Patriots

What Tom Brady texted Ben Affleck about his pending NFL free agency

What Tom Brady texted Ben Affleck about his pending NFL free agency

At least Ben Affleck tried.

The famous actor and celebrity Boston sports fan joined ESPN's "Get Up!" on Tuesday and dropped an interesting nugget: He had just hung out with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady the night before.

Since Brady is set to become the NFL's highest-profile free agent in a month, there's only one question worth asking Affleck: Where did the 42-year-old say he's playing this season?

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.

Here's Affleck on that subject, via ESPN:

Me and Matt (Damon) texted him: 'What's the deal? Are you going or are you staying? And this is what we got back: An emoji (shrugs).

So, that's where "Brady Watch" stands with first day of free agency one month (March 18) away: a shrug emoji.

Brady likely wouldn't have revealed his free-agent plans to Affleck and Damon even if he knew them. But it's also likely even he doesn't know where he'll end up.

Our Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran reported Monday that Brady and the Patriots won't begin negotiations until either late February or early March, around the time of the NFL Scouting Combine.

While Brady could have back-channel discussions before then, the 20-year-veteran won't have a clear sense of whether he should "stay" or "go" until he sits down with the Patriots.

Maybe shoot Tom a follow-up text in a couple weeks, Ben?

Tom Brady partnering with Wheels Up to provide 10 million meals to Feed America amid COVID-19

Tom Brady partnering with Wheels Up to provide 10 million meals to Feed America amid COVID-19

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is the latest NFL player to make a huge impact in supporting COVID-19 relief efforts.

The six-time Super Bowl champion revealed Thursday on Twitter that he's partnering with Wheels Up to help provide 10 million meals to Feed America.

Brady's former team, the New England Patriots, also is doing its part to help people impacted by the coronavirus. Patriots owner Robert Kraft had the team's plane fly to China to pick up a shipment of 1.2 million N95 protective masks and bring them back to the United States. The plane reportedly is expected to arrive back at Logan Airport on Thursday.

Kraft also is helping the New York community with a shipment of protective masks.

Last week, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and his wife, Brittany, announced a $5 million donation to the state of Louisiana for COVID-19 relief. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife, Ciara, recently donated one million meals to the Seattle community.

Many other players from the NFL and different sports leagues have been very generous in helping all of us get through this difficult time. 

Those Julian Edelman trade rumors? Here's why the Patriots won't do it

Those Julian Edelman trade rumors? Here's why the Patriots won't do it

From somewhere in the primordial ooze of this pandemic quarantine, a rumor has emerged. 

And we must take the figurative shovel to this wriggling little organism before it has a chance to grow. 

The rumor? The Patriots may trade wide receiver Julian Edelman.

The response I got from a league source when I asked about said rumor? “Not a chance in hell.”

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

The little thing grew legs on Wednesday when Ringer founder Bill Simmons joined Colin Cowherd on FOX Sports Radio and mentioned the possibility of Edelman going to the Detroit Lions. 

In response to Simmons mentioning that Edelman-to-Detroit was something he was hearing, Cowherd said, “It’s talked about.”

As Thursday began, the chatter became a little more insistent. It reached the dreaded “it’s out there” level of possibility. 

Now, I will allow that there is some cap relief in the offing if the Patriots were to move Edelman, who currently has a $9.3M cap hit for this season. Our most trusted source for Patriots cap info for the past 20 years is Miguel Benzan of Boston Sports Journal. This is how Miguel sums up the cap implications of trading Edelman. 

There are some other numbers out there that say Edelman’s hit would be $8.3M if he were dealt. That doesn’t take into account the $3.3M in salary that would travel with Edelman and be saved by the Patriots. You also have to project whether or not Edelman achieves a workout bonus and some other bookkeeping to get the real number. 

I glaze over with the cap stuff. But the long and short of it is the team will save north of $4M in cap space if they trade Edelman before June 1. 

But trading away a going-on-34-year-old is not going to yield much in return.

Listen and subscribe to Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast:

Edelman had a 100-catch, 1,117 yard season despite being injured and the focal point of every defensive game plan in 2019. But how good will he be in 2021, 2022 or 2023? That’s what teams consider before parting with draft picks. How many years of service can they get from the guy they are getting for a third-rounder?

So moving a tone-setting, chain-moving security blanket in exchange for a fourth-rounder in order to save $4M on the cap? When guard Joe Thuney is sitting there on the franchise tag, waiting to be renegotiated with a possible cap savings of $10M? 

Where would the Patriots offense have been in 2019 without Edelman? Where would it have been in 2000 or 2001 without Troy Brown? Screwed. 

Unless the Patriots want to raise the white flag on 2020 in early April, dealing Edelman makes no sense.