Brady was suspended four games by the NFL last year after a league-commissioned investigation found it was “more probable than not” that he was “generally aware” of team staff deflating footballs prior to the 2014 AFC Championship Game. Brady put up a career-best TD-INT ratio and lost just one game on the year, a midseason home defeat to the Seahawks.
The stakes of Brady’s amazing 2016 season were amplified even more during Super Bowl week when he divulged that his mother had been battling an illness and that his father hadn’t been to a game all season.
The trade notably did not include Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, who is due for a new contract. It raises questions about the future of the Patriots’ receiver group — will Cooks get a long-term deal before Julian Edelman? — but the deal undeniably makes this group loaded in the present. Edelman, Cooks, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell, Rob Gronkowski and Allen make for a ridiculous pass-catching group, with James White and Dion Lewis catching passes out of the backfield. That group will keep Tom Brady younger than any diet could.
It’s almost silly to evaluate this Patriots group now because they clearly aren’t done making moves on either side of the ball. More trades and free agent signings are to come, with line Dont’a Hightower one notable big name whose status remains up in the air.
I love Sutton’s versatility. We saw him play corner, nickel and safety at the Senior Bowl. Bill Belichick asks his players to play a lot of different roles, and their roles might change on a weekly basis. Sutton has the ability to fulfill those duties.
The Move The Sticks podcast is identifying “Perfect Pairs” — the ideal top two picks — for each NFL team leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft, which will be held April 27-29. NFL.com analysts Daniel Jeremiah and cheap jerseys and Bucky Brooks will unveil a new set of picks for each division over the next several weeks, continuing with the AFC East. The analysts will reveal their picks for AFC South and West teams next week.
In a word, Super Bowl LI was mesmerizing. Perhaps another Super Sunday was better from stem to stern, but no other edition left the How in the world did that happen? aftertaste of a game that notched 30 — thirty! — NFL records in the process. Put another way: This sucker was more than merely a rung better than Super Bowl 50. It was the perfect way to put another season — the NFL’s 97th — in the books.
With that, we are taking a final glance at all 32 teams. Each is ranked with an eye toward the future — ’cause in a few weeks, the NFL calendar cranks up again. Come early March, when players are franchise-hopping, we’ll readdress the whole lot. But here’s where they stand at this moment in time, with the 2016 campaign fresh in the rearview and all the offseason wheeling and dealing on the horizon. Your take is welcome now: @HarrisonNFL is the place.
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Remember, Blount finished the regular season with 1,161 rushing yards and led the NFL with 18 rushing touchdowns, thanks to his “bull in a china shop” running style. Against a set of fast but undersized Atlanta LBs, the Patriots should test their collective courage and toughness by running right at them early and often.
If the Falcons hold up against New England’s power-based run game, the team could give the ball to Dion Lewis from a variety of spread formations to attack the Dirty Birds’ nickel package. The diminutive runner has been extremely productive for the Patriots whenever he has been featured in the backfield. Lewis is a threat to score from anywhere on the field and his versatility as a runner/receiver puts defenders on notice whenever he steps on the field.