Patriots Rumors: Brady, Edelman, O-Line

With Roger Goodell‘s grade of Tom Brady‘s appeal expected soon, the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin examines who the future Hall of Fame quarterback can trust, considering the many agendas those around him have.

Brady’s intentions to exonerate himself play in the favor of an NFLPA motivated on diminishing Goodell’s power and establishing a new avenue through the appeals process. While it also is the recommended course of action of the association’s lawyers, who wouldn’t lose much if the quarterback’s suspension stands after a lengthy effort, per Volin. Should Deflategate progress at it looks like it will, the NFLPA’s attorneys will continue to clean up in legal fees to continue what’s been a banner stretch for such endeavors.

Volin also notes Bill Belichick would probably prefer Brady give up his fight should Goodell slash his suspension in half in an effort to avoid having key Jimmy Garoppolo cameos down the stretch. Robert Kraft‘s itinerary in this case, in Volin’s view, is one that Brady should greet with skepticism, with the owner preferring to do whatever he can to avoid the Patriots, more so than Brady, being tarnished in Deflategate’s aftermath.

The Globe’s top Patriots scribe notes that Kraft and Goodell were probably haggling on this suspension during an informal summit in Sun Valley, Idaho, recently, and that Kraft could still have the league’s best interests at heart should he advise Brady to accept a reduced suspension rather than make this battle more contentious.

Here are some other Patriots items as the days dwindle until training camps open.

  • As Brady opts for a reclusive summer, his most frequent target helped explain the 16-year veteran’s mindset for those not privy to his dialogue post-Deflategate. “He’s fired up — we’ll say that. You don’t want a mad Tom Brady, and he’s a little ticked off,” Julian Edelman told Joe McDonald of The 29-year-old wideout’s been Brady’s teammate for six seasons and has 197 catches the past two years.
  • After Dan Connolly‘s retirement, Volin looks at who the Patriots will plug in at left guard this season, with a projection of rookie Tre Jackson out of Florida State becoming New England’s newest line cog. Volin views the college teammate of center Bryan Stork as a more refined prospect than rookie comrade Shaq Mason. A fourth-rounder, Jackson may even be an upgrade over Connolly, whose work Pro Football Focus detested, critically speaking, last season in rating the veteran as the Patriots’ worst offensive lineman (subscription required) for his efforts at left guard and center, respectively.
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