Patriots

Old Bowl: Brady-Rivers record oldest QB matchup "pretty cool," says TB12

Old Bowl: Brady-Rivers record oldest QB matchup "pretty cool," says TB12

When he takes the field in the AFC Divisional Playoff game Sunday at Gillette Stadium, Tom Brady will set another in a long list of his NFL records.

And so will Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.

It'll be the oldest combined age for QBs in an NFL playoff game. Brady, 41, and Rivers, 37, add up to 78 years, 198 days old, surpassing the AFC Championship Game against at the Broncos when a then 39-year-old Peyton Manning bested a 38-year-old TB12.

Asked about it Friday, Brady's reaction?

"Nice," he said. "Nice and old."

Brady added it was "pretty cool" and he wasn't talking about the weather, though he did mention it.

"That’s a pretty good one right there. That’s pretty cool. It’s just fun to be around – I’m out there today practicing and it’s whatever degrees out – 10 degrees, 15 degrees and I’m sitting here just playing with my friends, throwing the football around. I think it’s just a great blessing to be able to do it and do it here for this team, which I’ve loved to do. Philip’s been on the same team – it means a lot. We all work hard to get to this point. These things aren’t guaranteed, very tough to get to this point in the season. Every team four months ago thought they’d be playing in these games. The reality is, that’s not the way the NFL is, so we’re very fortunate and we’ve got to go out and try to take advantage of it."

As for the cold, it's expected to be in the 20s at 1:05 Sunday at kickoff. After 19 years in Foxboro and "probably a couple thousand practices" there, Brady's used to it and that's where he says an advantage comes in. 

"I just think the ability to practice in it like today," he said. "It’s very similar to what we’re going to get on Sunday so just knowing again, how many layers you’ve got to put on and how you’re going to feel. Again, how many layers you have to put on and how you’re going to feel. We didn’t have the heated benches out there like we will on Sunday. It’s cold and that is part of this time of year, but it is good to be playing when it’s cold out. It is good to be playing this time of year in Foxboro."

Rivers is 1-4 when the temperature is below freezing in his 15 years with the San Diego-now-Los Angeles Chargers. Brady is 27-7 in that same time frame.

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Report: Contract details for Patriots' Maurice Harris, Terrence Brooks

Report: Contract details for Patriots' Maurice Harris, Terrence Brooks

Surprise, surprise: The New England Patriots are spending carefully in free agency.

Rather than dole out significant cash to one or two players, the Patriots' strategy to date has been to sign a handful of depth pieces at relatively low cost. On Tuesday morning, we got a look at the contract details of two such players.

First up: wide receiver Maurice Harris, who can earn up to $1 million this season, per ESPN's Mike Reiss.

According to Spotrac, Harris' $720,000 base salary in 2019 makes him the second-lowest-paid Patriots wide receiver, ahead of Damoun Patterson and just behind fellow newcomer Bruce Ellington, who carries a $895,000 base salary.

That contract suggests the 26-year-old Harris may have to compete for a roster spot during the preseason, especially if New England trades for a receiver of higher value.

New Patriots safety and expected special teams contributor Terrence Brooks, meanwhile, has the chance to earn a maximum of $4 million total a two-year contract, per The Boston Globe's Ben Volin.

Head coach Bill Belichick clearly values special teams, so it's not surprising the Patriots are willing to shell out north of $1 million guaranteed to two potential core special teamers in Brooks and running back Brandon Bolden.

New England's work isn't done on the special teams front, as it currently doesn't have a kicker or punter with Stephen Gostkowski and Ryan Allen still unsigned in free agency.

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Report: Pennel's 2-year Patriots deal could be worth up to $8 million

Report: Pennel's 2-year Patriots deal could be worth up to $8 million

The Patriots deal with free-agent nose tackle Mike Pennel is for two years with a base salary of $5 million and could be worth up to $8 million in incentives, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss.

Pennel, 6-foot-4, 332 pounds, turns 28 in May. The former New York Jets defensive tackle will try to make up for the loss of Malcom Brown, who signed with the Saints. 

After the signing, Pennel spoke to Patriots.com about joining a "winning culture" in New England.

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