Patriots

Brady on working with Floyd: 'There's a lot to catch up on'

Brady on working with Floyd: 'There's a lot to catch up on'

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady hasn't spent much time with Michael Floyd since the Patriots claimed the receiver late last week, but they're done what they can. 

"As much as we could," Brady said during his press conference on Thursday. "He’s only been here for a short period of time so there’s a lot to catch up on, especially as a receiver in our offense, but he’s working hard at it."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said earlier in the day on Thursday that rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett has been involved with Floyd's acclimation process, but if Floyd is to play a role on the Patriots offense, he'll need to develop a rapport wth the starter.

"I think it’s just . . . you’ve got to put the time in," Brady said. "I don’t think it’s an easy thing to do by any stretch. I think that’s why offseasons are so valuable, to have that work. We’re pretty late in the year, but we’ll do the things that he’s confident in and that the coaches are confident he can do well, and we’ll see if we can go do something positive."

As involved as the Patriots offense is -- Brady has said many times that it's developed and been built upon over the 16 years he's been the starter -- asking Floyd to be comfortable with it all would be a tall order. But Brady said that he'll keep an open mind with Floyd and the amount that Floyd can pick up between now and the end of the season. 

The Patriots are on the hook for $1.29 million, which is the pro-rated portion of Floyd's salary for three games this season. He's scheduled to become a free agent after the season, and while his time with the Patriots now can be viewed in part as a means of developing an understanding of Floyd on and off the field to see if he'd be a worthwhile investment for the future, there's a hope that he can contribute sooner rather than later.

"You don’t know what’s going to happen and I don’t want to predict what’s going to happen because you really don’t know," Brady said. "Hopefully it’s a lot of great plays. That’s what everyone’s hoping for."

The reason Floyd was available in the first place was due to the fact that he was arrested early last week after passing out behind the wheel of his SUV at a Scottsdale intersection. He was released two days later and claimed by the Patriots on Thursday. Brady said that when he looks at Floyd, he tried not to acknowledge any of the baggage he may bring with him. 

"I’m not focused on any of that. I mean, I don’t make decisions like that," Brady said. "I’m just trying to focus on what I’ve got to do this week and if it’s trying to work on football stuff with particular players, then that’s what I’m going to do."

Two years after clutch Super Bowl performance, Malcolm Mitchell retires from football

Two years after clutch Super Bowl performance, Malcolm Mitchell retires from football

The last time Malcolm Mitchell left the site of a game that mattered, he did so nonchalantly. He carried a to-go plate in one hand, a half-eaten wing in the other. 

He'd just caught six passes for 70 yards and helped the Patriots win Super Bowl LI. I spoke to him about how two weeks prior, on the fields behind Gillette Stadium, he hadn't been playing like a guy who would come up with some of the most critical plays in the last game of the season. He'd been dealing with some drops. He admitted they were probably the result of over-thinking his Super Bowl prep. 

Mitchell was thankful, remembering how he flipped the switch, that Tom Brady pulled him aside at the time and told him to focus on one play at a time. Mitchell smiled, strolling through the bowels of NRG Stadium in the direction of the team’s Super Bowl party as one of its most promising young players fresh off a championship.

At that point, who knew how many more big-game performances Mitchell would put together over the course of his career?

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As it turned out, he wouldn’t play in another game outside of a preseason contest in Houston the following summer. Mitchell announced at an event at the University of Georgia this week, more than two years after that clutch performance against the Falcons, that he was retiring from football. 

He followed up his announcement with an instagram post that read in part, “Everything will work out.”

Mitchell’s knees wouldn’t allow him to continue his career after spending a portion of last offseason with the Patriots. Though he’s been gone for almost a full calendar year, his absence is still felt at One Patriot Place. 

The fourth-round pick in 2016 — who fell that far in part because of injury concerns — was the most productive rookie receiver the Patriots had featured since Deion Branch in 2002. Receiver remains among the most glaring needs on the Patriots roster as they work to build around Julian Edelman. 

Mitchell’s football career was short-lived, but his one year in New England — and in particular that one night beating up on Falcons corners — has given him a platform to serve as a literacy advocate. He’s written children’s books and continues to speak about the importance of reading for kids from all walks of life. 

Mitchell may be done with the game for which he’s known, but his retirement announcement certainly won’t be the last we hear from him. 

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Robert Kraft trying to thread the needle with statement/apology

Robert Kraft trying to thread the needle with statement/apology

The septuagenarian speaketh. Or maketh a statement as the case may be.

Which was a good idea.

The stupidity exhibited by Patriots owner Robert Kraft leading to a month all of us gasbagging about multiple ill-fated visits to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa.

It needed input from the guy who made the decision to go there in the first place. Twice. On consecutive days.

Kraft made it clear in his statement that it wasn’t his choice to dummy up and not own his decisions. He said he wanted to do it a month ago. The lawyers wouldn’t let him.

What’s changed?

A few things.

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First, earlier this week, Florida prosecutors offered a plea deal only a drooling moron would agree to.

“We’ll drop the charges if you tell everyone you’re guilty and you know it, clap your hands…deal?”

Then Kraft let it be known that he wasn’t taking that deal and that he was still maintaining he “hadn’t done anything illegal” (a wise semantic dodge, keeping the word “innocent” out of this mess).

Then, Sheriff Buford T. Pusser 2.0 saber-rattled that video of Robert Kraft’s saber-rattling was inevitably going to get out there and that most folks might not like it.

Then, Kraft’s attorneys returned fire Friday intimating that the full legal fury of a multi-billionaire would visit upon the precinct house if that damn video – part of an investigation they allege was illegal – got out.

And of course, the NFL’s Annual Meeting convenes Sunday in Arizona and the image of Kraft scuttling from elevator to meeting room to limousine without comment for four days while his fellow owners had to answer for him was destined to be some of the worst optics since … well, since whatever’s on that video.

So what to make of the statement? I dunno.

Kraft was trying to threading the needle between apologizing without admitting guilt while saying, “I’ve been meaning to tell you this for a long time but couldn’t…” On that front, it worked.  

Also, without saying the women he interacted with were specifically disrespected by him, he at least acknowledged that transactional sex in general isn’t the highest form of love.

Personally, I loathe that he brought up Myra Kraft in the statement. Regardless how important she was in shaping your morals and respect for women and how deep your love for her continues to be, references to her in a statement regarding? What are we doing?

The last bit expecting to be judged by his words and not his actions and working to regain trust? Good. Fine. ‘Nuf said.

We are a long way from reaching the point of, “Remember when Kraft got pinched at the massage joint …” and having a good nostalgic laugh about it, though.

There’s a court date next Thursday. The ever-present specter of the video being released is dangling. The NFL has to decide how it proceeds with punishment.

There are miles to go before we sleep but at least Kraft’s head can hit the pillow tonight knowing he’s publicly acknowledged … something.

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