Patriots

Robert Kraft gives terse reply to Tom Brady question at 2020 Oscars party

Robert Kraft gives terse reply to Tom Brady question at 2020 Oscars party

Tom Brady will become a free agent on March 18, but Robert Kraft has made it very clear where he wants the New England Patriots quarterback to play.

Kraft's latest public comments about Brady's pending free agency came Sunday at Elton John's annual AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party in Los Angeles, where the Patriots owner was asked if Brady will leave the Patriots or re-sign with the club in free agency.

"You know what I want," Kraft replied, according to The Boston Globe's Juliet Pennington.

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Kraft's five-word reply is in line with the three-word response he gave TMZ Sports last month when asked if the Patriots will keep Brady in New England:

"We plan to!"

Kraft was less bullish on Brady's return earlier in January, telling NBC Sports' Peter King he "hope(d)" the 42-year-old would re-sign in New England but that Brady had the freedom to do what he pleased.

But as our Tom E. Curran reported last week, Kraft and the Patriots are willing to push the envelope a bit to keep Brady in New England for a 21st season.

NFL Media's Ian Rapoport also provided interesting context on Brady's free agency Monday, explaining why Kraft was willing to let the six-time Super Bowl champion enter free agency in the first place.

While 31 other teams technically have the opportunity to sign Brady beginning March 18, the Patriots seemingly are betting on Brady quickly learning that New England is his best option.

McCourty twins put Drew Brees on blast after Saints QB's protest comments

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USA TODAY Sports

McCourty twins put Drew Brees on blast after Saints QB's protest comments

Drew Brees' first public comments in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis last week have drawn a strong reaction from players across the NFL, including members of the New England Patriots.

The New Orleans Saints quarterback did an interview with Yahoo! Finance that was posted Wednesday, and when asked about players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice in America, Brees made it clear he's not in favor of that gesture.

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“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country," Brees told Yahoo!. "Let me just tell you what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played and when I look at the flag of the United States. I envision my two grandfathers, who fought for this country during World War II, one in the Army and one in the Marine Corps. Both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place. So every time I stand with my hand over my heart looking at that flag and singing the national anthem, that’s what I think about. ..."

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016 was the first NFL player to protest by kneeling during the national anthem, and many other players have done so since.

The official Twitter account of Patriots defensive backs Devin and Jason McCourty posted a tweet in response to Brees' remarks, calling them "a disgrace."

The McCourty twins weren't the only athletes reacting to Brees' comments on social media. Many others did, too, including two of Brees' wide receiver teammates, Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.

Malcolm Butler gives great insight into Super Bowl XLIX interception

Malcolm Butler gives great insight into Super Bowl XLIX interception

The play never gets old (if you're a New England Patriots fan, anyway).

With 26 seconds remaining in Super Bowl XLIX and the Seahawks threatening to score the go-ahead touchdown, Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler jumped a slant route to intercept Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson at the goal line and clinch an improbable 28-24 win for New England.

 

So, how did Butler anticipate the play so well, and how did he know to make a bee-line toward the ball?

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NBC Sports' Liam McHugh asked Butler on Tuesday night during NBC Sports Network's re-broadcast of Super Bowl XLIX, and the now-Tennessee Titans cornerback admitted he thought Seattle would run the ball just like everyone else.

But Butler also noticed a subtle tell from Wilson.

 

"I learned a long time ago, if the quarterback is throwing the ball, I guess he’s going to favor the receiver or look at him or see what’s going on in the area," Butler told McHugh, "and I just felt like Wilson was just looking a little bit too much. And I think I just caught a little whiff of what he was going to do.

"So I just stared at my receiver and said if my receiver plants on the outside, I’m just going to go and just hope the ball is there. And when he planted, I took off. I just (saw) the ball and the ball was coming so fast I didn’t know how to catch it."

Butler also was uniquely prepared for the moment: The Patriots' scout team had run a similar passing play in practice leading up to Super Bowl week and actually beat Butler for a touchdown.

The undrafted rookie wouldn't make the same mistake twice, however, showing great anticipation and instinct to make one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history.