Posts Tagged ‘2020 NFL Season’

Dana White says Tom Brady nearly landed in Las Vegas during his free agency journey in 2020.

The UFC president claimed Saturday that former Raiders coach Jon Gruden called off a deal that would have seen both Brady and longtime tight end Rob Gronkowski join the silver and black.

White said he worked on getting Brady and Gronk to come to the Raiders. “It was almost a done deal, and at the last minute, Gruden blew the deal up and said he ‘didn’t want them,'” White said during the “UFC 278 with The Gronks” show.

White added that Brady was even looking at houses in the area before Gruden squashed the plan.

Last summer, Brady famously had strong words for a supposedly interested team that backed out at the last minute, saying, “There was a story in free agency, one of the teams, they were interested, and all of a sudden, they weren’t interested at the very end. I was sitting there thinking, ‘You’re sticking with that motherfucker? Are you serious?'”

The future Hall of Famer ended up choosing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who eventually also acquired Gronkowski from the New England Patriots in an April trade before the 2020 season.

Gronkowski noted on Saturday’s broadcast that he was “glad the deal fell through” with Las Vegas, and he believes it all worked out for the best.

Brady and Gronkowski went on to lead the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl LV win over the Kansas City Chiefs during their first campaign in Tampa Bay. The 45-year-old signal-caller led the league with 5,316 passing yards and 43 touchdowns.

Following a brief retirement earlier this year, Brady is back in Tampa Bay for his 23rd NFL season.

Tom Brady provided more details about his decision to return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason after a brief retirement, saying Wednesday that he wasn’t able to stay away from football due to his “appetite to compete.”

The legendary quarterback can already see the end of the tunnel, though.

“I think mostly when I kind of told the team, ‘Look, you know guys gotta make plans without me.’ And then (GM) Jason (Licht) and (coach) Bruce (Arians) said, ‘Just give it time,'” Brady said on “The Dan Patrick Show.” “I said, ‘Look, I feel pretty strongly.’

“Then time went by, and you just get super competitive. I think I’m part crazy. … Forty-five years old and I’m out here with a lot of young guys that are trying to take my head off. I see (Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman) Aaron Donald work out on my Instagram, and I’m like, ‘Damn, maybe I should’ve stayed retired because he’s a beast.'”

He continued: “But I had the appetite to compete, and it’s going to be gone soon. … I gotta, you know, just really appreciate the time I have left because it’s not a lot.”

Brady officially announced he’d play his 23rd NFL season March 13, less than two months after first announcing his retirement.

It’s still unclear when Brady will retire for good. However, the seven-time Super Bowl champion does know what’s waiting for him once he hangs up his cleats.

“It’s going to be a totally new career,” Brady said of his agreement to become Fox Sports’ lead NFL analyst after he retires. “It’s a new opportunity for me to try something that I’m going to work really hard to prepare to be as good as I could possibly can be, knowing that the day that I walk on the set for the first time won’t be my finest moment.

“There’ll be a lot of growing pains and I’ll have to learn to be really good at it, but I also think there’s part of it that excites me.”

Brady, who turns 45 in August, has shown no signs of slowing down on the field. He led the NFL in completions (485), passing yards (5,316), and touchdowns (43) en route to finishing second in MVP voting last season.

Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown seemed to have everything going his way in 2020, having his best season yet in the NFL on the way to earning his first Pro Bowl honor.

Behind his big smile, Brown said Thursday he was battling so hard with depression back then that he thought of killing himself. He shared a video on social media Nov. 12 on the one-year anniversary of that dark time, encouraging people to ask for help, and Brown told reporters Thursday that’s why he finally spoke up.

“It was a dark moment, and it was a year ago where I had thought about taking my life, you know? And it was special to me because it just came with my heart that I wanted to share with others and help others so much as I can,” Brown said of sharing his own struggle.

Growing up in Mississippi, Brown said he always brushed off his feelings and didn’t consider what depression really was. Brown wouldn’t share what led to his depression. Those feelings wound up almost overwhelming him.

Brown said he thought long and hard about posting the video he recorded earlier on Nov. 12. He was nervous about whether he should share his personal struggle with the world. Brown described what gave him the courage to do it.

“I just wanted to put out a positive message that I’m still here,” Brown said. “I’m still growing. I’m still learning. I’m blessed. I’ve got a lot of things to be grateful for and someone was there for me. So reach out to your loved ones and ask them how they’re doing and listen to them, you know, because it’s important.”

The response to Brown’s video has been very positive. Brown said a lot of men reached out, telling him what he shared was powerful. He also sat down with several Titans teammates who talked about their own struggles, which Brown says they need to do more often.

“You need to look out for one another,” Brown said. “I know we play this beautiful game, but you know, life is beautiful.”

Brown said it’s easy to put on a smile and pretend everything is OK. He credits former Mississippi teammate and roommate Elijah Moore, rookie with the New York Jets this season, with helping him through his most difficult moments. He also reached out for professional help, which he’s still using.

The receiver currently leads the Titans with 41 catches for 567 yards and three touchdowns.

Titans coach Mike Vrabel said Monday he appreciates Brown’s courage in speaking up about mental health. The coach focuses regularly on the mental health of the Titans and said he is glad they’ve been able to provide a safe space for people dealing with the strain that being in the NFL can put on professional athletes.

“Hopefully his message can help somebody else feel comfortable to seek help, get things off their chest, to be able to talk through things, and I think that is a great example,” Vrabel said.

Vrabel added that the Titans discussed a college football player whose death in November 2015 was ruled a suicide and how his mother thought her son seemed happy. That struck home with Vrabel, father of two sons, with one playing football at Boston College.

“Having kids that are going to start going off away from college and moving on and having their own life, these are real things we all deal with,” Vrabel said. “It is great when people can, especially significant professional football players or athletes, are willing to address it and willing to make statements about it.”

The Carolina Panthers nearly had a deal in place to acquire Matthew Stafford from the Detroit Lions before the quarterback stepped in and told his former team he wanted to join the Los Angeles Rams, sources told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

The Panthers reportedly moved aggressively to land Stafford in late January, offering the Lions a first-round pick and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Many involved in trade talks assumed the Panthers would eventually acquire Stafford, Rapoport adds.

Stafford’s initial choices for a new team reportedly included the Rams, Indianapolis Colts, and San Francisco 49ers. But after consulting with his family, he apparently made clear to the Lions he wanted to play for the Rams once talks with the Panthers heated up.

The veteran’s veto of a deal with the Panthers reportedly caused the Rams to up their offer. Los Angeles eventually sent Jared Goff and two first-round picks to Detroit.

Other offers for Stafford reportedly included multiple high picks from teams including the Colts, Denver Broncos, and the Washington Football Team. The Chicago Bears and the 49ers were also in the mix, though the latter never made a formal offer, Rapoport notes.

Stafford likely would have blocked any deal that didn’t send him to the Rams, a source told Rapoport.

The 33-year-old is set to make his first start for Los Angeles on Sunday night against the Bears.

The four Denver Broncos quarterbacks who were ruled ineligible for a game last season due to COVID-19 protocols tried to outsmart the NFL’s contact-tracing devices, the Los Angeles Times’ Sam Farmer reports.

The league directed the Broncos to sideline Drew LockBrett Rypien, and Blake Bortles for their Nov. 29, 2020, game against the New Orleans Saints after they were deemed close contacts to Jeff Driskel, who had tested positive for COVID-19. With all four signal-callers out, Denver was forced to start practice squad wide receiver Kendall Hilton.

According to Farmer’s report, the NFL declined to postpone the contest after surveillance footage showed the quarterbacks placing their contact-tracing devices in the four corners of their meeting room while watching film:

John Elway, Denver’s president of football operations, made several frustrated pleas to Goodell to postpone the Sunday game until Tuesday, when the quarterbacks would be available. The league denied those requests because surveillance video from Denver’s facility showed the quarterbacks had tried to fool the system. They had removed their contact-tracing devices and put them in the four corners of the meeting room, then they sat together to watch film. That close contact automatically made them ineligible to play.

The Broncos went on to lose 31-3 to the Saints.

Tom Brady is still baffled by the fact so many teams passed on him when he was a free agent in 2020.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback recently went viral for his reaction to being snubbed by a mystery team.

“You’re sticking with that motherfucker? Are you serious?” he said of his thoughts to the news.

But Brady still has more to say on the issue.

“I think what you realize is that there’s not as many smart people as you think. It’s just the reality,” he told SiriusXM.

He added: “It’d be a no-brainer if you said, ‘Hey, you’ve got a chance to get Wayne Gretzky on your team,’ or, ‘You get a chance to have Michael Jordan on your team.'”

However, the seven-time Super Bowl champion still won’t name the teams to which he’s referring.

“There’s private things for me that are going to remain motivational for me. They know who they are,” he said.

“In my mind, I’m kind of thinking, ‘OK, let me go show those teams what they’re missing. And at the same time, let me go prove to the team that did bet on me, and the team that really showed that they really wanted me and committed to me, that I’m not going to let them down,'” he added.

Several teams were linked to Brady after his departure from the New England Patriots, including the Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts, and San Francisco 49ers. The Raiders and Chargers were considered by many to be the front-runners.

Some around the NFL reportedly believed the Raiders could’ve been the team that slighted Brady in free agency, with quarterback Derek Carr being the “motherfucker” in question.

However, Carr answered those rumors, saying: “From what I know, it wasn’t me.”

Brady helped completely turn around the Buccaneers last year. Tampa Bay made the postseason for the first time since 2007 en route to its second Super Bowl title.

Additionally, the 43-year-old finished last season with 4,633 yards and 40 touchdowns – his best statistical campaign since 2015 – despite reportedly playing the entire year with a torn MCL.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has said he played all of last season with a knee injury, and now the exact nature of the ailment has been revealed.

Brady suffered a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee during the passer’s final season with the New England Patriots, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

The 43-year-old underwent surgery to repair the MCL shortly after winning his seventh career Super Bowl in February. He’s since declined to go into specifics about the injury, only saying he knew all of last year surgery would be required, and that it was “pretty serious.”

Brady produced one of his best statistical campaigns in 2020 despite the knee issue. The veteran’s 40 touchdown passes were the second-most of his career, while his 4,633 passing yards ranked third in the NFL.

The signal-caller didn’t participate in the Buccaneers’ voluntary offseason program, instead opting to work out with teammates privately before returning for mandatory minicamp in June.

Brady signed a one-year extension with Tampa Bay in March after inking a two-year, $50-million contract as a free agent last offseason.

The arrival of Jalen Hurts was the beginning of the end for Carson Wentz in Philadelphia, but former Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said Wednesday the team didn’t mean to pressure its starter by selecting another quarterback in the second round of the 2020 draft.

“You go into drafts and you go into each year looking for quarterbacks,” Pederson said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “And we continued to look for quarterbacks, and that’s always something that will never change. We won a Super Bowl with our backup quarterback. And we’ve had to play with our backups a couple of times in Philadelphia.

“So we did that a year ago and brought in Jalen Hurts. Not to undermine Carson Wentz, not to do anything to take away his job or anything because Carson was definitely our starter. He was the franchise and all that moving forward. But someone that could come in and could be the backup and learn how to play the NFL game – bring his talent to the Philadelphia Eagles.”

While the Eagles didn’t intend for Hurts to usurp Wentz just a year after signing the latter to a four-year, $128-million contract extension, the starter’s poor play forced their hand.

Wentz was benched for Hurts after throwing 15 interceptions and taking 50 sacks – both NFL highs – through Week 13. The veteran then reportedly requested a trade instead of competing for the starting job in 2021, ultimately moving to the Indianapolis Colts for a conditional 2022 second-round pick and a 2021 third-rounder.

Wentz’s regression from MVP candidate in 2017 to one of the NFL’s worst statistical starters was held up as the main reason for the Eagles’ worst finish of the Pederson era. However, the head coach believes the team’s failure doesn’t rest solely on the quarterback’s shoulders.

“As the season began, things just started to kind of, I guess, spiral out of control,” Pederson said. “Injuries began to set in. We weren’t playing very well. Turnovers offensively – just a number of things – penalties, more injuries, compounded problems, and it just became harder and harder as the year wore on. No one person is to blame for any of what happened last year.”

Pederson is sitting out the 2021 season after being fired but said recently he hopes to return to coaching in 2022.

The Eagles have opted against handing Hurts the starting job after bringing in Joe Flacco, but the sophomore signal-caller is widely expected to be under center in Week 1.

Meanwhile, Wentz said in late June that he feels “a new passion for the game” after joining the Colts and reuniting with head coach Frank Reich, who previously served as the Eagles’ offensive coordinator.

The mysterious team that passed on Tom Brady in free agency is still unknown.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback recently said he was shocked after an organization remained uninterested in him at the end of last year’s free agency. Brady added his initial thought after being snubbed was, “You’re sticking with that motherfucker? Are you serious?”

Many in NFL circles began connecting dots after Brady’s quote became public, and the team he was talking about was reportedly believed to be the Las Vegas Raiders, led by Derek Carr.

However, Carr has heard he wasn’t the “motherfucker” in question.

“From what I know, it wasn’t me,” Carr recently said on “Brother from Another.”

“If it was, I’ve gotten in enough trouble trying to challenge people to fights. But, as a man, Tom, I know you got the rings, but if it’s not me, then we’re good. What I heard, it wasn’t me. And so I’m good with that.”

The Raiders were among several clubs linked to Brady during his free agency period. The Los Angeles Chargers, Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts, and San Francisco 49ers were also associated with the superstar signal-caller.

Carr, 30, has posted two of the best seasons of his career in recent years, recording a passer rating above 100 in both 2019 and 2020. The three-time Pro Bowler is 15-17 in that span.

Tom Brady hasn’t revealed which club snubbed him during his free agency last March and provoked his resentment, but many in league circles are connecting the dots.

NFL sources believe the team Brady claimed remained uninterested at the end of his free agency was the Las Vegas Raiders, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.

On HBO’s “The Shop: Uninterrupted,” Brady said when the unidentified organization backed out, his initial thought was, “You’re sticking with that motherfucker? Are you serious?”

Based on the belief that the Raiders were the ones that dropped out of the running for the quarterback’s services, pivot Derek Carr would be the “motherfucker” in question.

Las Vegas, the Los Angeles Chargers, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were thought to be the front-runners for the superstar’s services during his free agency period. The Chargers reportedly believed Brady would stay on the East Coast for family considerations. The club also didn’t have an incumbent quarterback after allowing Philip Rivers to sign elsewhere.

When asked if the Raiders would pursue Brady, head coach Jon Gruden responded, “We love our quarterback.”

The San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans were reportedly also among the teams who considered taking a run at signing Brady.

The 43-year-old ultimately joined Tampa Bay and led the team to a Super Bowl victory in February.

Brady said he would get his revenge on the franchise that didn’t want him, vowing, “I’m gonna go fuck you up because of that.”

The Bucs didn’t play the 49ers or Titans in 2020, but they did score wins over both Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Brady threw for five touchdowns in a 38-31 win over the Chargers, with rookie Justin Herbert leading the way. The former New England Patriot then went off for 369 yards and four touchdowns three weeks later in a 45-20 win over Carr and the Raiders.