Please Don’t Make Me Write a Jersey Number Post in April

-by DNOMN8R314

Free agency has wound down, the draft is in less than a month, there have been no new articles here in over a week, and I’m out of wordplay. I don’t want to default to a jersey number post right now.

Please don’t make me.

…fine.

In the 2018 league year, the Patriots have added eight [EDIT: nine] new players to the roster. New England doesn’t announce jersey numbers until sometime after announcing UDFA signings – and when they do, you bet I will right [EDIT: write – thx Mesko] at least one article on them – so for now on my own kept roster I have to guess who will get assigned what digits.

Here are my guesses, in the order of team acquisition.

Danny Shelton
Position: DT
Allowed numbers: 50-79, 90-99
Previously worn numbers: 55 (college, CLE), 71 (CLE)
Available numbers in New England: 58, 65, 66, 67, 71, 77, 92, 94, 97

Shelton has worn 55 in his career to honor Junior Seau. When he was first drafted by Cleveland, Alex Mack was a mainstay with 55, so Shelton took 71 until Mack signed with the Falcons. In New England, 55 is currently worn by defensive end Eric Lee, but it’s a possibility that Shelton is able to acquire the digits. For now, I’ll guess that if Lee keeps 55, Shelton will wear 72 (worn by guard Jason King, but shareable in the offseason), but if Shelton takes the number, Lee moves to 58. I’ll lean towards the second right now.

Jason McCourty
Position: CB
Allowed numbers: 20-49
Previously worn numbers: 25 (college), 30 (TEN, CLE)
Available numbers in New England: 21, 29, 33, 44, 45

Both of McCourty’s older numbers are occupied by current Patriots in the secondary: Eric Rowe wears 25 while Duron Harmon has 30. Of the five available options, two stand out most to me: 33, which is next to his twin brother Devin’s 32, and 21, Devin’s college number. Both would be good choices but I picked 21 for two reasons: I like the idea of Jason wearing Devin’s college number, and I find 21 is more associated with cornerbacks right now than 33.

Adrian Clayborn
Position: DE
Allowed numbers: 50-79, 90-99
Previously worn numbers: 94 (college, TB), 99 (ATL)
Available numbers in New England: 58, 65, 66, 67, 71, 77, 92, 94, 97

Until I looked up Clayborn’s prior numbers for writing this, my guess was 97. I’ve immediately switched to 94, although I’m still inclined to think 97 would be a little sharper for a defensive end. A quick check on NFL Shop’s jersey customizer, though, and 94 looks good too.

Jeremy Hill
Position: RB
Allowed numbers: 20-49
Previously worn numbers: 32 (CIN), 33 (college)
Available numbers in New England: 21, 29, 33, 44, 45

The number 33 jumps out right away: I picked it first because it was adjacent to the 32 he wore as a Bengal, but learning Hill wore it in college cemented my choice. If Jason McCourty takes 33, my second guess for Hill is 21 – just a guess.

PRE-PUBLISH EDIT: I was a few paragraphs down and remembered it’s always good to check players’ Twitter accounts for number hints. Hill’s Twitter avatar is a graphic of a “Hill 33” Patriots jersey. Guess this one can be locked in.

Matt Tobin
Position: T
Allowed numbers: 60-79
Previously worn numbers: 60 (college), 64 (PHI), 73 (SEA)
Available numbers in New England: 65, 66, 67, 71, 77

With no clear pattern and no available previous numbers, I had to make an educated guess for this one, and went with 67. Departed free agent tackles Nate Solder and Cameron Fleming vacated 77 and 71, respectively, and I’m guessing New England wouldn’t immediately give those numbers to a tackle signed as depth. With the three 60s numbers left, I reasoned that in general 70s numbers are associated with tackles (yes, I know the Patriots have three tackles on the roster in the 60s), so I picked the number with a 7 in it.

Cordarrelle Patterson
Position: WR
Allowed numbers: 10-19, 80-89
Previously worn numbers: 84 (college, MIN, OAK)
Available numbers in New England: 10, 14, 16, 17, 80, 86, 88

Patterson has always worn 84 but that is currently donned by Riley McCarron, a receiver who spent most of last year on the Patriots’ practice squad. Like my guess for Shelton, I could see McCarron giving up the number and switching. McCarron wore 83 in college, but that currently belongs to Dwayne Allen. If Allen were to be released, my guess would be easy – Patterson takes 84 and McCarron switches to 83. But since that has not happened, I’ll make two guesses again. If McCarron keeps 84, I would guess 14 for Patterson, but the Brandin Cooks trade happened after Patterson’s acquisition, so my guess will be 17, the remaining number with the least-round last digit. If Patterson takes 84 for, my guess for McCarron is 16, simply because I think that would look good on a smaller receiver (wish you could’ve been here last year, Andrew Hawkins) and giving him Danny Amendola’s old 80 would be too cliche. As earlier, I’m leaning toward the second option.

Troy Niklas
Position: TE
Allowed numbers: 40-49, 80-89
Previously worn numbers: 85 (college), 87 (ARI)
Available numbers in New England: 44, 45, 80, 86, 88

Obviously Niklas’ Cardinals number of 87 is taken, and Kenny Britt wears his Notre Dame 85. I don’t think Niklas will wear a number in the 40s (I do hope Pats TE Will Tye switches to 44 or 45, which would open up 82), and have picked 88. While 86 would split his two previous numbers, 88 has been worn more by tight ends in recent Patriots history, from Christian Fauria to Martellus Bennett.

Luke Bowanko
Position: C
Allowed numbers: 50-79
Previously worn numbers: 61 (BAL), 70 (college, JAX)
Available numbers in New England: 58, 65, 66, 67, 71, 77

Defensive tackle Adam Butler wears Bowanko’s most-worn number, 70, and it’s entirely possible they share the number for the offseason. For this exercise though I decided to give Bowanko a solo number, and picked 71, the one closest to the number he has worn most. You may be asking, “Why are you allowing Bowanko to wear 71 when you discounted that for Tobin?” There are two reasons. First, Tobin signed with the Patriots on March 17, while Fleming didn’t sign with Dallas until March 26. Second, this is my exercise and I can do what I want.

(You may have noticed in the Bowanko and Tobin paragraphs an interesting quirk of the NFL’s numbering rules: centers are legally allowed to wear numbers in the 50s, but other offensive linemen are not. Yes, Brian Waters was an exception.)

[EDIT: Surprise! The Patriots made another signing.]

Jordan Matthews
Position: WR
Allowed numbers: 10-19, 80-89
Previously worn numbers: 81 (PHI), 87 (college, BUF)
Available numbers in New England: 10, 14, 16, 17, 80, 86, 88

Since I just found out about the signing, I’ve had to go rapid-fire. Matthews’ two prior numbers are both taken, by Cody Hollister and Rob Gronkowski. While Matthews could try to acquire 81 from Hollister, I don’t think he will. 17 is a possibility, as the last digits of the two numbers he’s worn, but Matthews has always worn a number in the 80s, so I’ll stick with that. 88 would look good, but I’ve already predicted that to Niklas, and I’m not sure about 80 or 86 for him – of the two, I’d lean 86. You know what? Different idea. I said in the Niklas paragraph that I hope Will Tye switches to 44 (what he wore on the Pats’ PS this year before Jonathan Freeny had to take it) or 45 (his Giants number). My prediction is that Tye does switch and Matthews takes his vacated 82. Perhaps it’s because Matthews played on the Eagles with Torrey Smith, but 82 seems right. (If this doesn’t happen, my pick is 86.)

I blame you all for this… okay, I had fun. But this post will become completely irrelevant once numbers are made official sometime this spring. Enjoy it while it lasts.

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1107 Comments on "Please Don’t Make Me Write a Jersey Number Post in April"

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memokerobi
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Don’t know why you guys don’t like Lamar Jackson. Dude can run but he is also good from the pocket

Neil X
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Whoa, the Sawx have runniers on 2nd and 3rd with no one out in the 9th. It’s a ballgame! Chapman looks terrible right now.

Neil X
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And…a harmless pop fly. But Betts is at the plate.

MasterAndCommander
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Celts win.

Good night.

Neil X
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Bon soir, mon ami.

MasterAndCommander
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Sox-Yanks back on track. 2 brawls, multiple ejections.

Neil X
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The LA/LV game is more interesting, despite that.

MasterAndCommander
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LOL!!! Love it. Crowd is yelling “BEAT LA! BEAT LA!

Dingo
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Nuggets and ‘Wolves in OT. They are playing for the last playoff spot.

Neil X
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Battling for the right to get swept.

SamiG
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Riveting.

MasterAndCommander
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Wasn’t MIN well in control of that game?

Dingo
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Early in the game, yes.

MasterAndCommander
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More history. WPG won its first ever playoff game.

Neil X
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The original Jets or the repatriated Jets?

MasterAndCommander
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The Second Coming of the Jets, formerly Atlanta Thrashers.

Neil X
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And I don’t think the Thrashers ever made the playoffs, did they?

MasterAndCommander
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Once. Got swept in the first round.

Neil X
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I can’t name a player that was on the Thrashers.

Dingo
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Ogie Oglethorpe.

MasterAndCommander
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This is gonna be a nasty, physical series…… I like it. Hockey Sport!!!!!

Neil X
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They need to get those cheerleaders out on the ice on skates, though.

MasterAndCommander
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History!!!!! First ever playoff goal by an expansion team. 1-0 VGK

SamiG
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Sweet shot

Neil X
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Every other playoff goal has been scored by one of the original six?

MasterAndCommander
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By an NHL expansion team in its first year.

Neil X
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😀

MasterAndCommander
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Picky….

Neil X
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I prefer “dialectically helpful”.

SamiG
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Hello

MasterAndCommander
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Hi Sami. HOw goes it?

LaFeteMattDog
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Salaam-Alaikum!

Neil X
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Greetings and salutations.

SamiG
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Busy. Planning for post grad life. How is everyone else doing?

DinoScapelli
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I’m still planning for post grad life, and I graduated 36 years ago.

SamiG
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No shame in 36 gap years.

MasterAndCommander
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OK. This Vegas pre-game crap is over the top. This is not the NHL.

Neil X
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I loathe Las Vegas.

MasterAndCommander
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I get the excitement of an expansion team making the playoffs, as a division winner no less. But it was a cheesy 4th rate Vegas act as a pre-game show.

Neil X
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Oh, I have nothing at all against the Knights. I just hate the city. I have not seen a single Knights game. Maybe I should tune into this one. What network?

MasterAndCommander
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Nbcsn

Neil X
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Ah, that’s 220 on my satellite dish. Got that one memorized.

Neil X
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OK, so I’ve seen enough. Josh Allen is this year’s Ryan Leaf. Not behavior-wise, but he’s identical, talent-wise. Huge arm, poor accuracy and slow decision making. Undoubtedly, the Browns will take him.

MasterAndCommander
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The Sox need to address the bullpen or they will have tough go of it.

Neil X
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Yeah man, that 9-2 record is really disappointing.

MasterAndCommander
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Oh I like the start. But you need a bullpen for the full 162

Neil X
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They are 1/16 of the way through the season. Give ’em some time, I think it will be OK.

Dingo
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BoSox making a game of it. It’s now 8-6, bottom of the 5th.

MasterAndCommander
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Another grand slam by the Sox. Didn’t have any last year. Now have 3. Too bad the pitching sucked tonight.

MasterAndCommander
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Crap. Cindy with the hat trick. PIT 7 PHI 0

Dingo
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Steelers 7, Eagles 0.

MasterAndCommander
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We have found that turning on hockey calms down the baby.

Dingo
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I’ll have to remember that one. }:>)

MasterAndCommander
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Lol

Neil X
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But probably not playoff hockey when the Bruins are playing. Daddy’s tension will be contagious.

MasterAndCommander
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Did the Flyers forget the playoffs started tonight? I really want them to beat up on Cindy.

LaFeteMattDog
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So, who do we want to play, C’s fans?

Calipatsfan3473
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No one.

LaFeteMattDog
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Ye, of little faith. Brad Stevens will work his sorcery and our d league team will advance to the second round.

Calipatsfan3473
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Wake me up when it’s over.

LaFeteMattDog
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That’s what she said.

Neil X
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Well at least it lasted long enough for her to fall asleep.

LaFeteMattDog
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And I <3 Abby Chin.

Calipatsfan3473
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I have no idea what that means.

LaFeteMattDog
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comment image

Calipatsfan3473
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Your girlfriend?

LaFeteMattDog
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My future girlfriend.

Neil X
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Wait, the Bikini Basketball Association is really a thing?

Deadsmack #NotDone
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zoocore
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I’m cool with #23 if McG makes it there.

Please trade the 31.

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Michael Lombardi @mlombardiNFL
The news that the Browns might take Josh Allen at 1 has to make Chris Ballard of the Colts really happy–because QB’s might go, 1-2-3 then.

Chubb to the Colts?

Calipatsfan3473
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Thought the Browns had #4 too- they may take him there.

Deadsmack #NotDone
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That would mean Barkley to the Colts

Deadsmack #NotDone
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I got love the Bengals hypocrisy to stay away from Eric Reid, a team that a year ago picked Joe Mixon.

Deadsmack #NotDone
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I just want to see what’s the excuse why NO NFL team signs Eric Reid

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Pro Football Focus:
Reid was the 21st-rated safety (among 89 strong/free safeties) graded by PFF in 2017. He was ranked ahead of Devin McCourty, Eric Weddle, Tony Jefferson, Jamal Adams, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Malik Hooker and Reggie Nelson in 2017.

Calipatsfan3473
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Pats are waiting for the price to go down more- then they can get rid of Richards.

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Richards doesn’t kneel down during the US national anthem, just when he tries to tackle

Calipatsfan3473
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Reid has already said that he wasn’t going to do that going forward.

LaFeteMattDog
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I think Americans take this patriotism thing a little too seriously. If a guy kneels during the anthem as a sign of protest for a serious injustice he can never get a job again? But if a guy actually commits that injustice he gets a slap on the wrist and a sweet ass pension!

Calipatsfan3473
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I kneel in protest every time I see someone buying a box of wine.

zoocore
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I hope NE grabs him!

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Doug Moore

@DMooreNFL
The #Bengals refused to offer a contract to a player who KNEELS IN PROTEST

But…

They drafted Joe Mixon (domestic assault)

Extended the dirtiest player in the NFL (Vontaze Burfict)

Employed a player for 8 years with 9+ arrests since ‘05 inc. multiple assaults (Adam Jones)

LaFeteMattDog
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That’s why we call them the Bungles.

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Mike Loyko
@NEPD_Loyko
They need to pick the right QB and not right now QB. There is no point in reaching for a QB in the first round just to pick one. If they don’t love any of them take a shot later and try again next year.

dp73
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” There is no point in reaching for a QB in the first round just to pick one. ”

To me that doesn’t sound like something the Patriots would do.

I do think you have to consider if next years draft class would be as strong as most people say this years class is.

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Dan Patrick Show

@dpshow
Kawhi Leonard on the move to the #Celtics?! That’s what @DwyaneWade told @Schultz_Report

memokerobi
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Also, I want to declare myself the driver of the Lamar Jackson to the Pats bandwagon.

LaFeteMattDog
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No.

Calipatsfan3473
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Yuck.

dp73
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1st Round?
Trade up in the first round to get him?

In my opinion he will be long gone before we draft at #43.

memokerobi
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Smack, I really really wanted Juve to win but even though Vasquez let himself down easily, that was a penalty

LaFeteMattDog
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No.

Deadsmack #NotDone
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That was a flop

dp73
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dp73
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http://www.weei.com/blogs/ryan-hannable/nick-caserio-met-privately-western-kentucky-qb-mike-white

This probably means nothing other than they are just doing their job.

I did see White at the Sr Bowl and watch some of the Sr Bowl practices and I did like him.

LaFeteMattDog
Member
Free agent

Where my dawgs at? Newest addition to the Pats wolf pack:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhaUKb_BQ54/?utm_source=ig_embed

hugo #FreeBoney
Member
Free agent

What do our soccer fans think of this news blurb? Seems significant.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino told his top board last month that a fund of investors from the Middle East and Asia wanted to pay about $25 billion to buy an expanded version of FIFA’s Club World Cup as well as the rights to a proposed global league for national teams.

HunterCenter
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Yes, that seems significant. Hadn’t heard anything about it.

Deadsmack #NotDone
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The problem is that the players for national teams are workers for big clubs and those big clubs won’t release them unless FIFA gives them the biggest share of the pie.
If FIFA imposes that on them, those big clubs will make a big war by creating a big private league like NFL, NBA, MLB, etc. They have been projecting that for some decades.

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Jeff Howe @jeffphowe
Patriots 2018 preseason schedule includes a Super Bowl LII rematch:
Week 1: Redskins (home)
Week 2: Eagles (home)
Week 3: Panthers (away)
Week 4: Giants (away)
Dates and times to be finalized.

LaFeteMattDog
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I demand vengeance!

LaFeteMattDog
Member
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I’m surprised they didn’t schedule Detroit. I wonder which of those we’ll have joint practices with. Maybe the first two?

dp73
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Patriots 72
Eagles 0

LaFeteMattDog
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What about the other 3 quarters?

zoocore
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All NFC teams (3 of them from the East)? haha wtf

Deadsmack #NotDone
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I can’t stand how fixed soccer is. People always whine about US leagues, but soccer is much worse

LaFeteMattDog
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I don’t know if it’s fixed. I just have a problem with people going down in the box so easily and fooling refs into giving them penalties. It’s like pass interference in football. And even then you’re basically giving a team a goal (which is like 3 touchdowns in football) for a minor infraction. Only call it if it’s blatant.

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Do you know that UEFA rejected the video ref while the World Cup (FIFA) and many domestic leagues (like the portuguese) already use it?

MrLucky
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Hey go easy on soccer. It’s almost as exciting as watching paint dry.

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Soocer is a good sport to watch, the problem is that is loaded of corruption

LaFeteMattDog
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I haven’t seen that much diving since the summer olympics!

Deadsmack #NotDone
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dp73
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cqrun
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The only guy that covers the Pats picked a LB. Everyone else a LT. Interedting.

LaFeteMattDog
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Way to ruin this exciting game, ref.

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Buffon should have punched the ref

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Same old shit

LaFeteMattDog
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Wow, what a bs finish!

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Football Vines @FootballVines
I can’t stop watching this!

https://twitter.com/FootballVines/status/984089741795655680

LaFeteMattDog
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Not a good week for the Iberians!!!!

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Tomorrow, Sporting will beat Atletico Madrid … or not. 🙂

Jdog Lemon Head
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Are kids not paying for their overdue books?

Deadsmack #NotDone
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comment image

LaFeteMattDog
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Could’ve gone with something like: “Are they overworking you at the gulag?” but not bad.

Jdog Lemon Head
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Super busy at work lately so these driveby quips are a little difficult. Definitely not some of my best work.

LaFeteMattDog
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JUVENTUS~!!!!!!

Deadsmack #NotDone
Member
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GOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

Real Madrid 0 – Juventus 3

M.Fan
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Navas’ goal, that one

hugo #FreeBoney
Member
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The Bears are freaking morons. Are you kidding me? Couldn’t be arsed to put a $3M tender on a 25 year old coming off 66 catches, 888 yards and 4 TDs in less than 16 games. Yes, he got hurt. Who cares? A cheap, productive, young WR is an asset.
Either they completely misjudged the prospect of losing him, or they’re shrinking their asset pool for a little money they have no efficient means to use anyway.

Calipatsfan3473
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Free agent

Do they need the cap space?

LaFeteMattDog
Member
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Without googling it, I can’t imagine so. They don’t have a QB…or any really good players that would command a high salary.

LaFeteMattDog
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27 million in cap space.

hugo #FreeBoney
Member
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They’re in the pit of a rebuild. What are they going to do with cap space? Sign some 30 year old who won’t be around when they’re a real contender?

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Your feelings about this TE draft class?

LaFeteMattDog
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I’ll get back to you in 3 years.

dfwpatsfan
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Whew, finished the article. Thanks, Neil, the bourbon suggestion worked. Also, called in sick to work today haha.

Nothing like sitting my butt at home drinking bourbon in the middle of the day in the middle of the week.

Calipatsfan3473
Member
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Such dedication!! BTW- I have a kitchen that needs to be painted- I’ll buy the bourbon 🙂

dfwpatsfan
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Painting your kitchen with bourbon seems excessive and expensive… but who am I to judge.

Calipatsfan3473
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It’s worth it if I don’t have to get on a ladder.

Jdog Lemon Head
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He should probably paint it with cheap stuff like Gilbey’s…but that may actually end up removing the paint.

Calipatsfan3473
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Paint is already purchased 🙂

Deadsmack #NotDone
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Ryan Hannable

@RyanHannable
Titans RB Dion Lewis appeared on @SiriusXMNFL earlier and said the Patriots showed interest in bringing him back, but added he had to do what was best for him and his family.

Frank Stein
Admin
Free agent

Mike Loyko
@NEPD_Loyko

Writing about the #Patriots draft has been pretty depressing the last two years thanks to the NFL and gifting away draft picks. This year should be a little bit more fun.

Deadsmack #NotDone
Member
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FACT

I am excited about this year draft like i was in 2012