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Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady realized ‘another way’ to achieve NFL success

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For 20 seasons, Tom Brady only knew one way — the “Patriot Way” — but it took just one additional season to realize that it wasn’t the only way to achieve success.

“When you’re in one place for 20 years, you think that’s the only way,” Brady told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in an interview that aired Wednesday. “And I think when you go to a different place, you realize, ‘Wow. There’s another way that people do things.'”

He later added: “I was the new guy for the first time, you know. And that was a really different experience.”

Those new experiences resulted in a familiar outcome, as Brady won another Super Bowl championship — his seventh overall — in his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He signed with the Bucs as a free agent last offseason, leaving behind the legacy he built with the New England Patriots

“I think that’s a great part about football,” Brady told GMA. “It’s not really about what you did last year. It’s kind of, what you’re going to do this year. So, for me, it was what I was going to do for the Bucs last year. I still feel that way.”

“That’s a big part of what I understood last year: Things are gonna be different. I try to work within what’s currently happening, but still try to do the best I could do. All of it was really, really amazing – obviously with the way the season ended – so it was a great year.”

It was also the first season that he had played for a head coach other than New England’s Bill Belichick.

“[Bruce Arians] is a great motivator,” Brady said of the Bucs’ coach. “He’s got a great feel for the team … a great pulse for what’s going on in a locker room, great intuition, great evaluation of talent.”

And at age 43, Brady relied on motivation to keep his competitive fire stoked en route to winning his fifth Super Bowl MVP award.

“I was always kind of motivated by people that say, ‘You can’t do it,” Brady said. “You know, ‘you’re not good enough, you’re not fast enough, not big enough, not good enough arm.’ I’ve had a body of work over a period of time and … quickly you forget.”

That body of work isn’t finished. Brady is tied with the Bucs through the 2022 season after agreeing to an extension this offseason that saved $19 million against the salary cap for 2021. And with that money, the Bucs kept the band together, with all 22 starters on offense and defense returning to the team to defend its title.

“I don’t think proving it, for me, is the motivation,” Brady told GMA. “I still want to play. I got like a little sickness in me that just wants to throw a frickin’ spiral, you know what I mean?

“Once you stop, you can’t go back and do it. I got some more football [left in me]. I mean, not a lot – and I know that. But what I got left, I’m gonna go and give everything I got.”

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Detroit Lions sign ‘Lance Chance U’ RB Rakeem Boyd as undrafted free agent

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The Detroit Lions announced Monday that they’ve agreed to terms with 13 undrafted free agents, including Rakeem Boyd, whose name may ring a bell for football fans.

Not only was Boyd a star running back at Arkansas, he also starred in Season 3 of Netflix’s “Last Chance U” docuseries.

“Swear ima make em pay.. been in this position before,” Boyd tweeted Saturday.

Boyd fits the mold of tough-nosed players that the new regime added during this year’s draft class. In 2018 and 2019, he led Arkansas in rushing before opting out of the end of the 2020 regular season to focus on the NFL draft.

As a junior, he rushed for 1,133 yards with eight touchdowns in 12 games.

He entered the national spotlight on the “Last Chance U” Netflix series during his stint at Independence Community College in Kansas where he rejuvenated his career after transferring out of Texas A&M due to early academic issues.

By 2020, Boyd would clean up his act to finish his Arkansas career averaging 5.81 yards per rush, which was sixth-highest in school history.

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New England Patriots decline RB Sony Michel’s fifth-year option, pick up Isaiah Wynn’s, sources say

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The New England Patriots declined the fifth-year option on running back Sony Michel‘s rookie contract while exercising the option on offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn‘s deal, sources told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

Monday was the deadline for teams to exercise the options for players selected in the first round of the 2018 draft. If exercised, those players’ 2022 base salaries become fully guaranteed.

The Patriots selected Wynn and Michel, both teammates at the University of Georgia, with the 23rd and 31st picks respectively in the 2018 draft.

Michel has rushed for 2,292 yards and 14 touchdowns in three seasons with the Patriots. He also has 26 receptions for 258 yards and a touchdown. Although he rushed for more than 900 yards in each of his first two seasons, he appeared in just nine games last season after spending time on injured reserve with a quad injury suffered in September of last season. He finished with 449 yards and a touchdown, while averaging 5.7 yards per carry.

The Patriots would have owed Michel a base salary of approximately $4.5 million per Over The Cap, fully guaranteed, in 2022 if they had exercised his option.

Wynn missed his rookie season in 2018 after tearing his ACL in the preseason. Injuries have limited him to 18 games (all starts) total at left tackle the past two seasons.

By having his option exercised, Wynn will be paid a base salary of $10.4 million, fully guaranteed, in 2022.

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Cleveland Browns sign Malik McDowell, ex-Seattle Seahawks 2nd-round pick yet to play in NFL

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The Cleveland Browns have signed free agent defensive tackle Malik McDowell, who is attempting an NFL comeback following a series of injuries and off-field issues.

The 2017 second-round pick out of Michigan State was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks, but never played for the team after suffering a head injury in an ATV accident and was ultimately released.

McDowell also was sentenced to 11 months in jail and three years of probation after pleading guilty in 2019 to a series of crimes in Michigan. He was charged with assault, resisting arrest and operating a vehicle while intoxicated after an incident in which he fought with two officers after a DUI stop. Then he was found in possession of a stolen truck, which led to a charge of receiving and concealing stolen property. As part of McDowell’s sentencing in Oakland County (Michigan), a judge ordered him to write four essays on finding meaning in life other than committing crimes, the importance of respecting the rule of law, the principles of the Declaration of Independence and how his behavior undermined them, and the importance of respecting property rights.

Browns general manager Andrew Berry said the team did “extensive work” on McDowell before signing him.

“We are certainly aware of Malik’s past,” Berry said in a statement. “He is accountable for his actions and has had to live with the consequences for decisions earlier in his life. We believe Malik is in a good place, personally and medically. He has taken the necessary steps to get on a healthy path, and has learned from his experiences. Malik understands the expectations we have of him as he attempts to make our football team. He is committed to taking advantage of the support network in place to become the best version of himself — both on and off the field — and we will support him as he attempts to make his return to football.”

McDowell was an All-Big Ten performer for the Spartans.

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