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Did you know Bill Belichick has deep ties to Navy football?

Did you know Bill Belichick has deep ties to Navy football?

Sports Uncovered is a six-part weekly podcast series that explores the stories that took the national sports world by storm. The newest episode, The Bill Belichick You Don't Know, explores the lesser-known side of the New England Patriots head coach.

On the outside, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick seems pretty easy to read. A man of few words -- at least to the media -- Belichick has made it clear that he has two things he cares about above all else: football and winning.

However, there is another side to the six-time Super Bowl-winning head coach that most may not be aware of. On the latest Sports Uncovered podcast by NBC Sports, 'The Bill Belichick You Don’t Know’ takes a look at some lesser-known stories, facts and passions that Belichick has.

Among them all, one thing many may not know about the Patriots head coach is that he has deep ties -- and a strong love -- for Navy football. Yes, despite his longtime rivalry with the Baltimore Ravens, Belichick does indeed have a soft spot for some football in the state of Maryland.

Belichick's connection to the Naval Academy football team stems from his father's history of coaching at the program. Steve Belichick, who passed away in 2005, spent 30 years as an assistant coach while also teaching classes at Navy.

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During that time, Bill Belichick became embedded in his father's world of football. Spending time so close to the team, he carried a close personal connection to the team and school. Being the football genius that he is, the head coach can still recall specific moments, players and uniforms from games that took place over 40 years ago.

Though Belichick now resides in New England, his relationship with Navy Football is as strong as ever. As NBC Sports' Peter King showed in 2019, Belichick and his father's legacy will remain in Annapolis forever as the school has a special archive named the "Belichick Collection."

RELATED: SPORTS UNCOVERED: SEAN TAYLOR, THE NFL SUPERSTAR WE DIDN'T GET TO KNOW

There, football books dating back 100 years can be found, and read. For a family dedicated to football, it's the perfect touch.

For as long as he is the head coach of the Patriots -- and even after -- Belichick may not be the most popular person in the state of Maryland. However, his lesser-known side shows that he does have at least one positive connection to football in the state. 

To never miss an episode, subscribe to Sports Uncovered and get every episode automatically downloaded to your phone. Sports Uncovered is also available on the MyTeams app, as well as on every major podcasting platform: AppleGoogle PodcastiHeartStitcherSpotify, and TuneIn

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Ronnie Stanley, Matthew Judon among NFL’s top 25 potential free agents in 2021

Ronnie Stanley, Matthew Judon among NFL’s top 25 potential free agents in 2021

The Ravens (and most likely all 32 NFL franchises) will face some very difficult decisions next offseason, especially with the talent that potentially could be available on the free agent market.

NFL.com recently released the top 25 potential free agents for the 2021 offseason, and Baltimore features prominently on their list. Left tackle Ronnie Stanley ranks as the third-best to possibly hit the open market, behind only Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle.

“If there were a poll among general managers picking one franchise left tackle to build around for the next decade, Stanley might top the list,” Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com wrote. “Baltimore has a lot of big contracts coming up, but Stanley is the most important player on the Ravens' roster besides Lamar Jackson.”

Stanley, the 6th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, is set to play out the fifth-year option on his rookie deal this season. A huge payday no doubt awaits the All-Pro left tackle, but its not something he’s dwelling on right now.

“It’s definitely not really in the forefront of my mind,” Stanley said. “My main focus right now is just - for me, it’s always been be the best player I can be, help my team win. The money usually takes care of itself after that.”

RELATED: STANLEY HAPPY TO SEE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYERS UNITED

Further down the list at #22, Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon will play under the franchise tag this season. However, there is doubt about how long Judon’s tenure in Baltimore will ultimately last.

“A terrific player who may thrive more with effort than pure raw talent, Judon looks likely to be the latest pass rusher to leave the Ravens nest,” Rosenthal wrote.

Financial flexibility will be at a premium next offseason, with the salary cap likely headed for a historic drop due to the effects of the current pandemic. Regardless, the future of Stanley and Judon in Baltimore will be worth monitoring next offseason.

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More on the table for potential Matthew Judon trades?

More on the table for potential Matthew Judon trades?

Uncertainty surrounds the upcoming college football season, with a majority of high-profile schools and conferences across the country unsure exactly how this year will play out. That uncertainty could actually end up benefiting the Ravens.

Former Jets general manager and current ESPN NFL analyst Mike Tannenbaum knows the draft process well having spent more than two decades in various front offices. Tuesday on ESPN’s “Get Up,” he connected the dots between the state of college football, the 2021 draft and potential NFL trades.

“The impact is massive,” Tannenbaum said. “We take an inexact science and make it even murkier… it just makes draft choices next year less valuable because you just don’t know what you’re getting.”

That murkiness could ultimately work in the Ravens favor. Baltimore placed the franchise tag on linebacker Matthew Judon this offseason but were unable to come to a long-term extension before this past July’s deadline. Tannenbaum sees a way for general managers like Eric DeCosta to capitalize on the current situation and get a haul of draft picks if they’re willing to deal.

RELATED: DEADLINE PASSES WITHOUT A LONG-TERM DEAL FOR JUDON

“If I’m Joe Douglas, the general manager of the Jets, I’m thinking, ‘Should I call Jacksonville or Baltimore right now and see if I can get Matthew Judon or Yannick Ngakoue and get a proven pass rusher?’” Tannanbaum said. “Because if I draft a guy next year who doesn’t play this year, he may not impact that team until the end of ’21, maybe 2022.”

“The permutations are really somewhat complex and I think we’re going to see some unusual trades this year because their picks next year won’t be as valuable if we don’t play college football this season.”

Judon has tallied 28.5 sacks over 4 seasons in Baltimore, including a career high 9.5 sacks last season.

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