Patriots

Kyle Long shades Jimmy Garoppolo while pushing Tom Brady-to-49ers theory

Kyle Long shades Jimmy Garoppolo while pushing Tom Brady-to-49ers theory

Tom Brady is a Bay Area native who grew up going to 49ers games, but San Francisco hasn't really been viewed as a serious destination for the New England Patriots quarterback and free-agent-to-be.

Why? Because the Niners already have their franchise quarterback in former Brady backup Jimmy Garoppolo, who helped guide them to Super Bowl LIV.

... Or do they?

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Retired offensive lineman Kyle Long joined NFL Network's "Total Access" on Tuesday to discuss the one free-agent signing he'd like to see this offseason.

"I think this will drive some people crazy, but ... one thing I've thought about is a guy named Tom Brady and a team called the San Francisco 49ers," Long told host Lindsay Rhodes.

"It would be something where we would find out if the 49ers are really in love with Jimmy Garoppolo. And I think Tom Brady has earned the right to select a turnkey organization that is one quarterback away from the Super Bowl. And who better than the 49ers? He's a hometown kid. He grew up idolizing Joe Montana."

"One quarterback away from the Super Bowl" sure sounds like a dig at Garoppolo, who threw two interceptions in the 49ers' Super Bowl LIV loss to the Kansas City Chiefs but otherwise had a strong 2019 campaign.

To have his former mentor come in at age 43 and accomplish what he couldn't? That'd be a tough pill for Garoppolo to swallow.

As our Patriots Insider Phil Perry recently pointed out, San Fran technically has the option to replace Garoppolo with Brady this season, as the 28-year-old QB has an opt-out clause for 2020 in his contract.

Count Long among those on board with that scenario.

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Which Patriots players made NFL's All-Decade fantasy football team for 2010s?

Which Patriots players made NFL's All-Decade fantasy football team for 2010s?

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Fame announced on Monday the official NFL All-Decade team for the 2010s, and it's loaded with New England Patriots players.

A total of eight former Patriots players, in addition to head coach Bill Belichick, made the cut. These selections were far from surprising, considering the Patriots won the most regular season games, the most playoff games and the most Super Bowl championships in the last decade.

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How do the Patriots fare when it comes to selecting the All-Decade fantasy football team for the 2010s? It's not as impressive, but you might surprised at some of the names. 

Here's a look at the latest NFL All-Decade fantasy team:

Longtime kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who the Patriots released late last month, is one of two New England players on the team. His inclusion makes a lot of sense, too. Gostkowski played the entire decade for one of the league's highest-scoring teams. He's also one of the most accurate field goal kickers of his generation.

Veteran wide receiver Antonio Brown is the other former Patriots player on the team, although he only played in one game for New England -- a Week 2 matchup versus the Miami Dolphins last season. He was productive from a fantasy perspective, however, tallying four receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown.

The Patriots defense also made the team. This unit certainly wasn't elite the entire decade, but consistency is key here. New England's defense rarely allows a ton of points and usually dominates the turnover battle. Not giving up many points and piling up turnovers make for a productive fantasy defense. The Patriots' D also has scored plenty of touchdowns, including a league-high seven last season.

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Former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski not being on this team isn't a huge surprise despite his Hall of Fame-caliber production.

A multitude of injuries prevented him from playing many full seasons. Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham both made their professional debuts at the start of the decade in 2010. However, Gronk played in only 115 games before retiring after the 2018 season, whereas Graham played 153 games and remains an active player with the Chicago Bears. Graham's ability to consistently stay healthy gave him more opportunities to rack up fantasy points. One of the most valuable parts of fantasy football is availability.

Not many Patriots players were the best fantasy football scorer at their respective positions during the 2010s. That said, if you drafted a ton of Patriots players over the last 10 years, you probably did quite well in your fantasy leagues. 

Tom Brady drives at real reason he left Patriots in Players' Tribune article

Tom Brady drives at real reason he left Patriots in Players' Tribune article

We don't need to speculate anymore. Tom Brady is telling us himself why he left the New England Patriots after 20 seasons.

The new Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback posted a lengthy article Monday in The Players' Tribune (which was founded by his landlord, Derek Jeter) titled, "The Only Way Is Through."

Brady repeatedly thanked his former teammates and Patriots fans for their support over the last two decades.

But the 42-year-old quarterback also drove home another point: He left New England because he wanted a new challenge.

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"Choosing to leave New England, and the only team I’ve known for 20 years, to join a new football team is a great opportunity, a great change and a great challenge," Brady wrote.

" ... When you play for one team for two decades, change is exciting."

ESPN's Ian O'Connor reported recently that Brady simply had had enough of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Our Tom E. Curran also reported that Belichick didn't exactly make Brady feel wanted as the six-time Super Bowl champion entered free agency for the first time.

Brady obviously didn't spell that out, but he did cite a desire to prove (to Belichick, perhaps?) he can still play at a high level.

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"Physically, I’m as capable of doing my job as I’ve ever been. Now I want to see what more I can do. I want to see how great I can be," Brady wrote.

" ... I’m excited to be embraced fully for what I can bring to the Bucs. In turn I’m ready to embrace fully a team that is confident in what I do — and what I bring — and is willing to go on this ride with me."

It sounds like Brady's former employer wasn't willing to go on that ride with a QB who turns 43 in August.

Brady indeed will have a much different experience in Tampa Bay under player-friendly head coach Bruce Arians. That drastic change will force Brady to adapt after 20 years with Belichick, but apparently it's a challenge he's eager to tackle.

"It will be a learning curve," Brady wrote. " ... Still, I’m excited. Most of all, I’m motivated. I want to deliver for my new team, my new coaches and my new teammates.

"I don’t want to let anyone down. I’m going to give it everything I’ve got."