Report: Tom Brady Has Yet To Commit To 2018 Season

tom-brady3
According to various reports, Tom Brady has yet to commit to playing in 2018. (PHOTO CREDIT: NESN)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)

According to various reports on Wednesday (Apr. 18th, 2018), New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has yet to commit to playing this upcoming season.

Brady led the Patriots to the Super Bowl last season, but was unable to deliver the franchise its sixth national championship. Instead, Philadelphia celebrated its first-ever Super Bowl – the win was the squad’s first against the Patriots in the ‘big game’ since falling to New England in 2004.

ESPN‘s Adam Schefter confirmed via his report this morning that one source believes Brady will play this season, but did say, “what goes on away from the football field, I don’t know.”

Brady, who will turn 41 in August, has told multiple outlets over the years that he would like to play beyond his 40th birthday, but has recently been focused on spending more time with his family.

The news of Brady’s uncertainty to play this season adds another wrinkle to what has been a very bizarre offseason for the Patriots, which has seen multiple players from last year’s squad, including Malcolm ButlerNate SolderBrandin Cooks and Danny Amendola depart New England to sign with other teams.

Additionally, news continues to surface about Rob Gronkowski‘s future – will he remain in New England or pursue other opportunities such as wrestling or acting? We will have to wait and find out!

Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ Football Twitter handle for New England Patriots, College and High School news at @Noontime_FB

Lindberg: New England Patriots Draft Grade

How much will Nate Solder impact the New England Patriots in the future?

By Andy Lindberg 

I feel like I should be yet another tool to give out a draft grade.  Therefore I will grade the Patriots. I have been watching the Patriots since I moved to Connecticut from Alabama in 1992. (Side note, I HATE how the New York Jets drafted Alabama’s former quarterback, Greg McElroy. That made me sad).

I love football, but what the NFL draft has become, a spectacle after the meat-market that is the televised NFL scouting combine, is a flash and flare party which sees men who have never taken a snap in the National Football League take their first steps toward garnering $40 million signing bonus’ who later turn out to be the next Ryan Leaf.

In short, it upsets me. It is unnecessarily exhibited and covered by men who can’t seem to do anything but yell at me over the television screen. I understand the player has great “football smarts,” but you’ve yelled it at me for the past eight picks.  It’s a wonder any of these players ever fails. So “tool upon tool” is screaming letter grades at me like these teams just took an exam. I will be joining the ranks of them, providing you a letter grade at the end of this and oh, by the way, I’m sorry in advance for my weakness.

That said the draft is a necessity for the business of building a football team.  There are a lot of teams who drafted well because they drafted needs. The Patriots last year had an exceptional draft, fixing gaping holes at the tight end and defensive back positions. This past season, both improved exponentially (especially at tight end) and the only glaring hole was the need for a pass rusher and offensive line help.  Before I begin let it be known that even though I may like some of the players New England drafted (as made obvious with my pick by pick coverage) that does not mean I feel they were smart picks in some cases.

The Patriots’ first pick was offensive tackle Nate Solder from Colorado. Given the futures of Matt Light and Logan Mankins with the team, this was a very good pick.  However after that, New England’s draft went downhill. They did nothing at all to address the pass rush, even with several on the board.

With the first overall pick of the second round, they drafted Ras-I Dowling, a cornerback from Virginia. I liked this pick because I thought New England could still add good pass rush depth later in the second round, given the talent still out there.  Even with Leigh Bodden coming back, Dowling could provide very capable help at the lower end of the depth chart in his first year, and could prove to be a very valuable special-teamer immediately.

Will the former Patriots running back core be effected by the 2011 NFL Draft?

After that it got bad. The Patriots drafted two running backs in a row even though BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a fantastic year and Danny Woodhead took over the Kevin Faulk role. Yes, New England needed a little more depth at that position, but one of those picks (preferably the earlier, Shane Vereen pick) should have been a pass-rusher.

Picking Ryan Mallett was a great selection, as I believe New England got a steal.  Mallett could also prove to be great trade bait in a few years if Tom Brady is still racking up great numbers. A guy like Mallett won’t sit as a backup for long, not with his potential.

In the fifth round New England drafted TCU’s Marcus Cannon, an offensive lineman who dropped to round five because of a very recent cancer diagnosis. His prognosis is excellent, and doctors anticipate a recovery very soon. If he can play up to his potential in a year or two, he will have been a good steal.

The Patriots finished the draft with Markell Carter, an outside linebacker from Central Arkansas and Malcolm Williams, a defensive back from TCU. Size-wise, Carter fits the profile of the type of linebacker New England loves. I hope he proves to be a fantastic player down the road, but for now, he’s simply a sixth round pick.

The Patriots had a need, and did not address it, even with all the available needs.  They added more picks for next year via trades, but the time for stockpiling picks is over. This year it was time to cash in and the Patriots didn’t do it. More than likely one of those running back picks is going to turn out to be a wasted pick. There’s only so much playing time for a running back with Ellis and Woodhead playing. There was no reason not to pick a pass rusher in that situation.

I used to give the Pats the benefit of the doubt, but for the past few years, one of the needs has been the same and New England has done little to address it. New York’s Mark Sanchez kept his jersey very clean during the playoff matchup with New England and that’s ultimately what ended up costing Tom Brady and Co. another shot at a title. If the Patriots cannot get to the quarterback, no regular season record is going to change the fact that in the playoffs, they’re going to get burned.

Patriots draft grade (according to me, who’s opinion really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but here at Noontime Sports it does): C

An average grade for an average draft.

I still love them, though. Go Pats!

Kilpatrick: Overall Reactions to Day One of the NFL Draft

While Jake Locker may have been a first round selection, Kilpatrick wasn't too pleased that he won't be a member of the New England Patriots!

By Stacey Kilpatrick 

The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft wrapped up Thursday night and I was disappointed within the first eight picks. Here are some notes on the night.

1st pick: Cam Newton/QB from Auburn/Carolina Panthers. The 2010 Heisman Trophy winner and NCAA newsmaker was booed when announced as the first pick official pick of the 2011 NFL Draft. For months he’s been projected as the first selection, but I truly did not expect Carolina to choose him. I wanted his ego to be blown like it should be. He only had one year – albeit a great year – at Auburn, but he just seems incredibly cocky.

8th pick: Jake Locker/QB from University of Washington/Tennessee Titans. First words out of my mouth… “NOOOOOOOO!” I wanted the New England Patriots to select him, so he could back up Tom Brady. I cheered for him at Washington and wanted to cheer for him as a member of the Pats. This made me want to stop watching the draft.

10th pick: Blaine Gabbert/QB from Missouri/Jacksonville Jaguars. After seeing him and his suave, slicked back blonde hair, I thought, “Never heard of him. Don’t even know what school he’s from.” I rarely watched Missouri’s football team and the few times that I did, clearly I wasn’t paying attention to Gabbert. And going to the Jacksonville Jaguars? That’s combining two teams that never cross my mind. But he must be good, so I’ll watch him this season, hopefully.

In the top 10 picks there were three quarterbacks for the first time since 1999. The third time overall (1971, 1999 and now 2011).

13th pick: Nick Fairley/DT from Auburn/Detroit Lions. He is a big guy. I remember watching him, especially with Newton during the Alabama game this past November and he was an absolute BEAST.

14th pick: Robert Quinn/DE from North Carolina/St. Louis Rams. Quinn was out the entire 2010-11 season and yet he was still picked 14th overall. But then again, former Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford was out most of 2009, but he was St. Louis’s first selection in 2010.

16th pick: Ryan Kerrigan/DE from Purdue/Washington Redskins. He looks like Chris Noth from The Good Wife and (Mr. Big) Sex and the City fame. I’m sure all of you football fanatics know just whom I am speaking of, yes?

17th pick: Nate Solder/OT from Colorado/New England Patriots. I was hoping my team would have picked a player I actually knew, but from what I’ve read about Solder, he seems definitely like a solid pick, especially since he only allowed five sacks in three seasons.

22nd pick: Anthony Castonzo/OT from Boston College/Indianapolis Colts. 54 career starts, which is most in Boston College.

23rd pick: Danny Watkins/OG from Baylor/Philadelphia Eagles. The 26-year-old rookie never played football in high school and yet, he’s a first round pick by the Eagles. The 6’3”, 310-pounder played hockey and rugby. Also, he is a firefighter. This guy sounds tough and oh, by the way, some of his firemen buddies were at the draft going nuts when he was selected. How can I not root for him?

The Baltimore Ravens passed their 26th pick for 27 for – I don’t know why.

27th pick: Jimmy Smith/CB from Colorado/Baltimore Ravens. Smith appeared to be at home – he wasn’t in New York City and was shown not wearing a jacket or tie, which is bizarre. This is the NFL Draft, right?

The New England Patriots traded their 28th pick to the New Orleans Saints.

28th pick: Mark Ingram/RB from Alabama/New Orleans Saints. The 2009 Heisman Trophy winner goes to the 2010 Super Bowl Champions down in New Orleans. He had 875 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns after missing the first two games in 2010. Ingram’s father, Mark Ingram Sr., a former player for the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles is currently in jail, although the two reportedly have a decent relationship. An ESPN reporter read a congratulatory email that she received from Mark’s father and in all honesty, it was certainly very touching. People say men don’t cry. There’s no crying in sports, especially in football, but Ingram cried on national television and it was a great, heartfelt moment.

32nd pick: Derek Sharrod/OT from Mississippi State/Green Bay Packers. In the final selection of the first round, the 2011 Super Bowl Champs selected Derek Sharrod. Shouldn’t he have been wearing a cheesehead?

Rounds two and three of the 2011 NFL Draft take place Friday, April 29 at 6 p.m. ET. Rounds 4-7 will be held Saturday, April 30 at 12 p.m. ET.

NFL Draft 2011: Day One Winners and Losers

By Dan Rubin

With the 2011 NFL Draft already underway, it is officially time to look back on day one and reflect on which teams drafted well, as well as the ones that didn’t. Here is our winners and losers from the first round.  

Winners: Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers come away as big winners of the first round.

Now look, I understand that there’s a very real possibility that Newton could become a major bust and that they drafted Jimmy Clausen to fill the starting quarterback role. But, I also believe that the draft is used to give your fans a very real hope of success in a way that one single day can’t. Fans don’t get hungry for tickets over minicamp, and they don’t get pumped up for OTAs.  They get pumped at the draft.  This is a team that lacked a face for their franchise.  They have it now.  Maybe in three years, we’ll question the pick and refer to the Heisman Trophy winner as a bust, but for now, this day and this draft belonged to Newton. Almost immediately, the future of Panther football was altered.

The Atlanta Falcons were exposed on offense in the divisional playoffs. The Packers took away the deep threat on Matt Ryan in their game back in January, and he only threw for 186 yards.  They had some defensive woes, which I’m sure they’ll address when they can start moving and signing players (as well as later in the draft).  But they had to find a solution to the problem of having only Roddy White for the deep ball.  Now Ryan has White, Tony Gonzalez, Michael Turner, Michael Jenkins, and Julio Jones to throw the ball to.  He’s only in his 4th year.  They actually didn’t need a lot, so they were able to make the deal.  Sure they got fleeced, but I don’t think it’s a horrible move.

But as much as I loved the gutsy, ballsy move by the Falcons, I really love what Cleveland did. Cleveland has more holes than a donut shop.  The early pick would give them a flashy player, but they don’t need that; they have the face of a franchise in Peyton Hillis. They need to fill pretty much everything else. And they acquired the ability to do it by giving away an early pick that couldn’t make a huge impact on this team.  In the rebuilding future, this could go down as the moment where the Browns became relevant again.

Jon Gruden – thank you for owning the talking hairpiece of Mel Kiper, Jr. Seriously, if Gruden crapped on Kiper any more, Kiper’s address would’ve become “porto-potty in NYC.”  It was awesome.  I love it when football guys just take it to that guy.

Detroit’s pass rush this year will be Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. A couple of months ago, Aaron Burns, (our guest from the Charlotte Weekly this week) thought Fairley would go first overall. I love the pick because he was there at #13.  The NFC North is wide open if Green Bay has any Super Bowl hangover.  The Lions aren’t pushovers anymore.

The Patriots did a good job playing it safe, picking a good, solid offensive tackle with their first pick.  I really wanted Anthony Costanzo, but they got essentially the same guy with a different name in Nate Solder.  Right now, the Pats have nobody under contract for their line. Matt Light is a free agent, Logan Mankins is pretty much history, and Stephen Neal and Nick Kaczur, (a.k.a. your right side of the line) is gone. So that means your preseason offensive line returns only Dan Koppen. I like the pick a lot.

Costanzo became a winner anyways, when he got selected to block for the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning.  I remember standing at a Boston College game talking to his dad four-odd years ago, and I knew he was going to be great.  Another year, another Boston College Eagle in the first round.  Ho hum, that’s becoming par the norm for “O-Line U” over there in Chestnut Hill.

The Losers: 

This will go down as the draft where the fans finally rebelled. Roger Goodell had his photo moment with the Hall of Famers and the Prospects, and the fans booed him almost immediately.  The chants of “We Want Football” shocked everyone, and I don’t think the talking heads knew what to do when it happened.

Rich Eisen had nothing to say, and the “commish” looked lost at the podium.  It’s the first moment through the entire labor drama when the fans finally spoke up and could actually be heard, and nobody knew what to do.  The constant booing cascading from Radio City Music Hall’s rafters said it all – the fans are fed up with legal speak and loopholes all over the place.  They want results.  They want football.  And Goodell ended up with egg on his face.

Teams also had to draft by need in the first round because they couldn’t move players ahead of time.  With the league not advising teams on player movement before Friday, the first round featured absolutely zero player movement.  The teams could only trade picks or draft players.  Therefore, it became surreal almost immediately when Von Miller was picked second overall, and he hugged Roger Goodell – a man he’s suing.  It was the fourth or fifth moment where I laughed at the Commish, and but the loser of the moment was Miller.  How can you sue the league, hug the man you’re suing, and have people take it seriously?  I’m sure the NFL will use that in its defense somehow.

The Falcons screwed their future over very badly by giving up two first rounder’s, (including their pick next year), their second round pick, their fourth round pick, and next year’s fourth.  If they don’t hit on every other pick this year, they could be in some deep trouble. Thomas Dimitrioff has mortgaged his job on Jones ability to produce and Atlanta’s ability to win a Super Bowl within the next 2-3 years.

I don’t get why Jacksonville traded up to take Blaine Gabbert.  I mean, I think Gabbert’s better than Jake Locker, but they have a decent quarterback who can win football games.  David Garrard is pretty good, and he can scramble.  I just don’t get why you make the move to take him, when you can sit back two picks later and get an offensive lineman to protect and block Garrard.  Instead, you’ve served notice that Garrard is gone in a couple of years or at least backing up, and you’ve gone into transitional mode.

Christian Ponder?  Really?  Like…really?  I’ve followed him from Day 1 at Florida State…really?!?!

The draft coverage gets a sagging grade because honestly, I didn’t think it was great. Too many talking heads, not enough highlights.  And the gratuitous phone call shots are overboard as always. It just feels like it’s too much. I’d prefer the olden days when they interviewed fans instead of just showing them.

We’ll be back with more coverage throughout the weekend. A long couple of days ahead, especially if you’re a Pats fan like us at Noontime Sports.

NFL Draft 2011: New England Patriots Select Solder, 17th Overall

By Andy Lindberg 

The New England Patriots selected offensive tackle Nate Solder in the first round  of the 2011 NFL Draft with the 17th pick. Here is some more information on the newest member of the Patriots organization.  

Name: Nate Solder

College: Colorado

Height: 6’8”

Weight: 319 lbs

Overview: Solder is far from what many would consider a sexy pick. He’s no Robert Quinn or Mark Ingram in terms of name value, but what he can bring to the team is extremely valuable with the future of left tackle Matt Light and left guard Logan Mankins up in the air. Tom Brady needs protection and Solder has the potential to protect Brady’s blind side immediately.

This is a great pick for New England, but they still need to address the pass rush and receiving corps. There should be great value to be had with the Pats having as many picks as they do in the second and third rounds. Bill Belichick has a very good history of finding offensive line gems in the first round, and I expect Solder to be no different.  One also wonders about New England’s confidence in re-signing Light or Mankins with this pick.