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Patriots Talk: Rumored Free Agent Signings in 2017

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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.

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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.

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NFL Week 15 Picks

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NFL Week 15 Picks

The last three weeks will be long and stretched out for sure. The NFL will be having two games for today, Saturday, Dec. 16th. I will be going over all the games in order, per usual. Though I will say this, I am glad I broke my losing streak of getting Thursday night games wrong with the Broncos winning against the Colts. As for what the NFL will provide us with this week, we will have to wait and see. Just hope that it’s better than Thursday night’s game it was the lowest rated game by far for Thursday night football.

Denver Broncos @ Indianapolis Colts: Winner – Broncos (Correct)

I already knew the Colts were finished for the season. This game was kicking them while they were already down. Just seems like the Broncos need a new QB in next year’s draft. Osweiler had the best game of his career on Thursday. Does’t mean he is the future. We all saw that in Houston.

Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions: Winner – Lions

The Lions have been a disappointment for this season from where they started. The Bears have shown quite a bit of upside but the Lions have the better overall team though the Bears have been flying under the radar for some. 9th in Passing yards per game (216.6 per game) and 14th in run defense (108.9 per game). At the end of the day, can the Bears pull an upset here? I frankly don’t believe it, the run game is excellent thanks to Jordan Howard but the truth is Matthew Stafford is still a great QB. Give me the Lions to win 24-17.

Los Angeles Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs: Winner – Chargers

When the Qb on your team throws 4 TDs in a game against the New York Jets and you still lose, you are a terrible team. There are no excuses about it. Even with a  win over the Raiders, that was still a closer game than most wanted. The Chargers have been a team that has been on a hot streak and I see them continuing it here. The Chargers have the 3rd best passing defense in the NFL but the 28th worst run defense. Meanwhile, the Chiefs have the 29th worst run defense and 28th worst passing defense. The better pass rush is the key here and the Chargers have it. Chargers should win 28-21.

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Patriots Football Talk: Patriots Lose to Miami

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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

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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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