Patriots

Spikes is selling his AFC Championship ring on eBay

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Spikes is selling his AFC Championship ring on eBay

The Patriots cut ties to Brandon Spikes. And Spikes appears to be cutting all ties to the Pats. The linebacker is selling his 2011 AFC Championship ring on eBay.

It's yours for at least $19,499.

Anyone else smell spite in the air?

After all, Spikes and the Patriots have a complicated relationship. The linebacker was put on injured reserve after being late to practice during the 2014 postseason. He left the team and joined the AFC East rival Bills -- and ripped the Patriots on Twitter after leaving. When Spikes returned to the Patriots this offseason, it seemed he and the Patriots had buried the hatchet. 

But Spikes got into trouble for his involvement in a hit-and-run. He was released by the team, and eventually cited by the police for the incident.

In a bizarre way, those events seem to have led to the sale of this ring worth $18,000:

2020 NFL Draft: Patriots fans want team to prioritize these needs

2020 NFL Draft: Patriots fans want team to prioritize these needs

There’s no shortage of opinions on which way the Patriots should go in this month’s draft.

There’s not a lot of agreement among you guys but there are a lot of opinions.

The Quarantine Question of the Day posed Wednesday offered four three-position combos to choose from as draft priorities for the Patriots.

We got 136 replies to the poll and 6,289 votes in just six hours. Thank you very much for the engagement!

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So how’d it turn out?

Leading the way was the combo of tight end, offensive line and edge player (that’s a defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid) with 42.6 percent of respondents opting for that.

Next up was the combo of wide receiver, tight end and defensive line with 29.9 percent.

The offense-heavy option of quarterback, wide receiver and tight end was third with 22.6 percent.

Almost nobody loved the idea of safety, wide receiver and edge as that got just 4.8 percent.

Here are some of the takes you guys had on this:

@RP3Views: I voted for WR, TE and DL. I do think they need an end of the line DL, think they are fine interior DL. TE is the biggest need, and I think we'll see a trade for one and one drafted during draft weekend. WR class is so deep, I think theyll draft a really good one in the 3rd round.

@NewEnglandChris: TE, OL, Edge. Regardless of which QB starts the season as QB1, the 2020 Patriots will need to win with defense and running the football. They need to improve run blocking from last season and maintain the pass rush following offseason departures.

@Patskrieg: Went unpopular here. Safety because they still don’t have a young secondary leader in the works with DMac & Chung over 30. WR because Brother Stid needs weaponz and the WR class is worlds better than the TEs. Edge because I’m selfish and I like sacks.

@BostonWest80111: I chose WR/TE/DL. I think they need a major "beef injection" to the interior of the DL. And the WR/TE selections are rather obvious. But if you had another option I would have selected it would have been TE, DL, Edge. I think they really need to stock up on front-7 talent.

@Whofan70: Tom, I’ll choose “Other”. I think the Pats really need to address LB, TE, OL. After Hightower, who are the LB’s? In addition, LaCosse and Izzo are depth pieces at TE, not starters.

@asharsaleem121: No QB is going to succeed with pass rushers breathing down his neck. You need good blocking up front. We saw that last year. And if you can run block and TEs can set the edge, the run game will further make the QB comfortable. We saw how Sony looked in 2019 vs 2018.

@GarrettM2013: Defensive front 7 needs the most work. TE draft class is weak, and other positions are fine, just need youth and depth pieces.

A couple of respondents veered from making a choice at all and editorialized. Which is their right in these United States!

@journey200: For the last 20 years, NE has never been in the rebuilding mode. They have adjusted on the fly. What's changed if this is now considered a rebuild? Belichick was unaware that he was going to take that tact w/Brady & unaware how Tom would react? The real BB is about to be exposed.

@Wolvie58: I took number 1, also wanted to add a WR. Then remembered I will be watching the Bucs more than the Pats. Now I have to look and see they need lol

Listen and subscribe to Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast:

This whole discussion, of course, is proceeding on the assumption the Patriots would draft on the basis of need. And — while they and every other team do to a degree — they also have resisted drafting at obvious need positions to load up elsewhere.

Tight end, for instance. The Patriots drafted three from 2011 through 2019: Lee Smith, A.J. Derby and Ryan Izzo. Even after Aaron Hernandez was jailed and it became clear Rob Gronkowski could be broken at any time, the team still ignored the spot in the draft while spending second-round selections on players like Cyrus Jones, Jordan Richards and JoeJuan Williams.

And this year’s tight end class — in contrast to the past two drafts — is perceived to be low on talent.

The perfect scenario, of course, is when need, talent and scheme dovetail nicely and the pick becomes easy to make. That’s a lot harder for a team like the Patriots to orchestrate because they are usually one of the final teams in the draft order.

To me, this should be a meat-and-potatoes draft.

Safety has to be a priority. With Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung getting up there and Duron Harmon traded away, the team needs a back-end lieutenant who can cover, tackle, communicate and show leadership.

Next, tight end. If they can’t find a suitable pass-catcher, then find a semi-competent one who can be a factor in the running game as well. That’s going to make more difference for the team as a whole and have a greater ripple effect than another gadgety defensive player drafted “just in case…” which is what Williams was last season.

Finally, it’s either edge or offensive line. If the two draftees from last year — Yodny Cajuste or Hjalte Froholdt — show starter promise (hard to do during this pandemic after both spent 2019 injured) then maybe the Patriots can wait. But right tackle Marcus Cannon is getting closer to the end of his career and will need replacing and promising left tackle Isaiah Wynn has so far been injury-prone. Offensive tackle has to be a priority.

And the pass rush is going to need bolstering. In the past two seasons, Trey Flowers and Kyle Van Noy have left via free agency. Chase Winovich is the most promising guy they’ve brought in but he isn’t enough. They need to get heat.

I’m not high on selecting either a quarterback or a wideout early. Find out what you have in N’Keal Harry. Presume Mohamed Sanu improves. Julian Edelman is still Julian Edelman.

And quarterback? The Patriots just went 20 years with a sixth-round pick and won six Super Bowls. They took a Division 2 kid in the second round in 2014 and largely shaped him into the player that started in the Super Bowl two months ago. The year they didn't have Tom Brady, they used a guy who didn’t start in college at the spot and finished in a tie for first place at 11-5. He later became a Pro Bowler. Undrafted Brian Hoyer has been in the league 11 years and has started playoff games.

The Patriots take particular pride in their ability to mold quarterbacks and they should. I wouldn't spend anything more than a third on the position this year.

Bottom line? The Patriots can’t really go wrong no matter which position they take.

Should Patriots trade for Tua Tagovailoa in 2020 NFL Draft? What recent history shows

Should Patriots trade for Tua Tagovailoa in 2020 NFL Draft? What recent history shows

You have to admit: It's an enticing scenario.

Just weeks after losing Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots swing a trade to land Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Nick Saban-groomed quarterback becomes a star in New England, and the Brady-less Patriots don't miss a beat. Dynasty intact.

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The Tua-to-New England rumors have picked up steam amid reports that the Miami Dolphins may try to trade up to the No. 1 overall pick to draft LSU's Joe Burrow instead of targeting Tagovailoa.

The Boston Globe's Ben Volin then laid out a scenario in which the Patriots trade up to the Lions' No. 3 pick to select Tagovailoa, sending Detroit some combination of draft picks that includes their first-rounder (No. 23 overall) while potentially adding wide receiver Julian Edelman in the deal.

That'd be a major shakeup, especially if the Patriots move Edelman. So, is it worth spending that much capital to land the quarterback you covet?

Fortunately, there's plenty of recent precedent.

Listen and subscribe to Phil Perry's Next Pats Podcast here: 

Consider this stat: Seven of the 11 quarterbacks taken in the first round since 2017 have been acquired by a team trading up in the draft.

Here are the seven QB and the deals teams swung to land them:

Mitchell Trubisky, No. 2 overall (Bears)
Bears trade their 2017 first-round pick (No. 3; Solomon Thomas), 2017 third-round pick (No. 67) , 2017 fourth-round pick (No. 111) and 2018 third-round pick to San Francisco.

Patrick Mahomes, No. 10 overall (Chiefs)
Chiefs trade their 2017 first-round pick (No. 27; Tre'Davious White), 2017 third-round pick (No. 91) and 2018 first-round pick to Bills.

Deshaun Watson, No. 12 overall (Texans)
Texans trade their 2017 first-round pick (No. 25; Jabril Peppers) and 2018 first-round pick to Browns.

Sam Darnold, No. 3 overall (Jets)
Jets trade their 2018 first-round pick (No. 6; Quenton Nelson), 2018 second-round pick (No. 37), 2018 second-round pick (No. 49) and 2019 second-round pick to Colts.

Josh Allen, No. 7 overall (Bills)
Bills receive a 2018 seventh-round pick and trade their 2018 first-round pick (No. 12; Vita Vea), 2018 second-round pick (No. 53) and 2018 second-round pick to Buccaneers.

Josh Rosen, No. 10 overall (Cardinals)
Cardinals trade their 2018 first-round pick (No. 15; Kolton Miller), 2018 third-round pick and 2018 fifth-round pick to Raiders.

Lamar Jackson, No. 32 overall (Ravens)
Ravens receive a 2018 fourth-round pick and trade their 2018 second-round pick (No. 52), 2018 fourth-round pick (No. 125) and 2019 second-round pick to Eagles.

Rosen was a swing-and-a-miss, and Trubisky has underwhelmed so far. But three of these trades were absolute home runs -- Mahomes, Watson and Jackson -- while Darnold and Allen have the potential to be solid franchise quarterbacks, as well.

The takeaway: These teams had good reason to move up and land the QB of their dreams, and in several cases, they were justified.

Does this mean the Patriots should go all-out for Tua? Not necessarily. Belichick would need to covet Tagovailoa the same way the Chiefs coveted Mahomes, and our Tom E. Curran has reported New England is confident in the QB duo of Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer.

If the Patriots do have a QB atop their draft board, though -- whether that's Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert or Jordan Love -- history suggests a trade-up could be worth it.

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