brandon lafell

It has been a week to remember in Boston sports. Let’s recap all that happened from Wednesday to Friday.

The Patriots released Brandon Lafell and Scott Chandler, opening up some salary cap space to revamp the New England offense. LaFell and Chandler underperformed this year. Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick are most likely looking for tight ends and backs. Tom Brady is willing to give up part of his salary for the right receivers. Will that be enough to make a difference? It all depends on what kind of talent is out there.

Continue reading Week In Review: Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics, Bud Collins »

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Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Tom Brady and the Patriots have agreed to a 2-year contract extension that will keep TB12 in New England through 2019. The 11-time Pro Bowler was originally signed through 2017. Brady, 39 years of age this summer, was as sharp as ever this season and perhaps even better at avoiding the rush using pocket presence more than athletic ability. Tom took his fair share of hits with a porous offensive line (particular the physical beating in Denver) however has remained on the field consistently, playing in all 112 regular season games and 16 playoff games since 2008. Whether its the workouts or the kale smoothies, whatever he is doing is working to keep him healthy.

This season Brady completed 402 passes at a clip of 64.4% completion rate for 4,770 yards, 36 touchdowns and 7 picks, bottom line – he’s still got it. In fact, his numbers were actually slightly better this season than the previous three seasons across the board.

Not all the financial details have come out about what Brady will get paid the last two years of his deal but it is likely a restructuring that will allow the Patriots to resign key talents, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, keeping New England competitive going forward. Brady has done this in the past and has an incredible trust and bond with Bob Kraft and the organization.

This extension keeps the dynasty alive for four more years in New England with a fifth Super Bowl title in their sights. If Brady can stay healthy this would be a twenty year career in New England which may go down as the greatest all-time.

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Joe Mahoney/Associated Press

After eight years with the Patriots, combined 803 tackles, two Pro Bowl selections and a Super Bowl ring Jerod Mayo is reportedly calling it quits. Injuries have plagued Mayo over the last three seasons after an illustrious start to his career in which he was drafted with the 10th overall selection and named NFL defensive rookie of the year in 2008. Mayo amassed over 100 combined tackles in four of his first five seasons missing the mark by just five tackles in 2011.

The linebacker announced his likely retirement in an social media post titled “Retiring a Patriot” which read as follows: “After a lot of thought [Mayo’s wife] Chantel and I take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude for what we consider a life changing event…..that of becoming a New England Patriot for the past 8 years. We are extremely grateful to ‘Thundercat’ [Patriots owner Robert Kraft], [Patriots president] Jonathan [Kraft], the Kraft family, Coach [Bill] Belichick, the Pats organization, and the most amazing fans in contributing to these pages of our lives. As my family and I prepare for the future be sure that the Pats memories will always hold a special place in our hearts. #51 JMayo.”

It seemed that due to the financial burden of his contract Mayo was unlikely to be kept on with the organization. Mayo was originally set to earn $3.25 million in 2016 and then $6.75 million in 2017 before hitting free agency on top of a roster bonus set for next month.

Mayo was named a team captain for seasons 2009-2015 and was considered the leader of the linebacker core for most of his time in Foxborough. He ended the last three seasons on injured reserve playing only six games in each of the 2013 and 2014 seasons while playing all sixteen regular season games this year before getting hurt in the divisional round game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Number fifty-one leaves behind a solid legacy of great leadership at the linebacker position and leaves New England in the capable hands of Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins and Jonathan Freeny.

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Mike Reiss of ESPN is reporting that the Patriots are in talks to bring back retired offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia. The legendary offensive line coach retired after the 2013 season after having spent two decades coaching in New England. His replacement, Dave DeGuglielmo, had an up and down tenure in New England that ranged from a line that under-performed at times to a Super Bowl victory.

The play of the New England’s offensive line was the biggest issue in their AFC Championship loss to Denver and bringing Scarnecchia back would provide an instant upgrade. The Patriots still need to address the tackle position, however. Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer have had injury issues and Marcus Cannon is a reserve player at best. Getting a quality third tackle will go  along way towards solving the Patriots’ problems.

Scarnecchia is a Hall of Fame level assistant coach who has routinely gotten the best out of his players. It is a major reason why he lasted through the regimes of several different head coaches and why some unheralded linemen became Super Bowl Champions. Many of the players on the roster have played under him and are comfortable with his style and respect his coaching acumen.


The familiarity that Scarnecchia brings to the table is a major selling point for him. He has had success in New England in the past and specifically with many of the same players that are still in Foxboro. Bill Belichick trusts him and Tom Brady will feel more comfortable knowing who is coaching his protectors. It is not set in stone yet, but it would be surprising at this point if he does not come back. Patriots fans should feel happy if he does; he won’t fix all of New England’s issues, but he will greatly improve a unit that was a black eye in the AFC Championship game.


The Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos are set to face off in what should be an epic showdown. Although the Super Bowl odds are tilted slightly in one team’s favor more heavily than we’ve seen in recent years, this matchup is very unique, where we have one team that’s on the rise, and one team that’s clinging on to veteran players. Cam Newton vs. Peyton Manning has been the highlight of this game, as Manning has mentioned that this is likely to be his last season, and he wants to go out with a bang.

This matchup will be played during the first Sunday in February on the 7th. It will be the last game played in Levi’s Stadium, as the 49ers are moving to a new stadium after this season. The game is set to air at 6:25PM EST on CBS, but be sure to tune in early to watch the player introductions and the pre-game entertainment. The stage has been set for an epic showdown, and we just have to decide who to pick in this game. Continue reading Super Bowl 50 Betting Preview by Who has the Edge? »

Brady Writes Letter to Patriots Fans

January 28, 2016 at 5:02pm in Patriots
Tom Brady Facebook

The Patriots season did not end in sunny Santa Clara California, hoisting the Lombardi Trophy as New England fans had hoped, instead it ended in defeat and disappointment in Denver. Blame the O-Line, blame the kicker, blame the play calling from McDaniels, even blame Tom Brady and the ducks he threw up for grabs resulting in two picks. For me, personally, I blame Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniel’s arrogant play calling in Miami earning the Patriots a week 17 loss and sending them to Denver for the AFC Championship rather than hosting it. The Patriots ran the ball 27 times for 70 yards, averaging 2.6 yards per carry. With multiple 3rd and long plays the coaching staff elected to run the ball and then punt. Only when it was too late did they allow Brady to throw and then the whole plan to protect Brady and establish a run game was out the window with the Dolphins getting pressure on every pass play, running through the Pats porous offensive line and leaving Brady tits up in the backfield for a good portion of the second half. Whoa, now that I got that out, I think I can move on.

The season is over and the grieving process has begun. As part of this process Tom Brady issued a handwritten letter to fans via Facebook. In the letter Brady thanks the fans for all the support over the season and states his pride in calling New England his home. A nice touch from Brady in a tough time for the team and New England fans. The AFC Championship was difficult to watch, with an un-Patriot-like performance allowing for mistakes, turnovers, and lack of execution. Outside of the defense from New England, this will not be a game with many positive things to look back on. Brady and the Pats never gave up, with big conversions down the field and then ultimately in the endzone to Gronkowski there was a glimmer of hope at the end but fell a 2-point conversion short.

Hopefully next season New England fans will once again see the well-oiled machine known as the Patriots offense with a better protection plan for TB12. One thing is for certain, New England will have a new offensive line coach, and, most would imagine, a differently looking offensive line to start next season.

On the upside for Patriot Nation, Tom Brady will return next year with a top notch core of receiving weapons, again be the favorite in the AFC East and a threat to go to Super Bowl 51. That cannot be said for Denver, this may be the last run for Ol’ Peyton Manning. So enjoy the Super Bowl Pat’s fans, no need to yell at the TV, or holler at whoever is reaching for nachos, blocking the game on a key third down, just enjoy the beer and truck commercials and watch the game like a casual sports fan, you know, like people from outside of New England.

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Patriots Part Ways With Two Coaches

January 28, 2016 at 11:21am in Featured, NFL, Patriots

The Patriots parted ways this week with offensive line coach Dave Deguglielmo and strength coach Harold Nash. Both moves came within days of the Patriots falling to Denver in the AFC Championship game.

DeGuglielmo had been with the team for the past two seasons after replacing legendary offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia. The offensive line struggled this season amid several injuries. When asked on WEEI this week, Bill Belichick said that DeGuglielmo’s contract was up and both sides decided to move on. However, it is also likely the Patriots didn’t want him back regardless. There were rumblings that his style did not completely mesh with that of the other Patriots coaches and the offensive line had its share of struggles.

Nash was with the Patriots from 2005 until earlier this week. His role as head strength and conditioning coach began in 2011. Patriots fans may know him as the person who held long exercise bands attached to Tom Brady on the sidelines. The Patriots had a high injury rate his year and although Nash is not completely to blame, the Patriots wanted to go in a different direction as far as their conditioning is concerned.

Both moves represent an early offseason  shuffling for the Patriots. No replacements have been identified for either position. The Patriots generally like to promote from within but they are willing to go outside the organization if it presents the best fit.