Patriots

Former Patriots DE Chris Long wins Walter Payton Man of the Year award

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Former Patriots DE Chris Long wins Walter Payton Man of the Year award

Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long, a member of the New England Patriots' Super Bowl LI-winning squad, was named Saturday night by the NFL as the winner of its prestigious Walter Payton Man of the Year award, honoring a player's humanitarianism and excellence on the field.

Long has garnered world-wide praise for his Waterboys foundation, which brings clean drinking water in underdeveloped countries, as well as the foundation's "Conquering Kili" program, which brings military veterans and NFL players together to reach the top of Mount Kilimanjiro, inspired by his first ascent of the world-renowned mountain years ago. Long also donated all 16 of his game checks this season to helping low-income children, essentially playing for free in 2018.

Long took time to thank the city of Boston in his acceptance speech, which closed out the awards show.

"I see it as more of a challenge than an accomplishment," Long said to the other 31 nominees in his speech. "To be who we say we are, not just on easy nights like this, but when nobody’s watching. For all the evils in the world, I think that apathy is the most dangerous."

Long, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 NFL draft, signed a one-year deal with the Patriots in 2016 on a cap-friendly deal and proceeded to win his first Super Bowl ring. He signed with Philadelphia the following season, and opposed New England in Super Bowl LII, which was won by the Eagles.

His ties to Boston go back a ways. Long's father Howie, one of the NFL's all-time greatest defensive linemen, was raised in Charlestown and attended high school in suburban Milford.

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Patriots vs. Panthers: Tom Brady stats, highlights from preseason debut

Patriots vs. Panthers: Tom Brady stats, highlights from preseason debut

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady got his first game action of the preseason Thursday night at Gillette Stadium, and the results were pretty mixed against the Carolina Panthers defense.

It was a sloppy start for the Patriots offense as a whole with three penalties during the first two drives. 

Rookie wide receiver Jakobi Meyers had a particularly bad opening two series with a drop, a penalty and a weird deep route where he stopped running. Brady's first four completions all went to wideout Phillip Dorsett for a total of 35 yards.

The Patriots found the end zone on their third drive for the game's first touchdown. Patriots running back James Develin ended the 15-play, 85-yard march with a one-yard TD run. Brady even converted a third-down with a 3-yard scramble earlier in the drive. The 42-year-old quarterback's night was over after that series. Rookie Jarrett Stidham was next up at quarterback.

Most starters typically don't play in the fourth and final preseason game, so we probably won't see Brady in action again until Week 1 of the regular season when the Patriots host the rival Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 8.

Here's a recap of Brady's performance against the Panthers.

STATS
75 (8-for-12) completion percentage
75 yards
0/0 TD/INT
0 sacks
3 rush yards

HIGHLIGHTS
There weren't a lot of notable highlights from Brady, but here's his longest completion of the night.

Brady's final completion went to tight end Ryan Izzo.


WATCH: Eric Reid's cheap shot sends Ben Watson to locker room>>>

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Was Eric Reid's late hit on Ben Watson retaliation for shot on Twitter?

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Was Eric Reid's late hit on Ben Watson retaliation for shot on Twitter?

New England Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson was the victim of a late hit by Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid in the first quarter of Thursday night's preseason matchup.

The play very well may have been an honest mistake, but coincidentally the two veterans also mixed it up off the field earlier this week.

Reid recently was critical of the Players Coalition as well as Jay-Z's partnership with the NFL. That didn't sit well with Watson, who responded with the tweet below:

Regardless of whether it was retaliation, there was no indication of ill will between the two players after the late hit. Reid approached Watson and they appeared to share a few friendly words before Reid helped the 38-year-old up.

Watson was checked for a concussion after the play. As for Reid, the only damage done will be to his bank account as he can expect a fine for his actions.

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