On two occasions when Peyton Manning has ended the Patriots' season in the AFC title game, Bill Belichick has responded with some seismic personnel moves. After the latest AFC playoff loss, will we see more from New England this offseason?</p>
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Chris Price and Mike Petraglia discuss the top priorities for the Patriots as the off-season begins. Who do they need to pursue in free agency, who do they need to keep, and what areas of the roster do they need to address?

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia
Chris Price and Mike Petraglia discuss the top priorities for the Patriots as the off-season begins. Who do they need to pursue in free agency, who do they need to keep, and what areas of the roster do they need to address?

The list of combine invitees was announced Thursday, and there are seven players with New England connections who are slated to attend.

Boston College
Defensive lineman Mehdi Abdesmad
Linebacker Steven Daniels
Defensive back Justin Simmons
Defensive lineman Connor Wujciak

Harvard
Tight end Ben Braunecker
Tackle Cole Toner

UMass
Wide receiver Tajae Sharpe

Among the leaders, Ohio State received the most invites (14), while Notre Dame (10), Alabama (9), Florida (8), Auburn (8) and Clemson (8) will also be well-represented later this month in Indianapolis. Check out the full list here.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
WR Josh Gordon has applied for reinstatement to the NFL (Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports)

WR Josh Gordon has applied for reinstatement to the NFL (Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports)

When it comes to the Patriots and some of their potential needs this offseason, a wide receiver, particularly a deep threat is on that list.

These are hard to find in the NFL, but one might soon be available, but he comes with a lot of baggage — Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon.

Gordon was suspended for the 2015 season after he repeatedly violated the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He did apply for reinstatement late last month and commissioner Roger Goodell addressed his status at his state of the league address last Friday in San Francisco.

“We did get the letter from Josh,” Goodell said. “The process is that we’€™ll go back and we’€™ll look at how he’€™s conducted himself over the last several months, what he’€™s done to make sure it’€™s consistent with the terms of a suspension and at some stage, we’€™ll have a report on that and I will engage with our people to understand where he is, where he’€™s been but most importantly where he’€™s going. When these things happen, it’€™s about trying to avoid them in the future. Our number one issue here is to prevent these things from happening.

“I’€™m hopeful that Josh understands that he’€™s going to have to conduct himself differently going forward to be a member of the NFL and to be representing the Cleveland Browns, or any team in the NFL. So, our job is to try to get people to understand that, try to make sure they live by the policies we have and ensure that this is what all of us in the league want, but also I think what the fans want. Our fans want our players playing by the same rules.”

When he has been on the field, Gordon has put up ridiculous numbers.

In 2012, his rookie year and only full season in the league, Gordon caught 50 passes for 805 yards and five touchdowns. In 2013, he had 87 catches for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns in just 14 games — an insanely good season, especially considering it was with the Browns, one of the worst offenses in the NFL.

Sadly for Gordon, he’s most known for his actions off the field, rather than on the field. His issues started in college when he was dismissed from the team at Baylor and entered the 2012 supplemental draft after testing positive for marijuana. Last year was the third straight season he has served time for violating the substance abuse program. It’s clear he has issues, but at just 24 years old, it does appear he’s at least trying to get back on the right track.

Would the Patriots, or any team for that matter, take a chance on Gordon? It would be tough to do, even at what would likely be a league-minimum, one-year deal as Gordon needs to prove he’s changed. New England is no stranger to taking chances with “bad character” players — Randy Moss, Corey Dillon, Aqib Talib and Albert Haynesworth just to name a few.

The Patriots also aren’t afraid of any of the media attention that may come with signing a player like him, as they have dealt with the media circus that came with signing Tim Tebow and most recently Deflatagate.

But, Gordon is different because his issues are legal issues. Would the Patriots want to get involved with that?

There is no question Gordon would be a huge help to the Patriots’ passing game and 39-year-old Tom Brady, but the biggest question is whether or not the Patriots would want to be associated with a player like Gordon who so far in his football career is most known for his actions off the field, rather than on the field.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Looking back at the 2015 season in an exclusive 1-on-1 interview with WCVB’s Maria Stephanos, Patriots owner Robert Kraft talked about Tom Brady

Robert Kraft

Robert Kraft

Looking back at the 2015 season in an exclusive 1-on-1 interview with WCVB’s Maria Stephanos, Patriots owner Robert Kraft talked about Tom Brady being booed at the Super Bowl, his biggest regret from the season, among other things.

Kraft’s biggest regret may be the same as many Patriots fans — not having the AFC title game at home.

“I think, if I have any regrets, it’s that that conference championship wasn’t played here in our hometown,” Kraft said. “We’ve won seven division titles in a row, so I am pretty proud that in my opinion, we have the greatest coach and greatest quarterback of all-time. Having that chemistry with them together, the leadership they bring.”

Despite not reaching the Super Bowl, Kraft acknowledged the team’s mental toughness as they had to deal with a lot of things during the course of the season, starting with Deflategate.

“If you’re running businesses anywhere in the world, the people who really do well, are the people who have mental toughness.” Kraft said. “People talk about it, but this team had a lot of distractions, a lot of physical injuries and that whole next man up and mental toughness was amazing.”

The Patriots owner is also hopeful Brady and Bill Belichick retire as members of the Patriots.

“I sure hope so. That is my plan,” he said. “I’ve learned to take one year at a time and root for the best, but we’ve had the consistency of having Bill and Tom for 16 years. I was thinking about it — we’ve finished 22 seasons and I’ve had two quarterbacks in 22 years. Start the season, Drew [Bledsoe] and Tom. You just look at the teams in our division and see how many quarterbacks they’ve had since we’ve been in. We’re pretty lucky and part of our philosophy is to have stability and consistency.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

In the late stages of Super Bowl 50, there was a shot of the Manning family suite broadcast on television with family members celebrating after a Denver touchdown. Everyone appeared to be having a good time, except for Eli Manning. The Giants quarterback explained why he was holding back his emotions in an interview with TMZ Sports:

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

From a Patriots perspective, the biggest story from Super Bowl 50 was Tom Brady being booed when he was introduced with the previous Super Bowl MVP winners.

Tom Brady was booed at Super Bowl 50.  (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Tom Brady was booed at Super Bowl 50. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

From a Patriots perspective, the biggest story from Super Bowl 50 was Tom Brady being booed when he was introduced with the previous Super Bowl MVP winners.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft was at the game and in an exclusive 1-on-1 interview with WCVB’s Maria Stephanos on Wednesday, he shared his thoughts on what happened.

“I mean to us, we didn’t hear it,” Kraft said. “We just heard loud noise and I just heard cheers everywhere around me. I didn’t find out what people — all the social media chatter, and I think there were a lot of Denver fans and Raider fans in the audience since it was so close. I don’t know. I think they see us as a big rival.

“He is such a classy, wonderful guy. He went there representing our team, our coaches, our fans.”

Kraft was also asked if he saw Roger Goodell at all during the week.

Typically he would see him at Goodell’s state of the league on Friday, but there was a Hall of Fame luncheon during that time so Kraft went to that instead.

The Patriots owner did say he talked to him briefly at the owners’ meeting Thursday night, but the conversation wasn’t “eventful.”

A lot of Patriots fans have wondered why the treatment of Peyton Manning and his case with HGH being sent to his home has been handled differently both in the media and with the league than Deflategate with Brady last year at this time.

“Well, I’ll let you and all the media experts opine on that,” Kraft said. “I happened to see Archie [Manning] there. He has two sons now who have won two Super Bowls, but with all due respect, we have one son who has won four.”

Kraft also relayed a gameday superstition where he typically uses an electric razor, but on gameday he uses a straight edge Gillette.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable