Patriots

Patriots QB Tom Brady squarely focused on Jets amid Antonio Brown drama

Patriots QB Tom Brady squarely focused on Jets amid Antonio Brown drama

FOXBORO, Mass. -- New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady fielded a few questions at his locker Friday regarding wide receiver Antonio Brown, but he made it clear his focus is squarely on preparing for Sunday's matchup with the New York Jets.

"I'm just preparing like I always do," Brady said. "Trying to play well this weekend against the Jets. Doing what I can do, focusing on what I can focus on, control what I can control. I'm not here to do anything other than that -- to get ready to play a game."

The NFL's investigation into the allegations made against Brown in a civil lawsuit filed in Florida last week is ongoing. Late Thursday night, a new Sports Illustrated report was published that alleges Brown has sent intimidating texts to a woman who's accused him of sexual misconduct.

Brown, at this time, is still eligible to play Sunday against the Jets. It would be Brown's first home game since his contract with the Patriots officially was announced Sept. 9. 

Whether Brown plays Sunday or not, the Patriots will remain heavy betting favorites over the Jets. The spread is 22.5 points (even higher at some sportsbooks) in favor of the defending Super Bowl champions, who have won six consecutive games against their AFC East rivals.

Brady is not taking the Jets lightly, though. The last five Patriots-Jets games were decided by more than a touchdown, but the previous seven before that all were decided by a touchdown or less. This is one of the most intense rivalries in the league, and sometimes that increased energy makes these games more competitive than expected.

"There's never an easy game in the NFL," Brady said. "They're all challenging. They're really good opponents, well-coached, a lot of good players. I've been playing too long to look past an opponent. These guys are a good team. They always play us tough, and we're expecting their best game."

WATCH: Frustrated Bill Belichick cuts presser short>>>

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Demaryius Thomas blasts Patriots, calls trade to Jets 'disrespectful'

Demaryius Thomas blasts Patriots, calls trade to Jets 'disrespectful'

Demaryius Thomas apparently has a lot to get off his chest.

Mostly quiet during his tenure in New England, the Jets wide receiver took a flamethrower to the Patriots on Wednesday, accusing his former team of "insulting" him by not giving him a chance to succeed.

"It was insulting, for sure,” Thomas told the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta. “Once I got cut (on August 31), I could have just come here (to the Jets) and not stayed there and re-sign. When they re-signed me, I was thinking that I was good. Two weeks later, I was gone.

"So, it’s like, ‘Why did I waste my time?’ Because at the end of the day, it was kind of a waste of time for me."

The Patriots signed Thomas in April, taking a flyer on the five-time Pro Bowler as he recovered from a December 2018 Achilles injury. The team released him during final roster cuts but re-signed him two days later, at which point Thomas thought he was safe.

After the Patriots traded him to the Jets on Sept. 10 -- one day after signing Antonio Brown -- the 31-year-old felt stabbed in the back.

"They kicked me (to the curb) and shipped me out like I’m just a rookie," Thomas told Mehta. " ... It was disrespectful to me."

" ... You told me when you cut me at the (final) cut, sit around you’ll bring me back. And I stayed. I could have easily become a Jet once I got cut. … I could have been here the next day after I got released. But I chose to stay."

Thomas also detailed Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's rather rational explanation for trading him to New York.

"Coach (Belichick) came up to me and was like, ‘Uh, we got too many guys. We can’t get the ball around enough and we’re going to trade you to the Jets,' " Thomas said. "And that was that."

Thomas caught two touchdown passes in New England's fourth preseason game but never appeared in a regular-season game, as the Patriots deemed him expendable after signing Brown.

The Brown experiment obviously didn't work out, though, and Thomas seems intent on rubbing a little salt in New England's wound ahead of the teams' Week 7 contest on Monday night.

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Marquis Flowers, Sterling Moore, Sealver Siliga among ex-Patriots taken in XFL draft

Marquis Flowers, Sterling Moore, Sealver Siliga among ex-Patriots taken in XFL draft

Former Patriots linebacker Marquis Flowers, ex-Pats Sterling Moore, a cornerback, and Sealver Siliga, a defensive tackle, were among the players with New England ties selected in the XFL draft.

The spring football league that played one season in 2001 is being rebooted and will begin play in February with eight teams. Its two-day draft concluded Wednesday.

Players were picked in five phases of the draft in the following order: skill position, offensive line, defensive front seven and defensive backs. An open portion concluded the draft.

Flowers, 27, who played for the Patriots in 2017, was selected with the Dallas Renegades' second pick of the open portion.

Siliga, 29, a Patriot from 2012-15, also went to Dallas with their second pick of the front seven phase.

Moore, 29, known for stripping the ball from Baltimore Ravens receiver Lee Evans in the end zone and denying what would've been a winning touchdown catch in the Pats' 2011 AFC Championship Game victory, was picked by the Seattle Dragons in the defensive back phase.

Other notable ex-Patriots, defensive end Kony Ealy, acquired in a trade by New England in 2017 but cut that summer in training camp, was the first pick of the Houston Roughnecks in the open phase. Running back Ralph Webb, an undrafted free agent who had a strong preseason opener in 2018 before being cut, was the first pick of the Tampa Bay Vipers in the open phase and linebacker Scooby Wright, who played for the Patriots this past preseason and was cut from their practice squad Oct. 1, was chosen by the DC Defenders in the front-seven phase. 

Former Boston College running back Andre Williams was selected by Houston in the skill position phase.

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