Talib: 'Definitely getting better'

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Talib: 'Definitely getting better'

FOXBORO -- Cornerback Aqib Talib was limited at practice for the second straight day on Thursday, as the Patriots prepare for their regular-season finale against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.

Talib has been nursing a hip injury, and saw minimal action in Sunday's win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, he believes he's improving.

"Definitely getting better," said Talib after Thursday's practice. "Working every day trying to get better. And we'll see what happens."

Whether or not Bill Belichick saves him for the playoffs remains to be seen. But Talib's presence in New England's secondary has been one of the keys to the Patriots' defensive improvements in the second half of the season. And with a first-round bye still a possibility, the Patriots sure could use him Sunday against the Dolphins.

And right now, Talib is letting everyone know what his mindset is, as he tries to get healthy enough to play an entire game again.

"Mindset is to win! Of course. It's a game," said Talib. "I mean, we're putting on helmets, shoulder pads. You know what I'm saying? Seventy-thousand, or whatever's going to be there. The mindset is to definitely win the game."

Win or lose, the Patriots are going to the playoffs, which is a place Talib never went in his four-plus years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

With that in mind, Talib was asked to compare Tampa Bay with New England, on Thursday. His response was straight to the point.

"Oh there's a ton of differences," said Talib. "I'm not going to get into the specifics of it, but there's a ton of differences. You can see the difference. You look at the records, you'll see the difference."

Update: Three-way Cavs, Nuggets, Pacers deal for George 'very unlikely'

Update: Three-way Cavs, Nuggets, Pacers deal for George 'very unlikely'

We knew back on the night of the draft that as the Cavaliers desperately looked for a way to pry Paul George out of Indiana, they started involving third teams in the talks (because Indy had no interest in Kevin Love for Paul George straight up, not should they). Phoenix was involved, but that fizzled. So did talks involving Denver.

But those latter ones didn’t die the night of the draft, according to reports that came out over the weekend. Denver, Cleveland, and Indiana were still talking about a three-team deal that would land Love in Denver and George in Cleveland. The challenge for Cleveland was finding the combination of young players and draft picks that Indiana wants in a deal — Indy is rumored to want a lottery pick (preferably high lottery) and a young player or players.

Now that Denver three-team is “very unlikely” to happen, according to Joe Varden of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

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NFL's Top 10 list revealed Monday night: Where does Tom Brady wind up?

NFL's Top 10 list revealed Monday night: Where does Tom Brady wind up?

NFL players vote every year on which players should make up the list of the best their game has to offer, but it's an imperfect system. And that's probably putting it lightly. 

The NFL Network will reveal the final 10 players on its annual Top 100 list Monday night at 8 p.m. It will be an order that has been chosen by some players, not all. Of those who took part, some hastily made their way through a handful of names at the end of last season handing over their choices. 

Yet it's the list the league ends up with, for better or for worse, prompting responses like JJ Watt's when he found out he was No. 35 this year after playing in three games last season. 

On NFL.com, the Top 100 list is described as the answer to the question, "Who are the top 100 players in the NFL today?" If that's the criteria -- and not simply performance in 2016 -- then Watt's complaint actually doesn't hold much water. If he's healthy, no one would argue that he's one of the best 35 players "in the NFL today."

This year, several Patriots players from 2016 made the cut: Rob Gronkowski (No. 23), LeGarrette Blount (No. 80), Julian Edelman (No. 71), Dont'a Hightower (No. 94) and Malcolm Butler (No. 99). 

Tom Brady will be the last of Bill Belichick's players to be named. He's lumped into a Top 10 that will include Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Ezekiel Elliott, Le'Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham, Julio Jones, Von Miller and Khalil Mack.

Here's what we think the list should look like when the curtain falls on the finale of this flawed endeavor:

10. Elliott
9. Beckham
8. Bell
7. Brown
6. Ryan
5. Jones
4. Miller
3. Mack
2. Rodgers
1. Brady