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New England Patriots links 1/05/21 - 2020 Patriots season ended early but the team never quit

Daily news and links for Tuesday

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New York Jets v New England Patriots
Cam Newton celebrates Devin Asiasi’s first touchdown
Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images



  • Evan Lazar’s Advanced Stats Report: Where do key Patriots rank at seasons end? Rookie right tackle Michael Onwenu was among the league’s best at his position in his first season.
  • Doug Kyed spotlights the bright spots in Sunday’s win over the Jets, and which players provided a glimmer of hope for the future.
  • Michael Hurley serves up some still-warm leftover Patriots thoughts: Cam Newton had a splendid farewell party; More. “In a cutthroat, bottom-line business like the NFL, sometimes a positive for one person who worked hard and tried his best is a moment worth celebrating.”
  • Jerry Thornton shares his knee-jerk reactions to Pats-Jets Week 17: “I’m not going to put too fine a point on this one. We don’t do moral victories here. Like I said last week, I prefer the good old fashioned immoral ones. But even in what was a lost season by the standards of this franchise, it’s important to appreciate that this team never packed it in. Never let up. Never gave up. Never run around and desert you. Never quit playing to the whistle.”
  • Doug Kyed gives us his Patriots-Jets Takeaways: Chase Winovich excels through hand injury, ending a spotty season strong; More.
  • Chad Finn thinks 12 thoughts on the Patriots’ 28-14 win. 1. Taking all sentiment out of it, the Patriots may have been better off losing their finale of this lost season Sunday.
  • Dave D’Onofrio offers five takeaways following the Patriots’ season-ending win over the Jets. 2. Tricks were a treat all season.
  • Zack Cox notes TE Devin Asiasi finally breaks through in Week 17, catching his first pass and his first touchdown.
  • Doug Kyed mentions the bizarre way Bill Belichick discovered Jakobi Meyers could throw in Patriots practice as further proof that Belichick notices everything.
  • Hayden Bird notes Julian Edelman praised his teammates for fighting ‘to the last whistle.’
  • Phil Perry issues his final Patriots Report Card: Cam Newton, Pats offense save the best for last.
  • Steve Balestrieri (PatsFans) Patriots Week 17 Report Card in 28-14 win over the Jets. “Regardless of their struggles this year, the team played hard, there was no finger-pointing, and the games were intriguing to watch as they were forced to make big changes.”
  • Zack Cox picks his 2020 Patriots season superlatives to call out the studs and duds for a disappointing season.
  • Mike Reiss reports Cam Newton acknowledged that he didn’t have the 2020 season he had hoped for, but he stopped short of saying he would accept a backup role as he considers free-agent options this offseason.
  • Doug Kyed says Cam Newton had trouble grasping the Patriots offense this season.
  • Ryan Hannable highlights WEEI guest Cam Newton: ‘Do I want to be a backup? Hell no.’
  • Evan Lazar presents his Patriots Offseason Game Plan Pt. 1: Upgrading passing offense is Pats’ top priority.
  • Tom E. Curran comes up with five bold predictions for the Patriots offseason. 1. Patriots acquire a top-tier offensive threat.
  • Eric Wilbur suggests the Patriots are facing a bigger dilemma than who plays quarterback next season, “the team is in the midst of an identity crisis that it didn’t have to really address during the 2020 season.”
  • Doug Kyed sees J.C. Jackson’s final performance as emblematic of his 2020 season, letting up big plays but making bigger ones. So, what’s his future as a restricted free agent?
  • Conor Roche reports Matthew Slater will ‘take some time’ on making any retirement decision.
  • Tom E. Curran thumbnails 10 Patriots who may not be around after the 2020 NFL season. Fortunately, New England has plenty of cap space. That means they won’t have to make painful cuts of players who are still key contributors.
  • Doug Kyed creates a depth chart made up of only players signed for the 2021 season to see how the roster stacks up.
  • Dave Green takes a closer look at the Patriots 2021 NFL free agency to see which players will be free agents.
  • Zack Cox takes a look at the Patriots’ 25-player list of impending free agents.
  • Matthew Geagan takes a quick look at New England’s 22 unrestricted free agents.
  • Mike Reiss finds Bill Belichick already identifying how young players could fit in 2021.
  • Tom E. Curran disputes Bill Belichick’s assessment of the Pats’ decline, saying it was bad drafting and nothing to do with past ‘aggressiveness.’
  • Andrew Callahan takes a look at the Patriots’ 2021 opponents: Tom Brady’s Buccaneers, Colts and likely Cowboys scheduled.
  • Adam London highlights WEEI guest Boomer Esiason suggesting that the Patriots might go after a veteran QB this offseason instead of dealing with a rookie QB growing pains, especially if the organization isn’t truly in love with this year’s prospects.
  • CBS Boston passes along a report: NFL insiders believe 49ers could move on from Jimmy Garoppolo.
  • Michael Hurley tells us how Tom Brady’s season compared to every 43-year-old quarterback ever.
  • Michael Hurley highlights Tom Brady’s 40th TD of the season, the second-best TD total of his Hall of Fame career.
  • Dakota Randall passes along a report saying the Patriots ‘explored’ a trade for QB Kyle Allen, who would up landing with Washington.
  • Patriots Talk podcast: Tom E. Curran, Phil Perry and Matt Cassel discuss why they think the Pats went 6-9, do they have ‘the belly’ to do what it takes to rebuild, and more.
  • Locked On Patriots podcast: Mike D’Abate and Thomas Murphy discuss the positives from Sunday’s win, the future of Cam and the QB position in New England, and more. (43 min.)


  • Albert Breer (SI) Monday Afternoon QB: NFL Combine could be in flux, Broncos deliver Black Monday surprise; Plus why Sean McDermott should be considered for Coach of the Year and more.
  • Nick Wagoner (ESPN) Final NFL stat leaders in every major category for 2020 season. Cam Newton tied for 4th (with Nick Chubb) in rushing touchdowns (12). J.C. Jackson was No. 2 in Interceptions (9) tying him with Ty Law for the second most by a Patriot since the merger.
  • Ben Linsey (Pro Football Focus) PFF’s 2020 NFL All-Rookie Team: Chargers’ Justin Herbert starts at QB, Vikings’ Justin Jefferson earns WR1 spot. Michael Onwenu earns a spot here too.
  • Cameron Wolfe (ESPN) No. 3 pick will reveal how committed Dolphins are to Tua Tagovailoa.
  • Jeff Legwold (ESPN) John Elway cedes control of Denver Broncos roster, to hire GM. /It’s all about the QB.