Patriots

Even if Bridgewater is available, Patriots can afford to pass

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Even if Bridgewater is available, Patriots can afford to pass

The quarterback market looks like it's going to be a little more crowded. We think. 

For teams in need of a passer Kirk Cousins will be available via free agency. Same goes for AJ McCarron, Case Keenum, Sam Bradford, Josh McCown and Tom Savage. Even Drew Brees could be had, though it's expected he'll re-sign with the Saints. Then there are the five or six quarterback who could be taken in the first round of the draft, and the five or six more who could be taken before the fourth round is up. 


Then there's Teddy Bridgewater. His case is a little complicated. 

NFL Media has reported that Bridgewater is expected to be a free agent when the new league year begins next month. That would mean that Bridgewater, who spent six games on the physically unable to perform list last season, would not have his contract toll from 2017 to 2018. 

The NFL has told Pro Football Talk that no decision has been made in regards to Bridgewater's contract status so we're still waiting on that. However, because the Patriots could be on the lookout for The Next Guy, Bridgewater's potential availability is worth mulling over. 

We're just not going to mull too hard.

Bridgewater suffered a devastating knee injury right before the end of the 2016 preseason, dislocating his left knee as well as tearing his ACL and other ligaments during a non-contact practice drill. 

Fourteen months later, in November, he was back at practice and backing up Keenum. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said last month that the team had tracked 24 similar knee injuries in other athletes and determined that half never returned to action. The quickest recovery before Bridgewater's, according to Zimmer, was 24 months. 

"I think he's doing good now," Zimmer said, per ESPN. "He's at the point where he can play. You just have to work through figuring out where he's at in that because obviously, we didn't get to see him through games."

And that's what will make it hard for the Patriots to invest in Bridgewater going forward. There's so much uncertainty that using a roster spot to give Bridgewater time to find his footing behind Tom Brady doesn't seem all that logical. 

Bridgewater is still young; he'll turn 26 next season. In 2015, the last time he was a starter, he was named a Pro Bowler, throwing for 3,231 yards on 65.3 percent passing, and running for an average of 4.4 yards per carry on 44 attempts. He certainly proved he was a more than capable starter in his sophomore season, and his accuracy (10th in completion percentage) put his name among the league's best.

Bridgewater won't be looking to break the bank on his next deal, and perhaps a workout and a battery of tests on his knee will make the Patriots feel like he's worth a low-risk shot. The idea may seem like an even better one if he's still available after the initial wave of free-agency and the Patriots aren't able to get their hands on a quarterback they like in this year's draft class. 

The problem is the last time anyone saw Bridgewater take a meaningful snap was over two years ago. And that's hard to get around. 

With a plethora of intriguing quarterbacks in this year's draft, and with Brian Hoyer already under contract as a trusted backup, the Patriots can probably afford to let another club take their shot on Bridgewater's comeback.

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The Stephen Gostkowski hate still confounds

The Stephen Gostkowski hate still confounds

Stephon Gilmore’s reported restructure paves the way for the Patriots to lock kicker Stephen Gostkowski up for the rest of his career.

Local reaction fell short of unchecked enthusiasm. That’s fine. It’s a kicker and if Gostkowski wasn’t retiring, nobody expected him to go somewhere else.

But for card-carrying members of the We Hate Everything Club, the imminent re-signing of Gostkowski is an opportunity. It’s a chance for these runny-nosed pustules to bang their sippy cups on their trays and whine, whine, whine that THIS ISN’T WHAT THEY WANTED!!!

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LOOKIT ME! I’m so hard-bitten, demanding and impossible to please!!! A rollicking success I am and that’s why you can watch me ejaculate misery on Twitter at all hours of the day and night!!

Here’s a sampling of responses to news of Gostkowski making progress toward a new deal: 

The last guy, he sums it up nicely.

It has been ever thus for Gostkowski. I wrote about it last July, the fatigue a swath of Patriots fans has with him for the sin of not being either A) perfect or B) Adam Vinatieri. 

Gostkowski’s prime crime came in the 2015 AFC Championship in Denver when he missed a PAT that the Patriots ended up chasing all game and never could get over in a 20-18 loss.

Inopportune timing? No doubt. They guy also hadn’t missed one since 2006 and set an NFL record for consecutive PATs made. Does that make the guy a gagger? Hardly.

This past season, Gostkowski made 49 of 50 PATs and 32 of 37 field goals. He made all 10 PATs in the postseason and was 5 for 6 on field goals in the playoffs including a 40-yarder that sealed the damn Super Bowl.

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He’s a two-time All-Pro, four-time Pro Bowler who’s made 372 of 425 field goals and 642 of 649 PATs in the 12 regular seasons since 2006. He’s missed just nine of 134 postseason kicks (field goals and PATs) in his career.

Does he give off a bulletproof vibe? No. And even reasonable observers can feel a little uneasy given the recent playoff record of Gostkowski. He’s missed a PAT in Super Bowl 51 and 52 and there’s the Denver miss we all remember.

He also missed field goal attempts in the last two Super Bowls.

How was Hall of Fame-bound, Automatic Adam? He was 26 for 37 on field goals in the postseason with the Patriots and in his last Super Bowl, he missed two field goals. He also drilled the game-winner.

But nobody’s going to come off looking like a genius running down Vinatieri, so I’ll stop right there. The point is, the Patriots couldn’t possibly have done any better at the position than they did when they drafted.

And if you’re complaining that the Patriots were able to reach accord with one of the best kickers in NFL history, feed yourself into a wood chipper. 

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Robert Kraft's attorney claims video evidence, traffic stop were illegal

Robert Kraft's attorney claims video evidence, traffic stop were illegal

The latest chapter of the Robert Kraft case unfolded when his attorney, William Burck, recently released a statement regarding Kraft's case to ESPN.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Burck claimed that the state should investigate how the evidence was obtained in Kraft's case. The evidence in question includes video surveillance and a traffic stop.

This will likely be one of the many maneuvers that the legal team attempts to use in order to prevent the release of the videos.

This double-down has come after Kraft's legal team put out a motion to prevent the release of the videos in connection with Florida's human trafficking case.

This evidence would include the release of video surveillance footage that police say they have of Kraft and others involved in the case. These videos contain evidence of Kraft and others exchanging cash for sexual favors at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa located in Jupiter, Fla.

The Sheriff involved in the case recently stated that he expected the videos to go public at some point.

Kraft has maintained his innocence throughout this process, and he even rejected a prosecutor's plea offer. The plea offer was extended to all 25 men involved in the scandal and Kraft was never expected to take the deal.

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