Patriots

NFL Rumors: Patriots sign linebacker Jamie Collins

NFL Rumors: Patriots sign linebacker Jamie Collins

We haven't seen the last of Jamie Collins in New England.

UPDATE (Wednesday, May 15 at 5:10 p.m. ET): The Patriots have signed linebacker Jamie Collins for a second stint with the team, NBC Sports Boston's Tom E. Curran has confirmed.

--End of Update--

The Patriots are in talks with the free-agent linebacker and are "likely" to bring him back in 2019, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday.

New England drafted Collins in the second round in 2013, and the athletic outside linebacker blossomed into a star, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2015. In October 2016, the Patriots abruptly traded Collins to Cleveland, where he spent the next two-plus seasons before Cleveland released him this March.

Rumors that the Patriots may be interested in bringing Collins back surfaced last fall, a year after the Browns signed him to a contract extension.

The 29-year-old's first tenure in New England ended suddenly, but he was a game-changer in the Patriots' defense when used properly, and with former Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo joining the coaching staff this season, it seems Collins' former club is willing to give him another shot.

QUICK SLANTS: Mayo breaks down Collins' skill set in Patriots' defense

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Why Kyle Van Noy expects Patriots' success to continue despite offseason losses

Why Kyle Van Noy expects Patriots' success to continue despite offseason losses

The New England Patriots have sustained incredible success in recent years despite losing some pretty big names to free agency or trades.

But this offseason seems worse than others ... right? Don't tell that to Kyle Van Noy.

In an interview Tuesday with NFL Network's Willie McGinest, the Patriots linebacker explained why he expects the Patriots to continue that success despite an exodus of notable players and coaches, among them all-world tight end Rob Gronkowski and de facto defensive coordinator Brian Flores.

"(Head coach) Bill (Belichick) does a really good job of the culture being set with the players that have been there for their tenures," Van Noy said, pointing to veteran leaders like Devin McCourty, Dont'a Hightower and, of course, Tom Brady.

"When that culture is set, it doesn't matter, we all have the same goal in mind and that's just to win."

Van Noy is well aware of the roster turnover -- he let out a "Wow, look at that list" -- when shown the lengthy list of ex-Patriots that includes several assistant coaches.

But much like Gregg Popovich's San Antonio Spurs, Brady, Belichick and the Patriots have created a culture of winning that allows them to not only compete but win championships despite significant roster turnover.

It sounds like Van Noy, who's won two Super Bowls since coming to New England in 2016, is fully bought in.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

One study shows Patriots have second-best fans in the NFL

One study shows Patriots have second-best fans in the NFL

Patriots fans aren't tired of winning, and it shows. 

According to one study, the Patriots have the second-best fan base in the NFL. Emory University business professor Michael Lewis conducts the report annually, and has listed the Patriots as No. 2 for the past two years. Lewis's model takes into account fan equity — home box office revenue — social equity and road equity. The study measures social media engagement and revenue as well as home and road attendance. 

In the top tier with the Dallas Cowboys (1) and Patriots are the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles. 

Notably, the Pats have some recent history with two of the bottom-feeder fan bases. New England beat the Kansas City Chiefs — the 31st-best fan base — in the AFC Championship. This might be surprising because of Arrowhead Stadium's reputation for being raucous, and Lewis predicts the Chiefs are in a solid position to improve in the rankings: 

"The problem is that the Chiefs lack pricing power and do not have much of a social following (I use Twitter)," the study said. "However, the Chiefs and Browns are probably the best positioned teams to make moves up the charts the next few years."

Also, the Los Angeles Rams — whom the Patriots bested in last year's Super Bowl — rank dead last among fan bases. The recent move from St. Louis and abundance of teams in the area certainly plays a part in the poor following, but Jared Goff and the Rams certainly could've used a few more cheers last February. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.