Patriots

Report: Kraft 'absolutely' believes Belichick stays with Pats

Report: Kraft 'absolutely' believes Belichick stays with Pats

Robert Kraft tells Sports Illustrated's Peter King that he "absolutely" believes Bill Belichick will coach the Patriots next season and an ESPN report describing Pats dysfunction is "a total fabrication and fiction."

King writes: "In a telephone interview, Kraft disputed all tenets of the story." In particular, Kraft told King that the ESPN report by Seth Wickersham that included detailing a half-day meeting between the Patriots coach and owner on the subject of backup quarterback Jimmy Garroppolo is “a total fabrication and fiction. I am telling you, it’s fiction.”

Wickersham told King he stands by his story.

Kraft, Belichick and Tom Brady released a joint statement in response to the story Friday, denying its claims and concluding with the phrase "we stand united."

Earlier Saturday, in response to a New York Daily News report that turmoil in Foxboro has given Belichick "an opening" to seek the New York Giants head coaching job, ESPN's Adam Schefter shot that down. 

Said Schefter: “First of all, if we are going to talk about Bill Belichick to the New York Giants, he has time left on his contract. You think Robert Kraft is just going to let him out? And you think if Bill Belichick wants to quit, they are just going to let him go to the Giants? And do you think Bill Belichick at his age right now wants to go take over a start-over, rebuilding job? And do you think he wants to take over a team where has a new GM that he hasn’t worked with? And do you think he wants to take over a situation where there is not a quarterback? I am sure the 49ers before they traded for Jimmy Garoppolo wanted Aaron Rodgers to come back home, or Tom Brady to come back home. I am sure there are many situations like that.”

Listen below for NBC Sports Boston Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran's assessment of the Kraft-Belichick-Brady drama in Quick Slants The Podcast:

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Devin McCourty clarifies Malcolm Butler comments

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Devin McCourty clarifies Malcolm Butler comments

Patriots safety Devin McCourty, who said last week that he and his teammates knew Malcolm Butler wouldn't be starting in the Super Bowl, tried to clarify those comments in a SiriusXM radio interview Friday.

So, the players knew Butler wasn't starting, but as far as Butler not playing (he had one special teams appearance) at all? That mystery remains unsolved. 

McCourty stuck with the Patriot Way when asked in the SiriusXM interview if Butler would've helped the defense that surrendered 41 points to the Eagles in the Super Bowl.

"A lot hurt us...we didn't stop anything defensively...we can go down the list of Hall of Famers we could have used," McCourty said. 
 

Report: Bennett wants to keep playing, will it be with Pats?

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Report: Bennett wants to keep playing, will it be with Pats?

The Patriots tight end situation is in a state of flux as Rob Gronkowski contemplates retirement. Another Patriots tight end who was thinking about retirement, Martellus Bennett, wants to continue playing, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

Bennett, who turns 31 next month, had a short second stint with the Patriots last season. He rejoined them after a controversial departure from Green Bay but only played in two games and caught six passes before he was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury in November. In 2016, he played in all 16 games for the Patriots and caught 55 passes for 701 yards (12.7 yards per catch).