Patriots

Curran: Why I gave my MVP vote to Tom Brady over Matt Ryan

Curran: Why I gave my MVP vote to Tom Brady over Matt Ryan

HOUSTON -- I was one of 10 voters that cast their ballot for Tom Brady for 2016 NFL MVP. Matt Ryan won, of course, his 25 votes from the panel of 50 more than doubling Brady’s total. 

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Brady himself told me Ryan deserved the award and nobody can argue that Brady’s season was statistically superior to Ryan’s because one guy played 16 games and the other guy played 12.

When one guy is on the field for a full month and the other guy isn’t even allowed at the facility, well, that’s got to impact the candidacy. And for me it did.

For a long while -- after I moved off Dak Prescott as a possible candidate -- I couldn’t help but hold Brady’s absence against his candidacy.

But then I got down to the “why” of it. Brady wasn’t unavailable because he was injured. He wasn’t there because the NFL ran a sham investigation trying to prove something happened. They failed in that so they instead settled for reputation assassination in order to save face.

Brady sat four games so the NFL could justify its mistake. And I decided that holding that against Brady would only further validate the NFL’s suspension of him. So I voted for Brady.

I did, however, cast my vote for Ryan as Offensive Player of the Year, which he won. As for the other categories, Giants safety Landon Collins was my Defensive Player of the Year (Oakland’s Khalil Mack won), Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett got my vote for Coach of the Year (he won), Prescott got my vote for Offensive Rookie of the Year (he won), Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa was my Defensive Rookie of the Year (he won) and Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia got my vote for Assistant Coach of the Year (Atlanta OC Kyle Shanahan won). Cameron Wake of the Dolphins was my selection for Comeback Player of the Year (Green Bay’s Jordy Nelson won).

In the end, I’m happy the Ryan-Brady race didn’t come down to a single vote. Ryan got what he deserved, the reason Brady couldn’t compete with Ryan’s stats didn't deserve to be overlooked.
 

Report: Ex-Patriots WR Danny Amendola to re-sign with Lions

Report: Ex-Patriots WR Danny Amendola to re-sign with Lions

Scratch that Danny Amendola-Patriots reunion.

Peter Schrager of the NFL Network reports the free-agent wide receiver is re-signing with the Detroit Lions, where he spent last season and had 62 catches for 678 yards. Former Pats defensive coordinator Matt Patricia will enter his third season as Lions coach in 2020. 

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The 34-year-old left the Patriots after five seasons to sign with the Miami Dolphins in 2018 and may have burned a bridge or two with Bill Belichick. 

It had been speculated that perhaps bringing in a former reliable Tom Brady receiver might be part of a plan to lure Brady back to New England, with a report in late January that Amendola could come along to wherever Brady lands in free agency, but a Brady-Amendola reunion in Detroit isn't happening, either. 

Next Pats Podcast: Will Patriots go mobile at QB if Tom Brady leaves?

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Next Pats Podcast: Will Patriots go mobile at QB if Tom Brady leaves?

There's one big question that New England Patriots are facing this offseason. Who is going to be their starting quarterback in 2020?

For the past 20 seasons, the team hasn't really had questions at the position. It has always been Tom Brady's job. But with the 42-year-old set to hit free agency, the Patriots can't necessarily count on him returning unless they want to pay him what he's worth.

So, now the question for the Patriots becomes, what will life look like if Brady departs?

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On the latest episode of The Next Pats Podcast, which returns for its first episode of the 2020 offseason, Phil Perry is here to explore that question. And really what it all boils down to is what the Patriots are looking for in a potential successor.

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As Perry notes, it's likely to be one of two types of quarterback: The traditional pocket passer or a more mobile athlete in the mold of some of the recent success stories at the position.

Do the Patriots look for the next Brady? Uber-accurate, somebody who's going to sit in the pocket and absolutely dissect every little aspect of the defense that he is looking at. Or, do they go a different route? Do they go with an athlete? Do they get more mobile? Because talking to people this offseason, I'm getting a whiff -- I'm getting a scent that people believe the pocket passer might be dead.

Perry is joined by guests including Pro Football Focus' Steve Palazzolo, Greg Cosell of ESPN and NFL Films, and NFL Network's Kurt Warner to answer questions about Brady's future and what his game has looked like in recent seasons.

For more thoughts about the Patriots offseason, check out the latest episode of the Next Pats Podcast, available as part of the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network.