Patriots

Wouldn't Patriots just be a pit stop on the Cam Newton revenge tour?

Wouldn't Patriots just be a pit stop on the Cam Newton revenge tour?

Cam Newton is big mad, as we old people say the kids say.

He feels disrespected. In his words, forgotten. Left to die. Defecated on (again, his words ... kind of).

So, perhaps after a defibrillator and a shower, Newton wants to prove everyone who disrespected him wrong.

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Fight the urge to think that's entirely a good thing for you, Patriots fans. Hold off on yelling "revenge tour SZN!" for a bit. If Newton's revenge tour goes according to plan, it's hard to see New England being more than a one-year stop.  

Think about it. The Patriots are right there on the list of teams Newton should want to prove wrong. They didn't offer him a contract until he was available for the minimum. So say he goes off and earns a big payday: Why would he give any sort of discount to a team that only wanted him "minimum plus incentives" much?

And if he revives his career, are the Patriots going to immediately go back to paying huge money to the quarterback position?  

It wasn't long ago that we were assuming Bill Belichick was eager to have a young, cost controlled quarterback. Jarrett Stidham will be that for the next three seasons. If Stidham isn't the guy, they'll draft another guy and he'll be that dirt-cheap, groomable asset.

Make no mistake: The Newton signing was an excellent move. Sure, the Patriots seemed comfortable going with Stidham and Brian Hoyer all offseason, but an MVP became available on the cheap. This not only gave them a potential starter for a season, it made them three-deep at quarterback at a time where the threat of COVID-19 should force all teams to make themselves as deep as possible.

Yet the Newton signing has made it easy to think the organization's future is now built around one of the cheapest veterans on the roster, a guy who twisted in the wind in free agency. I don't get that.

It seems like the projections for Newton with the Patriots have been optimistic: that he'll win the job, unlock a side of Josh McDaniels that's been hindered by slow-ass Tom Brady, etc. My money is spread out over the best and worst options. I could see him having a Pro Bowl year. I could also see him being either unhealthy or not what he was pre-injury, which is why I think there's going to be an actual competition for the starting job.

The contract's too cheap to say this will be a boom or bust, because there's no way it can be a bust. If he can't play or he's hurt, the team paid the minimum for the minimum. No harm, no foul.

Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast: Did Pats just become Cam Newton's team? | Listen and subscribe | Watch on YouTube

Now let's go with that "revenge tour" scenario and say Newton dominates.

He won't be fully vindicated until he gets paid like the star he'll once again be. If he's one of the best quarterbacks in the league, that's $30 million plus, depending on what happens with the cap. When kicking around potential "if it all goes well" contracts for Newton, our Tom E. Curran made a good point in bringing up Ryan Tannehill, a player with similar service time and an obviously worse career getting four years and $118 million after one great season with a new team.

Does Newton get more than that, and could you really blame him for asking after needing incentives to still earn under $8 million?

As much as it would warm my stupid heart to see the Patriots throw huge money at the next guy after they wouldn't extend an increasingly frustrated Brady, I'm skeptical. After breaking up with their long-term, well-paid quarterback, and with a young quarterback they supposedly like on the roster, it would take a Super Bowl for me to think they'll pay the next guy top dollar before trying it with a young, cheap option.

So enjoy the revenge tour if it happens. Just don't be surprised if that tour takes Newton to another town in 2021.  

Patriots' Dont'a Hightower used Super Bowl LI to support fiancée during labor

Patriots' Dont'a Hightower used Super Bowl LI to support fiancée during labor

The greatest comeback in Super Bowl history is three and a half years old, but it certainly isn't forgotten.

Just ask Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower, who brought up New England's miraculous Super Bowl LI victory over the Atlanta Falcons while his fiancée, Morgan Hart, was delivering their baby. Seriously.

Hightower told The Boston Globe's Stan Grossfeld he started chanting "28-3, 28-3" and "Never give up" while Hart entered her 17th hour of labor with their first child last month.

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Apparently the motivational tactic worked, as Hart said Hightower's words helped her push through and deliver their baby boy, Grayson, on July 16.

"It was surreal," Hart told Grossfeld. “It was a long night and a long day, and he kept reminding me, ‘28-3, 28-3,′ meaning you can be behind and come back. Never, never give up."

That's a reference to the deficit New England faced in the third quarter of Super Bowl LI before rallying to win in overtime -- thanks in large part to Hightower's strip sack of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan early in the fourth quarter.

Hightower still uses the 28-3 reference "all the time," per Grossfeld, but his focus won't be on football in 2020. The 30-year-old linebacker is one of eight Patriots players who have decided to opt out of the 2020 season.

"Not knowing too much about the COVID thing, I don’t want to jeopardize the health of my family," Hightower told Grossfeld. "I understand you can still catch it by going to the grocery store, but I’m not going to put my family’s health at risk for money.

"It’s family first. I want to take all the opportunity that I can to be a great father."

Patriots Talk Podcast: Don Yee and the remedy for college football’s ‘industrial complex’ | Listen & subscribe | Watch on YouTube

Donald Trump says he'd ask Patriots' Bill Belichick for military advice

Donald Trump says he'd ask Patriots' Bill Belichick for military advice

You wouldn't seek out a military general for tips on NFL roster building, but Donald Trump apparently believes there's some transferrable wisdom between the battlefield and gridiron.

During an interview Tuesday on The Hugh Hewitt Show, President Trump was asked whether he believes Bill Belichick has a better chance of winning a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots this year than Tom Brady does with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Trump responded with a diplomatic answer -- that included some eye-opening praise for Belichick.

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"I think they’re both going to do great. They’re both friends of mine," Trump told Hewitt. "I’ll tell you, Belichick is an incredible coach, and I think he’s going to do really well. This guy just knows how to win. And he’s a very good friend of mine. He’s a winner.

"You know, if I ever had a military battle, I’d call up Belichick and say, 'What do you think? ... Give me a couple of ideas.' And he'd be as good as any general out there."

Belichick is a master strategist who relies on knowledge, adaptability and thorough preparation to put the Patriots in the best position to succeed. Those are all qualities of a successful military general, and perhaps Belichick could have been one in another life.

Alas, Belichick is a football coach with zero military credentials (aside from his father coaching at Navy), so we're not sure he's the best person to call about battle strategy.

Trump has touted his friendship with Belichick and Brady over the years, reading a letter of support from the Patriots coach on the eve of his election in 2016 and bringing up the former Patriots quarterback in various public appearances.

The President clearly still enjoys referencing both Patriots icons, even if his understanding of Belichick's talents is a bit off.