Tag:Tom Brady
Posted on: February 25, 2012 7:17 pm
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Report: Pats 'likely' to franchise tag Wes Welker

Welkers will reportedly get the franchise tag from New England. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

We've mentioned Wes Welker's name several times over the past few weeks. Once as our pick for the top available free-agent wide receiver and previously as a player on whom the franchise tag would probably be used.

And that appears to be the case: according to a report from Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Patriots "are likely" to utilize the franchise tag and place it on Welker before the March 5 deadline, in order to prevent Welker from hitting the open market. If Welker signed his tender, he would receive a guaranteed, one-year salary of $9.5 million.

There was some belief that the Patriots wouldn't commit that much cash in guaranteed money to Welker and would let him test the market and then attempt to re-sign him at a lower rate than what Welker reportedly wants (it's believed he wants to be paid somewhere in the range of $14 to $15 million per year).

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald reported on Saturday that the logic behind the Patriots change of heart is that the market for Welker in free agency would be "incredibly active."

The last time New England used the franchise tag, things did not go smoothly. Logan Mankins, one of the defendants in the Lockout Lawsuit, held out for seven games after the labor crisis was resolved.

And there's a chance that a similar stand-off could occur with Welker if the two sides don't reach a long-term deal. Welker's critical to the Patriots offense -- he has 554 receptions and 6,105 receiving yards since 2007 -- but he would also like to be paid like one of the top wideouts in the game and given his age and previous injury history, the security of one more big contract.

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Posted on: February 21, 2012 10:17 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 1:09 pm
 

Tom Martinez, Tom Brady's mentor, dies at 66

Tom Brady with Tom Martinez (MatchingDonors.com)
By Ryan Wilson

Tom Martinez, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's longtime mentor, has died after suffering a heart attack during a dialysis session, Boston's WCVB reported Tuesday evening.

Martinez had been in need of a kidney transplant for some time due to complications from diabetes. Last summer. he was given just months to live, but in January 2012, he told ABC News, "I've been told I'm out of here, and I don't accept that. I'm going to fight to the end."

Brady, a first-ballot Hall of Famer when his career is over, has spoken often about Martinez' impact on his game.

"I've been so fortunate to be kind of his student that would take all this information and hopefully pass it on to the next generation of young quarterbacks that want to learn the proper ways to throw the football," Brady told CBS in November.  "Without Tom Martinez, Tom Brady would not have been the quarterback of the New England Patriots," he said. 

Brady worked with Martinez before the start of the 2011 season. The two watched film and Martinez tweaked Brady's mechanics during on-field throwing sessions, something he's been doing since Brady's prep days.

”He asked me to come out, right before the season started. Labor Day weekend,” Martinez told the Boston Herald's Ian Rapoport back in September. ”He said he was off. His throwing was off. So I went out there Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. We went through the film. Then all of a sudden, everything else fell into place. Within about an hour, he was back to the old Tom Brady. Then he had that 517 yard game [against the Dolphins in Week 1]. I guess what we did worked.”

Brady had used his celebrity (through Facebook and by teaming up with Matching Donors) to help raise awareness about Martinez' condition in the hopes that a donor would be found.

“What he is giving me is an opportunity to live longer, so I can’t thank him enough, "Martinez said weeks before Brady played in Super Bowl XLVI. "Yet we have the kind of relationship where we don’t have to thank each other,” Martinez said. “It is understood that there is nothing that I wouldn’t do for him and there is nothing he probably wouldn’t do for me.”

Brady released a statement on his Facebook page Wednesday (via WEEI.com).

”I am deeply saddened by the passing of my coach, mentor and friend. Coach Martinez’s invaluable assistance and support will never be forgotten and will always have a lasting impact on my life. The time we spent together remain some of my fondest memories. His legacy of commitment, toughness and determination will live on forever.”

Martinez was 66.

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Posted on: February 20, 2012 9:43 pm
 

Tom Brady vacationing in (sigh) Costa Rica

Brady somehow has to make due with the supermodel wife and the Costa Rican vacations (Getty Images)
By Josh Katzowitz

Tom Brady has a nice life. That might be hard for you to believe, considering his wife has been mocked mercilessly for sending an e-mail to friends and family to pray for Brady in Super Bowl XLVI and for complaining about the team’s receivers afterward and since, you know, the Patriots lost to the Giants, leaving Brady alone with his thoughts in the postgame locker room.

But it’s true. Brady has a pretty good life. You know, with the exotic supermodel wife, the Hall of Fame talent, the solid bankroll and all the Uggs he can wear. Oh, and the vacations. The very strong after-season vacations.

This week, Brady and the family are in Costa Rica, eating local food, drinking coconut water and wearing skimpy bikinis (well, only one of the family members is wearing the tiny bathing suit). So, if you care enough about that, click this link to x17online.com (it’s a celebrity gossip site, NOT a NSFW site. I promise). 

Otherwise you can go about your day, knowing that your supermodel wife will NOT reward you with a luxurious vacation when you screw something up at work.

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Posted on: February 17, 2012 1:22 pm
 

Sounds like the Patriots want to keep Brian Hoyer

It seems that New England would rather have Hoyer, right, in the No. 2 role, rather than Mallett. (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

After so much offseason talk last year about Ryan Mallett, his behavior at the NFL combine, his admitted drug use, whether he blew off pre-draft meetings with teams and how far he would fall in the draft, we haven’t spent much time talking about him during the regular season.

That probably has something to do with the fact he was active for only one game this season as he sat behind Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer in New England. And while Mallett believes he’s in the perfect situation with the Patriots, the team might not feel he’s ready to handle the weight of being the franchise’s No. 2 quarterback.

That’s the word from the Boston Herald, which writes that two sources say the team will tender Hoyer because the Patriots don’t believe Mallett is quite ready.

Hoyer is a restricted free agent, and if New England tenders him at the first-round compensation level, that would be worth $2.742 million for a one-year deal. As the Herald writes, “it would probably preclude other teams from making a play for Hoyer.”

Mallett, though, might be OK with the arrangement for now.

“It’s been awesome,” he said during the Super Bowl media day. “It’s good for me to sit back and watch and not have to do media stuff all the time and be out in the spotlight. But as a competitor, you want to be on the field and be playing in the game.”

As Green Bay’s Matt Flynn has proven, even if you have one of the best quarterbacks in the league, having a backup that can enter a game on short notice and play well is an important need -- and a need that is not overly common in the NFL.

For instance, during Super Bowl XLVI after Tom Brady took a sack from Justin Tuck, it appeared that he might be hurt. Hoyer began warming up, and New England had to be confident enough in Hoyer that he could play immediately and play well.

For now, it’s clear the Patriots don’t feel that way about Mallett.

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Posted on: February 16, 2012 10:22 am
Edited on: February 16, 2012 11:23 am
 

Agent: Flacco is 'in the top five' for QB money

Maybe Flacco should just get Brady's contract? (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Tuesday we mentioned that Joe Flacco's camp and the Ravens might start talking about a new contract next week at the 2012 NFL Combine. We also discussed where Flacco fits in terms of the financial quarterback hierarchy, noting that surely he deserves to be paid more than Matt Cassel, Kevin Kolb or Ryan Fitzpatrick, $60-million men in their own right.

Apparently, we badly undershot the expectations of Flacco's camp -- Flacco's agent Joe Linta told Matt Vensel of the Baltimore Sun that the Ravens quarterback needs to get the same kind of money that a top-five quarterback would expect.

"If the game is about wins and losses, he has to be in the top five [quarterbacks],” Linta said. “He is a player who has been extremely durable, never missed a game. And he’s done something that no one has ever done. In his four years in the league, he has never missed a game and has more wins than any other quarterback."

Now, the reaction to this "WHAT?" That's understandable, because Flacco, frankly, isn't a top-five quarterback in the NFL. He's probably (definitely?) not a top-ten quarterback either. (If we were picking quarterbacks to start a team looking to win both now and in the future, we'd take Flacco 15th.)

But Linta phrased this perfectly. If the game is about wins and losses, then, yes, Flacco is a top-five quarterback. Only Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Alex Smith won more games in 2011. And Flacco's won a lot of playoff games and showed that he can perform under pressure in 2011, even if his overall game took a step back.

But Flacco doesn't win those games by himself. The Ravens ranking No. 3 in overall defense in 2011 helped somewhat. As did Ray Rice and Ricky Williams rumbling Baltimore to a top-10 ranking in rushing yards.

The "quarterback wins" argument is a tired one, in our opinion, but one that still holds water, especially when negotiating a contract. But that being said, if Linta can parlay Flacco's NFL career into "top-five money," he'll be the big winner, since every single NFL player should hire him to negotiate their deals.

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Posted on: February 12, 2012 10:04 pm
 

Wayne on Pats: 'Who wouldn't want to play there?'

Wayne's career in Indy may be over but he'll play somewhere (New England?) in 2012. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

Way back in August, days after the lockout had ended and before any of the 32 teams had their hopes and dreams crushed, Colts owner Jim Irsay asked veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne, in the last year of his contract, to be patient. There would be no new deal during the season.

"At this point," Irsay said at the time, "I don't anticipate that sort of thing, an extension or anything like that. We always talk about next year, where we're going to be with the (salary) cap, what type of situation we're going to be in because it's going to come quickly. We prepare for next year whether it's Pierre (Garcon), or Robert and Reggie."

The Colts stumbled to a 2-14 record without Peyton Manning, who along with Wayne, appears to have played his last game in Indy. To Wayne's credit, he never complained publicly or entertained thoughts of holding out, even saying last summer that "I'm a Colt, what else I'm gonna be?"


On Friday, ESPN's Josina Anderson asked Wayne about his NFL future. He doesn't sound much different in February than he did in July. 

"All I know is the Colts," he said. "That is where I want to be. I have been there 11 years and I would prefer to end my career a Colt. 

"However, in due time those feelings could subside. I know one thing, my phone works. I do have service and every last bar on it and their number has not come across it yet. I haven't heard anything from [the Colts] yet, so maybe I am not as important on the chain of command as I should be. 

"But either way, I'm cool," Wayne continued. "I have nothing bad to say about the Colts. The Colts took me in and made me a millionaire. I had nothing before I got here but a bunch of invoices. So either way I am still good, and I will still be friends with all of my teammates. But I am still at a point with all of this Peyton stuff, and this Andrew Luck stuff that I can't be all the way worrying just about that. My phone hasn't rung yet. It's only fair I worry about number 87 first. When I'm signed, then I can weigh in more." 

We've been saying for almost two months that Wayne's future could be tied to Manning's. Wherever Peyton ends up, it wouldn't be unreasonable to think that Wayne won't be far behind. (This week, the Dolphins are the favorites to land Manning; Wayne went to the U. And if Manning goes to the Jets, it makes sense that Wayne would follow him there too.)

But should the duo go their separate ways after playing together for a decade, the Patriots would be a logical landing spot for the wide receiver. Here's what we wrote on December 22 about possible destinations for Wayne in 2012:

"1. New England. Consider it payback for Adam Vinatieri, but more importantly, it’ll give Tom Brady the deep threat Chad Ochocinco never developed into. Wayne’s game is built on precise route-running, which is imperative in Peyton Manning’s offense (and Brady's). And it’s something Ochocinco never had to worry about in Cincinnati."

Wayne isn't a burner (he's 33 and an 11-year veteran), but he knows how to get open on short, medium and deep routes, something Ochocinco struggled with from the moment he arrived in Foxboro.

And while Wayne-to-the-Pats was nothing more than speculation, it also makes sense.  Former Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest, now an NFL Network analyst, has spoken to Wayne about relocating to New England.

“It came up in the conversation would he ever want to play for the Patriots,” McGinest said according to the Boston Herald. “He smiled and said, ‘Who wouldn’t want to play there?’

“If it could have worked with Chad (Ochocinco), it would have been good. It didn’t. I just think (Tom Brady) has a lot of weapons, but he can always use that stretch-the-field receiver," McGinest said. "When they had Randy (Moss) there, it really made it tough for teams to stop them. Reggie Wayne is somebody who could stretch the field. He has great hands, he’s a professional who could pick up the system. Having another big-time receiver like that would put it over the top.”

And that was our point back in December. Ochocinco has been a disaster, Wes Welker is a possession receiver not a deep threat, and the passing offense is built around the tight ends.

ProFootballTalk.com's Michael David Smith points out that Bill Belichick is a longtime Wayne fan, too.

“I can’t say enough about Reggie Wayne,” Belichick said during the 2009 season. “That guy is the best receiver we cover every year and it seems like he just keeps getting better.”

The Patriots have a history of taking guys who regularly torch them. That's how Welker ended up in New England in 2007.

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Posted on: February 9, 2012 11:08 am
 

Brady told O'Brien he threw ball away on safety

Hard to blame Brady for throwing it away. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Much ado's been made about the safety on the first Patriots offensive play of the game in the Super Bowl last Sunday -- Tom Brady threw the ball to no one while standing in his own end zone. But was intentional grounding the right call? And did some receiver mess up a route that caused Brady to throw the ball where he did?

Turns out, no. Brady actually was throwing it away. On the Sound FX portion of NFL Replay, NFL Films caught Brady telling (former) offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien that he did in fact throw it away after first trying to find Rob Gronkowski, then Wes Welker and finally feeling heat from Justin Tuck.

"I looked to Gronk, I looked to Wes, he dropped and then I felt [Tuck]," Brady said. "I had no place to throw it away. I threw it over his head. I didn't want to throw an interception."

So it's a pretty clear case of intentional grounding, provided Brady was in the pocket (he was) and therefore a clear safety provided Brady was in the end zone (he was). That didn't stop Bill Belichick from arguing the call with referee John Parry through.

Sound FX picked up Belichick calling Parry over and saying "The intentional grounding call ..."

"What's the problem with it?" Parry replied.

"He had a guy coming in there -- he didn't throw it to him. But he had a guy that was coming in there," Belichick said. "I mean, damn."

There are four parts up on NFL.com (if you don't have NFL Network) and all are worth watching. As we noted earlier on Thursday, one clip shows Belichick telling his defense to stifle Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks and "make" the Giants find Mario Manningham on their final drive.

Unfortunately for Belichick, that worked out about as well as his attempt to argue that Brady didn't throw the ball away.

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Posted on: February 9, 2012 9:59 am
Edited on: February 10, 2012 2:49 pm
 

Jacobs apologizes for telling Gisele to 'shut up'

Jacobs didn't mean it, Gisele. Well, not all of it anyway. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Wednesday, the New York media hounded Giants players for their thoughts on Gisele ripping Patriots wide receivers and pass-catchers. Running back Brandon Jacobs, often known for saying some outlandish things, said Gisele should "be cute and shut up."

NFL Offseason Begins

It was inappropriate, because you never tell another man's wife to "shut up," and Jacobs apologized for it later on Wednesday.

"Given the fact that it's a colleague of mine's wife, I do apologize for saying that, because I shouldn't have said that," Jacobs said Wednesday on The Doug Gottlieb Show. "It's his wife and I should respect that just as much as anyone else."

Jacobs is correct. If he'd said something like "She shouldn't be saying that about his teammates," he would've been lauded for correctly assessing the situation. Using the phrase "shut up" towards another man's wife just isn't something that flies.

As for the "be cute" part of his statement, well, Jacobs isn't apologizing for that.

"No question, he should take that as a compliment," Jacobs said. "If he finds something wrong with that, then that's his problem."

Theoretically, Gisele/Brady could be upset with "cute" since it's not the typical phrase used to describe "one of the most famous supermodels in the world."

Whatever, they got an apology from Jacobs which is a hard thing to do. And something tells us Gisele/Brady will have enough to worry about own on their own without sweating what someone on another team says.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com