Patriots

Could the Patriots have counted on Josh Gordon?

Could the Patriots have counted on Josh Gordon?

The New England Patriots made the decision to move on from Josh Gordon on Wednesday afternoon. The veteran receiver was placed on IR with a minor injury. It seems likely once he's fully healthy, the team will waive him from IR and let him move on with his career.

The move was a surprising one at the time, as there hadn't been any indication lately that the team really wanted to move on from Gordon. However, as Tom E. Curran pointed out to Phil Perry on the latest episode of his Patriots Talk Podcast, the team's reaction to initially getting him back from suspension to start the season was lukewarm at best.

But there's always going to be the specter of, could [Gordon] be less dependable? When the Patriots found out in August, and it seemed really clear to me, Phil, that he was plunked down in their laps and [the league] said, 'Here's your player back', they needed him. But I don't know if they were, 'Oh thank god, everything's going to be great!' I think it was a very measured response to his re-entry into the organization. Because there's always, again, a specter of, can we count on him the whole way through?

So, perhaps the Patriots never really bought into Gordon lasting the season. That would certainly explain why they decided to move on from him now.

And as Perry would later note, the acquisition of Mohamed Sanu made the team deeper at receiver and may have made Gordon a bit more expendable because of his lack of dependability.

With Sanu, you get deeper. They're not a one-for-one player-for-player replacement situation where Mohamed Sanu is all of the sudden going to be playing the same role that Josh Gordon did. They're both bigger players, but Sanu is an inside guy and Gordon's an outside guy even if he's not a down-the-field guy necessarily. So, it does make you deeper when you add Sanu. And I think your question about dependability is a good one, and a reasonable one on your part. Because this is a player that, by his own acknowledgment, has not been dependable over the course of his career. 

The duo would later go on to discuss how odd it was that the team had previously announced that Eric Tomlinson would be released to make room for Sanu but later made the decision to move Gordon to IR instead. For more on Gordon and the team's roster moves, listen to the Patriots Talk Podcast in full.

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Patriots reveal first photo of Cam Newton in full uniform, new jersey

Patriots reveal first photo of Cam Newton in full uniform, new jersey

New England Patriots fans wondering what Cam Newton would look like in the team's new uniforms no longer have to wait.

The Patriots unveiled headshots of each player earlier last week, and on Tuesday they posted photos of all the players in full uniform. The Patriots, of course, will debut new jerseys during the 2020 NFL season.

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Here's a look at Newton in the Patriots' home blue jersey:

The Patriots also tweeted a link to check out photos of every player in the new jerseys.

Newton signed a one-year contract with the Patriots a little more than a month ago, and if he's able to stay healthy, the former league MVP is the favorite to win the starting quarterback job over Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer.

The Patriots are expected to have their first training camp practice Wednesday.

Patriots' Dont'a Hightower used Super Bowl LI to support fiancée during labor

Patriots' Dont'a Hightower used Super Bowl LI to support fiancée during labor

The greatest comeback in Super Bowl history is three and a half years old, but it certainly isn't forgotten.

Just ask Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower, who brought up New England's miraculous Super Bowl LI victory over the Atlanta Falcons while his fiancée, Morgan Hart, was delivering their baby. Seriously.

Hightower told The Boston Globe's Stan Grossfeld he started chanting "28-3, 28-3" and "Never give up" while Hart entered her 17th hour of labor with their first child last month.

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Apparently the motivational tactic worked, as Hart said Hightower's words helped her push through and deliver their baby boy, Grayson, on July 16.

"It was surreal," Hart told Grossfeld. “It was a long night and a long day, and he kept reminding me, ‘28-3, 28-3,′ meaning you can be behind and come back. Never, never give up."

That's a reference to the deficit New England faced in the third quarter of Super Bowl LI before rallying to win in overtime -- thanks in large part to Hightower's strip sack of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan early in the fourth quarter.

Hightower still uses the 28-3 reference "all the time," per Grossfeld, but his focus won't be on football in 2020. The 30-year-old linebacker is one of eight Patriots players who have decided to opt out of the 2020 season.

"Not knowing too much about the COVID thing, I don’t want to jeopardize the health of my family," Hightower told Grossfeld. "I understand you can still catch it by going to the grocery store, but I’m not going to put my family’s health at risk for money.

"It’s family first. I want to take all the opportunity that I can to be a great father."

Patriots Talk Podcast: Don Yee and the remedy for college football’s ‘industrial complex’ | Listen & subscribe | Watch on YouTube