Curran: In retrospect, Pats blew call on Seymour


Curran: In retrospect, Pats blew call on Seymour

By Tom E. Curran
Raiders coach Hue Jackson recently took a tiny victory lap over the Richard Seymour deal. During a radio interview, Jackson pooh-poohed the fact Oakland didn't have a first-round pick in 2011 by saying, "A lot of people say we didnt have a first-round draft pick, but we really felt like we did because obviously we got to retain the services of Richard Seymour, who we traded for and we felt we had the best first round draft pick in the draft. I feel very good about him and where hes headed."On September 6, 2009, the Patriots shipped Seymour to Oakland for the Raiders 2011 first-round pick. Since then, the Raiders have gotten two years of excellent production from Seymour. The Patriots now have Nate Solder. So the Raiders feel good about the deal and they should. They'veimproved from being the abject mess they were at the start of 2010 when Seymour was shipped out there. They were an upward-trending 5-11 in 2010 then went 8-8 in 2011, crushing the hopes Patriots loyalists harbored of New England getting a top-five pick for Seymour. Seymour's played at a Pro Bowl level for Oakland. Additionally, his professionalism has been credited with lifting the standards of his teammates. And for two years, the Patriots have missed the hell out of him. Let's get the qualifiers out of the way right now - the Patriots' hands were restrained financially because Seymour and Vince Wilfork both had contracts expiring after the 2010 season. They weren't willing to do massive deals for both players and could only slap the franchise tag on one of them after 2010 to restrict his movement. So they chose to move Seymour rather than risk getting nothing for him afterhe left in free agency. They've been able to re-signWilfork and TomBrady since Seymour left.And now they have Solder to take over for Matt Light and be a competent NFL tackle until about 2021 (whoa!). Seymour's performance level in Oakland exceeds what he didfor the Patriots in his final years here. Achange of venuemay have jump-started his career and rekindled his love for the game because, as dominant as he is, he wasn't dominating for the Patriots with consistency. The business side of football in New England wore him down. He just didn't understand why it had to be so complicated, why guys had to - as he believed - crawl to get paid. He made that clear to me many times. He didn't like the way he was treated. He didn't like the way teammates were treated. So, yes, it may have been a necessary divorce. And yes,the Patriots did get compensation for him. And that first-round compensation has been, as an astute poster on noted, like the Richard Seymour Annuitythat gives the Patriots huge latitude to make deals going forward. And the Patriots have been able to sign players while Seymour's now working under a new two-year deal worth 30 million (22 million guaranteed) after making 12.4 million last year. But the football thing? Simply put, the Patriots have been missing what the Raiders have been enjoying. The lack of consistent pressure generated by the Patriots defensive front, the need to move Wilfork all over the defensive line including the spot formerly occupied by Seymour, the absurd third-down conversion rates, the reliance on a fleet of young players drafted late to man the defensive line, it all makes you wonder how much better the Patriots would have been if they just dug deep and kept "Big Sey 93". Nate Solder may end up being a wonderful left tackle. But the two-season gap between when he'll likely start contributing and the exportation of Seymour is never going to be erased. Tom E. Curran can be reached at Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Affleck offers passionate Brady defense when asked about Deflategate


Affleck offers passionate Brady defense when asked about Deflategate

When the topic of Deflategate was broached on HBO's Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons, which debuted this week, Ben Affleck became all kinds of fired up.

"What they did was suspend Tom Brady for four days for not giving them his [expletive] cellphone," Affleck said. "I would never give an organization as leak-prone as the NFL my [expletive] cellphone . . . so you can just look through my emails and listen to my voicemails?"

Affleck grew up in Cambridge, Mass. and is a passionate Patriots fan. He made no attempts to hide his fandom, and his appreciation for Brady, as he and Simmons (also a Patriots fan) discussed the football-deflation controversy that has now lasted well over a year. 

Affleck, who said he would want to cast himself as Brady if ever a Deflategate movie was made, harped on the fact that the league wanted Brady to turn over his phone. 

"Maybe Tom Brady is so [expletive] classy and such a [expletive] gentleman," Affleck said, "that he doesn’t want people to know that he may have reflected on his real opinion on some of his co-workers."

Brady is waiting for the Second Circuit to make a decision as to whether or not it will rehear his case against the NFL. Earlier this offseason, the Second Circuit reinstated Brady's four-game suspension issued by the league when a three-judge panel ruled in favor of the NFL, 2-1. 

Pro Football Talk wrote on Thursday that a decision from the Second Circuit could come at any time. If the rehearding request is denied, Brady could then take the case to the Supreme Court. Should the Second Circuit grant Brady a rehearing, his suspension would be delaed until the court reached a decision. In that case, Brady could potentially play the entire 2016 season before a decision came to pass. 

Brady posts high school essay to Facebook on living in his sisters' shadow


Brady posts high school essay to Facebook on living in his sisters' shadow

Tom Brady wasn't always the most famous person in his family. Growing up, his sisters were the accomplished athletes in the household. 

For his latest Throwback Thursday style Facebook post, Brady published a pair of photos of an old high school essay that he wrote in the fall of his senior year in 1994. It was titled "The way my sisters influenced me."

I found an essay I wrote in 1994... I love my big sisters! #tbt. Thanks for the good grade Mr Stark!

Posted by Tom Brady on Thursday, June 23, 2016

In it, he discusses some of the difficulties of growing up with three older sisters and no brothers. Because Maureen, Julie and Nancy Brady had achieved so much in softball, basketball and soccer, Brady -- or "Tommy," as he signed his paper -- had trouble getting noticed. 

Of course, it wouldn't be long before Brady was headed from San Mateo, California to Ann Arbor, Michigan in order to play football for the Wolverines. He probably had no trouble garnering attention by then. Still, it's funny to read about how he felt overlooked in his youth. 

He closed the essay explaining that he knew his sisters would always provide him support throughout his life, adding, "hopefully, just maybe, one day people will walk up to them and say, 'Aren't you Tommy's sister?' or 'Hey where is your brother?' Maybe . . . "

If the Brady sisters didn't get those kinds of comments by the time the baby of the family was given an 'A' for his English assignment, it probably didn't take long before they did. About seven years later, he took over as the starting quarterback of the Patriots.