It appears as though Brian Waters really just doesn't want to play football. Not in New England, at least.
The Patriots guard held out for all of training camp, but it was assumed by many that he would show up in Foxboro in time to be ready for New England's Week 1 against the Titans. When he didn't, reasons swirled as to why: Maybe the Patriots asked him to take a pay cut; maybe he wanted to stay at home with his family.
A report this morning from the Boston Globe adds another layer to the Waters saga. According to Shalise Manza young, Waters was offered a "significant" raise -- more than the 1.4 million he was due to make in 2012 -- and he turned it down.
Waters made the Pro bowl last season after missing all of training camp. Some have speculated that he still may have interest in playing football, but only somewhere close to his Texas home. Since he's still technically under contract with the Patriots (he's now on the reservedid not report list) it's unlikely they would release him to sign with another AFC contender like the Texans.
The Patriots have already had their share of problems at right guard this season. Dan Connolly suffered a concussion in Week 1, and his replacement Donald Thomas had a hard time against a talented Cardinals defensive line in Week 2. Surely the team would love to have Waters back. But with this latest news, that appears more unlikely than ever.
A quick look at the information you need to know about tonight's Patriots-Steelers game:
TEAM RECORDS: Patriots 15-2, Steelers 13- 5
GAME TIME: 6:40 p.m. EST
TV ANNOUNCERS: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms and Tracy Wolfson
NATIONAL RADIO NETWORKS: Westwood One
NATIONAL RADIO ANNOUNCERS: Kevin Harlan, Dan Fouts and Ross Tucker
LOCAL RADIO NETWORK: Anchored by WBZ-FM (98.5 The Sports Hub)
LOCAL RADIO ANNOUNCERS: Bob Socci and Scott Zolak
ALL-TIME SERIES BETWEEN THE TEAMS: Steelers lead, 15-14
LAST MEETING: Patriots 27, Steelers 16 on Oct. 23, 2016 at Heinz Field
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-- Bill Belichick is coaching in his NFL-record 11th conference championship game. Tom Brady is playing in his NFL-record 11th conference championship game.
-- The Patriots are 8-4 in AFC Championship Games, including 5-1 in games played in Foxboro and 4-1 at Gillette Stadium.
-- The Patriots are 30-19 in postseason games, including 19-4 at home (3-1 at Schaefer/Sullivan/Foxboro Stadium, 16-3 at Gillette).
-- The Patriots' 30 postseason victories are tied with the 49ers for fourth-most in NFL history, behind the Cowboys (34), Steelers (34) and Packers (32).
-- The Patriots' .612 winning percentage in postseason games is third-best in NFL history, behind the Ravens (15-8, .652) and Packers (34-21, .618).
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-- If the Patriots win today they will qualify for their ninth Super Bowl, most in NFL history. They are currently tied with the Cowboys, Broncos and Steelers at eight.
-- If the Patriots win today, Robert Kraft will set an NFL record for most conference championships by an owner (8) in the Super Bowl era. He is currently tied with the Denver Broncos' Pat Bowler at seven.
-- If the Patriots win today, Bill Belichick will move into a tie with Bill Walsh for third place on the NFL list of best postseason coaching winning percentage. Belichick (who would be 25-10 with a victory) and Walsh (10-4) would have .714 winning percentage. Belichick is currently in fifth place, two percentage points behind Joe Gibbs (17-7, .708). Vince Lombardi (9-1, .900) is in first place and Tom Flores (8-3. .727) is second.
-- If the Patriots win today, Belichick will advance to his seventh Super Bowl as a head coach, which would be most in NFL history. He is currently tied with Don Shula at six.
-- Tom Brady (8) needs one more playoff game with three or more touchdown passes to tie Joe Montana (9) for most three-plus TD playoff games since the 1970 NFL merger.
-- Stephen Gostkowski (142) needs 11 points to tie Gary Anderson for third place on the NFL's all-time list of kicking points in the postseason. Adam Vinatieri (234) is first and David Akers (175) is second.
-- Julian Edelman (76) needs nine receptions to tie Andre Reed (85) for sixth place on the NFL's all-time list of postseason receptions. Michael Irvin is fifth at 88, and Hines Ward and Wes Welker are tied for third at 88.
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-- REFEREE: Terry McAulay. UMPIRE: Rich Hall. HEAD LINESMAN: Wayne Mackie. LINE JUDGE: Mark Perlman. FIELD JUDGE: Scott Edwards. SIDE JUDGE: Boris Cheek. BACK JUDGE: Tony Steratore. ALTERNATES: John Parry, Mark Steinkerchner, Rich Martinez. REPLAY OFFICIAL: Mike Wimmer. SUPERVISOR: Gary Slaughter.
Tom Brady's pregame Facebook and Instagram post Sunday shows him wearing a different No. 12 uniform, that of Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif.
The Patriots quarterback, looking for his seventh Super Bowl trip Sunday night when he faces the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium in his and his team's sixth consecutive AFC Championship Game, posted the old photo and message on both his Facebook and newly opened Instagram accounts.
My family, my friends, my teammates, my coaches, Pats nation, my schools, our fans... I'm playing for you today. LET'S GOPosted by Tom Brady on Sunday, January 22, 2017