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Patriots Talk: Rumored Free Agent Signings in 2017




Patriots Talk: Rumored Free Agent Signings in 2017

by Stephen Hilton

As of right now, the New England Patriots have had only one free agent signing thus far into the 2017 off-season and that was with Patriots’ [Fullback] James Develin. Right now, there are flurries of rumors going around of other potential veteran players that are wanting to come to New England for one simple purpose: getting a Super Bowl ring. It’s the same reason that veteran players like Darrelle Revis, (in 2014) Chris Long and Martellus Bennet (in 2016) came to New England. The success and consistency of winning has been part of the Patriots’ culture for the past 16 years and it has made them a team that many are willing to join, but only at the right price.

One of the biggest talks for free agency is Minnesota Vikings [Running Back] Adrian Peterson. One of the most dominant running backs of the last decade, Peterson is already turning 31 years old and since he suffered injury through much of the 2016 regular season, he is hasn’t got much time left in him. The Minnesota Vikings on February 28th, 2017 did not allow Peterson to exercise his 2017 option on his contract and therefore he will be a free agent effectively March 9th.
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Peterson has expressed interest in joining the Patriots for a discount price. However, do the Patriots really want to take the risk on a player that not only is 31 years of age, but also has a domestic case of child abuse? In 2014, Peterson was found guilty of hitting his four-year-old son and had him suspended by the NFL for the remainder of the 2016 before being reinstated the following season. The reality is while Peterson already has made plenty of money in his career (approximately $97 million), there is no role that the Patriots will need for him.

The Patriots have already allowed Legarrette Blount to head into free agency so while having a player of Peterson’s caliber would be quite an improvement in terms of depth, he doesn’t fulfill the role Blount did which is to be a straight power back. The Patriots already possess two elusive backs in James White and Dion Lewis. This isn’t even including Peterson’s bad tendency to fumble the ball in big games or the possibility he has lost a step due to his injury history. While having the possibility of Tom Brady and Adrian Peterson on the same side of the ball would be a nightmare match up for any defense, having another player that doesn’t buy into Bill Belicheck‘s system could lead to issues down the stretch even if its for only a one year rental.

Chance of this signing: 50/50. If Peterson plays for a cheap 1 year contract, will listen to what the Patriots coaches tell him to do and keeps all his bad habits out for the entirety of his stay in the New England, then the signing could happen but as it stands, I find this somewhat doubtful.


New England Patriots Are Being Tied To A Former Member Of The New York Jets

Another name brought up is Brandon Marshall, the New York Jets [Wide Receiver]. Marshall’s name has been a  frequent name that has been brought up in recent weeks to sign with the Patriots once it was announced he was hitting free agency. Many NFL analysts including Cris Carter have stated that Marshall should consider joining the Patriots. Marshall being 32 years old and coming off an underwhelming 2016 campaign, going from catching sixty-three percent of his catches in 2015 to just forty-six percent, could be a bad indication he is on the decline.

Marshall doesn’t have much time left in him to earn a ring so coming to New England would be his best bet at winning a Super Bowl. He has been on four NFL teams in his career: Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears and New York Jets. He has been through many different teams and not one has been able to get a single playoff game win during his time there.

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According to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, there is a ‘mutual interest’ between the two parties. However, there are not talks until March 9th when free agency officially begins. Marshall also has his connection with Josh McDaniels when he was the Denver Broncos [Head Coach] from 2009-2010 before leaving for the former St. Louis Rams in 2011.

So for what its worth, Brandon Marshall would be an interesting addition because of several things. If he was signed by the Patriots, he would be the only receiver on the roster that has been selected as an All-Pro or even selected to a Pro Bowl as a wide receiver (Matt Slater was selected to every Pro Bowl as a special teams player and the last Patriots wide receiver to make the Pro Bowl was unsurprisingly Wes Welker in 2012). His ability to break and dodge tackles after contact and has been stated by many to be one of his most distinguished traits. One player was on record as saying:

“Brandon Marshall is a defensive lineman playing wide receiver,” Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers said. “He wants to inflict punishment on you. He wants you to try to tackle him so he can shove you off of him and get more yards.”

Besides football, Marshall is also tied to the NFL media as he works on Inside the NFL, a TV show on ShowTime network (that is still under CBS holding) with fellow host Phil Simms and frequent commentators such as Boomer Esiason, Adam Schien, Michael Irvin, and James Brown. This puts him into a bad position because Belicheck doesn’t like the media at all. If he were to be signed, he would need to completely put his job as an NFL commentator to rest if he signs with the Patriots as anything he says could be used against him.

Finally, his mental illness and legal issues. Marshall has had frequent bouts with the law dating back all the way to 2004 and the latest in 2012. His history of getting into issues has since been mostly quiet over the last five years when he was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder on June 30th, 2011 during his visit to Boston’s McLean Hospital after his stabbing incident with his wife, Michi Nogami-Campbell, in April of that year. Borderline personality disorder is a mental illness that known for abnormal behavior that is characterized by having unstable relationships, sense of self, and emotions. This means he has a ton of emotional issues that could have implications if he were to be brought into the Patriots locker room.

Chances of being signed: 30/70 Brandon Marshal while being a  very solid player across the board, has too much other baggage that he carries that could turn off any chance of signing with the Patriots to consider him. This wouldn’t be the first controversial signing that the Patriots have made obviously but there are more important priorities to handle other than wide receiver. Marshall has stayed clean for the most part now, he is treating his illness and has been doing well with his side business as NFL commentator but he needs to make sure he stays that way because otherwise there is a very small chance that the Patriots will agree to signing him even if its for 1-year.


Edit: At this time, Adrian Peterson has stated that he would prefer to play for either the Seattle Seahawks or the Oakland Raiders. He has also admitted to wish to play for the Patriots but he feel it is unlikely to happen.


Brandon Marshall has been confirmed that he will be part of the New York Giants for the 2017 season. He signed a two year contract worth over twelve million. This will be the fifth team Marshall has joined within his eleven year career.







Tanner founded Trifecta Network in Spring of 2016 and has been the Chief of Content for the Network since that time. Currently Tanner covers all the sports teams in Boston and has contacts in many of the teams in the city. Before starting Trifecta, Tanner was a Site Expert for the FanSided site Chowder and Champions before leaving to cover Boston teams on the ground as a member of the media for Trifecta.

New England Patriots

Patriots Still Have A Ways To Go, AFC East Up For Grabs




Heading into the Patriots-Jets game head coach Bill Belichick stressed on how good the Jets were so far in the young NFL season. In New England’s 24-17 win on Sunday his impression of New York looked correct.

Jets QB Josh McCown went 31-47 for 354 yards with a QBR of 84.9. McCown was all over the place making crazy throws while making stupid throws at the same time. His up and down performance led to two interceptions while also keeping them in the game right until the end.

McCown wasn’t perfect but he was able to expose the weakened Patriots secondary on numerous occasions. Statistically, he outplayed Patriots QB Tom Brady who had a QBR of 80.7 with a 20-38 for a 257-yard day. The Patriots winning the game to move their record to 4-2 with 11 straight road victories is huge, but they are still aren’t having success in all 3 phases of the game.

New England’s defense which has been suspect every single week so far looked ok against the Jets. But the defense was bailed out by the Jets offense which lacks the real weapons to compete in the NFL on an offensive level. On offense, the Patriots have been up-and-down so far this season with 30+ point games followed up by 2 less than stellar performances.

Having Rob Gronkowski back and snagging 2 touchdowns is huge. But going to him on 10 targets for 6 receptions is way too much. Gronk led New England with those 10 targets, injuries and lack of depth continue to force Brady to go to him which has already caused Gronk to miss a game this season.

The bottom line is the weak link on offense this season is Dwayne Allen. Allen has been a negative factor as the backup tight end. He hasn’t been anything close to what Martellus Bennett gave the team last season. Allen’s failures in both the passing and blocking game have caused Brady to get hit an immense amount this season. Having a zero factor tight end causes Gronk, a great blocker, to go out and catch the ball more instead of blocking. Allen was a bad trade for New England, almost as bad as the David Harris signing. Only reason Harriss still has a roster spot is the $1 million guaranteed he is owed this season.

Despite GM Belichick’s failures this offseason, the injuries on both sides of the ball has killed the Patriots through 6 games. It is actually impressive that they are 4-2. What is important is that New England has yet to play their best ball, the real question though is if they will ever do so this season.

Now by now, you have likely questioned why I stated that the AFC East is still up for grabs. Here is why.

Still, long ways to go in this NFL season, but the AFC East is currently close. Teams in the division have overplayed but one could envision a team like Miami or Buffalo going 9-7 this season. Hell one of them could even go 10-6. Of course, New England should be able to best that type of record, but what if they don’t?

What if Gilmore never really pans out? The communication never improves? Hightower gets hurt again and exposes a weak LB group? Brady goes down? Wideout injuries continue? Gronk goes down? No real backup tight end?

The list of questions through 6 games for the Patriots are crazy. Usually, at this point, many of these types of issues will start to be answered. But from the start of the season till now it feels as if the questions are mounting instead of being answered. 4-2 and atop that AFC East is great. But one of these years the Patriots will be surpassed, could it be this season? Maybe not, but the Patriots still have a ways to go to prove they belong atop the division standings come January.

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Patriots Football Talk: Week 6 Win Against the Jets




The Patriots were down by 14 Points in the 1st Half against the Jets.  It didn’t look good.  They started out slow, getting the ball after a New York Jets TD score for the 1st possession of the game.  It was a real struggle for the Team.  Their Defense struggled, their offense struggled.  It was difficult sustaining a drive.  They made mistakes and Tom Brady threw an interception.  It looked to be disappointing.  But don’t call a TB12 Game over before 60+ Minutes.  He can make any comeback happen, give him time on the clock and he can make miracles happen.

They were down in the 2nd Quarter but like other games this Season they played their best in the 2nd Quarter.  Then the tides began to turn.  And they got a drive going and had a TD Rush from Dion Lewis from the 1 yard line.  It was just what they needed to get fired up.

The Patriots Defense held the Jets to 14 Points for the rest of the half.  And with 40 seconds left to go they got a Defensive INT by Macolm Butler, before Halftime.  It was the start of an avalanche by the Patriots.  Tom Brady threw to Brandin Cooks and got to the 1 yard line.  It was an excellent pass and was delivered right to the WR.  Over the shoulder and close to a score.

Then Tom Brady went to Rob Gronkoski, he just missed him in the end zone.  Luckily he went back to Gronk again for the 2nd down and goal.  Touchdown!  It was remarkable and just what the Pats needed at that right time.

Gronk would go on to catch 6 out of 10 targets for 83 yards.  And he would get another TD in the 2nd Half.  He high stepped his way into the end zone.  This is a guy who is uncoverable and boy did he show up today.  Making it [21-14].  The Pats would kick a Field Goal in the 4th Quarter, Steven Gostkowski made up for that Field Goal that he missed in the 2nd Quarter.  This made it [24-14], giving New England a 10 Point lead.

Some notables were on the Team were Brandin Cooks who would go on to get 93 Yards on 6 catches out of 9 targets. And Danny Amendola who had a good game with 40 Yards on 3 Receptions.  Also Dion Lewis with 52 Yards on 11 Attempts and 1 TD.  The Patriots would go on to hold the Jets to a Field Goal in the 4th Quarter.  They got a lucky call on a called turnover in the end zone on replay.  Yeah it was really controversial but you know the Pats have been in murky waters before.  And you know what on the replay of the Jets TD score was reversed.  Wow, what a relief!

The Patriots would get another INT and put this game away just like that!  It became Tom Brady’s 187th Regular Season Win, which is a new NFL Record, it was 212th Win including the Playoffs also an NFL Record.  He is the best of the best, and he showed it today on the road.  With this Win the Pats go 4-2 on the Year and tops in the AFC East Division.

Next Week they play in Foxboro against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday October 22, at 8:30 pm on NBC Sunday Night Football.

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Patriots Talk: NaVorro Bowman Released By 49ers, Possible Pick-up?



Patriots Talk: NaVorro Bowman Released By 49ers, Possible Pick-up?

It’s somehow shocking that NaVorro Bowman is released from the San Fransisco 49ers in an unexpected move from new General Manager John Lynch and Head Coach Kyle Shanahan. Many teams are likely going to look into Bowman, but there are too many teams whose defense would love a guy like him. However, according to the public statement from the 49ers from GM John Lynch:

“We talked at length with NaVorro about the direction that each party wanted to go in. And that’s what we left that meeting. Since then, we’ve been working in earnest to find that trade partner. We had a couple of things that, a couple teams that were very interested. Came very close to happening. Ultimately, we were working with NaVorro and his representation, Drew Rosenhaus, to try to get this thing across the finish line. We wanted NaVorro, we felt like he had earned the right to have some options and some choices that he deemed the right ones for him. In the end, he chose that he would rather look at all 31 teams and we granted his request there. So, we’re going to go ahead and release NaVorro Bowman.”

This seems to be a situation where the San Fransisco 49ers couldn’t hold onto Bowman any longer due to frustrations with the coaching staff. This was later explained:

“Just a little context as to how this all came about; NaVorro spoke publicly about his frustration with the strategy that Kyle and his staff have put together to try to get the best out of NaVorro, in our minds, and have it be best for NaVorro and for our team. Drew spoke to me on Monday night and indicated his frustration on behalf of NaVorro and I told him that I had talked with Kyle and his staff and that we were convicted, that we felt like this was the best thing for him, which in response Drew communicated that if that’s the case NaVorro would prefer to be traded.”

This seems to be a case of the players and the coaching staff not approving of neither situation. Right now, Bowman is not a savior or player that can make a difference based purely on his physical play. For the last several seasons Bowman has been suffering much over his seven-year career. The 29-year old missed all of the 2014 season due to an ACL and MCL tear sustained after the 2013 NFC title game (which was on their way to Super Bowl 47). In addition, he ended his 2016 campaign on injured reserve with an Achilles’ tear. It’s very clear that the reason he didn’t get many offers is due to his on-the-field performance so far this season and his injury history. Right now, Bowman has struggled in coverage this season and allowed 11 of 13 passes thrown his way to be completed for 113 yards and a touchdown.

His main strength is his instincts, straight football IQ and leadership (which is very similar to David Harris). Many have been thinking of him as a potential pickup but for now, the Patriots have nothing to lose thus far, so they can at least give his agent a call.

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