Patriots

Source: Despite speculation, Tom Brady was not in Nashville Thursday

Source: Despite speculation, Tom Brady was not in Nashville Thursday

Tom Brady won't officially become an unrestricted free agent until March 18, but that hasn't stopped the rumors from flying.

NBC Sports Boston has confirmed Brady was not in Nashville, Tenn. on Thursday, contrary to the rumors swirling on social media about the New England Patriots quarterback visiting Nashville schools with his son.

With Brady set to hit the market for the first time in his 20-year NFL career, there are sure to be plenty more rumors where that came from this offseason. We've already had quite a few, including a report of Brady buying a house in Connecticut.

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There also was Brady's mysterious conversation with Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis last week, which predictably led to a fair amount of speculation.

The Tennessee Titans have been considered one of the more likely destinations for Brady if he decides to move on from New England. Patriots fans can breathe a sigh of relief for now, though, knowing the rumors of him paying a visit to Nashville on Thursday are untrue.

UPDATE (8:30 p.m. ET): If you're still curious as to Brady's whereabouts, he and his wife, Gisele Bundchen, attended a dinner party in Miami (the site of Super Bowl LIV) with Gil Brandt on Thursday night, according to the former Dallas Cowboys executive and Pro Football Hall of Famer.

Curran: There's no perfect landing spot for Brady

Are Patriots' RBs the best position group in entire NFL? Ex-NFL GM thinks so

Are Patriots' RBs the best position group in entire NFL? Ex-NFL GM thinks so

Some would argue the New England Patriots lack elite offensive weapons.

Mike Tannenbaum would argue they actually have an embarrassment of riches -- at one position, anyway.

During an appearance Friday on WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni & Fauria," the former New York Jets and Miami Dolphins general manager argued the Patriots may have the best position group in the NFL.

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"I think you can make a case that the New England Patriots running back room arguably is the best position room of any position of any team in the league," Tannenbaum said, via WEEI.com.

Notice Tannenbaum didn't say the Patriots have the best running back group in the NFL. He believes New England's running backs are the strong position group, period, in the NFL.

That's a hot take, Mike. Care to explain?

"They go five and six deep," Tannenbaum said. "I had Brandon Bolden with the Dolphins. We rarely get to talk about (Damien) Harris, who is a really good player out of Alabama. Then you think about (Rex) Burkhead, James White and obviously Sony Michel. It is a great group."

The Patriots indeed have great versatility and depth at running back: Michel is the early-down workhorse and White is the passing game threat, while Burkhead and Bolden can give you a bit of both. Harris, the team's third-round draft pick in 2019, couldn't even crack this deep rotation as a rookie.

Pundits seemed to agree with Tannenbaum before the 2019 season, too: SB Nation and Bleacher Report pegged the Patriots' RBs as the best and second-best running back group in the NFL, respectively.

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But that was prior to a 2019 campaign in which New England rushed for 1,703 yards as a team (18th in the NFL) while averaging just 3.8 yards per attempt (25th). The Patriots' leading rusher, Michel, averaged just 3.7 yards per carry, good for 40th among 47 qualified rushers.

Of course, the Patriots' offensive line contributed to their lack of success in the running game. And the team's backs were effective in the passing game, as White finished fourth among all RBs with 72 receptions.

Still, it's difficult to imagine New England's running back room as a better position group than, say, the Kansas City Chiefs' explosive wide receivers or even the Patriots' shutdown cornerback group.

If you buy Tannenbaum's argument, though, quarterback Jarrett Stidham has reason for optimism in 2020.

Patriots Talk Podcast: Patriots Opposing Views - Perspectives from around the NFL

Patriots Talk Podcast: Patriots Opposing Views - Perspectives from around the NFL

Over the last few weeks, NBC Sports Boston's Patriots insiders Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry have chatted with NFL writers from around the country to get their perspective on the Pats as well as the teams they cover.

To catch up on the Patriots Opposing Views series, look no further than the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast.

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1:15 – Mary Kay Cabot joins Tom to discuss the Cleveland Browns. Topics include: how close the team was to hiring Josh McDaniels and if the Odell Beckham Jr.-to-New England rumors are dead.

11:08 – Ed Bouchette joins Tom to discuss the Pittsburgh Steelers. Topics include: the excitement level in Pittsburgh now that Tom Brady has left New England and whether Ben Roethlisberger can return to an elite level.

22:46 – Joe Rexrode joins Phil to discuss the Tennessee Titans. Topics include: the reasons for Mike Vrabel’s coaching success and if the team was right to choose Ryan Tannehill over Tom Brady this offseason.

30:11 – John McClain joins Tom to discuss the Houston Texans. Topics include: what John thinks of Jarrett Stidham after watching him at Baylor and why Bill O’Brien traded DeAndre Hopkins.

39:32 – Justin Rogers joins Phil to discuss the Detroit Lions. Topics include: if Matt Patricia is on the ‘hot seat’ as head coach and the odds Matthew Stafford ends his career outside of Detroit.

You can check out the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network or on YouTube.