Curran: Odds are it was Brady, not Patriots, hiding any concussions

Curran: Odds are it was Brady, not Patriots, hiding any concussions

Given the Category 5 poopstorms the NFL dials up when the Patriots so much as burp without saying "excuse me," it’s unlikely the team would actively flout the concussion protocol with Tom Brady. 

I now pause to allow the requisite snorting, scoffing, "Yeah, right . . . are you a f****** moron?" responses to subside. 

Okay. Back at it. 

During the Mona Lisa Vito Press Conference in early 2015, Bill Belichick offered this: "We try to do everything right. We err on the side of caution. It's been that way now for many years. Anything that's close, we stay as far away from the line as we can." 

I believe him. And I also believe that, if Tom Brady had a concussion last season -- and his wife Gisele Bundchen clearly stated he did -- it’s very likely Brady decided there was no way in hell he was telling the trainers, doctors or team about it. 

That’s the way he’s wired. That’s the way he wants it. No amount of league and medical intervention can make a player hellbent on hiding a head injury from doing so. 

Short of Brady getting laid out and offering up the fencing response, he’s been in the league long enough to know how to hide how he feels when necessary.  

It would take a grenade to blow him out of the huddle, so the prospect of a week in concussion protocol is going to dissuade him from self-reporting. 

And there’s no athlete I can think of that is more confident in his own medical and training know-how. Speaking on WEEI's Dennis And Callahan With Minihane Show in 2015 about his body coach, friend and business parter at TB12 Sports Performance, Alex Guerrero, Brady said: "Concussions, we've treated lots of people with concussions down at TB12 with incredible success."  

Brady hasn’t stated he knows better than the NFL, nor has he scoffed at the league’s concussion protocols. Actually, he advocated for them last year: "I think there’s been more awareness from the general media on what CTE is, how it affects you, the long term ramifications of it. I think, as an athlete, you have to take all those things into consideration and try to be as proactive as you can. Gain information, then go through the proper protocols if you do get a concussion." 

The upshot of all this? If Brady has suffered multiple concussions over the years and hasn’t told trainers or team doctors, that’s on him. Period. 

Anyone playing in 2016 through the fog of a head-rattling hit while the NFL, the media, and society at large is incessantly talking about the dangers of concussions -- and pointing to case study after case study to demonstrate that it’s not imagined -- has to assume the responsibility. 

It’s not the fault of the police or the state if I go through the windshield because I was driving without a seatbelt.   

The next step in all this will be the fingerwag. I’m actually doing it myself, presuming Gisele is accurate and Brady did have concussions and didn’t report them. I put it on him. Others will put it on the Patriots or Bill Belichick or the doctors or the NFL or the sport itself or just the general presence of testosterone in society. All will be called to account. 

Usually, I eyeroll at that part of the program. But in this case, I do think it’s important that Brady at some point address it. There may be no more influential person in New England than Brady and the message to athletes -- especially young ones in contact sports -- really needs to be that protocols are followed. 

If he never had head traumas and Gisele was exaggerating, well, say so. If he has had them and has kept them to himself, explain why he felt that was a good idea for him. And whether or not he thinks that’s a good idea for anyone else. 

What are the Patriots getting in Cordarrelle Patterson?

What are the Patriots getting in Cordarrelle Patterson?

The Patriots have made a trade with the Raiders to acquire receiver and special teamer Cordarrelle Patterson, according to a source. The deal, first reported by Pardon My Take, is an interesting one because it lands Patterson with the team that passed on the opportunity to draft him back in 2013. 


Bill Belichick dealt the No. 29 overall pick to the Vikings that year in exchange for four selections, including a second-rounder and a third-rounder. The second-rounder became Jamie Collins, and the third became Logan Ryan. The Patriots also took Josh Boyce with a fourth they received in the trade, and the fourth pick (a seventh) was traded to Tampa Bay in exchange for LeGarrette Blount. The Vikings took Patterson. 

Patterson's career to this point has been a mixed bag. One of the top athletes in the 2013 draft, the Tennessee product never quite panned out as a go-to No. 1 receiver. He has not missed a game in five seasons, but he has never cracked 600 offensive snaps in a single season. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder has turned himself into more of a gadget receiver as well as one of the game's best special teamers. 

Here's what the Patriots are getting in Patterson . . . 

TOP-TIER SPECIAL TEAMER: Patterson has solidified himself as one of the NFL's best kick-returners. In five seasons, he's ranked as the top returner in terms of average yards per return three times. He's never been outside of the top 10 in the league in that category. Last year he was sixth in the NFL with a 28.3 yards per return average. Patterson has also become a highly-effective gunner on punt units, a role he thrived in once he embraced it, and he has kick coverage experience. Patterson has not been a punt-returner. He has just one punt return under his belt compared to 153 kick returns. Patterson has been named a First-Team All-Pro twice for his work in the kicking game. 

INCONSISTENT RECEIVER: Patterson has never been able to take his explosiveness and translate that into consistent production offensively. He's not thought of as a precise route-runner, and he has a reputation as a "body-catcher." Yet, because he's so dynamic with the ball in his hands, offenses in Oakland and Minnesota have found ways to get the ball in his hands. He'll align in the backfield, take reverses and catch screens just to try to get him the ball in space where he can let his natural abilities take over. If he gets a crease, he can create a chunk play in a blink. 

THE COST: Patterson is in the second year of a two-year deal he signed with the Raiders last offseason. He has a base salary of $3 million and a cap hit of $3.25 million. The Patriots will be sending a fifth-rounder to the Raiders and getting a sixth-rounder back. (As an aside . . . The Patriots have used one fifth-round pick in the last six drafts. It was spent on long-snapper Joe Cardona. Why are they constantly dealing fifths away? Inside the Pylon's Dave Archibald did an interesting piece on that topic about a year and a half ago. The gist is that a) there's a significant drop-off in your chances of finding a star in the fifth compared to the fourth, and b) the talent in the fifth round, by some metrics, hasn't proven to be all that different from the sixth or seventh rounds.) 

THE FIT: Patterson is a relatively low-risk acquisition because of his cap hit (which on the Patriots slots him in between Shea McClellin and Chris Hogan) and because of the draft capital required to nab him. Trading for a player like Patterson as opposed to signing another team's free agent has the added benefit of not impacting the compensatory-pick formula. Patterson also fills a few needs. His abilities as a kick-returner will be more than suitable with last year's primary kick returner for the Patriots, Dion Lewis, out of the mix. What Patterson can do as a gunner and in kick coverage will also be useful with Johnson Bademosi now elsewhere. There's also a chance Matthew Slater plays in a different city in 2017, in which case Patterson's contributions as a gunner and in kick coverage could be critical. With Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman and Hogan all established in the Patriots offense, Patterson won't be expected to take on a heavy role in the Patriots offense. However, if he can pick up a new system, perhaps he could take on a role as a No. 4 or 5 wideout who benefits from plays designed to get him touches in space. Malcolm Mitchell, Phillip Dorsett and Kenny Britt -- now alongside Patterson -- will all be competing for time in New England's offense. Former Patriots coaching assistant Mike Lombardi seems to believe it's unlikely Patterson contributes offensively


Patriots acquire WR Cordarrelle Patterson in trade with Raiders

Patriots acquire WR Cordarrelle Patterson in trade with Raiders

The Patriots have acquired wide receiver and kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson in a trade with the Raiders, NBC Sports Boston's Phil Perry confirms.

Pardon My Take, a podcast by Barstool Sports, first reported the news.

Ian Rapaport of NFL Network reports the Patriots sent a fifth-round pick to Oakland and received a Raiders' sixth-rounder along with Patterson.

More to come...