Patriots

Tom Brady spends Sunday watching Patriots' Super Bowl win over Falcons

Tom Brady spends Sunday watching Patriots' Super Bowl win over Falcons

Tom Brady enjoyed so many incredible moments during his 20-year tenure with the New England Patriots, but it's hard to top Super Bowl LI vs. the Atlanta Falcons.

The Patriots' comeback victory after trailing 28-3 will forever be remembered as one of the greatest games in NFL history. While Brady has five other Super Bowl titles on his résumé, this particular one will always hold a special place in the hearts of Pats fans, and in the heart of Brady himself.

Now the new quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brady posted a photo Sunday to his Instagram story of himself reliving one of his most memorable performances.

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Brady continued to share his live reaction to the game, starting with the mood of every Patriots fan when New England found itself down 21-3 at the start of the third quarter.

He did the same when the Falcons extended their lead to 28-3.

Then he gave a shoutout to his former receiver Danny Amendola, who came up clutch with several plays in the game.

And then another shoutout to linebacker Dont'a Hightower, who made the play of the game with his strip-sack of Matt Ryan early in the fourth quarter.

When the Patriots stormed all the way back to tie the game at 28-28 and send it to overtime, Brady pleaded for captain Matthew Slater to call heads for the coin toss.

(He did).

When James White scampered into the end zone to clinch the unforgettable win, Brady couldn't contain his emotions.

It's only fitting that Brady's viewing of Super Bowl LI comes one day after Patriots fans celebrated the comeback on March 28 (3/28).

Would Patriots be good fit for Cam Newton? Rodney Harrison gives interesting take

Would Patriots be good fit for Cam Newton? Rodney Harrison gives interesting take

May is almost over and Cam Newton remains an NFL free agent.

It's really hard to believe given how great of a career Newton has had over the last nine years. We're talking about the 2015 NFL MVP and a quarterback who's led his team to a Super Bowl.

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Of course, Newton's health likely is a concern for teams still in need of a quarterback, and given the social distancing guidelines involved with the COVID-19 pandemic, it's not easy to evaluate a player and put him through a workout.

Newton missed the last 14 games of the 2019 season due to injury, and he's taken a lot of hits in the open field for a 31-year-old quarterback.

Why hasn't Newton signed yet? Former New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison joined the "Rich Eisen Show" earlier this week and gave his take on the situation.

"Because nobody knows, Rich, nobody knows what's going on with Cam as far as, can you depend on him with his health ... and at this point in time you can't invest a lot of money because he's been so beat up," Harrison said. "I think the best thing for him to do is go into a situation, maybe go become a backup quarterback, learn, get healthy, and then if he gets his opportunity, go out there and shine. But I don't think he's going to be a starting quarterback this year in the National Football League."

One potential fit for Newton that experts and fans have debated quite a bit since the veteran quarterback's release from the Panthers in March is the Patriots. Believe it or not, the Patriots remain the betting favorites to land Newton.

The Pats are entering a transition year at quarterback following Tom Brady's departure in free agency. New England's likely starter is 2019 fourth-round draft pick Jarrett Stidham, and while he showed plenty of promise in preseason games, training camp and various practices as a rookie, you could definitely argue Newton would give the Patriots a better chance of winning in 2020.

What does Harrison think about the Patriots as a potential spot for Newton?

"I know a lot of people out there are saying the Patriots, but I thought it would be a great situation where he could have came in at a reduced salary,” Harrison said. “He could have came in and really learned a lot about just technique and just the intricacies of just being on a really great football team with great guidance as far as the head coach and offensive coordinator. I thought that would have been a really, really ideal situation for him. He could have came in, competed. Could have helped the young guy, the young guy could have helped to push him. I thought it would have been a perfect situation. I’m just a little disappointed that the Patriots weren’t a little bit more aggressive, you know, just recruiting Cam. ..."

The Patriots have limited salary cap space -- only about $1.3 million, as of this writing, per OverTheCap -- so signing Newton is tough for them right now purely from a financial perspective.

It's also possible the Patriots just aren't interested in Newton. If the Patriots want to learn what kind of player Stidham can become, he needs to get a lot more reps in 2020 than he did last season.

Will Patriots suffer similar fate as Broncos have post-Peyton Manning?

Will Patriots suffer similar fate as Broncos have post-Peyton Manning?

Editor’s note: In the coming weeks our Patriots insiders will be speaking with beat writers from around the NFL to get an outside view on what the future holds for the Patriots. Today’s team: The Denver Broncos with Ryan O'Halloran of the Denver Post.

The Denver Broncos took a chance on an aging Peyton Manning before the 2012 season and it paid huge dividends.

Manning played the final four seasons of his Hall of Fame career with the Broncos, and Denver made the playoffs each year, highlighted by two Super Bowl appearances.

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The legendary quarterback retired after winning Super Bowl 50 during the 2015 season, and the Broncos have yet to fully recover. Denver has failed to reach the playoffs in each of the four seasons, and oddsmakers don't expect the Broncos to end that postseason appearance drought in 2020.

The New England Patriots could soon be in a similar situation.

Future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady recently left the Patriots in free agency after playing the first 20 years of his career and winning six Super Bowl titles with the franchise. Like the Broncos after Manning's exit, the Patriots likely will turn to a young quarterback to lead the offense.

Will the Patriots suffer the same fate as the Broncos have post-Manning and struggle to make the playoffs?

"Maybe there's that initial little backtrack, which is understandable," O'Halloran told our Patriots insider Phil Perry. "But I think the Patriots are probably constructed better than the Broncos at that point with the continuity of Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels, and Jarrett Stidham at least having been there for a year, if he ends up being the starter, or Brian Hoyer being a veteran. The Broncos, I think the real thing for them was Gary Kubiak retired a year after Manning retired, for health reasons, and that started a cycle they're still trying to get out of, having missed the playoffs four straight years."

The quarterback of the present, and potentially the future, for the Broncos is Drew Lock. He had a very good finish to his rookie season in 2019, and after the Broncos drafted two of the best wide receivers in the 2020 class in Alabama's Jerry Jeudy and Penn State's KJ Hamler, expectations for Denver's offense are high entering 2020.

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"(Lock) deserves to be the guy, and he is the guy, for this year," O'Halloran said. "All bets are off, I think, because it's a second-round contract. If he struggles, then you go back to the drawing board. He went 4-1 as a starter down the stretch last season, granted it was the equivalent of NFL garbage time, but he showed mobility, he showed a willingness to throw into traffic, and throw guys open and make plays on the run.

"I think what you saw, especially, was guys rallied around him, saying, hey, this could be their quarterback for the next couple years, and definitely in 2020. So, I think he gave a lot of reason for optimism, while also saying, OK, he has to learn a new offense from (offensive coordinator) Pat Shurmur, he has a new quarterbacks coach in Mike Shula, and a lot of new players he has to learn without the benefit of an offseason program."

Lock will get an early challenge from the Patriots defense in 2020. Denver is scheduled to visit Gillette Stadium in Week 5. Fortunately for the Broncos, they play on "Thursday Night Football" in Week 4, so they'll have a few extra days to prepare for their matchup with the Patriots.