Patriots

Bill Belichick: Patriots feel Demaryius Thomas able to make 'solid contribution'

Bill Belichick: Patriots feel Demaryius Thomas able to make 'solid contribution'

Demaryius Thomas is back with the New England Patriots after being released over the weekend, and head coach Bill Belichick is hopeful the veteran wide receiver will make a meaningful impact this season.

The 31-year-old is coming off an Achilles tear suffered as a member of the Houston Texans in December. He was cleared to practice a few weeks ago and made his preseason debut last Thursday against the New York Giants. Thomas tallied seven receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns with rookie backup Jarrett Stidham at quarterback in the preseason finale.

Belichick likes the improvement Thomas has made so far, and he revealed Tuesday on WEEI radio show "Ordway, Merloni and Fauria" that the Patriots feel like the talented wideout will make a real contribution in 2019.

Health will be a concern with Thomas given the serious nature of Achilles injuries, but before last season he had been among the most durable wide receivers in the league. He didn't miss a game between 2011 and 2017 before missing one matchup last season.

Thomas, if healthy, gives the Patriots another big, physical wideout at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds. He and Josh Gordon could form a difficult tandem for opposing defenses to slow down if they are able to consistently stay on the field. The additions of Thomas, Gordon and undrafted rookie Jakobi Meyers to a receiving corps that already included Phillip Dorsett and reigning Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman could make this position a real strength for New England.

The Patriots haven't had the best luck bringing in veteran wide receivers late in their careers -- Reggie Wayne and Chad Johnson come to mind. Thomas, however, has shown signs that he could be a solid pickup for a New England offense that lost some key pieces over the offseason.

Belichick details "challenging" WR gameplan>>> 

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Peyton Manning claims Giants beating Patriots as 'favorite Super Bowl memory'

Peyton Manning claims Giants beating Patriots as 'favorite Super Bowl memory'

Peyton Manning either is a very supportive brother or delights in seeing his long-time rival fail. Or a little of both.

In a tribute to younger brother Eli Manning, who announced his retirement from the New York Giants on Friday, Peyton insisted his "favorite Super Bowl memory" was watching Eli defeat the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

"I think people don't really believe me or are surprised [when I say] my greatest Super Bowl memory is watching my little brother take the New York Giants down the field in a two-minute drill and beat the undefeated Patriots and all that came with that," Peyton said in an interview with Broncos.com's Aric DiLalla.

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"Maybe I wasn't as happy as the '72 Dolphins, who I promise you were celebrating and they're on record saying that, but I was pretty close."

Let's get this straight: Peyton enjoyed watching someone else win a Super Bowl (during a season in which his Indianapolis Colts were bounced early in the playoffs) more than he enjoyed winning two Super Bowls for two different teams (with the Colts in 2006 and the Denver Broncos in 2013)?

"It was just pride and he's five years younger than me and you kind of reflect on the times growing up," Peyton said, adding that his memories of Eli as a "quiet, calm and cool kid" made it "surreal" to watch Eli lead an upset of one of the greatest teams of all time.

"That's my greatest Super Bowl memory without a doubt, even more than the ones I was able to participate in," Peyton said. "He did it."

That Eli's first Super Bowl win came over Tom Brady and the Patriots probably made it that much sweeter for Peyton, who was 6-11 against Brady during his career.

Super Bowl XLII was one of Brady's most painful memories, so maybe this was Peyton's way of getting revenge for Tom calling him out on "Peyton's Places" earlier this month.

Ex-Patriots WR Danny Amendola gives his take on Tom Brady's NFL future

Ex-Patriots WR Danny Amendola gives his take on Tom Brady's NFL future

Danny Amendola is the latest NFL player to weigh in on the future of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Brady is able to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career in March unless he and the Patriots come to a contract agreement before that point. The 42-year-old quarterback has spent his entire 20-year career in New England, but nothing lasts forever and you can bet most teams would love to add Brady to their roster if he ever chose to leave the Patriots.

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Amendola appeared on ESPN's "SportsCenter" on Friday, where he was asked about Brady's upcoming decision. He doesn't know exactly what will happen, but he noted family definitely will play a factor.

"It's going to go however he wants. He's the ultimate competitor," Amendola said. "I think as his kids get older, he wants to spend time with his family. I think that's going to weigh heavily on his decision and where he goes, and he can set that up the way he wants. His competitive nature, his ability is still through the roof. And whatever team gets him -- if he stays in New England or if he goes somewhere else -- he's going to bring a high level of football there."

When asked about the Los Angeles Chargers being a potential destination for Brady, Amendola admitted it's difficult to see the six-time Super Bowl champion in a different uniform.

"It's hard for me to see him in any other jersey than a Patriots jersey, so I'm holding on just like everybody else is," Amendola said.

Patriots fans obviously would love for Brady to return for at least one more season in New England, and most of them probably wouldn't mind Amendola coming back as well. The Patriots need to upgrade their depth and talent at wide receiver before the 2020 season, and Amendola will be a free agent in March.

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