Brandon Copeland plans to kick off his New England Patriots tenure with a generous donation.
During his introductory video conference with reporters Wednesday, the new Patriots linebacker outlined his plan to donate $10,000 worth of groceries to a low-income Boston neighborhoods affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Copeland already has made similar donations in his native Baltimore and in New Jersey, where he played for the last two seasons as a member of the New York Jets. He’s also hosted virtual personal finance seminars for quarantined NFL players.
The 28-year-old said he wants to be remembered for efforts like these, not for his on-field exploits.
“I really want to make sure that at my funeral, as grim as that may sound, there’s more people talking about the holiday shopping spree we took them on, or the groceries we gave them during a crazy time like this, than a sack that I’m going to have this year or something like that,” Copeland said. “And again, I know that might be weird to say in a forum like this, but that’s just the reality of the situation.”
Though he has yet to play a down for the Patriots, who signed him as a free agent in March, Copeland already has visions of the legacy he hopes to leave behind in New England.
“With whatever time we do have, I just want to leave my mark on everyone I come into contact with,” he said. “Whether that’s the player next to me, the player opposite from me on the offensive side, the chef, the janitor, and the same thing for the Patriot fans and followers. I’ve been fortunate to, I think personally, leave a positive mark anywhere I go. And for me, that’s the most important thing.”
On the field, Copeland has the versatility to play multiple positions in New England’s front seven and in the kicking game. The University of Pennsylvania product primarily played as an edge rusher in 2018 — and finished with five sacks and 14 QB hits — before shifting to more of an off-the-ball role last season. He’s also played more than 300 special teams snaps in three of his four NFL seasons.
“When I step on the field, you know you’re going to get my all,” Copeland said. “There’s never going to be (a play) that you look at and say, ‘Did he give it his all there or not?’ You know you’re going to get a fighter. You know you’re going to get a dog who is going to work his tail off. That’s base level, ground line. After that, that’s where the true impact is made of like those conversations, and that person, and making that true human interaction.”
Copeland, draft picks Josh Uche, Anfernee Jennings and Cassh Maluia, and undrafted free agents De’Jon Harris and Kyahva Tezino will bolster a Patriots linebacking corps that lost Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Elandon Roberts in free agency.