Patriots

Brady on Giants boat trip: When I was young I did things I wish I didn't do

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Brady on Giants boat trip: When I was young I did things I wish I didn't do

Tom Brady is so wired to promote healthy lifestyles and the importance of proper rest that one would assume he'd immediately scoff at what a few Giants players did during their off-day last week. 

Odell Beckham Jr. and a handful of his teammates traveled to South Florida to party with Justin Bieber soon after their regular-season-finale win over the Redskins. A picture of the pals in jeans and boots on a yacht emerged on social media to commemorate the trip, providing the New York media all the ammunition they would need if the Giants didn't play well. 

The Giants didn't play well, falling to the Packers in Green Bay, 38-13. Now players -- and Beckham in particular, who caught four passes for 28 yards and had multiple drops in the loss -- are catching heat.

When Brady was asked about it during his weekly interview with WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show on Monday, he didn't do much in the way of finger-wagging. Rather he admitted he had made some poor decisions leading up to games when he was younger. 

"It's a tricky situation," Brady said. "Players are off. Everyone decides what they want to do in their off time. When I was young, I did a lot of things when I look back I probably wish I wouldn't have done -- flying across country and things like that. It just wasn't publicized."

Brady added: "I was from California so when I had off time that's where I went. Looking back, there was one time I was actually injured pretty good, and I decided to do it, and I landed, and then I stayed overnight, and then I realized I better fly back. I flew back the next morning because it wasn't a very smart decsion.

"You're younger, you don't have all the experience that you have. I'm at a point where doing this as long as I have, I cherish the opportunity that I have, and I'm putting everything into it. I'll have time at the end of the year to do things I need to do. But right now I have to focus on what my job is, and that's to put everything I can into this week."

Brady pointed out that there are plenty of teams that have their own way of approaching their work leading up to a playoff game. The Patriots, for instance, practiced twice -- including once in full pads. The Chiefs, on the other hand, got a week off. 

"Every team has a different personality," Brady said. "Obviously when you win, it takes care of all those things. It sucks when you lose."

Brady's been there, and he knows what it's like. The only thing that might make it suck even more would be leaving a loss knowing he let his team and his family down because he didn't put everything into his preparation. 

"There's a lot of people, like our coaches, our families, that have put off a lot of things for all of us to get to this point," he said. "There's a lot of support that you need to play this many weeks of football. You want to go out and play your best. I think our team is focused on playing its best. We're in there today ready to go, ready to work . . . Hopefully it all pays off."

Patriots sign linebacker Ramon Humber to 53-man roster

Patriots sign linebacker Ramon Humber to 53-man roster

The New England Patriots bolstered their linebacker depth Wednesday with the signing of 10-year veteran Ramon Humber to the 53-man roster.

The details of Humber's contract were not released by the team. 

This isn't Humber's first stint with the Patriots. New England signed him in March of 2016, but he was released in August of that year before playing a regular-season game for the Pats. 

The 31-year-old veteran was cut by the Buffalo Bills on Saturday. He tallied nine tackles in nine games with the Bills this season. Humber has posted 234 tackles, 4.5 sacks and five passes defensed over 130 career NFL games. Humber has plenty of experience on special teams, so he could find a role in that phase for Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

Humber wore No. 50 at Patriots practice Wednesday.

The Patriots are on a bye in Week 11 and resume their regular-season schedule in Week 12 at the New York Jets. 

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Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski in danger of missing several contract incentives

Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski in danger of missing several contract incentives

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are team players, and their goal (as always) is to win the Super Bowl. But they also have serious personal motivation to perform well down the stretch.

The New England Patriots quarterback and tight end, like many of their teammates, are on incentive-laden contracts, meaning they get bonuses if they hit various statistical benchmarks in a season.

With just seven games remaining in the regular season, however, both Brady and Gronkowski are on pace to fall short on several of those benchmarks. How far short, you ask?

As the Patriots enter their bye week, let's break down the reported incentives in both players' contracts, and where they stand after Week 10:

Tom Brady

Incentive: Top five in the NFL in passer rating ($1 million)

Current Pace: 94.7 passer rating -- 16th

Incentive: Top five in the NFL in completion percentage ($1 million)

Current Pace: 65.2 percent -- 18th

Incentive: Top five in the NFL in yards per attempt ($1 million)

Current Pace: 7.41 Y/A -- 17th

Incentive: Top five in the NFL in touchdown passes ($1 million)

Current Pace: 17 TDs -- T-11th

Incentive: Top five in the NFL in passing yards ($1 million)

Current Pace: 2,748 yards -- 5th

As it stands now, Brady is barely on pace to unlock just one of his four incentives and likely will leave $4 million in incentives on the table. His tight end isn't faring much better.

Rob Gronkowski

Incentive: 70 or more catches ($1.1 million)

Current Pace: 29 catches

Incentive: 80 percent or more of total offensive snaps ($1.1 million)

Current Pace: 64.3 percent of snaps

Incentive: Nine or more touchdown catches ($1.1 million)

Current Pace: One touchdown catch

Incentive: 1,085 or more receiving yards ($1.1 million)

Current Pace: 448 receiving yards

Gronkowski's contract stipulates he can earn a maximum of $3.3 million, but after missing three of the Patriots' last four games with back and ankle ailments, it'd be a surprise if he sees any of that money.

Both Brady and Gronkowski have been the subjects of retirement rumors, so if they don't meet these benchmarks by Week 17, it will be interesting to see whether they attempt to renegotiate their contracts or seriously ponder stepping away from the game.

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