Patriots

Tom Brady leaves motivational comment on N'Keal Harry's Instagram

Tom Brady leaves motivational comment on N'Keal Harry's Instagram

Tom Brady's future with the New England Patriots is currently up in the air. But at least he's still taking some time to give his Patriots teammates some love on social media.

N'Keal Harry dropped a post on Instagram Friday night that had a picture of him in workout gear at a football practice facility. And the caption with the photo simply read "Cookin' Up".

Here's a look at the post, per Harry's official Instagram account. 

View this post on Instagram

Cookin’ Up👨🏾‍🍳🔥

A post shared by N'Keal Harry (@nkealharry) on

That post should be encouraging enough for Patriots fans, as Harry had some nice moments as a rookie and if he continues to put in work, the first-round pick should improve heading into his second season.

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But Brady weighing in on Harry's post with a motivational comment? That could be even better news for Patriots fans.

Brady's comment read: "Going to be a great year for you" and he tagged Harry's handle in it. Here's a screenshot of the comment, per NESN's Zack Cox. 

That's certainly a nice gesture and it seems Brady is continuing to support his (perhaps soon-to-be-former) teammates despite his uncertain future.

However, skeptics of Brady's potential return will point out that the QB said only "it's going to be a great year for you" when talking about Harry's upcoming season. He could've said us had he known that he was returning to the team, but it's also highly unlikely that he was thinking about that minor difference when posting the comment.

Either way, Brady's future with the Patriots is murky and it remains to be seen what will happen come the official start of free agency March 18. For the time being, at least he's staying in touch with his teammates on social media.

NFL free agents 2020: Recapping best available players who could make an impact

NFL free agents 2020: Recapping best available players who could make an impact

We're more than two weeks into NFL free agency, and even though most of the top players available have found new teams, there are many quality players who remain unsigned.

Spotrac tweeted out a list of the best available free agents Thursday, and fans will recognize all or most of these names.

The two most notable free agents are quarterbacks: Cam Newton and Jameis Winston.

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Newton was released by the Carolina Panthers last month after the team was unable to trade him. The former league MVP missed most of the 2019 season with a left foot injury, but if healthy, he's still a very good quarterback and definitely starting caliber. Newton would also be a great option for a team that might be a quarterback upgrade away from being a serious postseason contender, and with the league officially adding a third wild card playoff team earlier this week, more teams should consider signing Newton.

Winston is a different story. It's hard to look past his league-leading 30 interceptions last season. That said, he also led the league in passing yards and ranked second in passing touchdowns. Winston still is better than most backup quarterbacks around the league.

It's a little surprising Logan Ryan is unsigned. The veteran cornerback is a talented player and has loads of playoff experience, including two Super Bowl rings from his career with the New England Patriots. Ryan spent the last three seasons with the Tennessee Titans, with whom he played an important role on some very good pass defenses. He'd be a solid upgrade for any contending team's secondary.

Another intriguing player is defensive end Everson Griffen. He's tallied 26.5 sacks over the last three years, including eight last season for the Minnesota Vikings. Griffen is 32 years old, but 2019 showed he still can be a productive player on a good team.

Unfortunately for the Patriots, they only have about $900,000 in salary cap space. So, unless the team creates more cap space, it's unlikely any of the players listed in the tweet above will be playing in Foxboro next season.

How Patriots' N'Keal Harry, Jarrett Stidham are preparing for season amid pandemic

How Patriots' N'Keal Harry, Jarrett Stidham are preparing for season amid pandemic

This is a highly unusual offseason for the New England Patriots -- and not just because Tom Brady left the team in free agency.

Patriots players, like everyone else in the NFL, must find unique ways to stay in physical and mental shape while the coronavirus pandemic essentially prevents any in-person interaction.

Second-year wide receiver N'Keal Harry is getting a head start on the mental aspect with Jarrett Stidham, who could be the team's starting quarterback in 2020.

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"I talked to Stidham the other day to make sure we read the (passing game) script," Harry told NFL.com's Steve Wyche. "If this goes on for a long time and there is no offseason training or OTAs, we're going to have to meet up and get to work."

New England typically would hold offseason workouts in late April and organized team activities in late May, but it's possible both could be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It's unclear when players like Harry and Stidham could safely meet up for workouts, but Harry sounds eager to work with his QB whenever possible.

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That's a good sign for the Patriots, who will need both second-year players to step up on offense in Brady's absence.

Harry appeared in just seven games as a rookie last season while battling injuries, tallying 12 receptions for 105 yards and two touchdowns. Stidham showed flashes of promise in the 2019 preseason but took just 15 regular-season snaps as Brady's backup.

Whenever the two can link up, they won't have to travel far: Stidham has been training in Southern California this offseason, while Harry has been relatively close by in the Scottsdale, Ariz., area.