Patriots

Tom Brady had just one request after signing with Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady had just one request after signing with Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The New England Patriots weren't able to keep Tom Brady this offseason. Or rather, they didn't do enough to keep Brady around. The 20-year member of the team elected to sign elsewhere this offseason and ultimately joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Over two years with the Bucs, Brady is set to make a maximum of $60 million with $50 million in guarantees. The terms of this contract are completely fair. And so was what he reportedly asked of the Bucs after they agreed to that contract.

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According to Rick Stroud of The Tampa Bay Times, Brady had just one request for Tampa Bay after signing on to be their new quarterback.

Brady never asked for control of the offense. He knew that [Bruce] Arians, offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen and special assistant Tom Moore would collaborate with him on game plans. He didn’t ask for any specific players to join him. He didn’t even ask to wear No. 12, which for the moment belongs to [Chris] Godwin.

In fact, there was only one request Brady had after he had signed: He wanted the phone numbers of all his new Bucs teammates.

Well, that's more than reasonable. And even though he didn't demand to wear No. 12, it seems that Godwin will consider giving it up if Brady wants it

It's encouraging for the Buccaneers that Brady wants to get on the same page as his new teammates so quickly. It does make sense; after all, this is the first time he is changing teams since he went from the University of Michigan to the Patriots, so getting to know a new 90-man roster will take time. But Brady evidently is off to a good start.

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It will be interesting to see if Brady makes any demands should he struggle to click with the Bucs. Or if he decides that he wants Antonio Brown in the fold. But for the time being, it seems that he is just focused on getting to know his teammates as he prepares for the biggest change of his professional career.

NFL rumors: Salary details of Cam Newton's Patriots contract revealed

NFL rumors: Salary details of Cam Newton's Patriots contract revealed

The New England Patriots aren't spending a whole lot of money to bring Cam Newton to Foxboro.

Reports surfaced Sunday night that the Patriots and the veteran quarterback had agreed to a one-year, incentive-laden contract worth up to $7.5 million. 

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Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported Wednesday the financial breakdown of Newton's contract with the Patriots, including the base salary, guaranteed money and incentive totals.

The Patriots didn't have much salary cap space before this move. In fact, they recently had the lowest amount of available cap space in the entire league. So, for them to be able to acquire Newton and not have to spend a ton of money or cap space is pretty extraordinary.

Perhaps the most interesting part of Newton's contract is that the Patriots could franchise-tag the 31-year-old quarterback next offseason. It gives New England more options in the event Newton has a strong 2020 season.

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There's not a ton of risk with this move, and it could end up being one of the best roster additions of Bill Belichick's 20-year tenure in New England if Newton is able to stay healthy.

Newton is a former league MVP (2015) and has been one of the most exciting quarterbacks to watch throughout his nine-year career. The last time he played close to a full season was 2018, when the former No. 1 overall draft pick threw for 3,395 yards with 24 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions. Newton also ran for 488 yards and scored four rushing touchdowns in those 14 games.

If he produces similar or better statistics in 2020, the Patriots should have a strong chance to extend their playoff appearance streak to 12 seasons.

NFL rumors: Week 1 and Week 4 of 2020 preseason schedule to be eliminated

NFL rumors: Week 1 and Week 4 of 2020 preseason schedule to be eliminated

The NFL preseason could feature half as many games as we're accustomed to seeing.

ProFootballTalk reported Wednesday that Week 1 and Week 4 of the 2020 preseason will be eliminated.

Here's an explanation from PFT's Mike Florio:

The move was driven by two primary factors. First, teams who will be playing preseason games on the road won’t want to move that many people. Second, given that no teams had on-field practice sessions in the offseason, coaches would rather have the extra time to work with their teams, and that will happen if they don’t have to worry about two extra preseason games.

The NFLPA has yet to sign off on these moves, according to NFL Media's Mike Garafolo:

These cuts make a lot of sense as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the United States and the rest of the world. The pandemic has forced all offseason activities so far to be held virtually. Training camps are scheduled to begin July 28, and the league announced earlier this week that it's sticking to that date

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What would these preseason changes mean for the New England Patriots? It's not yet known if teams will just play their Week 2 and Week 3 preseason games, or if any opponents and/or dates will also be changed.

Here's the Patriots' original preseason schedule that was announced a few weeks ago:

  • Thursday, August 8 at Lions, 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 17 at Titans, 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, August 22 vs. Panthers, 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, August 29 vs. Giants, 7:30 p.m.

The most intriguing matchup on the Patriots' preseason schedule is with the Panthers, especially after New England reportedly agreed to sign former Carolina quarterback Cam Newton

Newton spent nine seasons with the Panthers before being released in March. He was a free agent for several months before finally landing in New England. This preseason matchup would be Newton's first time playing against the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2011.

It sounds like both the league and NFLPA still have some things to work out regarding the preseason. In any event, playing the full four-game schedule doesn't make a ton of sense given the current COVID-19 situation.