Patriots

Best safety in 2020 NFL Draft had formal meeting with Patriots at Combine

Best safety in 2020 NFL Draft had formal meeting with Patriots at Combine

Alabama star Xavier McKinney is rated by several experts as the best safety in the 2020 NFL Draft, and he's an intriguing option for the New England Patriots with the 23rd overall pick in the first round.

McKinney told reporters Friday that he had a formal interview with the Patriots at this week's NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Our Patriots insider Phil Perry actually had McKinney going to the Patriots in his first 2020 mock draft last month. Here's what he wrote about McKinney's potential fit in New England:

The Patriots have so many avenues to pursue come draft weekend. Quarterback? Sure, if Jarrett Stidham (who has impressed behind the scenes) isn't ready to take the reigns and if Tom Brady is out. Tight end? Of course, though there don't appear to be any surefire first-rounders there this spring. How about safety?

That's where I could envision McKinney (6-foot-1, 200 pounds) sliding in. He's a do-it-all type for the Crimson Tide. He plays in the box. He blitzes. He covers tight ends, which has been a problem for the Patriots at times this year. He led Alabama in tackles this year, forced four fumbles, picked off three passes and broke up five more. With Patrick Chung closer to the end than the beginning, perhaps McKinney could someday fill that type of role. A versatile, tough, consistently-productive two-year starter and first-team SEC defensive back who studied under Nick Saban? That'd be worth a first-round choice for Bill Belichick.

The Patriots had one of the league's best secondaries last season, but adding some youth to the group makes a lot of sense. Veteran safeties Patrick Chung and Devin McCourty are both 32 years old. McCourty will be an unrestricted free agent in March unless he and the team agree to a new deal beforehand.

It's also possible McKinney could just be the best player available at No. 23, and even though the Patriots have more pressing roster needs than safety, it's not easy to pass on a player as talented as McKinney, especially when you also factor in the amount of high-pressure games he's played in at Alabama.

The Patriots have selected five Alabama players since 2010, and four of them were on defense, including linebacker Dont'a Hightower.

Perry's Notebook: Brady's market taking shape despite CBA uncertainty

Why Bucs' uniform reveal was a bit awkward for Tom Brady, Chris Godwin

Why Bucs' uniform reveal was a bit awkward for Tom Brady, Chris Godwin

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers enlisted their star wide receiver to help unveil their sharp new uniforms.

Makes sense, right? It did ... until Tom Brady showed up.

Buccaneers wideout Chris Godwin joined linebackers Devin White and Lavonte David to model new threads for 2020 that the team revealed Tuesday in a hype video.

The one issue: Godwin is wearing No. 12 in the video -- the same No. 12 he allowed Brady to take when the former New England Patriots quarterback signed with Tampa Bay in free agency.

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This discrepancy didn't go unnoticed on Twitter, which let the Bucs have it over their mix-up:

The blowback was enough for the Bucs to set the record straight: They filmed this hype video before Brady signed, and before Godwin had switched to No. 14.

This checks out, as all photos on the team's website feature Godwin rocking No. 14 in the new uniform.

We don't know how long ago the video was filmed, but the fact that Godwin appears wearing No. 12 is a good indicator the Bucs really weren't serious suitors for Brady until the final few days before free agency.

It sounds like there's no hard feelings between Godwin and Brady over the jersey change, though -- and both No. 12 and No. 14 should sell very well on the team's website.

 

Here's your first look at Tom Brady's new Tampa Bay Buccaneers jerseys

Here's your first look at Tom Brady's new Tampa Bay Buccaneers jerseys

Many New England Patriots fans probably never envisioned they'd see Tom Brady wearing the jersey of another NFL team, but that sight will soon become a reality.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Brady in free agency to a two-year contract worth up to $59 million. It was a huge move for a franchise that's largely been irrelevant since winning its only Super Bowl championship during the 2002 season.

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The Bucs announced a while back they would have new jerseys for the 2020 season, and on Tuesday, Tampa Bay made its much-anticipated unveiling of those uniforms. Here's what Brady's three jerseys in 2020 will look like. They are now available for purchase on the Bucs' team store.

Brady changed teams, but his number will stay the same. He'll continue to wear No. 12, which he used his entire 20-year career with the Patriots. Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin had No. 12 before Brady arrived, but he was kind of enough to let the six-time Super Bowl champion have it.

The unveiling of these new jerseys, which have drawn positive reviews so far, will only add to the excitement surrounding the Bucs' 2020 season. Brady's arrival has Tampa Bay fans thinking of a return to the Super Bowl, and oddsmakers already have pegged the Buccaneers as one of the early betting favorites.

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