New York Jets

Sam Darnold believes he was sending a message with Tom Brady birthday snub

Sam Darnold believes he was sending a message with Tom Brady birthday snub

Sam Darnold has a plan to end the New England Patriots' 10-year reign atop the AFC East, and it doesn't include wishing Tom Brady a happy birthday.

According to Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson, the New York Jets quarterback received a seemingly benign request this summer to join a handful of NFL players in recording a video message for Brady's 42nd birthday.

But unlike every other player, Darnold shot down the request. Why, you ask?

"For sure [that would have been giving Brady something],” Darnold told Robinson. “If I see him after a game, I’ll tell him good game and all that stuff. But I don’t want to give him anything. Especially to him. No."

Wait ... Is Darnold suggesting his participation in an offseason publicity stunt would have somehow dulled his competitive edge against Brady and the Patriots?

"I’m going to get every competitive edge I can, because he’s going to do the same thing," Darnold said of Brady. "He’s the ultimate competitor. He’s exactly where I want to be when I’m his age. To chase that, I can’t be giving him anything."

We're not sure a quick birthday congratulations would have been "giving" much to Brady. In fact, Darnold could have used the platform to take a dig at the GOAT, as New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley did in the finished product. ("I think the Giants have your number when it comes to head-to-head matchups.")

But the 22-year-old Jets QB apparently has his own way of staying motivated that Brady probably would respect. Can that motivation help New York wrest the AFC East from the Patriots? Let's just say history isn't on Darnold's side.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Hall of Famer Kevin Mawae on Richard Seymour: 'I hated him'

Hall of Famer Kevin Mawae on Richard Seymour: 'I hated him'

Kevin Mawae was one of the early adversaries of the New England Patriots dynasty. Playing for the New York Jets from 1998-2005, Mawae was a key cog in the center of their offensive line and constantly did battle with the Patriots' strong defensive line. As aggravating as Mawae was for Patriots defenders to face, Mawae himself was frustrated by many members of the Patriots front.

One of the guys that particularly got under Mawae's skin was Richard Seymour. The former first-round pick of the Patriots gave Mawae fits in their battles that took place from 2001-2005. And ahead of his induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Mawae took a moment to open up on the feelings he had towards Seymour as a player.

"I hated him," Mawae said of playing against Seymour to NBC Sports Boston's Tom E. Curran. "I told him last year during the Super Bowl week when he was a finalist that he was the one guy I hated playing against. He was a great competitor and he'll probably join us one day. I hated him. I just loathed him as a player."

And Mawae's vendetta against Seymour wasn't just about him being a member of the Patriots. It was personal.

"Forget about the Patriots," Mawae said. "I hated him, the way he played the game. I think that out of everybody that I've ever played with and against, he's the one that probably -- we needled each other back and forth. And it never stopped."

And one of the forms of "needling" that Mawae discussed involved Seymour's penchant for following opponents back to their huddle, and getting in a couple of cheap shots along the way.

"He had a habit of as you walked back to the huddle, he'd walk right behind you and just keep kicking you in the calves," Mawae said. "And it's like, you wanted to turn around and punch him. That's what he wanted you to do though, so you kinda had to grin and bear it and bite down on your lip so you don't retaliate. Because that was what he was trying to get you to do."

This seems to fit Seymour's M.O. as a tenacious, tough player who was able to get into his opponent's head. That's part of the reason that he was able to become such a dominant, all-around defensive lineman who racked up 57.5 sacks during his 12-year NFL career.

And as Mawae has distanced himself from his playing career, he has been able to appreciate Seymour's abilities a bit more.

"He was a phenomenal player," Mawae said of Seymour. "He'd play every defensive position along the front. He'd play defensive end, outside linebacker in a 3-4 front. He was a very good player from the very beginning."

Perhaps Seymour, who was a Hall of Fame finalist this past February, will have a bust next to Mawae at some point in the near future. But for now, he'll have to be happy knowing the impact that he had on an all-time great during his playing days.

Patriots sign WR Cameron Meredith, place him on PUP list>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Ty Montgomery: Jets '100%' can compete with Patriots in AFC East

Ty Montgomery: Jets '100%' can compete with Patriots in AFC East

The New York Jets are entering the 2019 NFL season supremely confident despite not having reached the playoffs since Mark Sanchez led the franchise to the 2010 AFC Championship Game.

The Patriots have won the AFC East division in 10 consecutive seasons and 15 of the last 16. They also have won six straight games against the Jets.

Can the Jets actually compete with the Patriots in the division and the conference as a whole in 2019?

"Yeah, 100 percent. Plain and simple." Jets running back Ty Montgomery recently told Sports Illustrated.

"Just watching the Patriots from afar, something I think they do really well is they limit the self-inflicted wounds. Be it the discipline penalties offensively or defensively, turning the ball over, and they capitalize on their opponents' mistakes. I think that's going to be key for us to make sure we do. I think we have the talent. I think we have the potential to be great in this division and to win a lot of football games."

The Jets did make some impressive upgrades to their roster this offseason. They signed running back Le'Veon Bell, wide receiver Jamison Crowder, linebacker C.J. Mosley and Montgomery in NFL free agency. New York also selected Alabama defensive end Quinnen Williams with the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Will these additions be enough to help the Jets actually challenge the Patriots for the division crown? We wouldn't bet on it. However, these moves could make the rivalry a little more competitive, and that might result in the upcoming regular season being more exciting for everyone involved.

The first Patriots-Jets matchup of the season is Week 3 at Gillette Stadium. Circle that date on your calendar right now.

James White still in awe of Tom Brady's energy>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.