Should Patriots Consider This Hypothetical Trade With Washington?

Quarterback long was expected to be the greatest area of uncertainty for the Patriots entering the 2020 NFL season.
There’s still much to be figured out at signal-caller for New England, but there arguably are more question marks surrounding another position in Foxboro as the new campaign approaches.
The Patriots’ current linebacker group leaves a bit to be desired. Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Elandon Roberts all found new homes in free agency, and Dont’a Hightower elected to opt out of the 2020 season. New England now will turn to the likes of Ja’Whaun Bentley and Chase Winovich to lead its LB corps, while rookies Josh Uche, Anfernee Jennings and Cassh Maluia could be thrust into prominent roles for the get-go.
In an effort to address the matter, The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia suggests the Patriots swing a trade for a linebacker. Kapadia on Monday listed six deals he believes should go down prior to Week 1, including New England sending a sixth-round pick to Washington for Ryan Anderson.
Kapadia believes the hypothetical trade makes sense for both sides. Anderson, a 2017 second-round pick, logged four sacks and 44 total tackles last season. He’s set to make roughly $1.2 million this season before hitting free agency next spring. Washington would be able to obtain an asset in exchange for Anderson, who, as Kapadia notes, could see diminished playing time in 2020 as the franchise transitions to Ron Rivera’s defense.
While teams might be a bit more reluctant to make trades given the current state of the NFL, we probably shouldn’t rule anything out when it comes to Bill Belichick. The Patriots head coach always is looking for ways to improve his team, and he’s proved in the past he’s not afraid to pull the trigger on a trade in the days leading up to the start of a season.
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Ex-Patriot Matt Light Against COVID-19 Mask: ‘It Doesn’t Do Anything’

Matt Light is among the millions who don’t believe it’s necessary to wear a protective face mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The longtime New England Patriots tackle offered his thoughts on the pandemic during an appearance Tuesday on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show.” And while Light insists he takes SARS-CoV-2 seriously, he does not believe the cautious reactions of many to the pandemic — including the wearing of masks — are justified.
“I respect anybody’s decision to wear a mask or not wear a mask,” Light said. “The science is real clear on masks, right? There’s no need to interpret it whether it helps saves lives or not, it doesn’t.
“It has no real effect. It makes you feel comfy and warm inside maybe but it doesn’t do anything in the grand scheme of things.”
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AUDIO: GHS- Former Patriot Matt Light joins the show to discuss college football, the coronavirus pandemic, and why he would take Bill Belichick over Tom Brady for one season 08-11-20
— WEEI (@WEEI) August 11, 2020

According to Light, United States citizens should hold themselves to what he considers a higher standard, one that does not include automatically following state and federal guidelines on the pandemic.
“I think we’re better than that,” he said. “I think this country was founded on principles that don’t just say, ‘Hey, when somebody tells you to do something, even if you look around and know there’s not a fire, don’t believe them when they say there’s smoke’. Like c’mon, we’re better than this.”
Added White: “I understand that there is a bug out there. There’s a virus and it is causing harm on certain people, no doubt but it does not warrant what we’re looking at right now. The data clearly points to that.”
Make of all that what you will.
At the onset of the pandemic, many American doctors, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, played down the potential advantages of wearing a mask, claiming they are relatively ineffective at preventing either the spread or contraction of respiratory viruses. In June, Fauci said he initially discouraged the public from wearing masks in an effort to make them more readily available to front-line health workers.
Currently, Fauci and many other medical experts encourage the wearing of masks, though they also admit the effectiveness of a mask varies depending on the type. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says masks are a “critical tool” in combating COVID-19.
It’s unclear whether the shift in advice is reflective of a better understanding of the underlying science, a higher confidence in the availability of masks or an acquiescing to public pressure — or a combination of those and many other factors. There also are many doctors who all along have maintained that wearing masks offers neither personal nor widespread benefit amid the pandemic.
As for Light, he’s of course entitled to his own opinion, though potential refusal to wear masks could conflict with local laws in certain areas. Regardless, his views on masks and COVID-19 surely will prove divisive among Patriots fans.
We’ll leave you with a quote from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Robert Redfield on the wearing of masks, as well as a link to information provided by the CDC on protective face coverings:
“We are not defenseless against COVID-19. Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus — particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”
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Bruce Cassidy Has Blunt Response To Those Picking Hurricanes Over Bruins

The Boston Bruins didn’t exactly look great in the round-robin tournament, but that appears to have caused some folks to get carried away.
With the Bruins’ first-round playoff series against the Carolina Hurricanes set to begin Tuesday evening, a staggering number of people have chosen the Hurricanes to win the best-of-seven set (In ESPN’s panel of 15, a whopping 13 picked Carolina, including one panelist spotting the Bruins just one game).
Make no mistake, the Hurricanes looked sharp in their qualifying round sweep of the New York Rangers. But the desire to make the sexy pick seems to have forced some to forget that the Bruins were, after all, pretty much the best team in the NHL wire-to-wire during the regular season before the pause.
But that’s neither here nor there for Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, who was asked about the Bruins possibly being pegged as an underdog in the series.
Round-Robin Debrief; Hurricanes Series Preview | NESN Bruins Podcast Ep. 77
“I don’t concern myself with predictions. We’ll be ready to play,” Cassidy said over Zoom after Bruins morning skate Tuesday.
“We came into this with a mindset that we were going to build towards Game 1,” Cassidy continued. “And our intention is to be in it for the long haul. That’s a bit of the reasoning behind it. We do have to improve areas of our game if we expect to beat Carolina. Our guys do have a recent history against them in terms of this year, the game we played, we won. Last year in the playoffs. But, a lot of that has changed. This almost feels like a brand-new season for obvious reasons. We have to prove it on the ice tonight.
“We feel there are certain areas that we can play well against them. There are areas that we have to make sure we’re on the ball in terms of the pace of their game and their footspeed and us getting back on pucks and supporting pucks so that we can play with the puck. And once we have it, we feel that there’s areas we can do some damage but until we get going here, who knows. That’s the game plan and I think our guys are up for it.”
Carolina very well might win the series, but the number of people hardly giving Boston a fighting chance is perplexing. But hey, that’s why they play the games.
Puck drop for Game 1 of Hurricanes-Bruins is set for 8 p.m. ET. You can find the projected lineups here.
Bruins Vs. Hurricanes Playoff Preview: Analysis, Predictions, X Factors

Blue Jackets Vs. Lightning Live Stream: Watch NHL Playoff Game Online

Surely the Tampa Bay Lightning won’t be embarrassed by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the playoffs again, right?
We’ll see.
The Blue Jackets and Lightning are set to face each other in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with Game 1 taking place Tuesday afternoon at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
Here’s how to watch Blue Jackets vs. Lightning online:
When: Tuesday, August 11, at 3 p.m. ET
TV: NBC Sports Network
Live Stream: FuboTV | NBC Sports
Round-Robin Debrief; Hurricanes Series Preview | NESN Bruins Podcast Ep. 77

Rockets Vs. Spurs Live Stream: Watch NBA Seeding Game Online

The San Antonio Spurs are hanging onto their playoff hopes by a thread.
The Spurs find themselves 11th in the Western Conference standings entering Tuesday. San Antonio will be eliminated from postseason contention with a loss to the Houston Rockets and a win Tuesday by either the Portland Trail Blazers or Phoenix Suns, who’ve gone 6-0 inside the NBA’s Orlando bubble thus far.
Luckily for the Spurs, their mission to beat the Rockets should be made a bit easier via the absence of James Harden, who’s slated to sit out the first leg of Houston’s back-to-back.
Here’s how to watch Rockets vs. Spurs online and on TV:
When: Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 2 p.m. ET
Live Stream: FuboTV — free trial
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Why Michael Vick Is Encouraged By Cam Newton’s Early Days As Patriots QB

Cam Newton hasn’t seen any game action for the Patriots, but Michael Vick already is encouraged by how the 2015 NFL MVP has handled himself in New England.
During Monday’s “First Things First” episode, Vick touched on how, according to him, Newton is off to a great start with the Patriots. In particular, Vick was impressed by Newton’s first official press conference with his new team.
“When you look at that video and you look at Cam smiling, that’s a smile of confidence,” Vick said. “That’s Cam knowing deep down, in his heart of hearts, that he can bring something to the table for the New England Patriots. Nobody’s expecting Cam to go out and win the Super Bowl this year, we know what happened (eight players opting out). … Nevertheless, he still steps in front of the camera … ‘I’m going to be the best version of myself, I’m ecstatic to be in a New England Patriots uniform.’
” … Nobody gives Cam credit for stepping up in a major way and becoming a New England Patriot … Cam is sitting in a very vulnerable position but I think it’s a position that he’s accepting. It’s great to see him smiling and confident that he’s going to make this right.”

"Nobody gives Cam credit for stepping up in a major way & becoming a New England Patriot … Cam's sitting in a very vulnerable position but I think it's a position he's accepting. It's great to see him smiling & confident that he's going to make this right." — @MichaelVick
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) August 10, 2020

Obviously, Newton has a long way to go before he’s considered a success with the Patriots. Moreover, there’s a legitimate chance he isn’t the starter in Week 1.
However, thus far, the 31-year-old is saying and doing all the right things.
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Boston College Is New England’s Last Hope For NCAA Football in 2020

The University of Massachusetts cancelled its 2020 football season on Tuesday.
The move by the Minutemen makes Boston College the last FBS football program in New England for 2020 as the University of Connecticut was the first FBS program to cancel its season. While the ACC and the Power 5 conferences may still conduct their campaigns, the New England region is left without dozens of college football programs that span every level of the sport.
In 2019 there were only three New England schools in the FBS, but the region boasted eleven FCS programs, eight Division II programs and 35 Division III programs. That is a total of 57 college football programs throughout the six New England states; a number that is now reduced to one. Some Division II and III programs have not completely ruled out the chance to play a handful of games in the fall. This will be difficult to execute and the games will be little more than exhibition contests as the ACC is the only conference with a New England program that still plans to crown a conference champion.
So like it or not, the BC Eagles are now the only New England college football program with an opportunity to compete for a conference or national championship in 2020.

Donald Trump Apparently Would Take Military Advice From Bill Belichick

General Hoodie?
During an interview Tuesday with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Donald Trump said he would accept military advice from New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. It’s unclear whether Trump was kidding, but it’s probably safe to assume he was.
“You know, if I ever had a military battle, I’d call up Belichick and say ‘What do you think? What do you think?’” The United States President said. “Give me a couple of ideas.”
At one point in the discussion, Trump was asked whether Belichick or Tom Brady, now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has a better chance of winning the Super Bowl this season.
“Well, I would say this. You’ve got, if you ask me coach on coach, I like that as a better question,” Trump said. “You always have to hit me with these very tough questions. I think they’re both going to do great. They’re both friends of mine. I’ll tell you, Belichick is an incredible coach, and I think he’s going to do really well. This guy just knows how to win, and he’s a very good friend of mine. He’s a winner.”
As interested as Trump appears to be in the 2020 NFL season, he also claimed he’s prepared to boycott the campaign.
“But I won’t watch — I won’t watch if people don’t stand for the national anthem,” Trump said. “If they kneel, I don’t watch, including the Super Bowl. With that being said, we’re helping the NFL greatly on getting going, etc., etc. But I won’t care and I won’t watch if they don’t stand for the national anthem, and that’s what’s happened to basketball.
“I don’t know if you’ve seen what’s going on with basketball.”
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How Should Patriots Fill Final Roster Spot Before Training Camp Begins?

The New England Patriots were close to filling their current 80-man roster until a reported agreement with tight end Jordan Leggett fell through.
So, now the Patriots are back at 79 players after reportedly adding running back Lamar Miller, defensive tackle Darius Kilgo and center Tyler Gauthier.
Let’s go position by position to see where the Patriots need the most help prior to the official start of training camp on Aug. 17.
Brian Hoyer
Brian Lewerke
Cam Newton
Jarrett Stidham
— If anything, the Patriots have too many players here. They’re all set at quarterback for now with a full-on competition this summer. Lewerke adds a degree of insurance.
Running Back
Rex Burkhead
Damien Harris
Jakob Johnson
Sony Michel (Active/PUP)
Lamar Miller
J. J. Taylor
James White
— The Patriots added Miller on Monday to provide some depth with Michel on the PUP list. Miller is a potentially starting-caliber option to compete for snaps with Burkhead and Harris. The Patriots don’t need any other running back help for now.
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Jakob Johnson
— Johnson will see competition from some of the Patriots’ young tight ends. This is a spot where the Patriots could still use some help.
Wide Receiver
Quincy Adeboyejo
Damiere Byrd
Julian Edelman
N’Keal Harry
Will Hastings
Jakobi Meyers
Gunner Olszewski
Devin Ross
Mohamed Sanu
Matthew Slater
Jeff Thomas
Isaiah Zuber
— It’s certainly not the most talented group in the NFL, but there’s plenty of depth and upside on the receiver depth chart. Thomas, an undrafted free agent out of Miami, is a player to watch.
Tight End
Devin Asiasi
Rashod Berry
Jake Burt
Ryan Izzo
Dalton Keene
— It will be interesting to see if the Patriots try to bring on another tight end after a deal with Leggett fell through. They probably should. There’s no obvious starter in this position group if Asiasi or Keene can’t immediately step up as rookies.
Offensive Tackle
Yodny Cajuste
Korey Cunningham
Justin Herron
LT Isaiah Wynn
— The Patriots have never seen Cajuste, a 2019 third-round pick, or Herron practice. Cunningham was acquired via trade late last summer but barely played after the Patriots signed Marshall Newhouse. Unless the Patriots have a lot of confidence in Cajuste, Cunningham or Herron, they should be looking for a starter opposite Wynn after Marcus Cannon opted out.
Maybe the Patriots will see what they have early in camp, and if they have to adjust, they’ll pluck a player out of free agency or add a tackle via trade.
C David Andrews
G Jermaine Eluemunor
G Hjalte Froholdt
C Tyler Gauthier
RG Shaq Mason
G Michael Onwenu
LG Joe Thuney
C Dustin Woodard
— The Patriots could move Thuney to right tackle, but then who would play left guard? Eluemunor and Froholdt would be the top options. Eluemunor, like Cunningham, barely played after being acquired via trade late last summer. Froholdt, like Cajuste, missed his rookie season with an injury.
Defensive Tackle
Beau Allen
Adam Butler
Byron Cowart
Lawrence Guy
Darius Kilgo
Bill Murray
Nick Thurman
— Like wide receiver, this isn’t the most talented positional group, but there’s definitely enough depth. Players like Cowart and Murray have higher ceilings, as well.
Edge Defender
Tashawn Bower
Shilique Calhoun
Nick Coe
Anfernee Jennings
Derek Rivers
John Simon
Chase Winovich
Deatrich Wise Jr.
— The Patriots can get by with this group of defensive ends and outside linebackers, especially when more traditional linebackers like Brandon Copeland and Josh Uche can also play on the edge.
Ja’Whaun Bentley
Brandon Copeland
Terez Hall
De’Jon Harris
Brandon King (Active/PUP)
Cassh Maluia
Josh Uche
— It’s a significantly weakened group with Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Elandon Roberts all gone. Bentley has to step up. Copeland could start if Uche, a 2020 second-round pick, isn’t ready.
Justin Bethel
Myles Bryant
Stephon Gilmore
J. C. Jackson
Mike Jackson Sr.
Jonathan Jones
Jason McCourty
D’Angelo Ross
Joejuan Williams
— The Patriots are more than stocked up at cornerback after acquiring Jackson in a trade with the Detroit Lions.
Terrence Brooks
Cody Davis
Kyle Dugger
Devin McCourty
Adrian Phillips
— The Patriots could always use Jackson, Jones, Jason McCourty or Williams at safety if they get shallow here for any reason.
Special Teams
P Jake Bailey
LS Joe Cardona
K Justin Rohrwasser
— It appears the Patriots will see what they have in Rohrwasser before bringing in competition.
Area Of Biggest Need: Right tackle and tight end
— These are really the only positions where the Patriots lack obvious starting-caliber talent. It’s entirely possible that Cajuste or Asiasi and Keene, both 2020 third-round picks, will step in right away. But it’s no guarantee, and there aren’t many reliable options behind them.
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Nick Wright Explains How Cam Newton Is Prepared To Replace Tom Brady

Replacing Tom Brady was going to be a tall task for any quarterback regardless of talent level or skill set.
Nick Wright, however, believes Cam Newton is built to embrace the challenge.
Newton’s game might be lacking in some areas following a pair of serious injuries. But those possible shortcomings would be matched with self-confidence and motivation, which Newton has in spades. Wright believes Newton’s attitude and approach to the game will serve the 2015 NFL MVP well as he takes over for arguably the greatest quarterback in league history.
“…People talk about Cam’s ego and bravado being a negative. In this very specific instance, I think it prepares him better than nearly anyone else in the league to step into the void that Tom Brady has left,” Wright said Tuesday on FS1’s “First Things First.” “Even though Cam knows he hasn’t won six Super Bowls, he knows he’s not Tom Brady, Cam — at his core, I would bet — believes he’s as talented as any other quarterback to ever play and believes he’s going to be able to achieve at his MVP level once again. He’s saying all the right things, but I actually think the way Cam carries himself is going to be a benefit in the weight of replacing Tom Brady not weighing him down.”

"Cam is uniquely positioned to fill this role. People talk about Cam's ego & bravado being an negative. I think it prepares him better than nearly anyone else in the league."
— @getnickwright on how difficult it'll be for Cam Newton to play in Tom Brady's shadow
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) August 10, 2020

The challenge of replacing Brady will be made even more difficult for Newton given the elimination of preseason games and an altered training camp. But as Wright suggests, there’s seemingly no amount of obstacles that could shake Newton’s belief in himself, which might bode well for the Patriots over the course of what could be a very unconventional season.
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