Patriots

Joe Montana offers warning to Patriots QB Tom Brady as NFL free agency nears

Joe Montana offers warning to Patriots QB Tom Brady as NFL free agency nears

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is able to leave the only NFL team he's ever played for when free agency opens in March, and one NFL legend wouldn't encourage the six-time Super Bowl champion to switch teams.

Joe Montana spent 13 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and won four Super Bowl titles. However, he was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs before the 1993 season, where he played the final two years of his Hall of Fame career. Even though Montana's departure from San Francisco was a trade and not a free agent exit, he still understands the decision Brady will soon have to make. 

What advice would Montana give Brady?

"Don't (leave) -- if you don't have to," Montana tells NFL Media's Mike Silver in an interview scheduled to air Sunday on NFL Network. 

"It's a process to go through, and it takes time to get used to the team. I was fortunate because (former 49ers quarterbacks coach) Paul Hackett was there running the offense, and so I was pretty familiar with probably three-quarters of the offense going in. And, if they let (Brady) have his own offense (with a new team), yeah, that makes it a little bit easier. But still, the transition of moving ... I just can't see how they would let him leave there, myself."

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If any player could switch teams and make a seamless transition, Brady would be among the leading candidates. He's one of the smartest and best prepared players to ever play quarterback. That said, Montana knows from experience that changing teams is a challenging task.

"It's not easy to go to another team and get accepted, no matter how much success you've had and how many years you've played," Montana told Silver. "They still want to see you come in and be the same player and be that loyal to them as you were to the other team you just left. So, it's not easy (for) guys looking at that change, especially at the quarterback position."

The best decision for Brady would be to retire as a Patriot. New England has great ownership, the best head coach in pro football history and a roster that, with some upgrades on offense made over the offseason, could be right back in the Super Bowl mix next season. 

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Rob Gronkowski, Camille Kostek donate 20,000 masks to Boston, New Jersey hospitals

Rob Gronkowski, Camille Kostek donate 20,000 masks to Boston, New Jersey hospitals

Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and his girlfriend Camille Kostek are doing their part to help the community amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The pair have donated 10,000 medical-grade KN95 masks to Boston Medical Center and another 10,000 to St. Joseph's University Medical Center in New Jersey.

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Sports Illustrated swimsuit editor-in-chief MJ Day, whose husband is a physician at St. Joseph's, shared the note Gronkowski and Kostek included in their donation and thanked them for being so generous. 

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So when we all say we are a FAMILY at @si_swimsuit I mean it in the truest sense of the word. @camillekostek is a former #siswimsearch winner, SI Rookie and 2019 Cover Model. @gronk is her partner in life and @patriots legend and friend and supporter of this brand. They just donated 10,000 KN95 masks to both @sjhnj and @bostonmedicalcenter. And I am moved beyond words. But this type of generosity deserves words. On a personal note, I have been appealing to people to #stayinandsew #flattenthecurve and support their local hospitals and caregivers in need. My husband is a physician at @sjhnj and many of our friends and colleagues are on the front lines there fighting this pandemic. Like many of the hospitals in the epicenter of this war, they are critically short on supplies. Especially masks. What Camille and Rob have done for this hospital, the caregivers, the patients, and the community made me cry tears of joy. It’s been restorative to my faith that we can make a difference no matter how big or small. It shows me that the type of people that I get to work with care about me and you just as much as we care about them. And no matter what team they played for, we are all on the same team now. There is no way to quantify the gratitude I have for you both. Let’s motivate others to do the same, or what they can to help our hospitals and caregivers battle for us. Make a mask, stay home, donate, use your platform. Do what you can, because it all matters. These masks equate to lives saved. Period. Thank you. ❤️

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 “Rob and I doing everything we could to figure out how to source these masks properly and get them in the hands of people that need them was not an easy task,” Kostek, a model who was on the cover of the SI swimsuit issue last year, said Monday on her Instagram story, according to WEEI's Ryan Hannable. “Thank you to the heroes of this crisis for putting yourselves and your family — and everything that you do — on the line to help the wellbeing of the people in our nation. I have cried a lot today.”

Gronkowski and Kostek join the many celebrities who have tried to help during the crisis, and it won't be surprising if more follow in their footsteps.

NFL expects to open on time with full schedule; here's when it'll be revealed

NFL expects to open on time with full schedule; here's when it'll be revealed

With the NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball and MLS scrambling to figure out a way to salvage its seasons and crown champions in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, the NFL says as far as its season goes, it'll be business as usual in front of fans. 

Pash, the NFL's general counsel, told reporters, including Breer, on a conference call Tuesday of playing a full season, “That’s my expectation. Am I certain? I’m not certain I will be here tomorrow. But I’m planning on it, and I’m planning on a full season.”

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So, if Pash expectation becomes reality, on Thursday night, Sept. 10, the Kansas City Chiefs will hang their first Super Bowl championship banner since 1970 and host a team to be determined.

The full schedule - still 16 games, but with a third wild-card team in each conference; it won't be 17 games until at least 2021 - is expected to be released no later than May 9, according to Breer and others.

As for the draft, still set for April 23-25 in this era of social distancing, the "war rooms" of each team will reportedly be limited to 10 people in the room each six feet apart, with picks being made via video chat.