Patriots

Dre Kirkpatrick sends warning to Bengals over A.J. Green trade rumors

Dre Kirkpatrick sends warning to Bengals over A.J. Green trade rumors

Dre Kirkpatrick really doesn't want to see Cincinnati Bengals teammate A.J. Green dealt before the NFL trade deadline later this month, and the veteran cornerback even went as far as warning the team what might happen if such a move is made.

“It better not happen. It’s going to fall apart if you do that,” Kirkpatrick said after Sunday's loss to the Arizona Cardinals, per the team's website. “That’s our best player on the team. He’s not even out there. We don’t know how the team really should look. They can’t do that. I’m a team player first. I rally around my guys. That would really hurt my spirit if he walked out this door … I want everybody to stay. I want to win here. I don’t want to go anywhere. I’m not just a player for the Bengals. I do things in the community. A lot of guys in here do.”

Green has been an elite wide receiver for most of his career, but as a 31-year-old veteran in the final year of his contract, it makes sense for the Bengals to move on. Cincinnati dropped to 0-5 after its Week 5 loss, and acquiring a draft pick or two for Green, who could leave the franchise in free agency in March, is the best course of action for this rebuilding team.

What does this mean for the New England Patriots?

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported Sunday a list of teams that have been among the "most active" before the trade deadline, and the Pariots were one of these clubs. La Canfora provided further insight into what the Patriots could look for ahead of the Oct. 29 deadline at 4 p.m. ET:

The Patriots have issues at the offensive line, tight end and receiver, and are expected to push for players like Bengals receiver A.J. Green and/or tight end Tyler Eifert; those players also appeal to the Saints, sources said, who made a real effort to land Denver's Emmanuel Sanders a year ago and likely would again.

The Patriots certainly could use additional depth at wide receiver, especially after veteran Phillip Dorsett left Sunday's win over the Washington Redskins after suffering a hamstring injury in the first quarter.

Green's recent injury history is a bit of a concern, but his talent when healthy is unquestionably impressive.

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Sources: Tom Brady and family preparing to leave New England

Sources: Tom Brady and family preparing to leave New England

Tom Brady doesn't officially become a free agent until the new league year begins on March 18, but the rumors are already flying about the New England Patriot quarterback's future.

A report surfaced earlier in the week that Brady and his family purchased a home in Greenwich, Connecticut. As NBC Sports Boston's own Tom E. Curran pointed out, that is false.

But that doesn't mean Brady isn't planning on making a move.

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Thursday night on "Arbella Early Edition," Gary Tanguay revealed that a source told him Brady and wife Gisele Bundchen are looking to leave New England.

"I was told today by a source the family is planning to leave the area," Tanguay said. "The priority this time is to let the kids finish school this year, then they're gone."

Tanguay's report doesn't mean Brady is definitely leaving New England, but talks of him and his family looking to live somewhere else continue to gain steam.

If Brady indeed is moving on from New England and looking to start a new chapter, some of that could do with his desire to finally make the money he's worth in free agency.

According to Tanguay, Brady is "embarrassed" by the number of quarterbacks in the league that make more than him and has been fed up about it dating back to the summer, before he signed his contract extension.

Thirteen quarterbacks, including Brady's former backups Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett, make more on average annually than the six-time Super Bowl champion according to overthecap.com.

The truth is, we won't know for certain what's going through Brady's mind until the ink is on paper for the 42-year-old's new contract. Until then, it's going to be a stressful offseason for Patriots fans.

Curran: Is this newfound time a silver lining for Patriots?

Patriots Talk Podcast: What exactly are the Patriots up to right now?

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Patriots Talk Podcast: What exactly are the Patriots up to right now?

Needless to say, it's unusual for the New England Patriots to have so much down time in January. Typically, they're playing in the AFC Divisional Round. And the AFC Championship Game. And often, the Super Bowl.

But this year, they were eliminated in the Wild Card Round for the first time since 2009. And now, they have a lot of time on their hands.

And while their early playoff exit was surely discouraging, the Patriots could stand to benefit from this extra time.

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On the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast, Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry discussed how the Patriots could utilize the extra time and the positive impact it could have on the organization.

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Curran pointed out that because the team has so often been playing into February, their already thin staff has been stretched thin come draft season, which explains why the team has had some draft misses in recent seasons.

Really, it comes down to 312 days of prepreparation were sacrifice. And so for a bare bones organization in terms of both front office and coaching staff -- these guys have had shorter offseasons by a month on average than any other team in the NFL.

So on one hand, it's remarkable and it's a high-class problem. On the other hand, isn't it somewhat inevitable that you might have some draft swings and misses?

Perry agreed with Curran and brought up that the fact that the extra time off will give Belichick a real chance to thoroughly evaluate his roster.

I think for a team that is looking at a reboot, one of the sort of ironic things about that is that now you have time to really think that through in more detail and not to say that Bill Belichick isn't planning or looking at his roster, how it's constructed, how the contracts set up and trying to plan ahead. I'm sure he is doing that to a certain extent.

But you can only spend so much time on those things when you're getting ready for the divisional round, the AFC Championship Game every year, the Super Bowl every other year.

This surely makes sense and is definitely a positive for the Patriots. Perhaps with that extra time, Belichick can find a way to retain Tom Brady while significantly upgrading his supporting cast.

For more on the Patriots offseason plans, potential changes in their front office, and predictions for the AFC and NFC Championship Games, check out the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast, which drops every Tuesday and Thursday as a part of the NBC Sports Boston podcast network.