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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 Football Talk: Patriots Lose to Miami



You could feel it coming on a mile away in the 4th Quarter.  The Patriots were going to lose.  It was disheartening to say the least!  They just didn’t play well.  They couldn’t find a rhythm and they couldn’t convert on 3rd Downs.  It wasn’t the same team that we saw last Sunday.  I got a text saying that they were playing horribly and I texted back, “Yep.”  It was that kind of game.  And for the fans we just watched them, “Suck.”

Well where do we begin with this one?  How about the beginning of the game, not Kickoff, before Kickoff.  Quarterback Tom Brady looked like he was the perpetual “Deer in the Headlights” look to him.  Yeah in my opinion he was nervous.  Call it a “gut feeling” or a “sixth sense” but something bothered him.  Maybe it was because it was a Monday Night game, I don’t know but what I do know is that he had the same look during the first Drive for the Patriots.  In that same Drive he threw an Interception on 3rd Down.  Yikes!  That was a pass that Brady and Cooks weren’t on the same page with.  The defender just undercut it and got the INT.

Believe it or not, that INT set the tone for the entire game.  I mean seriously Brady couldn’t get a 1st Down on 3rd Down.  He went 0 for 11 on the night.  Talk about bad!  I mean I love TB12 and all but you have to wonder what was he thinking out there.  Was he nervous to throw a pick?  Or was he nervous about the pass rush?  Or was it like I said before “Primetime” nerves?  Whatever it was, it effected him all night.

I mean I can see how the pass rush could effect him.  They were hurrying and blitzing every down.  Mostly because the Patriots got down on points.  The Dolphins kicked two early Field Goals to make it [6-0].  The Patriots had to pass a lot to gain yardage.  But the rhythm of the game felt like the Patriots were playing from behind, which actually wasn’t completely true.  They scored a Rushing TD by Red Burkhead in the Red Zone, making it [7-6].  That right there could have been the turning point that they needed to rally together and play better.

Sadly that wasn’t the case.  Jay Cutler would find Jarvis Landry for a TD Score on the Goalline, regaining the lead and chewing up a lot of clock.  That was the other thing about Monday Night’s game.  The Patriots couldn’t get their Offense on the field.  They were stiffled by these long Miami Drives.  And the Pats D gave up way too many yards.  There were also some missed opportunities, that being Sacks and INTs.  Cutler looked good out there and so did Kenyan Drake, who had an amazing game.  The Defense couldn’t stop him.  And Landry made them pay with his second TD of the game.

Before all that though you have to remember that the Patriots did cut the lead to just 3, [13-10].  And they did get the ball back after Halftime.  Brady threw another INT once again to Cooks and once again it was on 3rd Down.  Wow they made a lot of mistakes this game!  Turnovers came back to bite them both times as Miami scored a TD making it [20-10].  “Yep” was the answer to my text, about how bad they were playing.  This play stood out as the most crushing play of the game.  It made a real comeback improbable.  The game would end [27-20] Miami and the Patriots would go to 10-3 on the year.  No “Hat and Tee Shirt” Night Monday, it will have to wait!

Now here comes the biggest game of the Season.  Patriots at Pittsburgh, Sunday December 17th at 4:25 pm on CBS.  If the Patriots Win they get the tie breaker for the Number 1 Seed and a playoff birth.  If they lose they give the Steelers’ Home Field advantage in the playoffs.  They will be playing for the playoffs so this has quite a lot riding on it.  Rob Gronkowski will be back from suspension, hopefully this will get them fired up!  Come on Guys, “Let’s Go!”

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NFL Week 14 Picks



Sadly had a lot to do this week so my apologies for the lateness. As far as my NFL predictions for last week, I was 12-4 (131-61) Right now I am 0-1 to start the week as I predicted the Saints to win on Thursday.

New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons: Winner – Falcons

I hate Thursday night football. I always seem to to struggle with getting these games correct on the first attempt but they usually go in the other direction. It is what it is. The Sainst collection of injuries sadly were a huge factor in the game despite the Saints keeping the score close. Losing Alvin Kamara was a huge lose for the team as he is placed on concussion protocol for this week.

Green Bay Packers @ Cleveland Browns: Winner – Packers

The Browns decided to let go of Sashi Brown bu as long as Hue Jackson continues to fail with the QB situation, they ain’t winning Sunday. Give me the Packers to win 31-21.

Detroit Lions @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Winner – Lions

This game is a pick-em game mainly due to Matthew Stafford’s wrist injury. If he plays, the Lions should win. He doesn’t play then they will most definitely lose. But Stafford is one of the toughest QBs in the league so I doubt that this holds him back. The Bucs with Winston are still having issues and will likely have their season over with a loss on Sunday. Lions win 27-21.

Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs: Winner – Chiefs

The Raiders are a team that are going to be tough t beat but with their loss against the Jets, the Chiefs are literally hanging by a thread. A win against the Raiders would help keep them in the playoffs but with the Chargers gaining momentum it will be tough. Their 4th consecutive loss, Andy Reid will need to have everybody on all cylinders. Chiefs win in a close game 24-21.

Minnesota Vikings @ Carolina Panthers: Winner – Vikings

Can’t believe it but Case Keenum is playing the best football of his entire career. If he keeps this hot streak alive, the Vikings might make a playoff birth unless Green Bay gets Aaron Rodgers back in time. The Panthers are a team that are hot and cold this season as usual. The Panthers have a great defense but so does the Vikings. This will come down to who has the better offense and you don’t believe me now, but its the Vikings. Adam Thielen and Stephon Diggs are possibly the best WR duo in the NFL right now and Kyle Rudolph ain’t bad either. Give me the Vikings to win 27-24 over the Panthers.

San Fransisco 49ers @ Houston Texans: winner – 49ers

Coin flip but I am picking the 49ers just for more Jimmy G highlight reels. Sorry Texans. 49ers win by 21-18.

Indianapolis Colts @ Buffalo Bills: Winner – Bills

I want to believe in Brisket but I believe that the season has weighed him down considerably because of Chuck Pagano’s play calling. The Bills have a better overall roster and have a shot of making the playoffs. The Colts are banged up pretty good and I see Buffalo keeping Tyrod in as his knee injury shouldn’t be bad enough to keep him out for Nathan Peterman. Bills getting a win here 21-18.

Chicago Bears @ Cincinnati Bengals: Winner – Bengals

Marvin Lewis vs. John Fox? Which Head Coach will get fired faster? Probably Fox because Lewis clearly has some serious blackmail to have kept his job for so long. Bengals win 24-17 because John Fox is continuing to limit Trubisky’s production.

Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants: Winner – Cowboys

The Cowboys will have Sean Lee back this week which is huge. Eli Manning is back in the game but his consecutive streak is gone now and that is ultimately on Ben McAdoo who is now gone along with Jerry Reese. Cowboys have something to fight for, the Giants don’t. Give me the Cowboys 27-20.

Tennessee Titans @ Arizona Cardinals: Winner – Titans

This game is honestly a toss-up. The Titans are underwhelming and the Cardinals have talent that can’t seem to win games. Adrian Peterson’s status is still out for now. As of now, the Titans are the team I would rather take Delanie Walker wants respect but he will only get if he scores a TD in this game. I will take the Titans 27-25 in a close game.

New York Jets @ Denver Broncos: Winner – Jets

Man, the Broncos really are screwed. Vance Joesph has completely lost this team. the defense doesn’t seem like the No-Fly Zone anymore. The fact that the Jets are actually playing good speaks volumes of how different the head coaches are different. Also Robbie Anderson, an undrafted player is likely one of the biggest deep threats in the NFL. Gotta give credit where it is due, the Jets have stopped up and the Broncos have fallen off. Jets win 27-21.

Washington Redskins @ Los Angeles Chargers: Winner – Chargers

The Redskins banged up offensive line vs Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram? RIP Kirk Cousins. He will not like that game. I will go with the Chargers as Keenan Allen is having a incredible comeback season and I will say that he does well in this game. Chargers win 31-21.

Seattle Seahawks @ Jacksonville Jaguars: Winner – Seahawks

The Seahawks may not have a great overall team, but they have, in my opinion, the front runner for the NFL MVP this year in Russell Wilson. He has put this team on his back and he truly is a better QB than Blake Bortles. The Jaguars defense will keep this game close, but I don’t believe for a second that it will stop Wilson’s play-making and scrambling on the field. Seahawks win 17-14.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Los Angeles Rams: Winner – Rams

That is right, I am picking Goff over Wentz. And its not because the Eagles lost last week to a more desperate team. They lost in a way that showed they are still a flawed team like everyone else this year. The Rams are a team that has an arguably better offense and their defense is set up where they generate pressure similar to the Seahawks. This game will be the game of the week but I have the Rams winning 31-28.

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers: Winner – Steelers

Baltimore will cover the current spread of +4 but I have a feeling that the Steelers will still win regardless. The Ravens are a better overall team but this team is unified with Ryan Shazier’s loss last week and his current circumstances (prayers are with you Ryan, from a Patriots fan). Give me the Steelers to win 27-24 against the Ravens.

New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins: winner – Patriots

The Patriots always play bad in Miami weather. But its Tom Brady vs. Jay Cutler. Give me the Patriots to win 34-24. And that will settle my shotgun analysis for this week.

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Patriots Football Talk: New England stays Perfect on the Road




The Patriots were playing in a hostile Buffalo environment on Sunday.  They came in to town with 13 straight Road Wins.  Looking for yet another Win.  And boy were they prepared!  This was a Divisional Game and it was the 27th straight game where Tom Brady notched a Win.  An NFL Record.  “Wow is that a real stat?” Tony Romo asked at the end of the game.  Yup that actually is a real stat and TB12 has it.  Have a career will ya!  Winning against the Bills is nothing new to Tom Brady but how he does is.

Lets get right into the action on the field.  The Bills went down the field on a 4 Minute Drive to open the game.  But on the 5 Yard Line Eric Lee made a huge Interception for the Patriots.  The New England D played exceptionally well today.  They kept the Bills out of the End Zone.  This INT set the stage for a huge Defensive statement.  It pretty much set the tone for the rest of the game.

Danny Amendola made a great 20+ yard catch which set up a Patriots 50 Yard FG by Stephen Gostkowski.  He would make all 3 of his Field Goal Attempts.  At the end of the Half it was [9-3].  This was a physical type of game.  It was very “grindy” and points came at a premium.  There were some great plays in the 1st Half.  Dion Lewis had a 45 Yard Rush down field which was incredible!  He would have 15 Carries for 92 Yards for the game.  Then Rex Burkhead had a 50 Yard Run.  He would have 12 Carries for 78 Yards with 2 TDs for the game but more on that later.  Both big run plays set up the FG attempts.

Rob Gronkowski began to chew up some serious yardage in the 3rd Quarter.  I mean seriously this was his Quarter.  He came out catching several consecutive passes.  He would go on to Catch 9 Passes for 147 Yards for the game.  One big play set up a Rushing TD by Burkhead.  Which made it [16-3], then Gronk made an incredible catch on the next Drive.  Now this one is for the highlight reels.  He went up for the ball and just ripped it out of the defender’s hands, for a 31 yard catch.  It was unbelievable!  No seriously he just stole an INT away from the Linebacker.

James White converted a 3rd Down which was huge in setting up a Red Zone type Drive.  Burkhead would go on to score an important 3rd Quarter TD.  The Drive went 9 Plays for 78 Yards and ate up a lot of clock.  Then in the 4th Quarter the Bills went 4th and Goal but got stopped by the Pats.  There was excellent coverage by Stephon Gilmore.  The Bills passed on him several times but each time he just knocked the ball away.  And with that it pretty much sealed the Win.  The Patriots now have won 10 games this year going 10-2 on the year.  They have a new record of 10+ Wins for 15 straight years.  Simply Awesome!

The big talking point for the end of the game was Gronk.  Not his great highlight reel catch but his late hit on an INT by Tom Brady.  Brady went 21-30 Passe for 258 Yards and an INT.  Gronkowski went out on an out route and was held before the ball got intercepted.  Afterwards he hit the player on the ground.  First off in my opinion he was held and there was a missed call on that.  Secondly Gronk clearly was frustrated by the play and he made a mistake.  It was just emotions rising high and he made a bad judgement.  Now should he be fined?  Sure.  Should he be suspended?  Maybe.  I think that his apology at the end of the game was genuine.  We’ll see what the NFL thinks about the late hit.

So that was the game.  Brady got number 14 straight road wins, 2nd most I think.  They will be playing against the Dolphins next week.  Monday December 11th at Miami on Monday Night Football at 8:30 pm on ESPN.  It should be a good game.  Look for Tom Brady to stay consistent as he goes for his 15th straight road win.  Go Pats!

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