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Max Kellerman’s 3 stupidest Patriots hot takes

03.16.17 at 4:23 pm ET
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It feels dirty to write about Max Kellerman. The “First Take” co-host is the most transparent troll on sports television, surpassing the man he replaced, Skip Bayless. Those who grant him attention, even if it’s negative, are giving him exactly what he wants –– and thus encouraging him to continue.

But even feigned stupidity deserves to be called out. And Kellerman, who over the last year has predicted Tom Brady’s imminent demise and Bill Belichick’s forthcoming retirement, is in a class all by himself. Ever since taking over for Bayless, he’s spouted a bevy of insane Patriots hot takes. The three most ridiculous are below:

1) Tom Brady ‘will be a bum in short order

Roughly six months after Kellerman predicted the end of Brady’s career, the Patriots quarterback led his team on the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. Brady completed 21-of-27 passes in the fourth quarter and overtime against the Falcons, spearheading the 25-point come-from-behind victory.

With five Lombardi Trophies and four Super Bowl MVPs on his resume, there’s little question Brady is the greatest of all-time. And the scary part is, he’s never been better. Brady led the AFC in passer-rating last season at 39 years old.

Kellerman, who said last summer Brady is “just about done,” couldn’t look more ridiculous right now. His obtuseness was highlighted in the second quarter of Super Bowl LI, when he took a premature victory lap on Twitter.

In the immediate aftermath of Brady’s late-game heroics, one would think Kellerman would’ve admitted defeat on ESPN the next day. But instead, he doubled-down.

“Tom Brady threw a pick six in yesterday’s game, and tried to throw a couple more –– two or three more in the second half of a tight game,” he said. “Look, I love Eli Manning. He’s an incredible clutch performer. But Giants fans know, you need to get lucky as well. Then you have to make the most of the opportunity, which Tom Brady did. But had the DB’s just held onto a few of those balls, we don’t have this conversation right now about Tom Brady’s performance. So it is also somewhat lucky.”

It’s offensive to the audience when you refuse to admit you’re wrong –– even when evidence is slapping you in the face. Kellerman is Bayless without the nuance.

2) Bill Belichick will retire this season 

The Patriots have been exceptionally aggressive this offseason. They signed cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a five-year, $65 million contract and traded a first-round pick to the Saints for wide receiver Brandin Cooks. On “First Take” Monday, Kellerman said he thinks Belichick’s impending exit is the reason why the Patriots have acted so urgently.

“He knows that Brady’s, and his, days are numbered –– obviously. Since when do the Patriots load up by trading their highest draft picks for players?,” he asked. “When does Belichick trade his highest available draft picks for the present? You know when? Right now. He is getting ready, for his and Tom Brady’s swan song. Now, my belief is, that will be this season. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe his belief is he’s got another two seasons. But the point is, he knows the end is coming. He is absolutely loading up to win a least one more Super Bowl, because at this moment they are so clearly the odds on favorites.”

Prior to Super Bowl LI, Patriots owner Robert Kraft revealed he knows when Belichick is going to hang it up. But there’s no indication that’s going to happen this season. Also, if Belichick were going to walk away after 2017, wouldn’t he have traded Jimmy Garoppolo by now? There’s no reason for Belichick to even consider keeping the potential quarterback of the future if he’s going to leave soon.

3) Racial double-standard between Ezekiel Elliott and Rob Gronkowski 

Elliott has been lambasted this week for pulling down a woman’s bra at a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dallas last weekend. This led Kellerman to wonder Wednesday why Gronkowski doesn’t get criticized for his off-field shenanigans.

“Why are we asking about the double-standard in the first place, given the differences in the set of facts?,” he asked. “We’re asking because it does play into stereotypes. On the one hand, good-natured party guy, who tends to be white –– at least as depicted in popular culture –– versus more menacing.”

Of course, the NFL is currently investigating Elliott for domestic violence. Gronkowski, meanwhile, doesn’t have a criminal record to speak of. That’s the reason why there’s a double-standard between the two. Race-baiting in this scenario is weak, and subtracts from legitimate cases where a double-standard may apply.

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