Song: State of Love and Trust (Live)
Artist: Pearl Jam
Album: MTV Unplugged (1992)
Today's Song of the Day was chosen in honor of this little factoid; busted down the pretext.
The Patriots Aren't Even Close to Finished in Free Agency as They've Signed Two Former Super Bowl WRs!
On day one of legal tampering the Patriots have been spending money like they're getting a stimmy for every bad draft pick over the last eight seasons that lead to Tom Brady leaving!
If you thought they were done after adding Jonnu Smith, Davon Godchaux, Matthew Judon and Jalen Mills you were sadly mistaken. The Patriots just added Super Bowl LII champion, Nelson Agholor and Super Bowl LIV participant, Kendrick Bourne on multi-year deals to add depth to a receiving core that can use all the help it can get.
I'll be honest (not that I'm not in all blogs), I was hoping for some bigger names when the likes of Kenny Golladay, Curtis Samuel, JuJu and others were available. Is Nelson Agholor worth up to 13 million dollars a season? Certainly not to the fans in Philly!
While his hands may be a little suspect, which is never ideal for pass catchers when he does hold on to the ball, Agholor has been an underrated deep threat. His numbers last year remind me of numbers you'd see in the 70s. 48 receptions for 896 yards and 8 touchdowns. Only Tyreek Hill scored more 20+ yard TDs in 2020.
The signing I'm much more intrigued with is Kendrick Bourne. I haven't seen a ton of this dude, but in glimpses, he's shown that he's got "it"; it being the ability to get open. Those are pretty solid numbers given the 49ers QB play last season.
Patriot haters, of which there are many, are racking of the likes and retweets making fun of these signings.
And I'll admit I can see where they're coming from. One of these guys dropped his way out of Philly, and the other has less than 1,800 career receiving yards in four seasons. That's a lot of money allocated to a couple of number 2/3/4 WRs. But when Bill Belichick is passing out money like Andrew Carnegie on his death bed, I think it's safe to assume he's done his research. How many times have we heard the last 20 years it's not about accumulating talent but building a team? When the Patriots traded for Wes Welker, he had 1,121 career receiving yards and ONE touchdown over three NFL seasons, and that worked out alright. Of course, I wish the Patriots had drafted an NFL-caliber WR or two over the last decade so they wouldn't be in this situation, but I'm glad to see they're at least trying to give Cam some more help. I think Bourne will be able to get open, which is something Patriot receivers struggled mightily to do in 2020.
One thing is for sure the Patriots are going to be much more fun to play with in Madden this year. After being a handful of plays away from 10 wins, I think the guys the Patriots added today will get them to that threshold. In Bill, we Trust while also not being afraid to call out his mistakes!
I know bashing the Grammys has been more in recently than middle parts, and I completely understand The Weeknd's gripes, but even with Trevor Noah, the comedic equivalent of telling Chuck Norris jokes in 2012, hosting and the show running long (obviously) I gotta give the Recording Academy credit, last night was fantastic.
I don't understand Record of Year being hyped up as THE award of the night, and I wish we got to see more artists in non-big four categories get their moment in the sun; although with COVID, I sorta get it (if that even really affected it, I feel like from a "which award are televised standpoint" last night was pretty normal) but I love how performance heavy the night was. I even enjoyed DaBaby!
After advocating to perform at the Grammys, Silk Sonic made their national television debut just nine days after releasing their first single, "Leave the Door Open".
If you didn't see it last night, you have to right now. IMO it was the highlight of the night other than Megan Thee Stallion's ass. Between the leisure suits, sunglasses, choreography, lighting, effects, background dancers, and harmonies, it was like watching 1977 come to life. It's like an 8-track gave birth in 2021. The crescendo (I thiiiink that's the right term?) of drums and chimes as it goes into "tell me if ya comin' throooough" gives me major "Summer Breeze" vibes. It makes me want to watch the film adaptation of Starsky and Hutch tonight!
This tweet had me dying like Charlie got me.
Not only did Silk Sonic crush their tv debut of "Leave the Door Open", but with the help of the Free Nationals they played a kick ass Little Richard tribute during the "In Memoriam" segment.
The only good thing about daylight savings is that we're one hour closer to the entire Silk Sonic album dropping. These boys are going to save the world's population one p-dropper at a time.
Between the Patriots reacquiring Trent Brown last week and their history of discount shopping, it seemed like former All-Pro Guard, Joe Thuney's days in Foxboro were all but numbered. Even after the Patriots franchise tagged him last year, many thought they were doing that to trade him before ultimately retaining his services through the 2020 season.
During their wild, unexpected, yet expected spending spree to kick off the legal tampering period, there were whispers on Twitter that Thuney may actually return to New England, but It Is Not Meant To Be like the first track on Inner Speaker, as the two-time Super Bowl champion is heading to Kansas City to protect Patrick Mahomes on a five-year deal worth 80 million bucks.
Thuney made history in 2018 by becoming the first player in NFL history to start in three straight Super Bowls to begin in career. He's played at an elite level since that same season.
I loved Joe Thuney during his time in New England and believe if he wasn't playing for the Patriots, he would already have a couple of Pro Bowl nods under his belt. He's been super under-appreciated and hasn't missed a game in five seasons. The Chiefs are getting a fantastic offensive lineman.
Now that he'll be protecting Patrick Mahomes, I'm sure he'll be voted to at least three Pro Bowl rosters! Patrick is pumped after being pressured on over half his dropbacks in a humiliating 31-9 Super Bowl loss to Thuney's former teammate, Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
As an unbiased football fan, what a career choice by Thuney. Bravo. He is getting absolutely PAID and heading to one of the best teams in all of football. I thought he'd sign a big deal with the Bengals or Jets, but he went from the team of the last 20 years to perhaps the team of the next 10. The dude's going from protecting Tom Brady to former MVP Cam Newton to Patrick Mahomes. That's objectively pretty cool.
Now, as a Patriots fan, if they weren't going to keep him long-term, I wish they just traded him last year. Now he's on the best team in the AFC. I don't know how the Chiefs are going to play it since they just lost both their tackles, but I feel like you could plug Joe in anywhere, and he'd produce. He did just fine at center while Dave Andrews was out, but the exterior is a different beast. They could be keeping him at guard for all I know, but it's something to think about! The Chiefs could have five new starters on the o-line next year. I'm sure that won't cause any problems at all! Goodbye, Joe. Thanks for dominating Aaron Donald in Super Bowl LIII.
The New England Patriots Are Blowing Money Fast Like Rick Ross in Free Agency and Finally Have a Tight End!
The new league year may not officially begin until Saint Patrick's Day, but we are deep into the "legal tampering period" where teams can announce signings of players they definitely hadn't made contact with until today.
Since losing Gronk to retirement, then trade, the Patriots have had hands down the worst tight end production in the league. Over the last two seasons, Patriot tight ends have the fewest receptions (55), receiving yards (673), targets (87), and receiving touchdowns (3) in the NFL (h/t ESPN). With third-round picks Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keane being question marks at best going forward, the Patriots will have stability at the position after making a huge splash to start free agency by addressing perhaps the biggest hole on this roster (tight end) giving the 2nd wealthiest free-agent contract in franchise history to former Tennessee Titans Tight End, Jonnu Smith.
To the tune of "Bubbly" by Colbie Calliat, "I think Bill's had his eyes on Jonnu for a while now".
After the team announced on Friday thatCam Newton is coming back on a one-year contact, the Patriots have signed one of the biggest names available in free agency; giving Cam that needed security blanket that this offense desperately missed last season. If you look at Smith's numbers over the last four seasons in Tennessee you aren't going to be blown away, but they don't tell the whole story.
Smith was the Titans second tight end behind Delanie Walker his first season and had five touchdowns in the first four games of this season before injuring his ankle. Once Taylor Lewan was lost for the season, Jonnu took on a bigger role in the run-blocking game. Smith helped lead the way to Derrick Henry's back-to-back rushing titles, including a 2000 yard season. Speaking of Lewan, he was singing Jonnu's praises as he leaves the Music City.
Look at what this man can do in space!
The amount of cap space the Patriots have while the rest of the league is forced to make tough decisions with the cap going down has been discussed ad nauseam this offseason, but it looks like the Pats going to be a GREAT spot financially going forward; even with the assumed risks of all these signings.
We knew they were going to reload, but they aren't wasting any time as three other signings have been announced while I've been working on this blog; addressing multiple areas of need.
Once Drew Brees officially retired, the Saints, who have negative cap space signed Taysom Hill to a four-year $140 million deal that can be voided at any moment. It's pretty clear the salary cap can be manipulated. After historically being one of the most frugal teams in the NFL, the Patriots are going on a new money spending-spree.
I am a little apprehensive about seeing the Patriot sign a "former Eagles DB" knowing how bad their secondary was, but it's exciting to see the Patriots be so aggressive on the Free Agent market for once, even if I wish they were doing while TB12 was located in Patriot Place.
I think Jonnu Smith is going to be a monster in this offense and put up great numbers if he can stay healthy. I like adding Godchaux to help sure up a defensive line that got gashed by guys like Jeff Wilson last season. Matthew Judon does give me a little Adalius Thomas PTSD, but he instantly improves the Patriots pedestrian pass rush. No idea what to think about Jalen Mills, his PFF grade was okay, but like I said, Eagles DB scares me. It probably means Stephon Gilmore is getting traded. Hopefully, they can hold on to JC Jackson. I still expect to see the Patriots add a WR. Bill is buzzed and ready to spend!
Via his four children, New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees is retiring from the NFL after 20 seasons (15 with the Saints, and 5 with the SAN DIEGO Chargers) to spend more time with them. I wonder if his daughter didn't want to wear a jersey or if they didn't have a 4th one laying around because girls can wear jerseys too, Drew!! It's really throwing off the feng shui of this post.
The official announcement of Drew Brees' retirement has seemed like a formality since the Saints were eliminated in the Divisional Round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers given the injuries he's battled the last few years and apparent loss of arm strength despite still putting up respectable Drew Brees like numbers (although this past week, there were rumbled that Bress might be coming back). Brees' retirement comes exactly 15 years to the day he signed with New Orleans in a beautiful moment of full circle-ness.
In today's sporting landscape, it's easy to focus on how Drew Brees "only" won one Super Bowl, but he won. I'm sure Jim Kelly, Fran Tarkenton, Dan Marino, Dan Fouts, and Warren Moon would take "only" one ring. Winning a championship is how all QBs are measured; no matter how fair or unfair certain people may think that standard is, Brees won a Super Bowl.
You could argue the Saints and Brees sold their soul to the football devil after facing some all-time bad luck in the playoffs following their 2009 run. During the 6-playoff teams per conference era (1990-2019) only three teams finished 13-3 and didn't receive a first round bye; one was the 1999 Tennessee Titans and the other two were Saints teams (2011; lost on the Catch III in probably the best final 5 minute stretch in playoff history & 2019; lost in OT without getting a possession)
Plenty of people are going to nitpick at the one ring over 15 years in New Orleans, but I believe it's important to focus on his entire career and the impact Brees had in the game. He has to go down as one of if, not the best free-agent signings of all-time; not just the NFL.
As of now, Brees is the NFL's all-time leader in passing yards and completed passes. He sea-sawed with Tom Brady for the all-time TD pass record. The dude has five career 5,000 yard passing seasons when no other QB has more than one and holds the single-season completion percentage record (74.4% in 2018). Brees won Comeback Player of the Year in 2004 (with the Chargers), and Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2006. His signing with New Orleans was a perfect marriage of two parties at a crossroads.
When Drew Brees signed with the New Orlean Saints on March 14, 2006, the franchise and the QB's future were both unknown. Brees nearly had his shoulder ripped off in a "meaningless" Week 17 game with San Diego and was considered damaged goods around the league. He only had interest from the Saints and Dolphins, and given the current state of the Saints, many people assumed he'd team up with Nick Saban in Miami. Talk about a Butterfly Effect moment in sports.
It's easy to think of the Saints as perennial contenders now after 15 years of Drew Brees, but the franchise was as hapless as it gets prior to his arrival. The Saints debuted in 1967 and didn't make the playoffs until 1987. From 1967-2005 New Orleans only made the playoffs five times and boasted a 1-5 career playoff record. OH, and they were on the verge of moving to San Antonio (or somewhere else) after the Superdome, and much of New Orleans was decimated by Hurricane Katrina.
When Drew Brees and Sean Payton came in for the 2006 seasons things instantly changed in New Orleans. The Saints first home game featured one of the most electric moments in sports history. The energy was palpable through non-HDTV at the time.
The Saints went 10-6 and received a first-round goodbye in the playoffs. 2nd overall pick in the '06 draft, Reggie Bush brought a dynamic Swiss-Army Knife to New Orleans offense and special teams. Brees beat the Jeff Garcia (remember that??) lead Eagles in the Divisional Round before ultimately losing to the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship Game. Still, that season is widely considered one of the best single-season turnarounds in NFL history. Giving the circumstances, IMO it's the best one that didn't end with a Super Bowl ring.
Including 2006, over the next 14 seasons in New Orleans, Drew Brees would win two Offensive Player of the Year Awards (2008 & 2011), be named to 13 Pro Bowls, make five All-Pro teams, lead the league in passing yards seven times, completion percentage six times, touchdowns four times, and passer rating twice. He completely revamped a franchise on the brink and brought pride to a region that faced a natural disaster and unfathomable loss. Drew Brees is one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game and completely changed a prototypical QB look. Doug Flutie walked so Drew Brees could run, and Russell Wilson could sprint. A DOL tip of the cap to Drew Brees, it was a hell of a run; you left it all out on the field and are a vital piece of the history of this great game.
Song: WAP (live at the 2021 Grammys)
Artist: Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion
Watching WAP be performed on network TV was absolutely hilarious. It's like watching the Departed on TNT; this was a completely different song from the real thing, but regardless of the edited lyrical content, Megan Thee Stallion could have me thrown in horny jail for 15-20.
By now, you likely already know that Cam Newton is coming back to the New England Patriots on a one-year deal.
My immediate reaction:
At first, that number might've seemed alarming given Cam's production last season, but the deal is actually much more team-friendly than originally reported.
Over the course of last season, I had moments where I thought Cam Newton would get a five-year extension and others where I never wanted to see him rock the Patriots high school quality uniforms ever again. However, I have since been on the record that I would welcome another year of Cam.
Believe me; I understand why many Patriot fans are upset with the signing, and that doesn't even include the fact that the Bucs resigned Tom Brady today... (but we won't open the "Belichick forced out the greatest player in franchise history" can of worms right now)
Cam had plenty of moments last season where he looked finished. I flip-flopped like John Kerry all season, but I honestly think he is the Patriots best option going into next year, even if they draft someone. This man won an MVP, I'm down with giving him one more chance.
His production last year was not good enough. He knows it, Bill knows it, everybody knows it, but let's not forget the obstacles he faced; there was no preseason, he signed late, the weapons around him were trash, and he fucking caught the Rona. Plus, the Patriots were decimated by COVID opt-outs. Would you really rather have Mitch Tribusky, Andy Dalton, or Marcus Mariota in their first year under Belichick and McDaniels? Belichick and members of the team have done nothing but compliment Cam on his leadership. I expect him to come back more motivated than ever after last season. The guys who will be on this roster next year love him. He simply wasn't the Patriots only issue on offense last season, and if you think he was, you don't know football. Yes, his counting numbers sucked, and I might've piled on for clout...
But I am giving Cam the benefit of the doubt. I don't think he was ever at 100% last year, and now he has plenty of time to recoup. People will talk about all the throws he missed, and it's a valid point, but the lack of separation by a poor at best-receiving core did him no favors. Remember, this guy went from playing with a borderline HOF TE in Greg Olsen to two injured rookies who seldom saw the field. James White was a shell of himself, and Edelman missed most of the year. That lack of a security blanket showed.
For a less than $5 million cap hit, you will not find any veterans worth signing. Like the tweet I embedded at the beginning of this post, Cam's cap hit is currently 31st amongst NFL QBs. This is a great deal for the Pats and we should be rooting for Cam to earn all those incentives. They still have plenty of flexibility to improve when other teams are cutting guys left and right (like the Chiefs tackles). The Patriots had terrible weapons last season; we're talking historically bad Tight End production. With 60ish million in cap space and the 15th overall, pick to quote the late Mrs. Doubtfire, "help is on the way, dear" in either weapons, the Patriots QB of the future, OR trading down to draft more DBs who couldn't cover a book.
You're entitled to your own opinion, but personally, I'm excited Cam is coming back. If he sucks, it's one year, big whoop. We're due for some lean years after the previous 20. It'll only make you appreciate the next playoff run even more. I know I took them for granted, and last season was a nice dose of reality. Please don't forget that Cam went 7-8 last year with no help and some self-inflicted wounds! This team was like a half dozen plays away from winning 10 games. Even with the opt-outs, the defense was 7th in points allowed, and we know how great the special teams are.
Belichick doesn't want to continue to get shown up by people who think the Patriots are finished or that it was "all Brady". Don't you think he has a portfolio of every negative thing said about him and the Patriots last season? He's ready to prove himself without Brady. Yes, Brady is the greatest QB of all time, but Bill's out to show that he also played for the greatest coach ever. Next comes reloading the weapons, but none of that was going to happen before there was a QB answer on this roster. As of now, the Patriots have one, but this deal still leaves the possibility of adding another guy, whether it be through free agency or the draft, hell Bill might even make a trade. At the very least, I get another year out of that jersey. Hopefully, it will be loose by the time the season starts!
Song: Amish Paradise (1996)
Artist: Weird Al
Album: Bad Hair Day
It should come as no surprise to you that I LOVE Weird Al. Happy Anniversary to one of my favorite albums of my childhood, Bad Hair Day!
I can vaguely remember going to get a copy of Bad Hair Day at a Best Buy in Pennsylvania while visiting my aunt sometime between 2000-2002. This was one of my go-to CDs, along with Stunt by Barenaked Ladies. In some interesting timing, my roommate and I were just jamming to Weird Al last night, and neither of us had any idea the anniversary was mere hours away. Maybe our souls did?
HERE'S A BONUS DOUBLE SHOT OF WEIRD AL ON A BEAUTIFUL SPRING-LIKE AFTERNOON. I CANNOT WAIT TO NAP INDOORS AFTER I BLOG ABOUT CAM NEWTON COMING BACK.
Bill Belichick has made a career of making surprising personnel cuts like Lawyer Milloy, Brandon Meriweather, James Sanders, and non-safeties too like Ty Law! Today it was a player doing the cutting as future cut-Patriot, Brandon King, buzzed off most of what's left on top of the greatest coach of all-time's head for the 8th Annual "Saving by Shaving" to benefit Boston Children's Hospital.
Even in moments of charity where he doesn't have to worry about his words being overanalyzed for an edge by an opposing coach, Bill just can't break away from the coach speak. Did he really thank Brandon for the opportunity to get his head buzzed? Bizarro usage of the English language, but I wouldn't expect anything less from Bill.
Maybe it's because he doesn't have too much left on top, but what a savage way for Brandon King to start the haircut. Maybe he's trying to be careful so what's left comes back??
I just feel like every buzzcut ever starts with that line of no return right down the middle.
I'm a mask guy through and through, and even though I dig the lighthouse mask (it's the most Belichick-Nantucket swag of all time), getting a buzzcut in a neck-gaiter is an absolutely insane move. You gotta go surgical styled mask there. I cannot begin to imagine how many gray hairs from 3rd and longs are caught in that thing now. You 100% have to wash not only yourself but the mask after rocking a gaiter during that cut. Brandon did do a nice job with the neck lines!
Look at the happy puppy! Smiling from ear to ear. Watch out NFL, this man has 60+ million dollars in cap space and a top 100 compensatory big thanks to treating the greatest QB in the history of the NFL like a 3rd string punter!
I have a potentially great hair blog in my brain that I'm hoping will come out in the next week. Very excited to write it I just haven't had the time after work because the photoshopping is going to me a while and I've been trying to get more quick blogs out. #staytuned.
I know shaving your head for charity isn't anybody's thing to claim as "their thing" since literally anybody with hair can do it; it's not like you can own the concept, but everybody around these parts knows Gronk used to get his head shaved at Gillette every summer for charity. He is technically a free agent. Could this be Bill's way of extending an olive branch???? "See, Robert, we're really not so different you and I." (I know it's not, but damn it, let me have this)