Eric Mangini isn’t putting too much stock into the recent report linking A.J. Green and Hunter Henry to the New England Patriots.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller recently reported the feeling around the NFL is Tom Brady will re-sign with the Patriots this offseason and receive some offensive help, with Green and Henry among the free agents who’ve come up “consistently” in conversations. Mangini, a former NFL coach who worked on Bill Belichick’s staff in New England from 2000 through 2005, pretty much laughed off the chatter during last Friday’s episode of “First Things First” on FS1.
“Who puts out these reports? Like seriously, who puts out these reports? Who’s talking to New England? Has Bill suddenly opened up the line of communication? ‘Hey, we’re looking at Hunter Henry and A.J. Green, but don’t tell anybody.’ I mean, come on,” Mangini said. “Nick Caserio, is he talking? Who is giving information out of New England?
“I’m just saying. Could they be on New England’s list? Yeah, they’re both potential guys that could be on it. You want to take any other name in the NFL who’s a free agent, who’s an offensive player, who’s had a little bit of success and put them on that list, yeah, go ahead. I’ll put that report out there: Any offensive player who’s a free agent, who’s a little productive may be on New England’s list.”
It’s unclear what exactly Brady intends to prioritize upon reaching the open market for the first time in his NFL career, but there’s been speculation the six-time Super Bowl champion would like more weapons to work with as he enters his age-43 season. The Patriots struggled offensively for much of 2019 thanks in large to a shoddy offensive line, a lackluster rushing attack, a lack of wide receiver depth and virtually zero tight end support. All of it contributed toward a rather significant regression in Brady’s overall numbers and ultimately an early postseason exit for the Patriots.
Still, Mangini doesn’t believe Brady will demand that New England go out and add more offensive pieces. If the Patriots do make such changes, great, but making those types of requests would fly in the face of how Brady typically has operated throughout the course of his 20-year NFL career.
“No. Because you do business one way and it’s brought you unprecedented success, and then suddenly in the twilight of your career, you’re gonna ask for the business to be done differently,” Mangini said. “When you get older and you’re a guy like Tom Brady, you typically get wiser and you appreciate the things that you have and you appreciate the way that things work, and you may not totally enjoy how they work, but it’s something that you understand is necessary to get the results that you want. So it’s hard for me to even justify the idea of Tom sitting back and going, ‘Well, you have to do this, you have to do that.’ That’s not how he’s built. That’s now how he’s wired. And that being said, there’s no just getting the talent in New England. But the talent has to fit into the system. There’s been plenty of guys that have been talented that couldn’t fit into the system.”
The Patriots are coming off a 2019 campaign in which they went 12-4 in the regular season, securing their 11th consecutive AFC title, before falling to the Tennessee Titans in the wild-card round of the NFL playoffs.
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