Patriots

Michael Bennett says he's informed Patriots he'll remain in locker room during anthem

Michael Bennett says he's informed Patriots he'll remain in locker room during anthem

Michael Bennett has never had an issue with saying what's on his mind. And just because he's about to become a member of the Patriots doesn't mean that's going to change. 

The 33-year-old defensive end spoke at Princeton University for a Sports, Race and Society lecture on Monday, addressing what he plans to do during the playing of the anthem before games next season, and saying that he plans to discuss Donald Trump's presidency with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. 

According to William C. Rhoden, writing for ESPN, Bennett indicated that he was looking forward to having conversations with the coach and quarterback about Trump.

"I think it's important not to to run away from those conversations," Bennett said, per ESPN, "or not hear their ideas about why they think the way they do."

He added, "I think it's an opportunity for growth to have those conversations. If we don't allow ourselves to have those conversations, we're stunting our growth."

In 2016, during Trump's presidential campaign, Belichick sent Trump a letter that Trump read to a crowd in Manchester, New Hampshire. The year prior, a "Make America Great Again" hat was spotted in Brady's locker, which Brady explained to WEEI was a gift from Trump via Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

The Patriots quarterback criticized Trump in September of 2017, though, when Trump said, "Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!' "

“Yeah, I certainly disagree with what he said," Brady told WEEI at the time. "I thought it was just divisive. Like I said, I just want to support my teammates."

Bennett said during his Princeton appearance that he's spoken with the Patriots about his plans to stay in the locker room during the anthem moving forward.

"I explained to them is that my integrity mean everything," Bennett said, per ESPN. "I think they respect that about me, they respect who I am as an individual."

A number of players across the league, specifically those involved with the Players Coalition, have been open about the fact that they would like to steer attention away from anthem protests and toward making meaningful change for communities that need it.

"If you listen to what players are saying all along, you know, taking a knee was a protest to get people to understand what we were trying to do," McCourty said last summer prior to moderating a panel in Dorchester focused on criminal justice reform. "This is what we were trying to do. We're trying to make changes to the community . . . That has been our focus all along."

The Patriots have a deal in place with the Eagles to acquire Bennett in a trade that will be made official at the start of the new league year on Wednesday. New England will send Philadelphia a 2020 fifth-round pick in exchange for Bennett and a seventh.

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Mohamed Sanu trade brings more of this unique talent to Patriots' WR group

Mohamed Sanu trade brings more of this unique talent to Patriots' WR group

Tom Brady arguably is the greatest quarterback of all time. But may have competition for the strongest arm on his own team.

That competition comes from wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, whom the New England Patriots reportedly acquired Tuesday in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons.

A triple option quarterback in high school, Sanu has had surprising success throwing the ball in the NFL: He's completed seven of eight career pass attempts for 233 yards and four touchdowns -- good for a perfect passer rating of 158.3 -- and was a perfect 7-for-7 until last season.

That's probably because the 30-year-old has an absolute cannon. Want proof? Here's footage from earlier this year of Sanu throwing a football 71.5 yards, which is farther than Brady's longest throw.

You'd best believe Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels already is drawing up trick plays for Sanu as a pass-thrower.

But here's the kicker: New England already has two strong-armed wide receivers in Julian Edelman and Jakobi Meyers. The former played quarterback at Kent State, while Meyers was recruited to N.C. State as a QB but switched to wide receiver to get playing time.

How much arm strength does the Sanu-Edelman-Meyers trio have? According to EA Sports' "Madden NFL 20," which tracks "throwing power" for every NFL player, those three have the strongest arms of any wide receiver in the NFL.

For what it's worth, Brady has a 91 THP rating, well ahead of Sanu's 80. But while Brady's QB job is safe, NFL defenses will have to be on the lookout for his wideouts dropping bombs.

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Mohamed Sanu will have to pick a new number after joining Patriots

Mohamed Sanu will have to pick a new number after joining Patriots

Mohamed Sanu's first order of business as the Patriots' newest wide receiver will be picking a brand new jersey number.

Sanu has worn No. 12 throughout his NFL career, but something tells us that wouldn't go over well in New England as it's been that Tom Brady guy's jersey number for quite a while now.

So what number will the ex-Falcons and Bengals wideout choose? He wore No. 6 at Rutgers, but the only numbers currently for the taking are 14, 19, 81, 86, 87 and 88. The No. 17, which was worn by Antonio Brown during his brief Patriots tenure, belongs to practice squad WR Devin Ross. As for that No. 87, we highly doubt that'll be given to Sanu as that number will forever be associated with retired Pats tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Ex-Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan is just as curious about Sanu's pending number change as the rest of us:

Regardless of which number he ends up donning in his new uniform, Sanu provides a much-needed boost to the Patriots' receiving corps. He'll join Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski, and N'Keal Harry on New England's WR depth chart.

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