Patriots

NFL free agents 2020: Recapping best available players who could make an impact

NFL free agents 2020: Recapping best available players who could make an impact

We're more than two weeks into NFL free agency, and even though most of the top players available have found new teams, there are many quality players who remain unsigned.

Spotrac tweeted out a list of the best available free agents Thursday, and fans will recognize all or most of these names.

The two most notable free agents are quarterbacks: Cam Newton and Jameis Winston.

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Newton was released by the Carolina Panthers last month after the team was unable to trade him. The former league MVP missed most of the 2019 season with a left foot injury, but if healthy, he's still a very good quarterback and definitely starting caliber. Newton would also be a great option for a team that might be a quarterback upgrade away from being a serious postseason contender, and with the league officially adding a third wild card playoff team earlier this week, more teams should consider signing Newton.

Winston is a different story. It's hard to look past his league-leading 30 interceptions last season. That said, he also led the league in passing yards and ranked second in passing touchdowns. Winston still is better than most backup quarterbacks around the league.

It's a little surprising Logan Ryan is unsigned. The veteran cornerback is a talented player and has loads of playoff experience, including two Super Bowl rings from his career with the New England Patriots. Ryan spent the last three seasons with the Tennessee Titans, with whom he played an important role on some very good pass defenses. He'd be a solid upgrade for any contending team's secondary.

Another intriguing player is defensive end Everson Griffen. He's tallied 26.5 sacks over the last three years, including eight last season for the Minnesota Vikings. Griffen is 32 years old, but 2019 showed he still can be a productive player on a good team.

Unfortunately for the Patriots, they only have about $900,000 in salary cap space. So, unless the team creates more cap space, it's unlikely any of the players listed in the tweet above will be playing in Foxboro next season.

Patriots fans may bristle at Chris Jones' reaction to Chiefs extension

Patriots fans may bristle at Chris Jones' reaction to Chiefs extension

Did the 2001 New England Patriots believe they were launching a dynasty after winning Super Bowl XXXVI? Probably not.

But the defending Super Bowl champions appear a bit more confident.

Days after signing quarterback Patrick Mahomes to the richest contract in North American sports, the Kansas City Chiefs agreed to a four-year, $85 million contract extension with defensive tackle Chris Jones, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday.

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So, how did Jones celebrate his new deal with Kansas City? By declaring an apparent continuation of the Chiefs' "dynasty."

Jones has every reason to be confident in his team, which kept its core intact after winning Super Bowl LIV and is the current Super Bowl LV favorite.

But Patriots fans who watched Bill Belichick and Tom Brady lead New England to six championships over two decades might view Jones' "dynasty" talk as premature.

After all, no team has won back-to-back titles since the Patriots in 2003 and 2004, and no team aside from New England and Seattle (2013 and 2014) has even reached the Super Bowl in back-to-back years since 2000.

And after signing Cam Newton, the Patriots may believe their own dynasty isn't dead yet despite Brady's departure to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

History won't stop Jones and the Chiefs from setting lofty goals, however, as Mahomes said recently he's eyeing Brady's record of six Super Bowl titles. Better get started soon.

Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast: Did Pats just become Cam Newton's team? | Listen and subscribe | Watch on YouTube

Hypocrisy for Patriots fans to root for Tom Brady, but not Cam Newton

Hypocrisy for Patriots fans to root for Tom Brady, but not Cam Newton

If you rooted for Tom Brady and don’t root for Cam Newton, you are a hypocrite. 

In 2014, the Patriots started the season 2-2 and after a humiliating loss on Monday Night Football in Kansas City, some idiot — that would be me — declared that the Pats had lost their soul.

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Of course, I was wrong, as the greatest quarterback ever went on to the lead the Pats to their fourth Super Bowl win with a big assist from Malcolm Butler. 

That was Part 2 of the "Tom Brady: Me Against the World" trilogy.

Of course, the original was getting drafted as a sixth-round pick out of Michigan. Part 3 was Deflategate when Brady won his fifth Super Bowl after he was suspended for four games.

For the purpose of this writing, we focus on Part 2 because some thought Brady’s best days were behind him. (Many feel the same about Cam Newton now.) Even Bill Belichick said Tom was getting older and the plans for his successor in Jimmy Garoppolo were laid out before us ... and Brady.  

Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast: Did Pats just become Cam Newton's team? | Listen and subscribe | Watch on YouTube

But once again, Brady defied the odds and forced Belichick to trade Jimmy G. to San Francisco. Needing to prove he still had "it," Brady reinvented himself and became a physical specimen, defying Father Time.

Can Cam Newton do the same? He is not as old now as Brady was then, but this guy was left for dead by the rest of the NFL and has even more to prove than Brady ever did.

If you backed Tom Brady, how can you not do the same for Cam?

Look, I love Tom Brady the football player. Off the field, I think he’s lost his mind, but there has been no better player in the history of sports than TB12. (See Tom, I used your logo. Happy?)

However, right now I am in Cam’s corner like I was in Brady’s when he was a Patriot. And you should be too.