Patriots

NFL Rumors: Antonio Brown's preference was for Steelers to trade him to Patriots

NFL Rumors: Antonio Brown's preference was for Steelers to trade him to Patriots

As NFL teams begin to quake at the thought of Antonio Brown catching passes from Tom Brady for at least a full season, they might wonder what could have been done differently to keep him out of the reach of Bill Belichick. 

According to a recent report from Jason La Canfora, New England was Brown's preferred destination from the start. 

Belichick's pursuit of Brown dated back to his falling out with the Steelers at the end of the 2018 season. He was among the first executives to call about Brown's availability when the Steelers made it clear the perennial Pro Bowler had no future there.

When the Steelers reportedly asked for a first round pick from Belichick, he "immediately" told the Steelers that wouldn't be a problem, but before the discussions progressed, the Steelers let Belichick know that the Patriots were on a list of teams the Pittsburgh front office was not allowed to negotiate with.

According to the story, Brown's preference from the beginning was to get traded from Pittsburgh to New England, leading to him nixing a trade to the Bills and eventually forcing his way out of Oakland. The Steelers only got a third and fifth round pick from the Raiders for the four-time All-Pro receiver.

Brown eventually got what he wanted, signing a one-year deal where he could make up to $15 million in 2019. However, the pending lawsuit brought against him for rape and sexual assault leaves his future in New England up in the air. 

He's expected to play in Week 2 against the Dolphins, but with his accuser meeting with the NFL on Monday, there's a chance Patriots fans might not see him in a New England uniform for long.  

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That 617 Life Podcast: Who made who? Bill Belichick or Tom Brady

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

That 617 Life Podcast: Who made who? Bill Belichick or Tom Brady

The people's court is now in session. The topic of debate: Who made who, Bill Belichick or Tom Brady?

The two New England Patriots greats will always be inextricably linked for the success they've had in creating the Patriots dynasty. Together, the duo has won six Super Bowl titles and has overseen the most dominant two-decade stretch in NFL history.

Still, the question of who is chiefly responsible for the team's success has long been a debate among the New England faithful. And this week, Shanda, Cerrone, and Leroy take a deeper dive into the case for both sides on the latest episode of "That 617 Life Podcast".

Cerrone kicks off the "trial" by defending Brady, arguing that his on-field play and his arrival to the team snapped the Patriots out of the funk that they were in for most of the early part of their franchise's existence.

[The Patriots] were the team that nobody wanted to use in TecmoBowl. Now, for everybody in America, you're cheating if you use Tom Brady in Madden.

Furthermore, from Cerrone:

There's teams in the NFL over the past 20 years that still haven't defeated Tom Brady. Still, over 20 seasons. There are organizations and fan bases that still have not seen a victory in front of Tom Brady.

As for the case for Belichick, Leroy laid out a simple case for Belichick and called him "possibly the greatest coach in sports history."

Hear more of the trial and thoughts on the latest Boston sports stories on the latest episode of the "That 617 Life Podcast", which drops every Friday as part of the NBC Sports Boston podcast network.

CURRAN: Are we watching Brady's final day with the Patriots?>>>

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Report: Patriots expected to re-sign Nick Folk on Saturday

Report: Patriots expected to re-sign Nick Folk on Saturday

It's no longer a mystery who will kick for the New England Patriots vs. the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

The Patriots are expected to officially re-sign Nick Folk on Saturday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Folk was released by the team and replaced with Kai Forbath prior to last week's game vs. the Houston Texans after undergoing an appendectomy.

In three games with the Patriots this season, Folk has made seven of nine field goals and all three extra-point attempts. 

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