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Patriots Talk: Understanding The Malcolm Butler Situation




Patriots Talk: Understanding The Malcolm Butler Situation

by Stephen Hilton

Free Agency has officially begun and it was fast, sudden and loud! As of yesterday, It has been stated by multiple sources that negotiations have broken down with New England Patriots‘ star [Cornerback] Malcolm Butler to be resigned to a long-term deal and it has been hinted that he might be replaced by [Cornerback] Stephon Gilmore who was picked up yesterday from the Buffalo Bills as a free agent. He will be paid for five years worth sixty-five million, forty million guaranteed. That is a shockingly huge contract for a player that the Patriots just got that isn’t one of their own players. Even stats can’t be argued that Butler is a significantly better player than Gilmore is.

What could force the Patriots to sign such a massive contract in the first place? According to the rumors, it was first reported by ESPN’s Dianna Russini that there were discussions about a potential trade in the works.  The rumors state that Malcolm Butler is on the trading block and is being part of an exchange with the New Orleans Saints for [Wide Receiver] Bradin Cooks.

From where everything currently stands, one simply wonders what is going on with Bill Belichick. He is already losing both starting cornerbacks for the 2017 season, as Logan RyanLogan Ryan is now signed by the Tennessee Titans for 3 years, for thirty million total. Is losing Butler really worth the risk it will do for the secondary next season? We will not know since this is the first- I’m kidding. This has happened a number of times. People were upset with the deals Belichick has done, such as Lawyer Milloy or Vince Wilfork to name just a few names. They lost cornerbacks such as Ty Law in 2005 and they still managed to go to the Super Bowl that season. Same with Asante Samuel in 2007 after Super Bowl XLII. No matter how bad this situation may seem, Belichick has always found a way to get around his short comings.


However, what would start this whole story in the first place? There have been several reports by sources such as Mike Lombardi who wrote a piece for the Ringer yesterday titled Why NFL Teams Shelled Out Millions for the Biggest Free Agents. When it came to the Patriots’ signing of Stephon Gilmore, Lombardi stated:

The Patriots kept trying to sign Malcolm Butler to a long-term extension and kept coming up empty — the underpaid hero of Super Bowl XLIX is looking for the moon and then some. Who could blame him?

Butler asking ‘for the moon’ is a tend bit much considering that SuperBowl XLIX would have been very different if he didn’t make that he interception. In the 2 years since then, he has had much success, selected to a Pro-Bowl and Second-Team All Pro in addition to winning Super Bowl LI this year. Many would argue that Butler has earned his right for a big pay-day. However, Malcolm Butler’s agent, Derek Simpson, has denied these allegiances. He was speaking with ESPN’s Mike Reiss and stated:

“The Patriots haven’t approached Malcolm about his contract since last year, and anything that says he keeps asking for the moon is completely false,” Simpson told Reiss.

This is where things start to get very interesting. So who is really giving the more detailed picture here? Some believe that Derek Simpson is the center of the whole controversy. The simple reason is: Simpson has never worked for any NFL players with the exception of Malcolm Butler. The man has only negotiated with one NFL team: The New England Patriots. Guess how many contracts he has worked on? Two. The first was Butler’s rookie contract and his current contract (that is seemingly becoming more unlikely to be settled). So we have an agent who has never worked in getting an extension for an NFL player before and the fact that it’s been a year since the last time that he was called should be very telling of the situation.

However, there other sources that can confirm that the trade is possible as the Saints are also moving their wide receiving corps with the signing of Teddy Ginn Jr.

This is unexpected since the Saints’ current group of wide receivers are (according to

  • Brandin Cooks (unrestricted free agent in 2019)
  • Michael Thomas (unrestricted free agent in 2020)
  • Corey Fuller (unrestricted free agent in 2018)
  • Willie Snead (restricted free agent in 2018)
  • Brandon Coleman (restricted free agent in 2018)
  • Tommylee Lewis (restricted free agent in 2019)
  • Jake Lampman (exclusive rights free agent in 2018)
  • Rashad Lawrence (exclusive rights free agent in 2018)
  • Jordan Williams (exclusive rights free agent in 2019)

As of now, none of their current wide receiving receivers are being released until next season, so signing Teddy Ginn Jr. seems a little too early of a move unless the Brandin Cooks trade is officially underway. There is no certainty to this but it is very odd that a wide receiver is being brought onto a team  when there is already plenty on the roster. If anything, the trade for Malcolm Butler will give the Saints’ help on their secondary as their defense last year was arguably the second worst defense in the NFL in 2016.

Now after saying all of this and discussing about Butler’s future, many have forgotten that Butler still has yet to sign his first round tender. As a restricted free agent, and one who is more than likely on the trading block, Butler has virtually no say in what his fate will ultimately be if he doesn’t sign the tender. He simply needs to sign that for a one year deal worth around 4 million and he will remain a Patriot till next season. Until then he cannot be traded. Unfortunately, Butler will not have any say in this as he will be left no choice unless he get a long term done and at the rate things are going, I doubt we will get time to find out until it’s already too late.


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: Blowout in Foxborough




It was another cold January night at Gillette Stadium.  But on the field what we saw was an Offense on fire.  The Patriots were playing their, now annual, AFC Divisional Playoff Game.  Yes, that’s right they do this every year!  They have won their Division 9 Straight Times.  They have earned a 1st Round Bye 8 straight times.  And they have played in the AFC Conference Game, ah hem, now 7 straight times.  Yes it has been quite a run.  In Saturday Night’s Game against Tennessee, the Patriots, showed some of the best that the Team had to offer.  As you can see by the title of this post, it was a blowout.  One for the history books!  Let’s get right into the play by play action.

Ok, so it was cold, we know that; but did you see the “Scuba Suit” that Tom Brady was wearing?  Yeah he came prepared to play all 60 Minutes.  Now the Patriots got the ball first at Kickoff and they only had one 1st Down before they had to Punt it.  It was a slow start before the “Fireworks”.  On their next possession Brady just missed an open Rob Gronkowski.  It would have been a big play if Brady didn’t throw it at his shoelaces.  He was wide open and uncovered at the line of scrimmage. You could tell right then and there that the Titan’s Defense had some communication problems.  As Tony Romo commented: “They looked discombobulated.”

Then the longest Drive allowed by the Patriots came.  The Titans went 95 Yards down the field from their own end zone to score.  It was a Touchdown pass by Marcus Mariota to Corey Davis [7-0].  The long Drive ate up most of the clock of the 1st Quarter.  And the Titans looked strong.  But man oh man, did they “awaken a sleeping Dragon.”

The fire was lit under the Patriots and they responded with a huge 2nd Quarter.  They went down the field with several heroic plays by Dion Lewis.  Then James White came in for a 5 Yard pitch and catch TD [7-7].  3 Minutes and 37 Seconds later James White would score another TD, this time on the ground [14-7].  White would end up having 3 Carries for 11 Yards with a Rushing TD, and 4 Receptions for 29 Yards with a Receiving TD.  It was just some excellent “Hurry Up” Offense.  See the Patriots knew that the Titans were using the same Defensive Line.  And as Tony Romo noted throughout the game, they were getting worn out and tired.  The “No Huddle” Offense proved to be New England’s best weapon against a strong Defensive Line.

Later in the 2nd Quarter Brady threw a 4 Yard TD to Chris Hogan [21-7].  Once again Dion Lewis was a huge factor in the Drive.  Lewis would wind up with 15 Carries for 62 Yards and 9 Receptions for 79 Yards.  Another stellar game for him.  The Pats wanted to score again before the Half but Steven Gostkowski missed a 53 Yard Field Goal.  Let’s face it, it was difficult to make in these conditions.

The Patriots would show an impressive Defense in the 2nd Half.  They would go on to Sack Mariota 8 times for the game.  One of those huge Sacks came on Tennessee’s first possession.  It was just what the Patriots needed.  A stop, to get their Offensive Juggernaut back on the field.  They would end up scoring again on a 2 Yard TD Rush by Brandon Bolden [28-7].  One of the key play makers of the Team was Danny Amendola.  Who had 13 Targets 11 Receptions for 112 Yards.  He was sensational!  Then towards the end of the 3rd Quarter Brady threw to Rob Gronkowski for a 5 Yard Touchdown [35-7].  Gronk would get targeted 9 times with 6 Receptions for 81 Yards with a TD.  It was now “officially” a blowout!

Tennessee would score another touchdown but it was in “garbage time”, ie at the end of the game.  [35-14] was the final score and with that the Patriots moved on to their next opponent Steelers/Jaguars for AFC Championship at 3:05 pm next Sunday.  Tom Brady had a heck of a game, going 35-53 Passes for 337 Yards with 3 TDs.  He is now the oldest player to win a NFL Playoff Game, at age 40.  And with this win it became New England’s 26th Playoff Win out of 35 Playoff Appearances.  Wow what a great number, 35!  Congrats Pats!  I can’t wait to watch you next week!

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New England Patriots

Patriots Talk: The Rift Within The Patriots Is Overblown




New England Isn’t Fazed By This News


Talking about this subject reminds me of how Deflategate, SpyGate, and many other news reports seemingly jumped on the Patriots. In fact, some reports have been very mixed about the latest ‘bombshell’ from ESPN’s Seth Wickersham. On one hand, the piece goes over many details that come from sources that aren’t named. The writer for the article, Wickersham, has done pieces like this before regarding the NFL. He has been a senior writer for ESPN for years now. Wickersham has stood by his sources in a radio interview he did last week:


I think the reporting process in a story like this has to remain as confidential as possible. I was as transparent as I could be in the story.


Transparency is one thing but the thing here is that he had gotten this story from multiple sources inside the Patriots organization, ranging from staffers, coaches and even players. However, by not naming the people involved in this report, you also will be criticized because many will suggest you are making these up.


But criticizing the writer is not the topic of this article. It’s to report that this is all been blown way out of proportion. To the point, that some writers have stated they believe Belichick will coach the New York Giants next season due to Robert Kraft interfering in the Jimmy Garopollo trade last October.


Who Is Stuck In The Middle?


Here is where I believe that article is right and wrong. The writer is correct in that the Patriots had some serious decisions to make regarding the Garropolo trade but that was not even close to the main issue. Many have gone as far to suggest that Kraft had made this decision personal which Kraft has denied and called ‘total fabrication and fiction’ multiple times since the report was released. When he was asked about the trade deadline and Jimmy G, Kraft told Peter King of Sport Illustrated:


I assumed once the season started, we’d talk again at the end of the season about it. The next time I spoke with Bill about it was the Monday before the trade deadline. Bill asked me if I was OK with this. I was really taken aback a little bit. I wanted to think about it. I talked to Jonathan, who was okay with it, and I called Bill back and said, ‘OK.’


The ESPN article was mainly centered around owner Robert Kraft, Had Coach Bill Belichick and star Quarterback Tom Brady. The three have filed  a joint statement regarding this article, staying they are ‘united.’



But one of the most interesting sides to this story, is regarding Tom Brady’s personal trainer and business partner, Alex Guerrero. From ESPN:’


New players felt the surest way to earn Brady’s trust was to join Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola and others by seeking advice from Guerrero at his TB12 clinic — and not team doctors, which Belichick preferred … But according to multiple sources, players openly discussed with Patriots coaches, staff and trusted advisers whether to follow Brady or the team, leaving them trapped: Do we risk alienating the NFL’s most powerful coach or risk alienating the NFL’s most powerful quarterback?


This right here is just way exaggerated. Brady and Belichick don’t let egos divide players, these are grown men, not children trying to please the teachers. They will follow what will best suit their interests and just follow the Patriots motto ‘Do Your Job.’ Simply, asking advice and ways to improve performance and seeing what will work shouldn’t have to be complicated unless you players are questioning their own life choices.


How Much Is This True?


Everyone outside of New England has been eager in seeing the Patriots finally falling off, but the latest reports claim that Brady, Kraft and Belichick will have a meeting with each other after the season is officially over. According NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport:


But my understanding is [the marriage between Kraft, Belichick and Brady] is expected to continue past this season. First there is Bill Belichick, under contract for several more years and Belichick came out and said he absolutely believes he’ll be the Patriots coach next year and from what I understand I don’t see any situation where Robert Kraft allows anything besides that. Then there is Tom Brady. Of course, he is also under contract, he is never getting traded from the Patriots he is going to retire there, so it’s really on these three guys to come together after the season, figure it out and move forward.


So by all accounts, Belichick is not likely leaving because of what he has built in New England, Brady is still under contract till 2019, and Kraft isn’t suddenly handing the reigns to his son Jonathon Kraft, President of The Kraft Group. So this story will contnued to be addressed but don’t expect this story to hurt the PAtriots moral. At this point, the team is just focused on beating the Tennessee Titans at home on Saturday’s matchup at 8:15 PM EST.




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New England Patriots

Patriots Talk: Terry Glenn’s Autopsy Discovers Multiple Substances



Reports Show Alcohol and Marijuana In His System

It’s been almost three months since the news of Terry Glenn’s death hit the NFL like a storm. We see deaths everyday outside of sports but his death unexpected. He had been out of football for almost a decade and he died at the young age of 43.

Terry Glenn died on Nov. 20th of last year in a fatal car accident on a highway in Irving, Texas. At the time, there was some hesitation in the report due to the fact that the report was coming from TMZ Sports. However, multiple reports have come forward that verify that the autopsy report was accurate.

According to the report, Glenn had an blood alcohol level of .165, which is twice the legal limit to drive. On top of that, they found traces of marijuana in his system. This would have contributed to his losing control on the highway that resulted in his death.

His passing has been one that has seemingly been forgotten as Glenn is now buried in Dallas, Texas. His public memorial was held at the Friendship West Baptist Church on December 1st, 2017. He played for 12 seasons in the NFL, he played for the New England Patriots from 1996 till 2001.

Glenn is survived by his fiancee, Verina LeGrand, his mother Denetta Glenn, his four sons; Terrance Jr., Christian, Tatum, Greyson; three daughters, Natalie, Samantha and Vanessa; two stepdaughters, Paxstyn and Vyviene; his sister, Dorothy; and most of his extended family from Ohio and across the country.

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