LeGarrette Blount would like to return to the Patriots. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

LeGarrette Blount would like to return to the Patriots. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

It was a record-setting season for LeGarrette Blount as he rushed for 18 touchdowns, but the 30-year-old is now a free agent once again.

With putting up such great numbers and winning a Super Bowl, Blount likely will be attractive to some teams across the league, but he says he wants to stay in New England.

“I just want to make sure that I go [into] this free agency with an open mind knowing that I definitely want to go back to New England,” Blount said Monday on NFL Network’s “NFL All Access”. “I love it there. I love the culture. I love the players. I’ve become close with a lot of the guys. Obviously, you know how my running back group is. But we’ll cross that bridge whenever we cross it.”

Even though Blount has played seven NFL seasons and is in his 30s, he is feeling good.

“I feel great,” the 30-year-old said. “I’m in amazing shape, and I feel like I could play 100 more years if I have to.”

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

The search continues for Tom Brady’s missing game jersey from Super Bowl LI. In a report, the Houston Police say the piece of memorabilia is valued at $500,000.

Tom Brady completed 21-of-27 passes in the fourth quarter and overtime in Super Bowl LI. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Tom Brady completed 21-of-27 passes in the fourth quarter and overtime in Super Bowl LI. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

The search continues for Tom Brady’s missing game jersey from Super Bowl LI. In a report, the Houston Police say the piece of memorabilia is valued at $500,000.

It’s been more than two weeks since the Patriots’ historic comeback victory over the Falcons. After the game, Brady handed his jersey to a team employee, who took it into the locker room. Once he arrived to his locker, Brady stuffed it into his bag and went on to socialize with members of his family and teammates. When he returned, the jersey was gone.

Since the locker room was closed to the public during this time, only a finite number of people were allowed to be back there while the theft took place. But that apparently hasn’t made solving the case any easier. The Texas Rangers and NFL security officials continue to work on solving it.

“I hope I get it back,” Brady said on Pro Football Talk Live last week. “If I don’t, I don’t. It’s a jersey. … I put it in my bag because I wanted to keep it. It’s just a nice piece of memorabilia to have, but I’m not sure where they’re [investigators] at with that.”

Patriots owner Robert Kraft, whose ring from Super Bowl XXXIX was taken by Russian president Vladimir Putin during a 2005 meeting, compared Brady’s missing jersey to the robbery of a “great Chagall or Picasso.” But Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo apparently doesn’t feel that way. In a statement earlier this month, he said his department “won’t be burning the midnight oil worrying about a jersey.”

Blog Author: 
Alex Reimer

Jimmy Garoppolo has been in the league for three years and is good enough to be a starter, but he just hasn’t got an opportunity because he’s been backing up Tom Brady.

Jimmy Garoppolo has been backing up Tom Brady for three years. (John David Mercer/USA Today Sports)

Jimmy Garoppolo has been backing up Tom Brady for three years. (John David Mercer/USA Today Sports)

Jimmy Garoppolo has been in the league for three years and is good enough to be a starter, but he just hasn’t got an opportunity because he’s been backing up Tom Brady.

Garoppolo was supposed to start the first four games of 2016 because of Brady’s four-game suspension, but that ended up being six quarters after he suffered a shoulder injury against the Dolphins in Week 2.

In those six quarters, Garoppolo went 42-for-59 with 496 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Over his three seasons, he has completed 63-of-94 passes for 690 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions.

Appearing on Adam Schefter’s “Know them from Adam” podcast, Garoppolo admitted he does get impatient at times being Brady’s backup and not getting on the field much.

“There’s times,” Garoppolo said. “Obviously the kickoff happens and you are ready to roll. The juices get flowing again. You get the adrenaline, the butterflies. It’s football, you have to love the atmosphere.”

Schefter also proposed a hypothetical question looking ahead to next season and if Garoppolo were to stay with the Patriots in 2017. After next season Garoppolo will be a free agent and he could look to stay with the Patriots or try and sign with another team where he likely be a starter and not play behind Brady.

Garoppolo was asked what he would want to do, but answered in typical Patriots-fashion.

“That is a good question,” Garoppolo said. “Between now and then there are so many different thing that can happen, that might not happen. It’s tough to say. We all play the game. We all want to be out there on the field and get an opportunity to play. I guess we will cross that bridge when we get there is probably the best way to put it. We’re competitors at the end of the day. We want to be out there, I want to be out there competing and playing with my teammates.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Not only is it a big topic in New England, but it is a big topic across the entire NFL — will Jimmy Garoppolo get traded this offseason?

Jimmy Garoppolo said his family is big on keeping him updated with trade rumors. (Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports)

Jimmy Garoppolo said his family is big on keeping him updated with trade rumors. (Troy Taormina/USA Today Sports)

Not only is it a big topic in New England, but it is a big topic across the entire NFL — will Jimmy Garoppolo get traded this offseason?

With Tom Brady expected to play at least a few more years and Garoppolo’s contract expiring at the end of 2017, the thought is the Patriots will look to trade Garoppolo to get something in return with his value being so high.

Appearing on Adam Schefter’s “Know them from Adam” podcast, Garoppolo said he’s doing his best to tune-out the rumors, but admitted it’s hard to do.

“I try to,” Garoppolo said. “I can’t say that I do it completely, but I try to. My mom loves telling me the news updates, so she’s all over that stuff, but it’s been working really well.”

The Eastern Illinois product noted his family, especially his mom, are big at monitoring social media and knowing all the rumors that are swirling about him.

“I’m telling you, she could be your assistant,” he said to Schefter. “She’s all over the place. Her and my dad on Twitter and stuff like that — I don’t even think they know how to tweet, but they always have something going on.”

Added Garoppolo: “They know what to hit me with and what to keep quiet. They know me so well that they know what I’d like to hear and what I don’t need to hear. There’s a couple slip-ups here and there, I’m not going to lie to you, but they’re just so excited about it. It’s an exciting time, and they’re loving it.”

Many have connected Garoppolo to the Bears and with him residing roughly 20 minutes from downtown, he said he gets asked about what it would be like playing for the Bears a lot.

“I get asked about [that] all the time from my friends and family back in Chicago,” Garoppolo said. “They’re good reporters, my family. But I keep telling them I really don’t know how it would feel until — if it was to happen, I wouldn’t know how I’d feel until it did, you know? So it’s kind of one of those things, it’s hard to say right now.”

That is also his mindset about any of the other potential teams that could trade for him.

“I know it’s a very cliche answer and not very exciting for you, but I’ve only been in Foxboro, so I don’t know anything different in the NFL yet,” Garoppolo said. “So I guess we’ll kind of just see how it goes.”

Overall, Garoppolo is just enjoying the moment and taking everything in stride.

“For the most part I am just trying to stay level-headed, trying not to think about it, over think it too much because at the end of the day I am still under contract,” he said. “It is not my decision if I get traded or if I don’t, so I am just trying to take it all in stride. At the end of the day, you just have to enjoy it. The NFL, it is a hard place to be, hard place to succeed and when you get an opportunity you have to go and take advantage of it.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Even though the Patriots trailed the Falcons 21-3 at halftime of Super Bowl LI, the team didn’t lose hope.

In fact, they had a good feeling they would be able to come back and win.

Chris Hogan discussed the Patriots' comeback in Super Bowl LI on NFL Network Monday. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

Chris Hogan discussed the Patriots’ comeback in Super Bowl LI on NFL Network Monday. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

Even though the Patriots trailed the Falcons 21-3 at halftime of Super Bowl LI, the team didn’t lose hope.

In fact, they had a good feeling they would be able to come back and win.

Appearing on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” on Monday, Patriots wide receiver Chris Hogan went as far as saying the team was “100 percent convinced” it would be able to come back and set the record for the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.

“We were talking amongst ourselves telling everyone, ‘We’re going to pull this off. This is going to be a great story,'” Hogan said of the mindset at halftime. “[We were] 100 percent convinced, no doubt in our minds. Everyone was walking around there more than confident.”

Added Hogan: “It is a long halftime. It’s much longer than the regular season. You get in there and we didn’t play a good half of football, so it is a little quiet. Everyone gets in there and we went through our thing — everyone has their IV’s, whatever. Coach [Belichick] comes in, Josh [McDaniels] came in and talked to us, Matt [Patricia] came in and talked to the defense and then we went over some things. We talked about what we did well, what we didn’t do well. There wasn’t a pep talk.”

The wide receiver said the parade back in Boston two days later was crazy with the star being Rob Gronkowski.

“It would have to be Gronk,” Hogan said. “He is like a walking highlight show. The guy is always smiling. He has so much fun. The parade was awesome. It was snowing, raining — it was like a perfect Boston day. Everyone was out there. It was crazy. It was a lot of fun.”

Here are a few other highlights from Hogan on the show.

On joining the Patriots last offseason: “I was excited, how could you not be? I played against them for four years. I knew what kind of team they were. They had the best quarterback to ever play the game. When I went on the visit and got to walk around the facility, and meet Coach Belichick and meet some of the guys, it was an exciting time for me.”

On Julian Edelman comparing Jimmy Garoppolo to Aaron Rodgers/Brett Favre: “I would probably make a similar comparison. Jimmy has a great arm. He is an athletic kid and he plays really well. When he gets his chance in the NFL I think he will be real successful.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

The Patriots have 14 unrestricted free agents this offseason. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)The Patriots have a number of unrestricted free agents to be -- 14 to be exact -- and as is always the case, teams cannot keep all of them.