Patriots

Ex-Patriot Chris Long rips NFL's new national anthem policy

Ex-Patriot Chris Long rips NFL's new national anthem policy

On Wednesday, the NFL announced a new policy on players protesting during the national anthem.

The new policy permits players to stay in the locker room while the anthem plays, but requires them to stand if they come on to the field.

Former Patriots defensive end Chris Long, now with the Eagles, shared his thoughts on the controversial change via Twitter:

His teammate, Malcolm Jenkins, ripped the new policy on Twitter as well.

Devin and Jason McCourty showed their support for Long and Jenkins' statements by reposting them on their Twitter account:

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Devin McCourty responds to Colin Kaepernick rumor: 'I hope that's true for him'

Devin McCourty responds to Colin Kaepernick rumor: 'I hope that's true for him'

FOXBORO -- Devin McCourty isn't looking to make headlines, but also he's not reluctant to talk about Colin Kaepernick when Kaepernick's name comes up.

Kaepernick's name was broached because TMZ caught up with Mark Geragos, Kaepernick's lawyer, and posted the video Thursday. In it, Geragos hinted that there were two NFL clubs that could be interested in signing his client. 

The two franchises at which hinted? The Raiders and the Patriots. New England came up because Geragos was asked about a "Colin Kaepernick anthem" that rapper Meek Mill is planning on. 

"I've heard that," Geragos said. "You know who Meek Mill was visited by when he was in custody?" 

Off camera, someone answered Patriots owner Robert Kraft. "Bingo," said Geragos. 

It's a flimsy connection if that's all it is, and McCourty hadn't seen the TMZ video. But as far as Kaepernick's potential return to the league, McCourty is a supporter of the idea. 

"I would just say I think he's a really good player," McCourty said. "I think he's had a tremendous amount of success in this league. And I've said it numerous times, there's no doubt in my mind that he's one of the top -- whether you want to say 32 or 64 -- quarterbacks that should be in this league. 

"I've said that from the jump. I believe that. I hope that's true for him. Whether it's those two [teams] or someone else, I hope that's true."

McCourty indicated that he didn't feel as though there would be any issues welcoming Kaepernick to the Patriots locker room if that ever came to pass. 

And though McCourty is one of the faces of the Players Coalition -- which has worked to steer the national conversation away from anthem demonstrations to work being done in communities that need it -- he maintained that having the face of the anthem demonstrations in the locker room might actually give Kaepernick an opportunity to highlight the charitable work Kaepernick has done.

According to Business Insider, he's donated over $1 million to various charities in over a year and a half. 

"I think he's still doing positive stuff," McCourty said. "I think him as a player would probably spotlight some of those things. Because right now people only talk about still the same thing. If he had that viewership, as far as the NFL, people would get to see what he does. 

"I think the people who see what he does now are the people that follow him and want to know. Whereas the average NFL viewer, they're not going to see what Kaepernick is doing right now. I think him in the NFL would give people the opportunity to see that. Obviously it would come up. Whatever team he signs to, the first question is going to be, What are you going to do? It's going to come up."

The question is whether there is a team out there willing to take on a player who would generate those discussions and the swirl of media attention that would follow.

For McCourty, that wouldn't be an issue. 

"I've never been opposed to [discussing it]," he said, "obviously."

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Patriots again No. 2 in Forbes valuations of NFL teams

Patriots again No. 2 in Forbes valuations of NFL teams

The Patriots were No. 2 in the NFL after losing Super Bowl 52 to the Philadelphia Eagles and they're again No. 2 in Forbes' annual valuation rankings of NFL teams.

For the fourth year in a row, the Pats, at $3.8 billion. have finished second to the Dallas Cowboys ($5 billion, up from $4.2 billion a year ago for Jerry Jones' team). 

Here's the Top 10:

The Patriots were second in 2017 (at $3.7 billion) , 2016 ($3.4B) and 2015 ($3.2B). Not bad when you consider that in 1994, Robert Kraft purchased the team for $172 million. 

The Buffalo Bills at $1.6 billion bring up the rear among the 31 NFL teams for the second year in a row. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE