Patriots

Brian Flores cancels Dolphins practice, will attend Patriots' ring ceremony

Brian Flores cancels Dolphins practice, will attend Patriots' ring ceremony

Brian Flores is killing two birds with one stone Thursday.

The Dolphins head coach cancelled the final practice of his team's mandatory minicamp Thursday, as Miami's players will complete a morning conditioning test before being let out for the summer, according to Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel.

NFL head coaches occasionally scrap the final day of the three-day June minicamp to reward their players for two days of hard work. In Flores' case, it will also allow the former Patriots linebackers coach to jet up to Boston to attend New England's Super Bowl LIII ring ceremony, which team owner Robert Kraft will host at his house.

Flores, who spent nearly 15 years as an assistant in the Patriots' organization and was the team's de facto defensive coordinator during its 2018 Super Bowl season, said Wednesday he's "excited" to celebrate with his former squad.

"If you guys know anything about me, we'll work on Thursday," Flores said, via The Boston Globe's Ben Volin. "I'll head up to Boston, celebrate that and then I'll be back on Friday. But yeah, it will be good to see some old friends. I'm looking forward to it."

Flores isn't the only ex-Patriot descending on Boston for Thursday night's ring ceremony, as Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Trent Brown apparently is back in town, as well.

The Patriots are expected to be at work Thursday in their final minicamp session before meeting up with Flores, Brown and Co. to relive the 2018 glory days.

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How coaches, GMs are reacting to Tom Brady's free agency at NFL Scouting Combine

How coaches, GMs are reacting to Tom Brady's free agency at NFL Scouting Combine

The future of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is a hot topic at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

This event gives teams a great opportunity to scout the best players in the upcoming NFL Draft in both on-field and off-the-field settings. However, amid all of the talk about the next generation of star quarterbacks, a 42-year-old veteran also looms large.

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Brady is able to test the free agent market in March for the first time in his career. He's arguably the greatest player in pro football history, and even at this later stage of his career, he'd still be an upgrade at quarterback for many teams.

Here's a look at how head coaches and general managers of teams that could be potential landing spots for Brady in free agency are reacting to questions about the six-time Super Bowl champion's future.

Anthony Lynn, Los Angeles Chargers
Philip Rivers, after 15 years of being the starting quarterback of the Chargers, will test free agency and not return to the franchise. This situation opens the door for the Chargers to bring in a veteran like Brady or use the No. 6 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft to find a franchise quarterback.

Bruce Arians, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers could be in the market for a quarterback with starter Jameis Winston hitting free agency. Winston became the first player to throw for at least 30 touchdowns and at least 30 interceptions in the same season in 2019. 

Brian Flores, Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins aren't close to being a Super Bowl contender, but they do have almost $90 million in salary cap space at their disposal. Brady also knows Flores well from their many years together in New England. 

Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans
The Titans are a popular landing spot pick for Brady, but Tennessee might not even need a quarterback if it re-signs Ryan Tannehill. He's set to become a free agent after leading the Titans to a 7-3 finish in the regular season and a run to the AFC Championship Game that included upset wins over the Patriots and Baltimore Ravens.

John Elway (general manager), Denver Broncos
Drew Lock was pretty impressive to end the 2019 campaign, so it makes sense for the Broncos to build on that success entering his sophomore season. He has the potential to be a franchise QB.

Chris Ballard (general manager), Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett and Brian Hoyer signed through next season. 


Perry: Will Patriots opt for mobile QB if Brady leaves?

Jalen Hurts 'wouldn’t mind' chance to learn from Patriots QB Tom Brady

Jalen Hurts 'wouldn’t mind' chance to learn from Patriots QB Tom Brady

Jalen Hurts is one of the most interesting quarterback prospects entering the 2020 NFL Draft.

He began his career at Alabama but transferred to Oklahoma for his final year of eligibility as Tua Tagovailoa established himself as the Crimson Tide's starting quarterback. 

Mock drafts are all over the place on trying to project where Hurts will land in the draft. Some of them have him going as high as the second round, while others see him as more of a third- or fourth-round selection.

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The Patriots need to figure out their long-term plan at quarterback regardless of what Tom Brady decides in free agency. Hurts is an intriguing option for the Patriots if they want to select a QB, and he was asked about Brady at the NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday.

Hurts was one of the best mobile quarterbacks in college football last season. He completed 69.7 percent of his passes for 3,851 yards with 32 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also ran for 1,298 yards with 20 rushing touchdowns. Hurts absolutely is worth drafting in the first few rounds and would make a solid backup/third-stringer for the Patriots or any other team.

Lamar Jackson's MVP-winning 2019 season could change how people in the NFL view dual-threat quarterbacks, and that might be good news for Hurts with the draft not too far away. Jackson is a better passer than Hurts, but you could make the case the Sooners star is more athletic. In addition to his obvious talent, Hurts also played in a ton of pressure-packed games for Alabama and Oklahoma, so he knows what it's like to play in must-win matchups. 

It'll be interesting to see where Hurts goes in the draft, but given his talent and experience, it wouldn't be shocking to see a team take a chance on him sooner than most would expect.

Perry: Will Patriots opt for mobile QB if Brady leaves?