GTY_tom_brady_presser_jef_150122

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, perhaps the best player in the history of the league, is “not ready to accept” an appeals court’s ruling that he must serve his four-game suspension for #Deflategate. Yes, you heard that right – somehow, because of what two people in New York think, this 16-month saga will continue.

Brady’s next logical step is to appeal the ruling to have the enter second circuit court of appeals to hear the case, which currently has 2-2 record with federal judges. Unfortunately, there’s a slim chance that the court will hear the case… and an even slimmer chance that the case is heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

We shall see…

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The Daily Beast

Peyton Manning announced his retirement to the Denver Broncos this weekend and gave his retirement speech and final goodbye, at least as a player, to family, friends, players, coaches and fans this afternoon. The press conference started with statements and stories of gratitude and greatness in regards to the legendary 18-year veteran by Broncos President and CEO Joe Ellis, followed by Vice President of Denver football operations and legend in his own right John Elway, as well as current head coach Gary Kubiak. The speeches highlighted Manning’s greatness as a player in Indianapolis and Denver but also focused on his leadership, organization and community contribution, teamwork, and personal relationships he had with everyone involved with him in Denver. In a split screen on ESPN one could see the three aforementioned speakers giving examples of his illustriousness career in all capacities mentioned above with an emotional Peyton Manning doing his best to fight back tears.

When it was Peyton’s turn to speak he was as he usual is during interviews and media gatherings, all class. He had difficulty containing his emotions but did get through his speech which was full of career highlights and woes, stories of his first days on the NFL gridiron, and reflections on what specific moments in time meant to him both playing the game and interacting with players past and present in those moments.

Manning alluded to the Patriots on more than one occasion, the following is transcript from his speech: “I’m going to miss a steak dinner at St. Elmo’s in Indianapolis after a win. My battles with players named Lynch, Lewis, Thomas, Bruschi, Fletcher, Dawkins, Seau, Urlacher, Polamalu, Harrison, Woodson and Reed. And with coaches like Fisher, Ryan, Belichick, Kiffin, Phillips, Rivera, LeBeau, Crennel, Capers, Lewis, the late Jim Johnson, and so many more.”

“I’ll miss that handshake with Tom Brady and I’ll miss the plane rides after a big win with 53 teammates standing in the aisles, laughing and celebrating during the whole flight. I’ll miss playing in front of so many great fans both at home and on the road. I’ll even miss the Patriots fans in Foxborough, and they should miss me because they sure did get a lot of wins off of me.”

As a player Peyton Manning was always someone New England fans loved to hate, but now it is time to give Peyton his due, to honor his greatness, and to respect his legacy as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever put on the uniform.

Bill Belichick was quoted as saying: “For 18 years, we battled fiercely but regardless of each game’s outcome, I always walked off the field with the utmost appreciation for the highest level of competition in which those games were prepared for and played. Peyton’s immense contributions to the game reflect how genuinely passionate he is about it. I can honestly say that I never ‘enjoyed’ our meetings, but the respect I have for Peyton Manning as a competitor was, and will likely remain, second to none.”

Tom Brady on the Monday Morning Quarterback Show had this to say: “What just happened, winning the Super Bowl in his last game, is a perfect way to end a career. But what he’s accomplished through all these years, what makes it so admirable, is the pressure he’s had on him his whole life. He was the highest-rated recruit in high school. He was the biggest quarterback in college football. He was the first pick in the draft. Who has lived up to the expectations year after year after year as well as Peyton? He’s done it so gracefully, so admirably. He set the standard for how to play the quarterback position.”

The drama provided over the years by the Brady vs Manning match ups has been unbelievable, for so many seasons these two quarterbacks were at the top of their game and their places in history will be forever intertwined. The level of preparation and surgically precise execution as well as competitive fire and Super Bowl contending teams made the contests some of the most well-played and exciting games of the era.

Peyton’s success can be measured with his statistics and accolades which include but are not limited to:

-Most all-time passing yards: 71,940

-Most all-time passing touchdowns: 539

-Most all-time career wins (regular season and post season): 200

-Most all-time regular season wins: 186 (Tied with Brett Farve)

-Most all-time game-winning drives: 56

-Most all-time Pro Bowl Selections: 14

-Most all-time 4,000+ yard seasons: 14

-Most single season passing yards: 5,477

-Most single season touchdowns: 55

-Most NFL MVP awards: 5-time winner

And the thing that one would imagine Manning is most proud of (even if Eli isn’t psyched about it) is being a 2-time Super Bowl Champion.

Manning has countless other statistics that are impressive if not the best all-time but what fans can appreciate about Manning is that he was a student of the game and he respected the game as much as anyone who has ever played it.

As much as New England fans have hated Peyton Manning over the years, there is no match up that has been looked forward to more. The conversation of ‘who is the better quarterback’ in regards to Brady and Manning has been had in about every sports bar in New England and probably many places around the country. Wherever fans land on this is their own perspective from their own experiences but one thing is for sure both of them could make a case for the best all-time. There has rarely been a television event that is more must-see TV than Brady vs Manning, Patriots vs Colts/Broncos over the last 15 seasons.

Manning finished his speech with this to say: “When I look back on my NFL career, I’ll know without a doubt that I gave everything I had to help my teams walk away with a win. There were other players who were more talented but there was no one could out-prepare me and because of that I have no regrets.

“There’s a scripture reading, 2 Timothy 4:7: I have fought the good fight and I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.

“Well, I’ve fought a good fight. I’ve finished my football race and after 18 years, it’s time. God bless all of you and God bless football.”

The final touch on the final day of his career was one of class, grace, and respect for the players, the fans, and the game of football. To read Manning’s entire speech transcript click here http://espn.go.com/blog/denver-broncos/post/_/id/19274/transcript-of-peyton-mannings-retirement-speech.

 

 

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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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BB-Dante

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.

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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 MyBookie.ag: Who has the Edge? »