Tom Brady took to Facebook Wednesday morning to wish his wife Gisele Bundchen a Happy Birthday as she turned 36 years old.

The quarterback wrote: Happy Birthday to the love of my life. May this year be your best and brightest and most fulfilling. We love you!

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Julian Edelman enjoyed the celebration around the Patriots' most recent Super Bowl title. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Julian Edelman enjoyed the celebration around the Patriots’ most recent Super Bowl title. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

As the countdown to training camp begins later this month, we’re looking at the 20 most important members of the Patriots heading into 2016.

3. Wide receiver Julian Edelman

Height: 6-foot
Weight: 198 pounds
Age: 30 (will turn 31 on May 22)

Resume: A seventh-round pick out of Kent State in 2009, the former college quarterback has become one of the most trusted receivers Tom Brady has ever had. He impressed as a rookie with 37 catches, but it truly took him a few years to evolve as a receiver. He eventually found his footing in 2013, following the departure of Wes Welker — with the loss of Welker in free agency, the door was open, and Edelman kicked it down. In the last three years, he’s caught 258 passes and 17 touchdowns, one of just nine pass catchers who has topped at least 250 receptions in that stretch. (His career year came in 2013, when he finished with 105 catches for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns.) He’s also managed to carve out an impressive career as a punt returner — Edelman has a 12.0 career punt return average, third in the NFL since the 1970 merger. (Only Rick Upchurch and Devin Hester at 12.1 yards per return are better.) In addition, he has four punt returns for touchdowns, most in franchise history.

Why we ranked him here: When it comes to the Patriots, “Minitron” is the latest in a long line of slightly undersized pass catchers who have distinguished themselves as Brady’s favorites for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that they usually have an outstanding catch rate, quality yards after the catch and make guys miss on a consistent basis. No one moves the chains quite like Edelman, who has an astounding chemistry with the quarterback that allows him to make plays that no one else on the roster can make. His status will bear watching this summer because he was in and out of a walking boot this offseason, and wasn’t on the field for spring workouts (at least the sessions that were open to the media). From this viewpoint, you can make an argument about Edelman or Rob Gronkowski when it comes to No. 2 vs. No. 3 on this list. But when it comes to overall importance, particularly as it relates to the success of Brady and the New England passing game, Edelman is clearly worthy of a spot in the top 3.

Quote: “He’s always been one of the hardest workers, one of the hardest workers I’ve ever played with [and] one of the most determined young men that’s on this team. And he’s got as much heart as anybody.” — Brady on Edelman, 1/16/16

Random Note: In the last three seasons, Edelman has more regular-season catches than Larry Fitzgerald (254), Calvin Johnson (243) and Jimmy Graham (219).

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Rob Gronkowski threw out the first pitch prior to Tuesday’s Red Sox-Giants game at Fenway Park and while he didn’t spike it, he did throw a strike to the Red Sox designated hitter.

Rob Gronkowski threw a strike to David Ortiz pic.twitter.com/0xJSiiLNOi

Rob Gronkowski threw out the first pitch prior to Tuesday’s Red Sox-Giants game at Fenway Park and while he didn’t spike it, he did throw a strike to the Red Sox designated hitter.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Tom Brady almost got Kevin Durant to wear green. Almost.

On Monday, Durant reiterated how close the Patriots’ quarterback got to convincing him to come to Boston.

Tom Brady almost got Kevin Durant to wear green. Almost.

On Monday, Durant reiterated how close the Patriots’ quarterback got to convincing him to come to Boston.

“I was ready to just say, ‘OK, let’s go,'” Durant told reporters he recalled after hearing Brady’s sales pitch. “Just seeing someone so successful at his craft. He’s a great ambassador for the game of football and the city of Boston. It’s great to be in the presence of such greatness. But at the same time, I knew I couldn’t let that distract me.”

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patrots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Tom Brady had an eventful offseason. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)As training camp looms at the end of the month, here’s a quick look back at the 10 biggest offseason headlines involving the Patriots.



Roger Goodell offered his first public comments in the wake of Tom Brady’s announcement late last week to drop his Deflategate appeal and take the four-game suspension.

Roger Goodell offered his first public comments in the wake of Tom Brady’s announcement late last week to drop his Deflategate appeal and take the four-game suspension.

Speaking with Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post on Monday night at the premiere of a documentary on ALS-stricken former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason, the commissioner said he and the league have put the whole affair behind them.

“We moved on from that as a league quite a long time ago,” Goodell told the Post.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Dont'a Hightower landed at No. 5 on our countdown. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Dont’a Hightower landed at No. 5 on our countdown. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

As the countdown to training camp begins later this month, we’re looking at the 20 most important members of the Patriots heading into 2016. We are down to our top three, which we’re set to unveil over the last few days. But first, here’s a quick look back at 4 through 20 to get you caught up.

4. Cornerback Malcolm Butler
5. Linebacker Dont’a Hightower
6. Linebacker Jamie Collins
7. Defensive back Devin McCourty
8. Running back Dion Lewis
9. Defensive end Jabaal Sheard
10. Tight end Martellus Bennett
11. Left tackle Nate Solder
12. Defensive lineman Malcom Brown
13. Defensive end Rob Ninkovich
14. Centers Bryan Stork/David Andrews
15. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski
16. Wide receiver Danny Amendola
17. Right tackle Sebastian Vollmer
18. Defensive end Chris Long
19. Special teamer Matthew Slater
20. Cornerback Cyrus Jones

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price