Patriots

How Patriots will run 'virtual' offseason program under new NFL guidelines

How Patriots will run 'virtual' offseason program under new NFL guidelines

In a normal world, the New England Patriots would begin their offseason training program next Monday at Gillette Stadium.

But nothing is "normal" in the age of coronavirus.

The NFL and NFL Players' Association reached an agreement Monday on a "virtual" offseason program for clubs to conduct with team facilities still closed to due COVID-19.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

While teams with new head coaches can begin their virtual program on Monday, April 20, they can't conduct any on-field work until all 32 club facilities can re-open, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

So, what will this "virtual" program look like for the Patriots (who can begin their program on Monday, April 27) and other NFL teams? Here are a few details, courtesy of Pelissero and Patriots.com's Erik Scalavino:

-- The virtual period will last three weeks and is voluntary for players, but those who participate are eligible for daily stipends and offseason workout bonuses.

-- The three-week program will consist of "classroom instruction, workouts, and non-football educational programs" all conducted via teleconferencing software like Zoom and Skype.

-- Teams can send players up to $1,500 worth of "workout equipment and monitoring devices" such as resistance bands, exercise bikes and Apple watches.

Listen and subscribe to Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast:

-- If team facilities still aren't open by May 15, teams can conduct their mandatory veteran minicamps virtually. Those virtual minicamps would be limited to four hours of "virtual training" per day -- two hours of classroom time and two hours of workout time -- for four days each week.

-- All offseason programs must end by June 26.

This setup is a far cry from what NFL teams are used to, but it's better than nothing, especially considering that North America's other professional sports leagues are on full shutdown.

The 2020 NFL Draft also is still on for April 23 through 25, so the league's schedule remains unchanged, even if the mechanics of events have changed drastically.

Add a virtual offseason to the long list of challenges Bill Belichick and the Patriots face in 2020 after Tom Brady's free-agent departure.

Patriots fans may bristle at Chris Jones' reaction to Chiefs extension

Patriots fans may bristle at Chris Jones' reaction to Chiefs extension

Did the 2001 New England Patriots believe they were launching a dynasty after winning Super Bowl XXXVI? Probably not.

But the defending Super Bowl champions appear a bit more confident.

Days after signing quarterback Patrick Mahomes to the richest contract in North American sports, the Kansas City Chiefs agreed to a four-year, $85 million contract extension with defensive tackle Chris Jones, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

So, how did Jones celebrate his new deal with Kansas City? By declaring an apparent continuation of the Chiefs' "dynasty."

Jones has every reason to be confident in his team, which kept its core intact after winning Super Bowl LIV and is the current Super Bowl LV favorite.

But Patriots fans who watched Bill Belichick and Tom Brady lead New England to six championships over two decades might view Jones' "dynasty" talk as premature.

After all, no team has won back-to-back titles since the Patriots in 2003 and 2004, and no team aside from New England and Seattle (2013 and 2014) has even reached the Super Bowl in back-to-back years since 2000.

And after signing Cam Newton, the Patriots may believe their own dynasty isn't dead yet despite Brady's departure to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

History won't stop Jones and the Chiefs from setting lofty goals, however, as Mahomes said recently he's eyeing Brady's record of six Super Bowl titles. Better get started soon.

Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast: Did Pats just become Cam Newton's team? | Listen and subscribe | Watch on YouTube

Hypocrisy for Patriots fans to root for Tom Brady, but not Cam Newton

Hypocrisy for Patriots fans to root for Tom Brady, but not Cam Newton

If you rooted for Tom Brady and don’t root for Cam Newton, you are a hypocrite. 

In 2014, the Patriots started the season 2-2 and after a humiliating loss on Monday Night Football in Kansas City, some idiot — that would be me — declared that the Pats had lost their soul.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

Of course, I was wrong, as the greatest quarterback ever went on to the lead the Pats to their fourth Super Bowl win with a big assist from Malcolm Butler. 

That was Part 2 of the "Tom Brady: Me Against the World" trilogy.

Of course, the original was getting drafted as a sixth-round pick out of Michigan. Part 3 was Deflategate when Brady won his fifth Super Bowl after he was suspended for four games.

For the purpose of this writing, we focus on Part 2 because some thought Brady’s best days were behind him. (Many feel the same about Cam Newton now.) Even Bill Belichick said Tom was getting older and the plans for his successor in Jimmy Garoppolo were laid out before us ... and Brady.  

Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast: Did Pats just become Cam Newton's team? | Listen and subscribe | Watch on YouTube

But once again, Brady defied the odds and forced Belichick to trade Jimmy G. to San Francisco. Needing to prove he still had "it," Brady reinvented himself and became a physical specimen, defying Father Time.

Can Cam Newton do the same? He is not as old now as Brady was then, but this guy was left for dead by the rest of the NFL and has even more to prove than Brady ever did.

If you backed Tom Brady, how can you not do the same for Cam?

Look, I love Tom Brady the football player. Off the field, I think he’s lost his mind, but there has been no better player in the history of sports than TB12. (See Tom, I used your logo. Happy?)

However, right now I am in Cam’s corner like I was in Brady’s when he was a Patriot. And you should be too.