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Patriots Notebook: Brady Contract Confusion and Controversy

Photo Credit: Newscom (File)

Patriots fans can rest easy.

The reports that Tom Brady was holding out for a Jimmy Garoppolo-level contract extension were deemed false earlier this week. While Ron Borges of The Boston Herald claimed to have spoken with a source close to the situation, the man he was actually speaking to was a man simply impersonating Brady’s agent, Don Yee.

The man impersonating Yee was Nick from Boston, a loyal fan of WEEI’s Kirk & Callahan. Nick then sent screenshots of his messages with Borges to WEEI, some of which claimed that Tom Brady would refuse to play until he got a contract in the ballpark of his former backup’s new five year $137.5 million contract. The Boston Herald quickly pulled the story and has suspended Borges’ column.

Meanwhile, WEEI co-host Christian Fauria’s reaction to this story has caused a lot of controversy. The former Patriots tight end impersonated Yee on the air, with a heavy and offensive Asian accent. Fauria has since apologized and been suspended five days.

WEEI has decided to go off-air from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, while “in the process of closely reevaluating our politics and procedures.”

Amid all the controversy and confusion, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported after the Super Bowl that Brady would be sitting down to talk with Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick to discuss his future contract with the team. Brady has two years and $28 million remaining on his contract.

No defensive coordinator in 2018?

While linebackers coach Brian Flores is still considered by many to be the favorite to become the Patriots’ next defensive coordinator, there is another option gaining steam behind the scenes.

There are some who believe that the Patriots will go without a defensive coordinator next season, which isn’t totally out of the ordinary for a Belichick-led team.

In 2005, after offensive coordinator Charlie Weis left for Notre Dame, then quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels became the play caller on offense, with the team not having an offensive coordinator.

A similar situation presented itself to New England in 2009, when defensive coordinator Dean Peas left the team. Matt Patricia, who was the linebackers and safeties coach in 2010 and 2011, was the team’s defensive play caller, despite not having the title of defensive coordinator.

With the situation not unprecedented for Belichick, there is a chance that Flores could become the play caller and leader of the Patriots defense without being hired as the defensive coordinator.

Patriots could add former target

Safety Su’a Cravens, who the Patriots have past ties with, is ready to get back to football.

Just before the start of the 2017 season, he was suffering from concussion symptoms and was then held on the injury reserve by the Washington Redskins for the entire year. Cravens has since been cleared to return to football, but all signs point to the Redskins letting him go this offseason.

The Patriots were very high on the USC product in the 2016 NFL Draft, as Cravens himself claims that he was told the Patriots were going to draft him with the 60th pick. However, Washington took him at #53, and the Patriots selected Cyrus Jones instead.

With recent rumors of the Patriots cutting Jordan Richards to clear cap space this spring, Cravens could serve as his replacement. Bill Belichick has played Patrick Chung and Richards as safety/linebacker hybrids the past few seasons, and Cravens has the skill set to potentially fit into that mold as well.

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