Patriots

Panthers TE Greg Olsen says Bears nearly traded him to Patriots in 2010

Panthers TE Greg Olsen says Bears nearly traded him to Patriots in 2010

In an alternate universe, Greg Olsen is a New England Patriot.

The veteran Carolina Panthers tight end nearly was traded back to the Pats back in 2010 when he played for the Chicago Bears. What caused the deal to fall through was the Patriots selecting Rob Gronkowski in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Olsen discussed the story of the near-trade Thursday on The Dan Patrick Show.

"Jerry Angelo brought me into his office and he's like 'hey, I'm just going to be honest with you, we have a trade in place with you contingent on how the draft falls tomorrow night,'" Olsen said. "Come to later find out through some guys I knew in the organization it was with the Patriots and it was them assuming [Gronkowski] was going to be taken in the first round.

"That year, the Patriots had three second-round draft picks and they were going to trade one of those for me if Gronk was already taken in the first round. He fell to the second round, they took him with their second-round pick, Belichick called back the Bears and said 'we're going to take Gronkowski and the trade is now off.'"

Watch below:

Olsen has told the story before, but this sheds more light on how trade talks between the Bears and Patriots went down prior to New England opting to go with Gronkowski instead.

While we can't help but wonder "what if?", it's safe to say things worked out just fine for both sides. Gronkowski developed into one of the best tight ends of all time and helped the Patriots to three Super Bowl titles, and Olsen has enjoyed a stellar career in Carolina where he's clearly cherished playing for the last eight years.

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Jerry Jones reveals interesting exchange with Bill Belichick at ski resort in 1990s

Jerry Jones reveals interesting exchange with Bill Belichick at ski resort in 1990s

The Dallas Cowboys will make a rare visit to Gillette Stadium on Sunday for a Week 12 matchup against the New England Patriots.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones went on Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday and told an interesting story about an exchange he had with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick in the 1990s.

"I'll never forget, I was skiing after our season was over," Jones said. "I was renting skis for my grandkids, and there was a line. I'm sitting in the back and somebody bumps up against me a few times. I turned around and it was this guy, I couldn't (make out who he was) because he had his ski stuff on and goggles. It was Bill.

"He no longer had a job. He had been with Cleveland and they'd let him go up there. He said, 'Listen, I can coach. If you ever get an opportunity, don't forget about me.' I've thought about that many times. You never know when you can find a great coach. You can find him in a ski checkout line sometimes."

When Barry Switzer resigned as Cowboys head coach after a 6-10 season in 1997, Jones and the Cowboys hired Chan Gailey as the team's new head coach. Gailey is one of five head coaches Dallas has employed since Belichick was fired after the 1995 season.

The Cowboys have reached the playoffs nine times in the last 21 seasons, and that span includes zero trips to the NFC Championship Game or beyond.

The Patriots traded for Belichick in a deal with the New York Jets to be their next head coach beginning with the 2000 season, and he has won nine conference championships and six Super Bowl titles in 20 seasons at the helm. Belichick might win another championship in 2019, as his Patriots currently sit atop the AFC standings with a 9-1 record entering Sunday's game versus the Cowboys.

Antonio Brown apologizes to Patriots owner Robert Kraft>>>

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NFL Power Rankings: Have Ravens jumped over Patriots in AFC?

NFL Power Rankings: Have Ravens jumped over Patriots in AFC?

Despite their litany of offensive issues, the Patriots have been holding firm atop Tom E. Curran's AFC Power Rankings this season.

But New England doesn't have much margin for error in the AFC playoff race. 

The Patriots lost to the Ravens in Week 9, so Baltimore owns the tiebreaker edge. Lamar Jackson and Co. are also in the midst of an NFL-high six-game win streak, including wins over three teams in playoff position (Seattle, New England, Houston), and a +87 point differential over the last three weeks.

So despite the Ravens trailing the Patriots by one game in the race for the AFC's top seed, does that mean they've supplanted New Engand as the AFC's best?

Click here for Tom E. Curran's AFC Power Rankings after Week 11.>>>>>

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