Thursday was not a good day for New England Patriots fans.
Not only did they find out there’s an actual possibility the NFL can win its appeal over U.S. District Judge Richard Berman’s decision to vacate Tom Brady’s four-game suspension, but they also had to be reminded of some of the more annoying tropes of the Deflategate scandal.
Even as an impartial observer, it nearly sent me into convulsions when I saw live tweets from the hearing of judges saying there’s “compelling, if not overwhelming evidence” of ball tampering and mentions of destroyed cell phones. It felt like a nightmare years after graduating from college of forgetting to turn in an assignment. Wasn’t it just over a week ago we were writing how absurd it is that the Patriots don’t have a first-round draft pick because of this overblown scandal?
Bah. Now there’s months more of Deflategate talk to dread. Thanks, Roger Goodell.
Let’s get into this week’s mailbag.
@DougKyed Is Brady screwed? Only one I care about right about now.
I don’t know. I realize that’s not very helpful, but based on Twitter, it seemed like holes were being poked in both sides. Reporters on the scene seemed to think two judges were favoring the NFL, however.
I still think the appeal could go either way. The appeal wasn’t about evidence, it was about procedure. And I can’t imagine Berman messed up that badly in his August hearings. Perhaps he did, though. I’m not a legal expert, and I have no desire to be one.
@DougKyed does today’s lousy hearing change things w/regards to trying to trade Garoppolo?
It might. It wouldn’t be very smart to trade your backup quarterback if your starter could miss four games. I’m also not sure what kind of return the Patriots would get out of Garoppolo. I asked a league source what the Patriots could fetch for Garoppolo, and the response was “not much.” I believe he didn’t want to get into specifics to show his hand, but Garoppolo doesn’t have a ton of game tape to show other teams.
My guess is Garoppolo still will be on the Patriots in September.
@DougKyed You and @michaelFhurley are wrestling, who wins?
I think I outweigh Mr. Hurley, so I’ll say me. That’s unless Michael has some sort of weird high school champion wrestling background. In that case, him.
@DougKyed Why did you forget to ask for mailbag questions?
@DougKyed Does Dobson have any chance of making the team? Was surprised LaFell was cut first
He currently does, because he probably would be No. 4 on the Patriots’ receiver depth chart. But once the Patriots draft and sign other wideouts, Dobson’s chances will significantly decrease. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been dependable enough for the Patriots in his three years since being selected in the second round.
Dobson dealt with drop issues as a rookie, played in just four games in 2014 and eight games in 2015. He has just 16 catches for 179 yards without a touchdown in his past two seasons.
If Dobson makes it to training camp, I believe injuries would have to occur for him to make the team. I expect the Patriots to bring in multiple options for the “X” receiver role who would have greater chances of making the team than Dobson. If anything, LaFell’s release could decrease Dobson’s chances of making the team, because now they’re forced to bring in potential starters.
@DougKyed With the Patriots not expected to bring back Siliga, should we expect a Hicks extension? Also, what FA moves do you expect on off?
I think the chances of re-signing Akiem Hicks have increased in the past few days. Between freeing up salary cap room by extending Brady and cutting Brandon LaFell and Scott Chandler, plus the cap increasing more than expected, the Patriots might have enough money to sign Hicks, who was extremely valuable after being acquired from the New Orleans Saints.
If the Patriots don’t re-sign Hicks, they’ll need to address their defensive tackle need high in the draft or with a proven free agent.
@DougKyed is it difficult to be the play it straight guy knowing you’d get more clicks if you trolled the fans?
That’s a really good question, but no, it’s not difficult. My job is to give readers facts and information, not to troll and get cheap clicks, Twitter followers and infamy. Trolling seems very easy but not very fulfilling.
@DougKyed can you answer my question on Glenn Gronkowski fitting in with the Pats and how likely it is? You skipped it last time!
I expected the youngest Gronkowski to perform slightly better at the NFL Scouting Combine, but he’s still a potential fit as a hybrid fullback/tight end. As I say with all draft prospects, however, I’d put the chances of Gronkowski winding up on the Patriots at 1 in 32. There are just too many factors in play.
@DougKyed Does Shane McMahon really fight the Undertaker at Wrestlemania? If so what are the chances that he wins so he can run raw?
I do believe Shane actually will wrestle at WrestleMania, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that match is tweaked before “The Grandest Stage of Them All” rolls around.
Everyone seems convinced Shane will win and stick around, but I think that really depends more on Shane’s future plans. Does he want to be a weekly ficture on WWE programming again? Or is this just a ploy to get fans excited for WrestleMania with so many injuries on the roster?
I guess we’ll find out in Dallas. This is going to be a weird WrestleMania.
Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images