1. A pair of Seattle Seahawks have been giving props to the New England Patriots in recent weeks. Quarterback Russell Wilson delivered the commencement speech at the University of Wisconsin, his alma mater, and offered sage advice to the graduates: "If you're playing the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, and you've got 26 seconds left, and you're down by four, and it's second-and-goal on their 1 yard line, try not to throw an interception."
Cornerback Richard Sherman was palling around with Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and both were asked about the best quarterback in the NFL. "Tom Brady," Gronk responded. "He just is. But Russell [Wilson's] a great quarterback, a franchise QB. Gotta give him credit."
"Touchdown Tom," Sherman agreed with Gronk, using the nickname for Brady that was made popular by Jon Bois of SB Nation. "Wasn't Kobe [Bryant] the best player in the NBA with his five rings? Tom's got four rings. He gets the nod because of that."
Always nice to see respect around the league- especially when it benefits the Patriots.
2. And speaking of respect, Redditor RobbyJohnson found a video of three rivals discussing Tom Brady's abilities on the field after news broke of Brady's extension. All three of the players have a losing record against Brady.
"Just get him," former Chargers and Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson said about watching his defense face Brady. "Every time he drops back to pass, you're saying man, get the guy, put him on the ground.
"And it's funny because I was there his first start against us. The week before, [Drew] Bledose had got hurt, and I remember the Patriots announcing that Tom Brady was going to be the starter and I remember, man, we're in the meeting room like Tom Brady? Who is this? We're about to blitz him. This is going to be an easy game. The dude was so poised in his first start [against the Chargers], beyond his years, I mean he really led that team at that time to the playoffs that very first year. But the guy had looked like he had been playing for four, five years. We tried to blitz him, it didn't work. We tried to sit back, he picked us apart. So even in his first start, the guy was well beyond his years."
Tomlinson incorrectly remembers the result of Brady's first season as a starter (Playoffs? Really?), but he's right that Brady picked up 364 passing yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions against the Chargers. That was his coming out party.
"Tom Brady now, he looks at you and just gives you that nervousness," Broncos pass rusher Von Miller said. "Every time I'm in coverage and Tom Brady look over it's like, man, he's going to pass the ball to my guy. He's just a smart player.
"The connection that he has with [Rob] Gronkowski, I don't think there's ever been a connection like that in the National Football League. Some of the times he doesn't even need an offensive line. He just hut, throw to Gronkowski. Those last couple of plays in our game, the connection with him and Gronkowski- I'd never seen it before. I was nervous! Gronkowski was on fire, Brady was on fire. It was a great game, we were able to come out on top."
Hard to argue against this from Miller.
"I have a lot of respect for Tom Brady," former Chargers and Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie said. "The things that he does- he does a lot of things very well, especially in between the numbers. Finding Gronk, finding his guys underneath, throwing crossing routes, and picking the right options. He's always trying to find the advantage for him. And once he finds the advantage on the side, he's going to make sure he's going to capitalize on it."
Tomlinson even shouted out "Jimmy Garoppolo!" and threw up the "peace out" fingers, when talking about Brady's longevity. It's clear that even if these people don't really like facing Brady (Tomlinson says that Brady cost him a Super Bowl or two), they hold a ton of respect for him and his abilities on the field.
3. Daps to Vince Wilfork for pulling off the overalls with a fringe down in Houston. I miss this man.
Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) May 15, 2016
4. If you read two stories on the Patriots rookies, I advise you to check out the insight from the Herald's Jeff Howe. Howe put together an incredible piece on 4th round rookie wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell and his journey to become an avid reader- and how he's written a children's book of his own.
Howe also wrote about undrafted rookie cornerback V'Angelo Bentley befriending a 10-year-old with an incurable disease.
Howe did a great job with both stories.
5. An owner has told Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman that the odds of the Raiders moving to Las Vegas would be better than 50%, on the condition that Mark Davis sells the team, and that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is conducting the hype train. The prior concerns with Vegas was the clear connection between the city and gambling, which is not allowed by the league.
"One of the things owners see is there's a lot of money to be made there," the owner told Freeman while laughing. "A lot of money will ease those gambling concerns."
And that's the bottom line with so many of these owners- how much money can be made? FiveThirtyEight noted that Vegas was the second-most promising city in the United States without a professional football team, trailing only Los Angeles. Now that L.A. has a team, Vegas is the most enticing option.
The Raiders are currently sharing a market with the 49ers, who have a brand new stadium and won't be moving any time soon. The NFL would love to bring in a brand new market in Vegas, where the league would never be at a loss of people visiting to see the games.
Of course, the Raiders flirted with San Antonio (which ranked 5th by FiveThirtyEight, behind Sacramento and Virginia Beach), but Vegas is far more promising from a financial standpoint. Would anyone on the planet be surprised if the NFL made a decision purely for financial gain? No? Alright.