Is Brady 'a winner' or isn't he?

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Is Brady 'a winner' or isn't he?

Greg Cosell posed an "intellectual challenge" on the NFL Films blog Wednesday morning.

Is Tom Brady a winner or isn't he?

Not so fast. The answer is not as simple as the question makes it seem. Hence, the challenge.

The discussion jumps off two points raised by Ross Tucker when he and Cosell last talked on Sirius XM's "The Morning Kickoff."

Tucker separated Brady's career into the following parts:

1. First five years as a starter. (He threw a grand total of three passes in his rookie season of 2000.) 2. His last five years not including 2008, when he tore his ACL in the opening game of the season.

Fair enough.

Now for Cosell's investigation into what it means to be "a winner."

"Think back to his first Super Bowl victory against the St. Louis Rams. New England won that game with an Adam Vinatieri field goal on the final play. Two years later, Vinatieri essentially did the same thing against the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII. For the sake of discussion, lets say Vinatieri missed both of those kicks (each was more than 40 yards). Then the Rams and the Panthers, respectively, won the toss in overtime and the Patriots never got the ball back.

"Would Bradys performance have been any less impressive in those games? Obviously not. What would be different is our collective perception of his performance. He would not have been acclaimed a 'a winner.'"

Interesting idea. And the conclusion.

"My broader objective is to compel a re-thinking of the 'winner' concept," Cosell wrote. "When you drill down deeper, its really a term that has almost no meaning."

Well, we know he wasn't lying to call it a challenge.

Sanu on Patriots' Super Bowl comeback: Lady Gaga's long halftime hurt Falcons

Sanu on Patriots' Super Bowl comeback: Lady Gaga's long halftime hurt Falcons

Three weeks removed from his team blowing a 25-point, second-half lead in the Super Bowl, Mohamed Sanu offered a possible explanation for the Atlanta Falcons losing their edge against the Patriots.

Lady Gaga.

More specifically, it was the half-hour-plus halftime show that interrupted the Falcons' rhythm, the receiver said Friday on the NFL Network's "Good Morning Football."

“Usually, halftime is only like 15 minutes, and when you’re not on the field for like an hour, it’s just like going to work out, like a great workout, and you go sit on the couch for an hour and then try to start working out again,” Sanu said.

Sanu was asked if the delay was something you can simulate in practice. 

"It's really the energy [you can't duplicate]," he said. "I don't know if you can simulate something like that. That was my first time experiencing something like that."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick did simulate it. In his Super Bowl practices, he had his team take long breaks in the middle.

Sanu also addressed the Falcons' pass-first play-calling that didn't eat up clock while the Patriots came back.

"The thought [that they weren't running the ball more] crossed your mind, but as a player, you're going to do what the coach [Dan Quinn] wants you to do." Sanu said. "He's called plays like that all the time."


 

It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

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It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

The Patriots received a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018 from the Browns in return for Jamie Collins. That's how the trade was described on the league's transaction wire. 

The "condition" of that fourth-rounder? Well, if the Browns received a third-round compensatory pick in 2017, the Patriots would nab that pick instead. 

On Friday, the NFL announced that the Browns had in fact been awarded a third-round compensatory pick, which meant that almost three full weeks after Super Bowl LI, everything was still coming up Patriots.

In actuality, the odds were pretty good all along that the Patriots would get what they got

Cleveland lost Pro Bowl center Alex Mack in free agency last offseason when he opted to sign with the Falcons. Because compensatory picks are based on free agents lost and free agents acquired, and because the Browns did not sign any similarly-impactful free agents, there was a good chance Mack's departure would render a third-round comp pick that would be shipped to New England.

Had Mack suffered a significant injury that forced his play to drop off or limited his time on the field, a third-rounder may have been out of the question, but he played well (named a Pro Bowler and a Second Team All-Pro) and stayed healthy -- lucky for the Patriots -- missing just 17 total snaps in the regular season. 

The Browns comp pick that will be sent to New England is No. 103 overall. The Patriots were also awarded a fifth-round comp pick, No. 185 overall. That was a result of the league weighing the departures of Akiem Hicks and Tavon Wilson against the arrival of Shea McClellin.

The Patriots now have nine selections in this year's draft: One first-rounder; one second-rounder; two third-rounders; one fourth-rounder*; two fifth-rounders; two seventh-rounders.

The third-round compensatory pick acquired by the Patriots carries additional value this year in that it is the first year in which compensatory picks can be traded. A near top-100 overall selection may allow the Patriots to move up the draft board or build assets in the middle rounds should they be inclined to deal. And we know they oftentimes are. 

* The Patriots forfeited their highest fourth-round selection in this year's draft as part of their Deflategate punishment. They acquired a fourth-round pick from the Seahawks last year. Because that would have been the higher of their two selections, that's the one they'll lose. They will make their own fourth-round pick at No. 137 overall.