Patriots

Chip Kelly pays Bill Belichick a visit at Patriots OTA practice

Chip Kelly pays Bill Belichick a visit at Patriots OTA practice

FOXBORO -- Former 49ers and Eagles head coach Chip Kelly made a trip to Foxboro to take in Patriots practice on Tuesday. 

The Patriots have hosted a number of visitors this spring during OTA practices. The Boston College women's lacrosse team made their way to the fields behind Gillette Stadium before playing in the NCAA national semifinals. Members of the USA Rugby program were spotted during one session. Coaches from the University of Florida and Vanderbilt University trekked to New England. Former Bruins and Panthers enforcer Shawn Thornton, now the Panthers vice president of business operations, was a guest as was Spurs vice president of basketball operations Monty Williams. 

Kelly was accompanied by Maryland head coach DJ Durkin on Tuesday. Kelly was fired at the end of last season by the 49ers after going 2-14 and has been hired by ESPN to serve as a college football anaylst. 

Bill Belichick and Chip Kelly have had a friendship that extends back to Kelly's days as an assistant coach at the University of New Hampshire. Kelly made trips to Foxboro then that continued when he became the head coach at the University of Oregon. The two exchanged ideas on Xs and Os, but Belichick has said that Kelly has also shared ideas that go beyond that and into other areas of running a program. 

When Kelly was fired by the Eagles toward the end of the 2015 season, Belichick publicly came to the defense of his friend and in the process criticized impatient owners who aren't willing to stick with a head coach trying to overhaul a program. 

"I would say it’s really disappointing," Belichick said at the time. "I mean Chip Kelly to me is a really good football coach. I think he does a great job. I think he’s done a good job with that team. It’s disappointing to see. Or Josh [McDaniels] in Denver. There are a lot of examples, but pretty much everybody is on a one-year contract in this league.

"I don’t know how you build a program in one year. Chip is a great coach. He’ll end up somewhere and he’ll do a great job there. I’d say a lot of the players that were on the Eagles that are no longer on the Eagles aren’t really doing too much for anybody else, either."

Tuesday's visit is an indication that the relationship between Kelly and Belichick is still going strong, and that Belichick still values Kelly's insight. 

Tom Brady hints at playing until 45 in Instagram comment

Tom Brady hints at playing until 45 in Instagram comment

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's potential retirement has been the main storyline of the team's offseason workouts. After telling Oprah Winfrey in an interview that he is thinkning about retirement more than he used to, the five-time Super Bowl champion wrote a cryptic response to an ESPN Instagram post

The photo contained the full retirement quote from the Oprah interview, while Brady's account sent a response saying, "Cuarenta y cinco," which means 45 in Spanish. Brady turns 41 on August 3rd, which would give him at least four more years under center for New England if he wants to play to 45 years old.

There is also the chance that the response alludes to a potential contract extension, in which Brady may ask for $45 million. Brady reportedly wanted a new contract back in April, as he is signed through 2019 making a $14 million base salary that ranks fifth among NFL quarterbacks. 

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Rob Gronkowski reportedly shopped to teams the Patriots trust

Rob Gronkowski reportedly shopped to teams the Patriots trust

According to MMQB's Albert Breer on Monday, the New England Patriots reportedly talked to four "trusted" teams about a potential trade for the two-time Super Bowl champion pass catcher. 

The reported teams were the Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers. The Lions are led by former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia as their head coach. New England's former director of pro scouting, Bob Quinn, is Detroit's general manager.  Mike Vrabel, the head coach of the Titans, won three Super Bowls in New England as a linebacker and former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien is the head coach in Houston. San Francisco was New England's trade partner in the Jimmy Garoppolo trade last season. 

Gronkowski did not commit to returning to the Patriots until a few days before the draft, and also missed most of the team's voluntary offseason workouts. The Patriots and the tight end are reportedly working on a contract extension

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