Tom Brady Jersey

It’s crickets when it comes to the Patriots and Tom Brady coming to terms on a new contract, according to Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston.

The reason why this is significant is simply for the fact that Brady has never in his career entered a season as a lame duck, one year left on his deal. Not only that, but the quarterback’s $27 million cap hit is something the Patriots would seemingly want to reduce as it’s never been that high in Brady career either. While one would think it’d be wise to clear up that space and lock in their generational quarterback for his remaining years, that simply hasn’t happened at this point.

At the Super Bowl, the Kraft were asked about this very topic and noted that they would work to get it done. “We’re still in the season before, so he’s not in the final year of his deal,” Jonathan Kraft said on NBC Sports Boston’s Boston Sports Tonight on the Tuesday before their win over the Rams in Super Bowl LIII. “That’s really the answer to that, and let’s see what happens when training camp starts.”

Added Robert Kraft: “I think we’ve done an OK job keeping things together. We’re blessed to have the GOATs at each of their positions, and our intent would be that they keep doing it.”

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Throughout this most recent playoff run, Brady’s remained true to the notion that he wants to continue playing until he’s 45, which is still a few years away for the six-time Super Bowl champion. In an sit-down interview with ESPN’s Jeff Darlington before Super Bowl week, Brady said, “I have set a goal for myself at 45 and like I said before, it is very hard to make it that far. I know how hard it was this year and the commitment it takes. Hopefully I have learned from some of the things that happened this year to be better next year. But, every year is tough.”He added: “I feel like I’ve still made a lot of improvements. I still feel like I can continue to do it at a championship level and I think that was where I was at before and that’s still where I’m at now.”

Given that, Brady really doesn’t seem like he’s slowing down, so a contract should be in order for him to not only lock him up, but give the team as much flexibility as possible to build the team around him. There’s no need to raise too much of a stir about this right now, but the longer it goes without him putting pen to paper on a new deal, the more alarm bells will start ringing. The NFL is breaking tradition a bit as they celebrate their 100th season in 2019. Typically, the reining Super Bowl champion will kickoff the regular season as they drop the banner in their own building. This year there is a little bit of a twist.

Instead of the Patriots hosting that Thursday Night Football opener, the NFL announced on Monday that it will be the Green Bay Packers visiting the Chicago Bears on September 5 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC. As for New England, they will be bumped to Sunday Night Football where they will celebrate their Super Bowl LIII title on September 8, drop the banner and begin their title defense. The opponent for that game has yet to be announced.

The full schedule is set to be released in mid-April. As for who the Patriots could play in that game, they do have the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and the Kansas City Chiefs along with their AFC East rivals on the schedule to roll through Gillette Stadium in 2019.

An AFC Championship rematch with the Chiefs would be a fitting scenario for the Patriots, but the NFL may elect to save that game for later in the season as a primetime game given that both New England and Kansas City are likely going to be duking it out for playoff positioning yet again in 2019. The Steelers and Cowboys will likely create their own buzz later on in the season without the juice of the Sunday Night Football Opener, which may leave the Browns, Giants and the rest of the AFC East.

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Given their loaded offseason headlined by trading for Odell Beckham Jr., the new look Cleveland Browns heading into Foxboro would likely draw huge numbers across the NFL landscape. Eli Manning and the Giants would also have a certain cache to it, but if we were able to catch the year of the schedule makers, the Browns coming into town for Week 1 would be the right play. While there will be plenty of celebration on that night with the debut of the franchise’s sixth Super Bowl banner, this will also be the first game of the post-Rob Gronkowski era. On Sunday the tight end announced his retirement from the league after nine seasons with the Patriots. New England’s roster will likely look a lot different than it does currently and it will be interesting to see how the reining chaps attack the NFL Draft and the trade market to try and replace their all-world pass catching option.

In any event, it should be another banner night in New England.

Rob Gronkowski Jersey

Rob Gronkowski, the dominant tight end who helped lead the New England Patriots to three Super Bowl titles in nine seasons while cultivating a goofy, frat boy persona off the field, announced his retirement from the N.F.L. on Sunday.

In an Instagram post, Gronkowski, 29, widely considered one of the most talented tight ends to ever play, thanked the team and its fans for drafting his “silliness” back in 2010 and acknowledged the uncertainty of what will come next for him.

“Thank you for everyone accepting who I am and the dedication I have put into my work to be the best player I could be,” he said. “But now its time to move forward and move forward with a big smile knowing that the New England Patriots Organization, Pats Nation, and all my fans will be truly a big part of my heart for rest of my life.”Gronkowski did not say why he was retiring, or what he planned to do next. But according to a report on NFL Network, Gronkowski agreed to a deal with a film or television company before the Super Bowl.Becoming a television or movie personality is not a complete surprise; he seemed to enjoy performing on camera, dancing and hamming it up on things like a Gronk Party Ship in 2016 filled with fans and entertainers on a cruise ship from Miami to the Bahamas. He danced shirtless and appeared to egg on patrons to have sex.

There also were a series of injuries that put in question how much longer he could play. He had hinted the past two seasons that he was considering leaving the N.F.L. because of the wear and tear on his body, which led to missed games because of an ankle sprain, a broken forearm, an infection, a herniated disk in his back, a torn A.C.L., a sprained knee, an injured hamstring and a pulmonary contusion, among other injuries.

Gronkowski — should this truly be the end — will finish his career with 521 catches, 7,861 yards and a Patriots-record 79 touchdowns. He was named to the Pro Bowl five times and was first-team All-Pro four times, taking full advantage of his size and speed to find mismatches on any given play.

His team made the Super Bowl in five of his nine seasons, winning three times, but he was not on the field for the Patriots’ dramatic comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI because he was recovering for back surgery.When he was on the field, though, he was nearly always the go-to receiver for Tom Brady, with the two combining for thrilling plays in the closing minutes of countless games.

“What an honor and privilege to play with you these past nine years @gronk!,’’ Brady wrote on Instagram. “You accomplished so much and our team was almost unbeatable when you were on the field!”Last season, Gronkowski earned nearly $9 million in salary and bonuses. He was able to finish his career on a high note, helping the Patriots — the only team he has played for — beat the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

Drafted in the second round (42nd over all) of the 2010 draft, Gronkowski used his hulking 6-foot-6 frame to excel as a receiver and a blocker. He also used his size to run over defenders and, at times, confront them. He was fined four times, including once for taunting a player, once for unnecessary roughness and once for his role in a brawl at the end of Super Bowl XLIX.

Because of his age and his injury history, much of the talk coming into this year’s Super Bowl was about whether Gronkowski had fallen off as a player. That idea was brushed aside by Aqib Talib, a cornerback for the Rams and a former teammate of Gronkowski’s.

“You all haven’t put on shoulder pads and helmets and lined up against Gronk in your life. I do,” Talib said. “So believe me when I tell you, any day he can explode and go crazy.”Just as Talib predicted, Gronkowski played a huge role in the Patriots’ win, with six catches for 87 yards. Two of his catches, which went for a combined 47 yards, set up Sony Michel’s 2-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, all but deciding the game.As dominant as he was on the field, Gronkowski was equally larger than life off it, frequently standing out among the businesslike Patriots, led by Coach Bill Belichick, with his love of partying and his frequent sophomoric humor, delivered with an exaggerated wink.

Gronkowski’s fun-loving personality was candy to his fans. But it came as the N.F.L. was battling the perception — in the wake of several high-profile players being suspended for domestic violence and sexual abuse — that it cared little for how women were treated.

Given his size and sense of humor, it was perhaps appropriate that Gronkowski is also a professional wrestling fan and friends with performers including Mojo Rawley. Gronkowski helped him “win” a Battle Royal in 2017. From time to time, speculation has surfaced that WWE was interested in offering Gronkowski a contract.

His wrestling cameos might have been a prelude to a new career on screen. Already, he has appeared in the television series “Entourage,” “Family Guy” and “MVP.” He has also appeared in movies, including “The Lit Party,” “You Can’t Have It” and “American Violence.”

Julian Edelman Jersey

Julian Edelman has been through the ringer over the past year. The Patriots wide receiver rode the highest of highs winning Super Bowl MVP, but also rode the lowest of lows as he had to battle coming back from a torn ACL in 2017 and then was slapped with a suspension for the first month of the season. That said, Edelman has come through the other side and now it appears like he’s due a bit of a pay bump.

Edelman, who’ll be 33-years old by the start of next season, is heading into the final year of his two-year, $11 million contract he signed back in 2017 and is set to earn just $2 million in base salary with a total cap hit of around $4.5 million. Not only will the Patriots want to lock Edelman up for the remainder of his NFL career, but they’ll likely need to do it to prevent disrupting the balance in the locker room.

Earlier this free agent period, the Patriots lost out on the likes of Adam Humphries, Golden Tate and Cole Beasley. New England seemed to be a finalist for Beasley before he inked a four-year, $29 million contract ($7.25 AAV) with the the Buffalo Bills. They also had given Adam Humphris a better offer than the four-year, $36 million contract ($9 million AAV), but the pass catcher verbally agreed to a contract with the Tennessee Titans and stayed true to his word.

Edelman relates to those signings because, had they gone through, they would have been making well over what he would have been earning in 2019. A move like that without an Edelman extension/restructure would be a bad look in the locker room after he just battled back from a season-ending injury to then be a key reason why you were able to win the Super Bowl in 2018. It’s just bad business.

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While the Patriots did swing and miss on those free agents, there does seem like there should be another shoe to drop to bolster their receiving unit in 2019. Yes, they’ve added the likes of Bruce Ellington and Maurice Harris, while retaining Phillip Dorsett, but they also need to inject the unit with a top of the line pass catcher. While they are still waiting for a deal like that to arise, it wouldn’t seem out of the question for them to get a new Edelman deal done in the meantime.

The receiving still seems to be atop his game as he put up some stellar numbers in 2018. In the regular season, he caught 74 passes for 850 yards and six touchdowns in 12 games played.

Stephon Gilmore did the Patriots a solid this week as he and the team converted $8.5 million of the corner’s contract into a signing bonus, according to Field Yates of ESPN. That, in turn, creates $5.67 million in cap space for New England to use this offseason and gives them more flexibility to go after various free agents.

It appears that former NFL cornerback Adam Jones will be put behind bars for last month’s casino arrest.

According to TMZ, the 35-year-old has agreed to a plea deal which will put him in jail and also ban him from drinking alcohol for a year and a half.

“Pacman” was arrested at Rising Star Casino in Rising Sun, Indiana, and charged with felony intimidation, felony battery against an officer along with several other misdemeanors. Authorities say he was cheating while playing a table game, and things escalated when he was confronted.
This is a win-win for both sides as Gilmore gets the $8.5 million up front with the signing bonus and now the Patriots have more room to work as they continue to improve upon their roster in the free agent market, while also looking at trades and the NFL Draft coming in the next month. The Patriots are still pretty thin at the wide receiver position along with tight end and defensive line, so there could now be more roster moves on the horizon now that they have the space.

This move could also help facilitate any extensions that the Patriots would want to give out to players already on the roster. Names likes Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and certainly Julian Edelman appear due for a bit of a bump this offseason with revamped deals. Gilmore may have helped facilitate that with this move. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski is also still on the free agent market with the two sides reportedly nearing a deal, so this move could also help bring him back.

Overall, this gives the team more options. And it wouldn’t be too surprising to see more moves like this with various players in the next few weeks so the Patriots can create even more cap space, but this is a solid start and solid gesture by Gilmore.

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While he was always a star corner since coming into the league, Gilmore really rose to elite status in 2018 with his play in Foxboro. For the year, Gilmore finished with 45 tackles, 20 passes defended and two interceptions. Pro Football Focus also added that Gilmore allowed catches on just 46.7 percent of his targets. Those 20 passes defended were a career high for Gilmore and he was just the fifth Patriots player to reach that mark in franchise history. Not only was Gilmore able to put up some impressive numbers for the year, he did so by guarding some of the top pass catchers in the NFL like Antonio Brown, Stefon Diggs, DeAndre Hopkins, Sammy Watkins and others.

In the playoffs, Gilmore added seven more tackles to his totals to go along with five passes defended, two interceptions and a forced fumble. One of those interceptions came in New England’s 13-3 win over the Rams in Super Bowl LIII where he also had five tackles, the forced fumble and three passes defended.