Patriots

Jacoby Brissett opens up about trade, why he didn't want Patriots to draft him

Jacoby Brissett opens up about trade, why he didn't want Patriots to draft him

Who wouldn't want to get drafted by Bill Belichick and the perennial NFL powerhouse New England Patriots?

Their 2016 third-round draft pick, apparently.

During an appearance Sunday night on the "Double Coverage" podcast with Patriots defensive backs Jason and Devin McCourty, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett admitted he wanted no part of joining the Patriots entering the 2016 NFL Draft.

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"I honestly did not want to be there,” Brissett said. “When I took my visit there — my pre-draft visit — I was like, ‘Hell no. If one team drafts me, it better not be them.'

"And I’ll never forget, (offensive coordinator) Josh (McDaniels) called me on the phone on draft night and I didn’t have his number saved. That’s how bad it was. I didn’t even have his number saved in my phone. I was like, ‘Damn, man.' "

The Patriots had both Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo at the time, so you can imagine why Brissett wasn't thrilled about being a third-string QB.

The NC State product quickly warmed up to New England, however.

"Then I get there -- everyone’s like, ‘Man, it’s New England’  -- and then you just meet some of the dudes on the team like you," Brissett told Devin McCourty. "That’s when (Terrence Knighton) was on the team and Anthony Johnson and Martellus (Bennett) and it was just fun, man. I’ve never been around so many older dudes that were so young, you know?"

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Brissett's Patriots tenure was short-lived, as the team traded him to the Indianapolis Colts in September 2017 for wide receiver Phillip Dorsett. The 27-year-old QB admittedly was shocked by the move at the time and shared more detail about the day of his trade Sunday.

"It was after my last preseason game, and the bad thing was I balled (in that game)," Brissett said. "I was like, 'I know I'm making the team. It's going to be really hard for them to cut me.' 

" ... I think Bill did some shady s---. I think they traded me right before practice and still made me go out and practice. ... I just remember I was walking back into the facility from the field, and it just seemed like that was the first time the facility was -- there was no activity going on. It just seemed silent. ... I'm walking down the hall, and everybody's staring at me like I just committed a crime or something.

" ... And then I'm looking at my locker and Tom is just sitting there with his head in his phone and I'm like, 'Damn, I hope that ain't about me.' It was just crazy, man. My body was just frozen."

Brissett was on a flight to Indianapolis later that night and wound up playing in the Colts' season opener one week later. Welcome to the NFL, kid.

"Honestly, that was my wake-up to the NFL, was being traded and then the next week, you're out there in a game," Brissett added. "It was like, 'We don't care how long you've been here. You'd better know how to play."

Patriots Talk Podcast: Measuring the toll that opt-outs took around the NFL

Patriots Talk Podcast: Measuring the toll that opt-outs took around the NFL

Thursday's deadline for players to opt out of the 2020 NFL season has come and gone.

A total of eight New England Patriots players, including linebacker Dont'a Hightower, safety Patrick Chung, and tackle Marcus Cannon, have chosen to sit out of the 2020 campaign due to concerns about the coronavirus.

With the Pats impacted by opt outs more than any other team, Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry discuss on a brand new Patriots Talk Podcast the toll they will have on New England this season.

Patriots Talk Podcast: Measuring the toll that opt-outs took around the NFL | Listen & subscribe | Watch on YouTube

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"Dont'a Hightower may end up being the most high-profile guy that chooses to opt out. I would say Patrick Chung and Marcus Cannon are somewhere in that next tier," Perry said. "So when you have three starting-caliber players and four real contributors ... there's no other team in the league I think you can look at and say they've been just as hard by these opt-outs as the Patriots.

"And we talked about what they might do to fill in. I think right now is the most important time because if you're somebody like Josh Uche or Ja'Whaun Bentley or Yodny Cajuste, it doesn't matter that you're getting no time on the field right now. You have to squeeze every last drop out of every single meeting that you have the opportunity to attend, every rep you can do in the weight room ... you're going to be thrown right into the fire and you have to make sure that you're ready."

There is some optimism heading into the new season, believe it or not. Perry notes that the defense -- even after all of the opt outs -- might be better than expected for New England in 2020.

"I think if you look at the Patriots defense, I think that is the one thing that we all looked at even before they signed Cam Newton and said, 'If you were hoping they were gonna suck for Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields or somebody else near the top of the draft, the defense might do you in this year,' " said Perry. "Because they still should be good. Even if they're not the best defense in football, they still have arguably the best secondary in the league.

"And even without Dont'a Hightower, they have enough pieces and they've done well enough to scheme quarterback pressure that it should give you a representative effort each and every week which still some teams across the league you look at these rosters and wonder how they're gonna compete at all."

Curran and Perry also discuss power rankings in the AFC East after the opt outs, whether the Patriots offense will be fun to watch, takeaways from Tom Brady's introductory press conference with the Buccaneers, and why Brady may struggle in Tampa Bay.

Check out the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network or on YouTube.

NFL Power Rankings: Where do Patriots stack up after opt-outs?

NFL Power Rankings: Where do Patriots stack up after opt-outs?

So what matters the most this year? Is it the guys you had in 2019 who are coming back? Is it the guys you added in the offseason? Is it the young guys you drafted? Is it the length of time the coaching staff’s been together? Or the offensive coordinator and coaching staff?

Is it how well the team blocks out the distraction (“distraction” feels like an inadequate word, I know) of COVID-19 and deals with the logistical walls it’s created? Or is it how well the team’s players deal with the daily mental stress that they can either get it and get really sick; get it and have nothing happen; get it, not know it and pass it on to someone who may then get really sick or get it, pass it to a teammate and then see the whole league come to a grinding halt?

Do you know? I don’t know. As a result, there’s little jumbling in the Power Rankings. But three factors affecting every team right now that never are: opt-outs, the lack of offseason work and the approach of core, veteran leadership in an unprecedented time. Let’s get it. (Predraft ranking in parentheses).