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Patriots Talk: First Week of Free Agency



Uneventful As Usual

The first week of free agency has already started but it has already shifted the the scales in the NFL. The New York Giants trading star WR Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns was the craziest news of the week. And then the Kansas City Chiefs released DE Dee Ford, LB Justin Houston and S Eric Berry. And the Oakland Raiders getting Antonio “Mr. Big Chest” Brown for a third and fifth rounder was the steal of the off-season. 

Meanwhile, the Patriots continue doing what they always have: taking the scarps and making the most of the situation. The team didn’t have much to work with really. The team is 25th in total cap space in the league (Just barely over 12 million) and likely are going to re-tool the entire roster. Sadly, the team has lost out on quite a lot of talent this off-season, both in players and coaching personnel. 

Coaches Head Down South

To say it’s been a shakeup is selling it short. The Patriots lost their defensive signal caller, Brian Flores. While he is still replaceable, this was quite sudden with only one year under his belt. In addition, Chad O’Shea (Former Patriots WR coach) and Josh Boyer (Former Patriots CB coach) fill key positions among their staff. 

Additionally, Patrick Graham (former Patriots LB coach) will serve as defensive coordinator and Brendan Daly (former DL coach) was hired by the Kansas City Chiefs. With this all taken in, the Patriots have five open positions on their coaching staff, 4 of which are on defense. This has left possibly the biggest blow to the Patriots since the 2005 off-season. That year, the Patriots lost both offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, who went to coach at the University of Notre Dame and Romeo Cornell became head coach of the Cleveland Browns. 

Losing Players Left And Right

The Patriots have never over spent. Even under the worst circumstances, they rarely used the franchise tag for any players (last time was in 2015 with kicker Stephen Gostkowski). The team has already lost quite a few players to free agency and it just started last Monday. 

The Detroit Lions have been very busy with resigning key players such as DE Trey Flowers and former Patriots WR Danny Amendola. Along with this the Patriots have lost LT Trent Brown (see above), CB Eric Rowe, WR Cordarrelle Patterson, and DT Malcolm Brown. Quite alot to make up for, but trading for Michel Bennet and Isaiah Wynn returning will mitigate the losses but there is still much to be done. 

Resigning Players Under The Radar

The Patriots are seemingly taking their time with this off-season. They lose out on getting Lions WR Golden Tate (who has signed with the New York Giants) or Adam Humphries (who has signed with the Tennessee Titans). Several players that are resigned include CB Jason McCourty, WR Philip Dorsett, and LB John Simon

While nothing spectacular, they still are keeping themselves at work. Getting former Patriot, Brandon Bolden back will add more to special teams. As for who has been added, the Patriots got WR Bruce Ellington, formerly of Detriot and WR Maurice Harris from Washington. While neither of these players are likely to make the final cut (Remind me of Jordan Matthews and Eric Decker), the depth is still needed. (Especially at WR, so there is a high chance Chris Hogan will be resigned as well)

Finally, S Terrance Brooks and NT Mike Pennel (both formerly from the New York Jets). The last player signed as of March 14th was TE Matt LaCosse from the Denver Broncos. Most of these signings are much more of need and not starter material. It’s still early but its the off-season. It will be a while before anything major really happens in New England. After all, Patriots only show up in January and February. For now, the Patriots will just need to focus on adding more for key positions to prep for who they draft in April. 

New England Patriots

Patriots Talk: Steelers Are Opponent for Season Opener



The Patriots 2019 season schedule was released just yesterday, along with all NFL teams. (for further info, see our article on the 2019 schedule) Like most expected, the schedule appears to be pretty standard for the most part. The only exception is that the Super Bowl champions will be facing their long-heated rival; The Pittsburgh Steelers. 

The reason why this game is so important is because of the significance between both teams. The Pittsbugh Steelers for the last decade have been the sole team to have six Super Bowl Championships…until the Patriots won their sixth ring this year. And to unveil their sixth banner, in front of their hated rivals, who now have to share their title ‘of most rings for an NFL team’, on Sunday Night Football, at the start of the season, is the definition of “must watch television.” 

Let’s not pretend Roger Goodell is bewildering idiot, because he is far from it. While this game will be entertaining, it’s not a coincidence why this game is happening on prime time TV. On top of this, it’s the NFL’s 100th anniversary since it’s creation. The timing and just sheer tension, is a definite markdown on your calendars. The NFL wants to make money, and this for sure, will be one of those games. 

A Heated Rivalry

It’s not secret that the Patriots and Steelers have history. Since the start of the Belichick and Brady era, the Patriots have dominated the AFC for almost 20 years. The Steelers are the only team that has managed to make multiple Super Bowls within that era alongside the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos (both led by Peyton Manning). 

The Patriots started out with no rings before 2001, and the Steelers had four rings from the 70s Steelers who were led by Hall of Fame coach Chuck Noll, QB Terry Bradshaw and the Steel Curtain Defense. Then the Patriots won three rings within 4 years. Then the Steelers won two rings in 2005 and 2008. And for nearly a decade the Steelers were the lone team that had that record. Until this season. 

The fact this game is happening on the same night of the Pats sixth Super Bowl banner being unveiled is just rubbing it in the face of the Pittsburgh fanbase. And it’s going to be televised nationally. This game will be an ugly game to see as the Steelers have had a very tough off-season. Losing Antonio Brown in one of the most over dramatic (and pathetic) sabotages that the NFL has possibly seen was bad. Losing Le’Veon Bell in free agency was bad. Then the locker room becoming involved and started throwing blame made things worse. 

Bottom line, the Steelers didn’t have a good off-season and Coach Mike Tomlin and Quarterback Ben Roethlisburger looked like incompetent leaders (both on and off-the field). This game is just begging for these teams to beat the crap out of each other. And I honestly, can’t wait. NFL season can’t come soon enough. 

The Patriots had lost last year in the regular season, 10-17 to the Steelers. But this year, it will be the season opener, not Week 10. This one will be for the books. The opener will be on Sunday, Sept. 8th at 8:20 PM EST on NBC.   

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New England Patriots

New England Patriots 2019 Schedule Officially Released



New England Patriots 2019 Schedule Officially Released, Season Opener Hosting Pittsburgh Steelers

At 8 pm a gift was presented to all New England Patriots fans. 

The official 2019 NFL schedule. 

New England will kick off their season on NBC Sunday Night Football against the Pittsburgh Steelers where the Patriots are anticipated to raise their another Super Bowl banner. 

Historically the Patriots have hosted the Steelers three other times for the season opener, two of the three times, 2002 and 2015, the Patriots also happened to be the defending Super Bowl Champions. 

All in all, New England will have 5 prime time games in the 2019 season with the other four being against the New York Giants, New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens, and the Houston Texans. The 5 games matches the 2018 total for New England. 

Following their season opener hosting Pittsburgh the Patriots will jump right into AFC East play with their next three opponents being the Dolphins, Jets, and Bills. 

See below for the full 2019 Patriots regular season schedule as well as their preseason slate. 

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New England Patriots

Patriots Announce Signing Of Demaryius Thomas




Patriots Announce Signing Of Demaryius Thomas And Re-signing Of Jonathan Jones

On Tuesday the New England Patriots announced that they had signed free agent wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and re-signed restricted free agent defensive back Jonathan Jones. 

The terms of both deals were not announced. 

Thomas, now 31-years-old, has played nine NFL seasons with the majority of his career coming with the Denver Broncos from 2010-18 and then last season with the Houston Texans. 

The former first round pick has played in 132 career NFL regular season games with 118 starts totaling 688 receptions for 9,930 yards and 62 touchdowns. 

In addition he has 10 postseason starts logging 53 receptions for 759 yards and six touchdowns and helped the Denver Bronco’s to their Super Bowl 50 win. The former Bronco had a five years treat he where he logged 1,000 yards or more and he set the Bronco’s single-season yards record with 1,619 receiving yards in 2014. 

Thomas is one of three NFL players that include Marvin Harrison and Jerry Rice to log three consecutive seasons of 1,400+ yards and 10+ touchdowns.

Peyton Manning’s former weapon started the first 8 games of last season with Denver before being traded to Houston. He was injured in the regular season finale and placed on IR for the playoffs. 

As for Jones, he is 25-years-old and has logged three NFL seasons all with the Patriots. 

He signed as a rookie free agent out of Auburn back in 2016 and has played in 48 regular season games with 10 starts and has 92 total tackles, 2 1/2 sacks, four interceptions, 16 passes defense, and 18 special teams tackles. 

He has also played in seven postseason games with two starts. 

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