Patriots

Titans' Mike Vrabel downplays video of him FaceTiming with Tom Brady

Titans' Mike Vrabel downplays video of him FaceTiming with Tom Brady

The Patriots. The 49ers. The Titans.

Tom Brady's destination in free agency continues to dominate headlines as NFL free agency approaches, so it's no surprise that any tiny morsel of information ignites wildfires of speculation.

One such example was this past weekend, when Brady and Julian Edelman went to a Syracuse basketball game and were caught on camera FaceTiming with their friend Mike Vrabel, who just so happens to the Titans head coach.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

So what was going on? Was Vrabel getting a jump on the legal tampering period by making a pitch to Brady? Not even close, at least according to Vrabel, who explained the call Friday during an appearance on NFL Network's "Good Morning Football."

"Well, it would be no different than a conversation you would have with your girlfriends on a weekend. My relationship goes back to 2001 with Tom Brady — training camp at Rhode Island, at Parente's, we'd go to practice and bunch of us would go out to the bar at Parente's after practice and that's where a lot of those friendships were made," Vrabel said.

"Those friendships aren't just going to stop or not continue to grow and develop now that I'm a head coach and he's a quarterback with and expiring contract. Those are going to continue on well after we're done playing with his family, with my family and having the ability to meet Jules and all those players — there's a special bond that goes on in the locker room and that's not going to stop."

So what did the conversation consist of? Per Clay Travis, Vrabel called Brady up for some good-natured ribbing about his hair.

Even if it was just an innocent phone call between friends, the Titans remain a very real possibility for Brady in 2020, especially since the Titans' incumbent quarterbacks — Ryan Tannehill and Marcus Mariota — are both set to hit free agency as well. 

Vrabel and the Titans reached the AFC Championship Game last season behind Tannehill and fellow free-agent-to-be Derrick Henry, so they're a team on the rise, but Vrabel wouldn't tip his hand when it comes to the team's upcoming plans.

"We always recognize those players who have helped us get to where we are," he said. "Obviously, the business of football to me is that every day [general manager] Jon [Robinson] and I are trying to look for players that are younger and cheaper. The players in those seats are doing everything that they possibly can to make sure that doesn't happen."

Younger and cheaper? Even though that doesn't apply to 42-year-old Tom Brady, the Titans adding the future Hall of Famer can't be ruled out — at least, not until Brady signs elsewhere.

Patriots reveal first photo of Cam Newton in full uniform, new jersey

Patriots reveal first photo of Cam Newton in full uniform, new jersey

New England Patriots fans wondering what Cam Newton would look like in the team's new uniforms no longer have to wait.

The Patriots unveiled headshots of each player earlier last week, and on Tuesday they posted photos of all the players in full uniform. The Patriots, of course, will debut new jerseys during the 2020 NFL season.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

Here's a look at Newton in the Patriots' home blue jersey:

The Patriots also tweeted a link to check out photos of every player in the new jerseys.

Newton signed a one-year contract with the Patriots a little more than a month ago, and if he's able to stay healthy, the former league MVP is the favorite to win the starting quarterback job over Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer.

The Patriots are expected to have their first training camp practice Wednesday.

Patriots' Dont'a Hightower used Super Bowl LI to support fiancée during labor

Patriots' Dont'a Hightower used Super Bowl LI to support fiancée during labor

The greatest comeback in Super Bowl history is three and a half years old, but it certainly isn't forgotten.

Just ask Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower, who brought up New England's miraculous Super Bowl LI victory over the Atlanta Falcons while his fiancée, Morgan Hart, was delivering their baby. Seriously.

Hightower told The Boston Globe's Stan Grossfeld he started chanting "28-3, 28-3" and "Never give up" while Hart entered her 17th hour of labor with their first child last month.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

Apparently the motivational tactic worked, as Hart said Hightower's words helped her push through and deliver their baby boy, Grayson, on July 16.

"It was surreal," Hart told Grossfeld. “It was a long night and a long day, and he kept reminding me, ‘28-3, 28-3,′ meaning you can be behind and come back. Never, never give up."

That's a reference to the deficit New England faced in the third quarter of Super Bowl LI before rallying to win in overtime -- thanks in large part to Hightower's strip sack of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan early in the fourth quarter.

Hightower still uses the 28-3 reference "all the time," per Grossfeld, but his focus won't be on football in 2020. The 30-year-old linebacker is one of eight Patriots players who have decided to opt out of the 2020 season.

"Not knowing too much about the COVID thing, I don’t want to jeopardize the health of my family," Hightower told Grossfeld. "I understand you can still catch it by going to the grocery store, but I’m not going to put my family’s health at risk for money.

"It’s family first. I want to take all the opportunity that I can to be a great father."

Patriots Talk Podcast: Don Yee and the remedy for college football’s ‘industrial complex’ | Listen & subscribe | Watch on YouTube