NEW YORK – The agent for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said Friday his client did not suffer a concussion in 2016.
“Tom was not diagnosed with a concussion last year,” agent Don Yee said in a statement to ESPN, NFL Network and other media outlets. “Many of the protocols and safeguards still are evolving, and it’s obviously a good thing the organization and everyone close to him is vigilant and always looking out for his health.”
Tom Brady and wife, Gisele
The statement came two days after Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen, appeared on “CBS This Morning” and said her husband “had a concussion last year” and alluded to more concussions during his career.
The supermodel was asked by CBS’ Charlie Rose of her thoughts on Brady’s plans to play into his mid-40s and whether she wants him to retire from football.
“I just have to say, as a wife, as you know (the NFL) is not the most, let’s say, unaggressive sport. Football, he had a concussion last year,” she said in the interview. “He has concussions pretty much every — I mean we don’t talk about it.
“But he has concussions and I don’t really think it’s a healthy thing for your body to go through. You know, that kind of aggression all the time, that cannot be healthy for you. I’m planning on having him be healthy and do a lot of fun things when we’re like 100 I hope.”
Bundchen did not clarify when her husband suffered a concussion or whether it was medically diagnosed. She was not asked a follow-up question about her comments.
Brady has never officially been listed with a concussion or head injury in his professional career.
The Patriots did not list the 39-year-old Brady as having a concussion at any point in the 2016 season, but he sat out the first four games due to the Deflategate suspension given by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
The Patriots declined to comment on the situation and the NFL issued a statement later Wednesday regarding Bundchen’s comments and said it will look into the matter along with the NFL Players Association.
“We have reviewed all reports relating to Tom Brady from the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultants and certified athletic trainer spotters who worked at Patriots’ home and away 2016 season games as well as club injury reports that were sent to the league office,” the NFL statement read.
“There are no records that indicate that Mr. Brady suffered a head injury or concussion, or exhibited or complained of concussion symptoms. Today we have been in contact with the NFLPA and will work together to gather more information from the club’s medical staff and Mr. Brady. The health and safety of our players is our foremost priority and we want to ensure that all our players have and continue to receive the best care possible.”
Brady, who has not missed a game due to injury since 2008 when he tore his ACL in a Week 1 game against the Kansas City Chiefs, was listed with thigh, knee and ankle injuries at various points in 2016.
Brady, who turns 40 in August ahead of his 18th NFL season, is a five-time Super Bowl champion, four-time Super Bowl MVP and two-time league MVP. He collected his fifth ring in February when the Patriots overcome a 25-point deficit in the third quarter to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in overtime of Super Bowl LI
PHILADELPHIA – (Special to Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – The Philadelphia Eagles agreed to a one-year contract with former New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount on Wednesday. The deal is worth up to a reported $2.8 million for the 30-year-old Blount, who entered free agency after the best season of his seven-year NFL career in 2016.
“LeGarrette Blount is a tough, physical runner who has enjoyed a great deal of success in New England and we are excited about adding him to this football team,” Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said in a statement. “We feel good about the depth and competition that we have created at the running back position and we are looking forward to getting the guys out on the field next week for OTAs.”
The Patriots issued a $1.1 million free agent tender to Blount last week in a move that now means Blount will count toward the 2018 compensatory pick formula.
The 6-foot, 250-pound Blount rushed for 1,161 yards on 299 carries and a league-high 18 touchdowns in the 2016 regular season. He gained 109 yards and scored a touchdown in the Patriots’ three postseason contests last season, which ended with a second Super Bowl ring for the power running back.
Blount broke into the NFL in 2010 with Tampa Bay and played three seasons for the Buccaneers. The Patriots acquired Blount in a trade with the Bucs in 2013. Blount appeared in all 16 games for the Patriots in 2013, then started the 2014 season with the Pittsburgh Steelers before rejoining New England.
In 100 career games, Blount has 5,122 rushing yards on 1,168 carries (4.4 yards per attempt) and 49 rushing touchdowns
Derek Rivers – New England Patriots
- Buffalo BillsAfter weeks of speculation that the Bills would invest in a quarterback to push incumbent starter Tyrod Taylor, general manager Doug Whaley instead took the blue-collar approach with ultra-productive selections at bigger positions of need, including All-SEC corner Tre’Davious White at No. 27 and the most productive receiver in the country a year ago in Zay Jones. Each stood out at the Senior Bowl, as did tough guy Dion Dawkins, a future starter selected at No. 63 who I thought warranted consideration 20 picks earlier. Pitt quarterback Nathan Peterman has the intangibles to carve out a niche in the NFL, but he may not possess the arm strength to cut through the cold and wind in Buffalo.Grade: B-
- Miami DolphinsDefense was clearly the top priority for the Dolphins in this draft and first-year general manager Chris Grier did a nice job of stacking his board, getting terrific value with his seven selections. Top pick Charles Harris’ best football lies ahead of him after only joining the sport five years ago. The Dolphins added a classic glass-eating, run-stuffing inside linebacker in Raekwon McMillan and a lanky press corner with excellent ball skills in Clemson’s Cordrea Tankersley on Day Two, both of whom project as starters early in their respective careers. Isaac Asiata, the reigning Morris Trophy Award winner as the top blocker in the Pac-12, will outplay his fifth-round grade. Fellow Day Three strongmen Davon Godchaux and Vincent Taylor are similarly built run-stuffers, but may be too alike to both make the final roster.
- New England PatriotsAfter trading away three picks for quality veterans Brandin Cooks, Kony Ealy and Mike Gillislee, the defending champs had to wait until No. 83 overall to make their first selection. Youngstown State edge rusher Derek Rivers certainly was productive at the lower level — recording 41 sacks over his career — but only three forced fumbles over that time, which speaks to his lack of polish. Similarly, former Troy left tackle Antonio Garcia has good feet but didn’t face top-notch competition. Both are developmental prospects who need to get stronger but have starter-caliber traits, otherwise, if they commit to their craft. Day Three picks Deatrich Wise and Conor McDermott are big names from solid programs but are lacking in ideal length and balance, respectively. The veterans will provide an immediate impact for the Patriots, but otherwise this is a class that may require a redshirt year.
- New York JetsThe Jets added some very intriguing individual talents but the group as a whole may struggle to help the club build upon last year’s 5-11 last-place finish in the AFC East. SEC standout safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye are similar highly physical prospects whose presence may lead to a trade of former first-round pick Calvin Pryor. Similarly, the Jets replaced Brandon Marshall with another physically imposing receiver in ArDarius Stewart in Round Three and added polished pass-catchers Chad Hansen and Jordan Leggett a day later. None of them, however, possess the game-breaking ability necessary to make up for the Jets’ below average talent at quarterback.
–Rob Rang is a Senior Analyst for www.NFLDraftScout.com, a property of The Sports Xchange distributed in partnership with CBSSports.com.
New England Patriots (No. 72)
When the NFL Draft begins selections in Philadelphia April 27, the New England Patriots will be bystanders unless they trade up. Their first pick is in the third round, No. 72 overall.
Here is an in-depth look at the team’s needs, offseason changes, potential best fit and the selections by NFLDraftScout.com’s experts.
Who would you pick and why?
TOP 5 NEEDS:
–1. Defensive end: The offseason saw Jabaal Sheard (Colts) and Chris Long (Eagles) depart, while Rob Ninkovich continues to age and show a decline in production. New England could look to add another a young edge playmaker with potential to pair with developing star Trey Flowers, who had a breakout second half of 2016 capped by an impressive Super Bowl. Many consider edge players one of the deepest groups in this year’s draft.
–2. Tackle: With left tackle Nate Solder heading into the final year of his current contract and no logical replacement on the roster, New England could seek tackle depth on draft weekend to protect itself at the position moving forward. After adding to the youth movement on the interior of the line the last few years, the Patriots may need to dig into a tackle class that’s not overly impressive.
–3. Tight end: The top of the depth chart at tight end is stocked, but Rob Gronkowski and newcomer Dwayne Allen certainly have injury histories. Adding a developmental No. 3 tight end might be enticing, especially given the depth of the position in this year’s draft class.
–4. Running back: At running back, New England could very well be in line for a young, big-bodied talent to replace LeGarrette Blount in the committee backfield, joining the likes of versatile newcomer Rex Burkhead and James White/Dion Lewis. With Blount a pending free agent and the rest of the backs on the roster with just one year left on their contracts, the Patriots could be on the hunt for a longer-term solution at the position.
–5. Slot receiver: While the receiver position is deeper for the Patriots than it’s been in quite some time, the import slot spot could be a target for a developmental prospect. Julian Edelman is heading into the final year of his contract and history shows that guys in his position can have short shelf lives. Head coach Bill Belichick likes to be prepared for future needs, so finding a young player to groom for the slot for the future can’t be ruled out even with Edelman still playing at a high level.
—BEST FIT: Trey Hendrickson, DE, Florida Atlantic. Bill Belichick enters the draft without a first- or second-round pick thanks to offseason trades. But the defensive-minded coach has been working the scouting trail hard, seemingly with a focus on front-seven defenders. Hendrickson could still be available at No. 72. He fits the mold Belichick likes in edge players at 6-foot-4, 266 pounds with a 4.6 40. The Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year had a combined 23 sacks the last two years, blocks kicks on special teams and even saw action as a blocker on offense, the type of versatility in a mid-round pick that New England eats up. Hendrickson would be a nice developmental prospect at a spot of need on the edge of the Patriots defense.
–Rob Rang: Trey Henderickson, DE, Florida Atlantic. Given their needs up front, an instinctive and relatively pro-ready edge rusher like Hendrickson — the reigning Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year and FAU’s all-time leader in sacks (29.5), tackles for loss (41) and forced fumbles (seven) — could be a target.
–Dane Brugler: Tarell Basham, DE, Ohio. Basham was the MAC Defensive Player of the Year and has the juice off the edge to put pressure on the pocket in any scheme.
–Pat Kirwan/Jim Miller: No third-round pick.
(Kirwan, Miller picks based on last Friday’s mock on SiriusXM Radio. Listen to their next mock Friday, April 21, on SiriusXM NFL Radio channel 88).
–Frank Cooney, IMO: Trey Hendrickson, DE, Florida Atlantic. Actually this isn’t my opinion, but it is based on good advice. The Sports Xchange insider covering the Patriots says Hendrickson is the best fit. NFLDraftScout.com Sr. analyst Rob Rang emailed me the same name without knowing it matched our insider’s choice. There is a trend there, eh?