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Patriots Talk: Speculation around the NFL

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Chandler Jones                   In this Jan. 1, 2017, file photo, Arizona Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones smiles in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, in Los Angeles. (Credit: John Cordes of AP Photo)

Patriots Talk: Speculation around the NFL

by Stephen Hilton

The clock is ticking now as Free Agency is officially here. But since players will not know when exactly they will get their offers, they know it will be by today at 4 PM. As of now, several surprising trades have been revealed with the New England Patriots trading their fourth round pick (137 overall) to the Indianapolis Colts for [Tight End] Dwayne Allen and an additional sixth round pick. Dwayne Allen is a surprise pick-up but Bill Belicheck has been on record praising Allen for his blocking ability rather than his ability as a receiver. With his addition to the roster, the Patriots will be paying 17.34 million for the final three years of Allen’s contract. An addition, it seems that Patriots [Outside Linebacker]  Jabaal Sheard might potentially be taken by the Colts as well according to some rumors.

New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

In other news, the Arizona Cardinals, according to the latest reports from Ian Rapoport, have now come close to a 5 year deal with former Patriots’ [Outside Line Backer] Chandler Jones. The news comes quite suddenly as Jones back in a few weeks ago received the franchise tag from the Arizona Cardinal, but it looks as though it was to extend the time of making a contract deal finalized.

As a fan of Chandler Jones during his time with the Patriots, this comes as good news since Arizona during the 2016 pre-season was hyped up as one of the most likely teams to go to the playoffs but instead only managed to go seven wins, eight loses and 1 embarrassing tie game in Week 7 against the Seattle Seahawks. Despite this season being a disappointment for Cardinals fans, there are still plenty of hope if they can retain Jones since he is one of the biggest premier pass-rusher  in the NFL. However, the deal has yet to be made but according to Bleacher Report writer, Jason Cole, it will be worth close to the eighty-five million New York Giants [Defensive End] Olivier Vernon received last year.


This is another case of Belicheck knowing when to call a trade because paying that amount to Jones would have eaten a ton of this year’s cap space for the Patriots. But it looks like they will need to use most of it soon. According to Dont’a Hightower‘s Instagram, he is already in Tennessee. Hightower was born in Lewisburg, Tennessee but some speculate that he will be meeting up with teams like the Tennessee Titans like ESPN’s Paul Kuharsty.

When that afternoon is the one before the afternoon when NFL free agency officially starts, and when his contract is about to expire and put him on the market, and when the Tennessee Titans have the money to afford him and the need for a player like him … well, it’s hard not to wonder.

I don’t seek to start rumors. Hightower doesn’t need to be in the city of the team he signs with if he, in fact, inks a quick contract Thursday. Him being in Nashville on Wednesday assures nothing about what will unfold for him Thursday

Well with how fast the day is approaching it is no wonder people would think that at all. (By the way, that was sarcasm) The reality is that in less then 10 hours, all NFL teams will be scrambling to get every possible player that they can. This includes the Patriots potentially going after Buffalo Bills [Cornerback] Stephon Gilmore.

Gilmore was selected to his first Pro Bowl last season and becomes a free agent officially this year. This news will potentially mean that Patriots’ [Cornerback] Logan Ryan will be officially gone since many speculated that he will be asking for huge money in the range of around 10+ million. This 2016 season officially ends by the end of today, Mar. 9th 2017, at 4 PM EST.

 

Edit: It appears that Stephon Gilmore and the Patriots have already finalized their contract today. He will be with the Patriots for five years worth over sixty-five million dollars (forty million is guaranteed).

 

In addition, it seems that Chandler Jones also has completed a deal with the Arizona Cardinals. Current details about the deal are unknown but it is estimated:

That deal is expected to average $16.5 million a year. It is worth a maximum of $82.5 million over five years, including $53 million in guarantees.

Stephen is a Contributing Editor for Trifecta Sports Network and covers the New England Patriots and the NFL.

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Patriots Talk: 27-23 Loss To Texans Shows Need For Improvement

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Patriots Talk: 27-23 Loss To Texans Shows Need For Improvement

It’s hard to believe that the Patriots still won their fifth Super Bowl at NRG Stadium (the second time in the team’s history this has happened since Super Bowl 38).

With this game, the Patriots were competing with the Houston Texans lead by former Patriots OC Bill O’Brien but the difference between the two was fairly clear: The team still has a lot of question marks on their depth chart. After Saturday night’s game, much of the team showed some good but there was quite a bit of bad.

Despite, this being the first preseason game that Rob Gronkowski played since 2012, he was relatively non-factor since the starters were only in the game for the 1st quarter only. In fact, the majority of the Patriots starters including Malcolm Butler, Stephon Gilmore, Julian Edelman, Brandin Cooks were among those who played in the first quarter.

Here is who stood out and what ultimately burned out. Just click the next button to continue.

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Patriots Bits and Pieces- Super Bowl Confetti and More

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The Bits and Pieces of a Patriots Weekend

Well, you know what they say about pre-season football in the NFL?

No really, do you know because I do not. I do know that it is never a good indication of how the regular season may pan out for any team. It is still a trial period for most teams and coaches to try new plays, let some rookies and newbies get some playtime, and for the New England Patriots, return to the site of last year’s Super Bowl and remember their amazing second-half come from behind victory in which I am still awe-struck.

Here some bits and pieces of what went down in Houston. And with a fumbling backup quarterback, a star defensive end not in action, and a 27-23 loss; I hope the Patriots don’t have a problem in regular season.

The Patriots got a friendly reminder of Super Bowl LI when they returned to Houston’s NRG Stadium Saturday night. Red and blue confetti were found in the Microsoft Surface phone system along the sideline. Could this be a sign from the football gods that the Pats are destined to go the distance again this year?

Tight End Rob Gronkowski played his first preseason game since 2012. The Gronk’s non-play up until now was based on coach’s decisions to limit exposure to injuries the star tight end was recovering from. Gronkowski for 14 of the team’s first 16 plays, but he finished with no catches and no targeted passes.

“It felt good to be out there, get my feet wet, to get the speed of the game. I love to play football,” Gronkowski said.

On the other side of the football, defensive end Trey Flowers did not play Saturday night. Flowers led the team with seven sacks last season. It is not believed that he is dealing with an injury, as he is one of the few top players that was not in action.

Quarterback Tom Brady also started Saturday night in Houston, playing for two drives and completing 6 of 9 passes with 67 yards and one touchdown.

In a post-game news conference, Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s ended with a question on if there was a feeling of nostalgia returning to NRG Stadium, the site of Super Bowl LI.

“That’s all in the past,” he responded. “I mean, it was great, but we’re on to 2017. I don’t think last year, two years ago or 12 years ago is that important. Trying to get this team ready to go, and this year’s team is this year’s team. It’s my responsibility to make a strong commitment to this group. I’m not trying to live in the past. I’m not trying to live in the future. I’m just trying to do a good job with the team we have today.”

New England Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was hard on himself following Saturday night’s 27-23 loss to the, as he lost a fumble on a crunching sack and later threw a sideline interception when he was attempting to throw the ball away.

“I was just trying to throw it away, but didn’t put enough on it,” he explained, as he was on the move to evade an oncoming defensive end. “It was just a bad play.”

The back-up to Tom Brady did look to stand tough in the pocket, taking some huge hits and leading New England on a scoring drive. The miscues, however, gave the Texans two scores and a 27-23 victory.

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Patriots Talk: Odd Brady Video, Gillette Sign Moved

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Patriots Talk: Odd Tom Brady Video, Gillette Stadium Sign Moved

Sunday was an off day for the New England Patriots, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t any news.

At Gillette Stadium on Sunday the Patriots had the stadium sign raised in order to create room for the new banner placement.

With the franchise winning its fifth Super Bowl title this past February the location where the banners were kept was simply not big enough.

This is what the current banner location looked like.

FOXBORO, MA – SEPTEMBER 10: Fireworks go off as the New England Patriots reveal their Super Bowl XLIX championship banner before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium on September 10, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Here is what the team did on Sunday. As you can see below they lifted the Gillette Stadium sign up with the banners presumably going right underneath it.

New England will unveil their Super Bowl banner in week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs.

In other Patriots news, QB Tom Brady posted an odd video to Instagram on Sunday afternoon. His words, “No Day’s Off”.

#nodaysoff 😂@tb12sports

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

Video looks to be taken in the gym in Brady’s Brookline house. A little odd, but what else is new with the 40-year-old future hall of famer.

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