The "Unamed Source" is famous in media circles these days. This one in particular works in local sports media, but for any number of reasons, wants to stay anonymous.
3 Patriots with the most at stake on Sunday
The Super Bowl is for all the marbles. But besides franchise glory, there are some guys that have more on the line Sunday than another ring.
Flowers is set to hit the open market this off season and has become the most valuable member of the Patriots front-7. Flowers isn’t your traditional pin-your-ears-back-edge-rushing defensive end, but a hybrid that could only exist on a Bill Belichick team. Flowers sets the edge like a mason building a retaining wall, stalks running backs and with long arms can make plays that your more traditional pass rushers overlook in their pursuit of sacks.
It’s difficult to forecast how the market will be for a guy like Trey Flowers will develop, many believe that it won’t match what a flashier name like Jadeveon Clowney will command in free agency but a big game against the Rams could make him much more attractive to teams.
Who? Exactly my point, Chris Hogan was the forgotten man this season and a curiosity to Patriots fans as to what happened to a guy who was Brady’s most trusted target for the first half of 2017. Hogan came up huge with a couple of humongously important catches against Kansas City and because Josh Gordon isn’t walking through that door he might have to do it again against Los Angeles.
Hogan is set to become a free agent this off season, I’m not sure if the Patriots would bring him back for another year, Hogan represented a $3.5 million cap hit in 2018, but after his lack of production (or use as his agent will surely argue) the Patriots might be able to bring back a dependable pass catcher for a team friendly price. Something they couldn’t do with Danny Amendola a year ago after he went off in the playoffs and Super Bowl.
Unlike the other two, Hightower isn’t about to hit the open market due to a 4-year deal signed after Super Bowl 51 in 2017. Hightower represents salary cap hits of $10.9 million in 2019 and $11.3 million in 2020. After the way the Patriots have treated big ticket veterans like Vince Wilfork and Danny Amendola, it feels like Hightower might be a prime candidate to be approached about a pay cut in 2019.
Hightower, who has been a steady force on the Patriots defense was unimpressive early in the season, but for a player who has battled injuries in his career, 2018 was among Hightower’s most healthy yet unspectacular seasons. With a very good showing against the Chargers and a solid effort vs KC, Hightower could benefit tremendously from another key play in a Super Bowl. (A la, his strip sack of Matt Ryan two years ago.)
The money’s on the table, who will pick it up?