Matthew Judon is back on the recruiting trail for the Patriots
Morning Sports Update
“Aye ain’t nobody wearing 99 in New England.”
The Celtics defeated the Warriors 121-118 in overtime on Thursday in a rematch of the 2022 NBA Finals. Jayson Tatum led Boston with 34 points, 19 rebounds, and 6 assists.
The Bruins also won on Thursday, defeating the Rangers 3-1 to take the team’s season record to a remarkable 36-5-4.
Matthew Judon’s pitch to Aaron Donald: Though the Patriots ended up with a disappointing 8-9 record (and no playoffs), pass rusher Matthew Judon is already turning his attention to next season.
As he has done in the past, Judon has taken to Twitter to make a half-joking pitch to potential new additions. This time, it was Rams defensive superstar Aaron Donald.
Donald, 31, is a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and a seven-time first team All-Pro. He still has two years remaining on his current contract (a three-year deal worth $95 million). But after the Rams’ shambolic Super Bowl defense in 2022 — Los Angeles finished the year a disappointing 5-12 — the possibility of a rebuild exists. In that scenario, it’s also possible Donald could be used as a trade chip.
In a recent conversation on “The Season With Peter Schrager,” former defensive lineman Chris Long (who was once Donald’s teammate, as well as a former Patriot) told show host Peter Schrager that he “would love to see” Donald move to another team.
Though Donald didn’t weigh in on a possible move, he responded by tweeting that he had no intention of retiring.
Judon, who was awake at 5:30 a.m. on Thursday, replied with a Patriots pitch.
“Aye ain’t nobody wearing 99 in New England,” Judon tweeted at Donald. “Just saying.”
The likelihood of Donald getting traded (and specifically to the Patriots) still appears to be low. Donald has a no-trade clause, and could balk at the idea of being dealt to a New England team that has missed the postseason in two of the last three seasons.
Yet Judon, undeterred, continues to lead the charge on Patriots offseason recruiting.
The new league year for the 2023 season begins on March 15, at which point NFL teams can begin trading again (and free agency gets underway).
Trivia: Matthew Judon and Josh Uche both finished the 2022 season with double-digit sack totals (15.5 for Judon, 11.5 for Uche). The last time two Patriots each achieved that feat in the same season was in 2011. Can you name those two 2011 pass rushers?
(Answer at the bottom).
Hint: One was originally drafted by the Bears in 2006, the other was drafted by the 49ers in 2001.
More from Boston.com:
Brad Marchand to Patrice Bergeron: The classic Bruins duo connected, with Bergeron scoring only a day after taking a puck to the face.
On this day: In 2019, the Patriots defeated the Chiefs in overtime of the AFC Championship Game, 37-31. It was a thriller, with the Patriots jumping out to a 14-0 halftime lead before Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City offense came alive, igniting four lead changes in the fourth quarter.
But in overtime, Tom Brady methodically led New England downfield to the two-yard line. From there, Rex Burkhead powered in the winning touchdown, and the Patriots were heading back to the Super Bowl for a third consecutive season.
Daily highlight: Stephen Curry came up with the steal and drained the half-court buzzer-beater at halftime during Thursday’s dramatic Celtics-Warriors matchup.
Trivia answer: Mark Anderson, Andre Carter
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