Patriots

NFL goes tag-crazy ahead of deadline, Trey Flowers about to get paid

NFL goes tag-crazy ahead of deadline, Trey Flowers about to get paid

We're more than a week away from the start of the NFL's new year, more than a week away from free agents having the ability to hit the market and accept new contracts. We're more than a week away from pursestrings loosening across the league, yet the market is already smiling on Trey Flowers.

We saw this coming, but now that we're just hours away from the deadline to apply the franchise tag, teams have finally caved and tagged some of the league's top edge defenders. 

Demarcus Lawrence of the Cowboys, Jadeveon Clowney of the Texans, Frank Clark of the Seahawks and Dee Ford of the Chiefs will all been tagged by their respective teams, giving them guaranteed one-year contracts. All can re-negotiate new deals with their teams, but they'll be kept from the market.

With the supply of available pass-rushers suddenly dwindling, and edge-needy teams remaining edge-needy going into free agency, Flowers is looking like he could receive the biggest deal of those untethered. 

His competition? Dante Fowler, Ziggy Ansah, Clay Matthews, Cameron Wake, Terrell Suggs, Shane Ray and Alex Okafor. Justin Houston is reportedly going to be released by the Chiefs, and he'll likely command as much or more than anyone from that list as a pass-rush specialist. 

While Flowers doesn't necessarily fit the profile of the twitched-up, bendy, corner-cutters that come in atop the highest-paid players at the position, he is much more than an edge-setter.

"He didn't have the sack numbers that [other pass-rushers on expiring deals] did, but I don't really look at sacks as indicative of pass-rush ability," former NFL agent Joel Corry told us on The Next Pats Podcast. "He had 64 quarterback pressures during the regular season. That was tied with Frank Clark and one more than Lawrence had and five more than Clowney had."

Not only is Flowers looking like the premier player at his position in free agency, but he could see the offers thrown his way climb quickly because two of his former coaches are now running teams of their own -- Matt Patricia in Detroit and Brian Flores in Miami -- and it only takes two to drive up the asking price. For those teams, Flowers could serve an on-the-field technician and an off-the-field example for locker rooms with nascent cultures.

He was always going to be in demand, but after big names at the position have been franchised around the league, Flowers is looking like he's about to be the richest of the bunch.

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Rob Gronkowski to make 'big announcement' on Tuesday

Rob Gronkowski to make 'big announcement' on Tuesday

Rob Gronkowski is making waves on social media once again.

On his Instagram story, the retired New England Patriots tight end told his followers that he had a "big announcement" planned for Tuesday afternoon. Gronkowski said that the announcement would take place on his Instagram page at 9 a.m. and would be "fun" and "wild" and "a good time".

You can see the video for yourself courtesy of NFL writer Dov Kleiman.

Gronkowski's video is cryptic in nature, so it will obviously lead to speculation regarding a potential return to the Patriots. That said, it's worth noting that Gronk has been adamant that he doesn't want to come out of retirement to play tight end for the team. So, it seems highly unlikely that he has had a last-minute change of heart.

Still, it's something to keep an eye on, especially since Gronk's deadline to come out of retirement and play again this season is Saturday, Nov. 30.

But again, more likely than not, this is just a savvy business decision by Gronkowski to essentially announce his intent to make an announcement to attract the attention of a larger audience.

The Patriots will continue to operate with Matt LaCosse, Ben Watson, and Ryan Izzo as their three-man unit at tight end. They'll have to hope that one of them can step up and give them some production at the tight end position, which has been a problem for the offense in 2019.

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Patriots vs. Eagles live stream: Watch NFL Week 11 game online

Patriots vs. Eagles live stream: Watch NFL Week 11 game online

The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles will meet at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday for the most-anticipated NFL game on the Week 11 slate.

Both teams are desperate for a win.

The Patriots have a slim 1-game lead over the Baltimore Ravens in the race for the AFC's No. 1 seed, while the Eagles are tied with the Dallas Cowboys for first place in the NFC East race.

This will be the first matchup between these teams since the Eagles beat the Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII back in February of 2018. Both rosters have changed quite a bit since that night in Minnesota, but several of the most pivotal players on both sides are still around, including Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Brady's offense could receive a boost Sunday with the potential pro debut of rookie wide receiver N'Keal Harry. Harry was New England's first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, and his addition into the offense should give the Pats another downfield receiving threat who can make tough catches in traffic. The Patriots suffered their first loss of the season to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9, and they've had two weeks to prepare for the Eagles after enjoying a Week 10 bye.

Here’s how and when to watch Patriots vs. Eagles online. Be sure to also watch “Pregame Live” at 1 p.m. ET and “Postgame Live” at 7:30 p.m. ET, all on NBC Sports Boston. Michael Holley, Albert Breer, Tom E. Curran, Phil Perry, Ted Johnson, D.J. Bean and former Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel will break down the game from every angle.

When: Sunday, Nov. 17 at 4:25 p.m. ET
TV Channel: CBS
Live Stream: FuboTV

NFL Week 11 picks against the spread>>>

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