Round 3 is a decent spot to find him. Grade: A-

Round 3, Pick 21 (No. 85, from Lions)

Antonio Garcia, OT, Troy: Guess the Patriots were bored after all. After waiting all the way until No. 83 to make their first pick of the draft, they turned around and dealt picks 96 and 124 to Detroit for this spot. Garcia is a developmental talent at tackle, and the Patriots have the pieces in place to buy him some time.? Grade: B

Round 4, Pick 25 (No. 131) Deatrich Wise Jr., DE, Arkansas

Round 6, Pick 28 (No. 211, from Cowboys) Conor McDermott, OT, UCLA

Report: Notes Written in Prison by Former Patriots TE Hernandez Were to Family and Attorney

TMZ clears up a rumor today regarding former Pats TE Aaron Hernandez, that being he was writing notes to a gay lover while in prison.

Here’s the story:

The three notes recovered in Aaron Hernandez’s prison cell were written to his fiancee, his daughter and his attorney, Jose Baez … NOT a supposed gay lover, sources tell TMZ Sports.

The contents of the letters are being kept under wraps for now — but sources familiar with the investigation tell us the ex-NFL player did not leave any sort of a message for another inmate.

There are reports Hernandez had been corresponding with a “gay lover” during his time in lockup — but Baez had previously shot that down as false … saying, “These are malicious leaks used to tarnish somebody who is dead.”

A Look at the 2017 Patriots Schedule with a Glance at the Good and the Bad

The 2017 NFL Schedule is out as well as the 2017 New England Patriots Schedule, and here’s a look at the slate for the upcoming season, with the home games in bold:

Sep. 7 Kansas City Chiefs (Thu) 8:30 PM

Sep. 17 at New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM

Sep. 24 Houston Texans 1:00 PM

Oct. 1 Carolina Panthers 1:00 PM

Oct. 5 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Thu) 8:25 PM

Oct. 15 at New York Jets 1:00 PM

Oct. 22 Atlanta Falcons * 8:30 PM

Oct. 29 Los Angeles Chargers 1:00 PM

Nov. 5 BYE

Nov. 12 at Denver Broncos * 8:30 PM

Nov. 19 at Oakland Raiders (Mexico City) 4:25 PM

Nov. 26 Miami Dolphins 1:00 PM

Dec. 3 at Buffalo Bills 1:00 PM

Dec. 11 at Miami Dolphins (Mon) 8:30 PM

Dec. 17 at Pittsburgh Steelers 4:25 PM

Dec. 24 Buffalo Bills 1:00 PM

Dec. 31 New York Jets 1:00 PM

What’s Good about this Schedule: The Pats can get on track quickly with three of their first four at home, including the opening Thursday night game at home against the Chiefs, a usual NFL kickoff game where the home team always seems to rise to the spotlight and play well.

What’s Bad about this Schedule: A three-game stretch where the Pats will be on the road in early December, playing at Buffalo, at Miami on a Monday night, and then a AFC Title game rematch at Pittsburgh against the Steelers.

Super Bowl Hero RB James White Gets a Three-Year Extension with Patriots

Patriots running back James White, who played the best game of his career in Super Bowl LI, has reached a three-year
contract extension with the team, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports via Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston . This according to sources.

White, who was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2017 season, is now inked through the 2020 season.

The extension comes on the same day the Patriots extended a two-year, $6.4 million offer sheet to restricted free-agent running back Mike Gillislee. The Bills have until Monday to decide to match that offer.

As for the 5-foot-10, 205-pound White, he fills the “passing back” role in the Patriots’ offense, which is significant given how often the team throws the football. His strong pass-catching skills and willingness to pick up the blitz are part of what makes him an asset to the team in that role.

The 2016 season was White’s first full year as the team’s front-line “passing back” and he finished second on the team with 60 receptions for 551 yards and five touchdowns, while adding 166 yards rushing on 39 carries.