Patriots

WATCH: Antonio Brown makes Patriots practice debut wearing No. 1

WATCH: Antonio Brown makes Patriots practice debut wearing No. 1

FOXBORO — As Bill Belichick told reporters on Wednesday morning, Antonio Brown was in fact at Patriots practice for the first time since signing as a free agent earlier this week. 

With his receiver gloves attached to his face mask, and wearing No. 1 on his jersey, Brown donned full pads as did the rest of the team.  His Patriots debut on the practice field came one day after his former trainer filed a civil lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault and rape.

According to NFL rules, receivers must wear numbers between 10-19 or 80-89 in games. Brown wore 84 for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders. That number has been worn in practice and preseason by Patriots tight end Ben Watson, who is serving a PED suspension for the first four regular-season games.  

In his first warmup period overseen by a new strength and conditioning staff, Brown did his own thing. 

Seeing players handle their warmup and stretching responsibilities differently from player to player — some jog while others walk, some linger on certain movements longer than others — is nothing out of the ordinary, necessarily. But Brown adhered to another routine, static stretching on the sideline while teammates stretched and walked out to midfield. He also performed a lower-body warmup that had him on the sideline on all-fours while his teammates performed a side-shuffle movement, bouncing from the sideline to midfield and back. 

Brown didn’t interact much if at all with teammates while media members were present for the stretching period. He took his spot near other receivers but kept to himself. It’s important to note, reporters only had access to the brief warmup/stretching period before the availability period ended.

Brown, who officially signed a one-year contract with New England on Monday after the Raiders released him Saturday, has denied his ex-trainer's allegations and reportedly plans to countersue her.

A federal judge in Florida was assigned to Brown's case Wednesday, and his accuser, Britney Taylor, reportedly is expected to meet with the NFL next week. It's unclear if and when Brown would face discipline from the NFL, but until then, it's apparently business as usual in New England ahead of Sunday's game against the Dolphins in Miami.

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Report: Tom Brady renting out Derek Jeter's massive Tampa mansion

Report: Tom Brady renting out Derek Jeter's massive Tampa mansion

Being a member of sports royalty has its perks.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians recently confirmed Tom Brady would move his family to the Tampa area after signing with the team in free agency.

But how would the former New England Patriots quarterback, his wife, Gisele and their children relocate from New York to Tampa amid a global coronavirus pandemic?

With a little help from Derek Jeter, of all people.

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Brady arrived in Tampa on Thursday morning and is staying at the sprawling Davis Islands mansion owned by the New York Yankees legend, the Tampa Bay Times' Rick Stroud reports.

"The JP Show" first reported the news, adding that Brady is renting the mansion at an estimated per-month rate of between $75,000 and $100,000 per month.

Good thing that two-year contract is fully guaranteed.

Brady will get what he pays for, though. Jeter's palatial estate, which was constructed in 2011 for a cool $7.7 million, boasts over 30,000 square feet, seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, two three-car garages and a boat dock with private access to Hillsborough Bay.

 

Another perk: The mansion is a short 20-minute drive (seven miles) from the Bucs' practice facility.

Former Bucs tight end and current Tampa resident Anthony Becht actually predicted Brady may land in Davis Islands last week.

"A lot of guys that kind of come in short term but money isn’t an issue, that’s kind of where they go, into there," Becht told The Boston Globe's Nora Princiotti, "and they rent a home and they have all the amenities you’re kind of looking for around the water and stuff."

Brady's move appears temporary for now, but he's officially out of the Northeast after spending the previous two decades in New England.

NFL Rumors: Why Colts signed Philip Rivers over Tom Brady in free agency

NFL Rumors: Why Colts signed Philip Rivers over Tom Brady in free agency

Tom Brady or Philip Rivers?

At first blush, it seems like a no-brainer: Go with the six-time Super Bowl champion.

But the Colts went in the other direction, signing Rivers to a one-year, $25 million contract in free agency despite Brady reportedly having interest in Indianapolis.

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Head coach Frank Reich and the Colts strongly considered the New England Patriots quarterback, too. But here's why they opted for Rivers instead, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport:

"Frank Reich talked about the things he loved about Brady. He thought the tape was phenomenal and obviously, Brady is one of the all-time greats. That goes without saying," Rapoport said.

"They believed that Philip Rivers was a better fit for them in part because of the familiarity that he has with the offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni, with Frank Reich himself (and) with Jason Michael, the tight ends coach -- that was one factor."

Reich spent three years with Rivers on the Chargers as his quarterbacks coach (2013) and offensive coordinator (2014-15). Sirianni worked with the Chargers for five seasons (2013 to 2017), while Michael teamed up with Rivers in San Diego from 2011 to 2013.

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The other factor? Rivers was willing to play on a one-year deal, while Brady was not, per Rapoport.

"Tom Brady signed a two-year fully guaranteed deal with the Bucs," Rapoport said. "It doesn’t seem like the Colts were willing to go there."

Both Brady and Rivers carry a $25 million cap hit in 2020, but Brady's deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers includes a no-trade clause and locks him in through 2021.

Brady will be 44 years old in 2021, and while Rivers will turn 39 in December, the Colts perhaps felt there was less risk in signing him to a one-year deal.

Brady and Rivers posted similar stats in 2019 -- Brady threw for 4,057 yards with 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions, while Rivers racked up 4,615 yards with 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions -- but Brady will be out to prove the Colts picked the wrong QB when(ever) the 2020 season begins.