Patriots

Florio: NFL may pull plug on Thursday Night Football

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Florio: NFL may pull plug on Thursday Night Football

With mounting criticism of the quality of every-week Thursday football, scattered suggestions have emerged in recent weeks that the NFL could pull the plug on the experiment. Those suggestions are stronger than that; per a source with knowledge of the situation, the league will be considering the possibility of ending, or at least limiting, Thursday Night Football.

The current contract with CBS and NBC runs through 2017, which means that changes to the package could be made by 2018 — barring a renegotiation.

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Odds of Kyle Rudolph joining Patriots take hit with latest contract development

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USA TODAY Sports

Odds of Kyle Rudolph joining Patriots take hit with latest contract development

Kyle Rudolph is about to enter the final year of his contract with the Vikings, and while there's been speculation that Minnesota could trade the veteran tight end, it sounds like progress is being made to keep him with the franchise long-term.

Rudolph revealed Wednesday he has been offered an extension from the Vikings. 

The New England Patriots need to upgrade their talent and depth at tight end after the recent retirement of Rob Gronkowski, and Rudolph certainly would be a strong replacement for the future Hall of Famer. The Patriots and Vikings reportedly have had discussions on Rudolph, too. 

Rudolph has spent his entire eight-year NFL career with the Vikings. The 29-year-old tallied 64 receptions for 634 yards and four touchdowns last season. He's also been quite durable, having not missed a single game in the last four seasons. The Vikings, however, selected Alabama tight end Irv Smith Jr. in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, so they do have a replacement if they decide to part ways with Rudolph.

If the Patriots don't acquire Rudolph or any other tight ends between now and training camp, they'll enter camp with Ben Watson, Matt LaCosse, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Ryan Izzo, Stephen Anderson, Andrew Beck and Jakob Johnson at the position.

Here's where Tom Brady ranked in PFF's 2018 clutch grades>>>

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Patriots QB Tom Brady had highest 'clutch' grade in PFF's 2018 rankings

Patriots QB Tom Brady had highest 'clutch' grade in PFF's 2018 rankings

Tom Brady is 41 years old, but there's still no player in the NFL you'd want more than the New England Patriots quarterback when it's winning time late in the game.

Brady turned in another excellent season in 2018, leading the Patriots to their sixth Super Bowl win since he became the team's starting quarterback in 2001. The veteran quarterback provided plenty more highlights for his reel of clutch moments, including his late-game drives on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.

In fact, according to Pro Football Focus' 2018 grades, no player was more clutch than Brady. Take a look at the top three clutch QBs from last season in the tweet below: 

These three Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks sitting atop the clutch list is no surprise.

Aaron Rodgers' inclusion is even more impressive when you factor in the injuries he dealt with and the Green Bay Packers' overall incompetence. Russell Wilson led a Seahawks team to the playoffs that many people predicted would finish third in the NFC West division.

Brady's stats in 2018 were good, not great, by his lofty standards. But when the Patriots needed Brady to be at his best, he most often rose to the occasion. So, it's no surprise the Patriots currently are poised to enter the 2019 season as the co-favorites to win a record-breaking seventh Super Bowl crown.

Rodney Harrison applauds Brady for skipping OTAs>>>

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