Patriots

Next Pats Podcast: Which QBs could the Patriots target in the draft?

Next Pats Podcast: Which QBs could the Patriots target in the draft?

Even after taking Jarrett Stidham in the fourth round of last year's NFL Draft, the New England Patriots could look to add another quarterback in late April.

That'll likely depend on whether or not Tom Brady returns to New England. But if they do decide to add another young QB in the 2020 draft, they'll have several intriguing players to choose from.

If the Patriots decide to trade up, two of those options could be Tua Tagovailoa out of Alabama or Justin Herbert out of Oregon. But even if they decide to sit back and wait for a QB to fall in their lap, they could find a diamond in the rough.

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On the latest episode of The Next Pats Podcast, The Athletic's Dane Brugler joins Phil Perry to discuss Tua, Herbert, and other QBs the Patriots could have their eye on:

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Brugler isn't exactly a believer in Herbert, but it's a different story with Tagovailoa.

I would not trade up for Justin Herbert. That's just my personal opinion. I like Justin Herbert, I just -- I think there's something missing there. I see a Ryan Tannehill type of player ... 

If I'm convinced that Tua is healthy, I would definitely consider that move to go up and get him if i was in striking distance to do it. Tua, talking about instincts and how important it is at the quarterback position, I think he has that. I do worry about the durability.

Part of what makes him special is his ability to improvise. There's a little bit of Russell Wilson there with his ability to get outside the pocket and make things happen, but that also leads to more hits on his body. And so, you do worry about long-term. He needs to do a better job not taking some of those hits.

If New England opts to stand pat rather than trade up, there's one name in particular that stands out to Brugler.

If I decided not to trade up and I'm staying put, there's definitely some intriguing options there. I mean, Jordan Love, he's so intriguing.

It's funny, if we switch his sophomore year and his junior year... Jordan's Love's a top-10 lock. But it's because he took such a dip this past season with a new coaching staff, with losing a lot of talent around him, only one returning starter on offense. Because of all these factors, he didn't have that season he had the year before.

To hear about the other QBs Brugler sees as options for the Patriots, plus a complete breakdown of the latest on the NFL CBA with Judy Battista of NFL.com, check out the latest episode of the Next Pats Podcast, available as part of the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network.

Ex-Patriots WR Randy Moss reminds everyone of his TD record in great Twitter flex

Ex-Patriots WR Randy Moss reminds everyone of his TD record in great Twitter flex

Randy Moss is the NFL leader for touchdown receptions in a single season, and the legendary wide receiver reminded everyone of that fact Friday.

The former New England Patriots wideout posted a tweet early in the morning showing the single-season touchdown receptions leaders, with his name appearing a total of four times. He set the record in 2007 with 23 touchdowns during his first season catching passes from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

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Check out Moss' flex in the tweets below.

He's not wrong -- touchdowns do win games. 

Only one wide receiver in league history has found the end zone more than Moss. San Francisco 49ers legend Jerry Rice holds the record with 197 career receiving touchdowns. In fairness to Moss, who has 156 career TD catches, he played in 85 fewer games than Rice and didn't spend the majority of his career with quarterbacks as talented as Joe Montana and Steve Young.

Moss was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018 in his first year of eligibility. He's one of just six wide receivers to go in on the first ballot.

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Steelers star echoes a popular belief for why Tom Brady left Patriots

Steelers star echoes a popular belief for why Tom Brady left Patriots

No one aside from Tom Brady knows why the quarterback left the New England Patriots to join a historically inept Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchise.

But there's a popular opinion among current and former players for why Brady skipped town.

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick was the latest player to weigh in on Brady's free-agent decision Thursday on ESPN's "First Take."

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Here's Fitzpatrick's take:

I honestly wasn’t surprised. I think Tom is a competitor and I think he kind of wanted to prove that he could go somewhere else and do it, you know what I’m saying? 

... I just think he wanted to prove, not just to himself, but to the fanbase and the world that he could go somewhere without the great coaching, without the great defense the Patriots had and still have the same success.

If that answer sounds familiar, it's because guys like former Patriots Wes Welker and Willie McGinest, current Patriot Devin McCourty and retired New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning all saw the same thing: that Brady wanted a new challenge and a chance to prove he can be successful without Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

Brady insisted to our Tom E. Curran that proving the doubters wrong isn't his first motivation in Tampa Bay, but it's hard to believe that's not part of the equation.

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The 42-year-old still carries a chip on his shoulder from being passed over 198 times in the 2000 NFL Draft, and despite his incredible achievements in New England, he's undoubtedly heard the snarky comments that he can't succeed without Belichick by his side.

If Brady can lift the moribund Bucs to prominence in the NFC, he'll certainly silence his few remaining critics. As for Belichick's Patriots? They have plenty of bulletin board material of their own.