I have been a New England Patriots fan since I was 9 years old. Since then, I have heard countless rumors about roster moves that the Patriots will make, and almost none of them have any real ground to stand on. It seems as though whenever a big name player is unhappy with his contract, wants to be traded or is now a free agent, the general consensus is to send him to New England. At first, I would get my hopes up and actually believe some of these rumors, but now the rumors hardly faze me as they keep coming in waves.
Remember a few years back when there was a rumor that the Patriots would trade then WR Wes Welker for the Jaguars’ RB Maurice Jones-Drew? This was before the Patriots drafted Ridley or Vereen, and it was also before Jones-Drew went through an onslaught of injuries. That rumor quickly died off.
Not long after that story, another one arose stating that the Patriots were going to trade for WR Larry Fitzgerald, and of course, that also didn’t happen. The rumor indicated that the Patriots were going to trade for Fitzgerald and his massive contract, even though the Patriots weren’t even close in being able to cover the cap hit he would bring. The only merit that rumor had was that the Patriots asked about Fitzgerald a while back and that was as far as the trade talks ever went.
Last season after TE Aaron Hernandez was released; a rumor was circulating stating the Patriots were going to trade for Jermichael Finley, who had just signed a contract extension with the Packers. The Packers had no interest in trading Finley, and the Patriots had no interest in trading for him. The rumor surfaced due to the Patriots need for a tight end since Gronk was still recovering from injury. Last year’s Achilles heel of the roster was the lack of TE depth after Gronk went down. So, obviously the trade never happened.
After watching the Patriots’ WR core struggle at times and DeSean Jackson fall out of favor with the Eagles, it seemed only natural for the trade rumors to sprout up. Once the Eagles were willing to part with Jackson, the Patriots inquired about him, and his massive contract. Trade talks went no further than that, but rumors that the Patriots would trade WR Danny Amendola for Jackson continued. Once the Eagles released Jackson, rumors continued stating that the Patriots would just sign him. The rumors continued even though there were stories stating that Jackson was released by the Eagles due to suspected gang ties, even though there was no proof Jackson had any involvement with gang activity.
Now, even in this off-season, crazy trade rumors are still focused on New England. These rumors include trading WR Andre Jonson for QB Ryan Mallett. At first, this rumor sounds like will work out perfectly for both sides: Johnson doesn’t want to be part of another rebuild and the Patriots drafted their QB of the future, who isn’t Mallett. However, this rumor contrasts with what we have previously heard. Bill Belicheck has stated numerous times that Mallett is not up for trade and Texans head coach, Bill O’Brian, doesn’t want to trade Johnson. Not only are Johnson and Mallett not on the trade block, Johnson’s contract wouldn’t fit in the Patriots cap space anyway. This Johnson/Mallett rumor sounds good at first, but it falls apart due to a lack of interest by both teams. Mallettis insurance in case Brady gets hurt, because Garappolo still has a way to go until he can see playing time on the field. If the Patriots don’t mind letting Mallett walk in free agency next season, and get nothing for his service except insurance this year if Brady is injured, I’m fine with that.
The most recent rumor that has begun circulating, even though it doesn’t involve trade talks, is the rumor is that this will be Tom Brady’s last year as the starting Patriots QB. I fully believe this is complete nonsense. Tom Brady has more pep in his throws and more fire in his heart than Peyton Manning, or any other QB in their 30’s. Rumors that Brady will take a back seat to QB Jimmy Garappolo next season are just nonsense, plain and simple. IT WON’T HAPPEN. Brady is the greatest QB ever; no one has done more with less ever at that position. So, to hint that the greatest QB ever, who shows little sign of fatigue, will take a back seat to Garappolo by next year is ridiculous. Brady exemplified his abilities to do more with less when rookie receivers were out of place or hurt (which was more often than not), Brady couldn’t make them be in the right place or run their routes for them. But Brady still managed to get the team to the championship game for a third straight year and make the Pro bowl again. If anything, this could be is Peyton Manning’s last year as a starting QB. Manning’s production is deteriorating, everyone saw the Super Bowl and how his passes looked like he was throwing wounded ducks in the air. The rumors of a QB hanging it up should be focused on Manning, not Brady. Brady can still throw the ball and lead the team. So what if he can’t pull the team forwards as hard as he used to? He shouldn’t have to be relied on as much as he has been. Brady is the glue that has hidden many cracks in former Patriots teams. In his entire career as a starter, he has only missed the playoffs once, and he isn’t going away anytime soon; and neither are the rumors.