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A family version of the New England Patriots‘ Super Bowl LI championship ring with “Brady” on it sold Sunday morning for $344,927, a record for a football ring.

The ring, which has 265 diamonds compared to the 283 that Tom Brady‘s actual ring has and is about 10 percent smaller, has the same engraving that Brady’s ring would have. The ring comes with a letter of appraisal from its maker, Jostens, for Brady that assesses its jewelry value at $29,700. Ken Goldin, president of Goldin Auctions, which sold the ring, would not say who consigned the ring or how it was obtained. Goldin also said the buyer prefers to remain anonymous.

To put the astronomical price paid for the Brady ring in perspective, only one piece of sports memorabilia from the past 25 years sold for more than this ring: Mike Piazza’s uniform from the New York Mets‘ first game after Sept. 11, 2001. That jersey was sold in a private sale by Goldin for $365,000 in April 2016.

The nearly $350,000 price point obliterates the previous record paid for an NFL championship ring. The Super Bowl XXV ring of New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor sold for $230,401 in 2012.

Friends and family rings don’t commonly surface for big stars, but when they do, they are often competitively bid on. Prior to Sunday morning, the most a friends and family ring sold for was $173,102. That was the price paid in July 2013 for a Kobe Bryant 2000 Los Angeles Lakers championship ring owned by his father Joe. The auction was also conducted by Goldin.

Considering they have won five times, Patriots rings have been relatively rare to surface at auctions. In February 2005, former Patriots backup cornerback Leonard Myers sold his Super Bowl XXXVI ring for $32,600. Lineman Maurice Anderson sold his Super Bowl XXXVI ring for $41,825 in 2016. A staff ring from that same Super Bowl, the Patriots’ first, sold for $36,000 last year.

Rings of more significant players sold recently include the Super Bowl XXX ring of Raiders CB Larry Brown, who was MVP in that game, for $71,700 in 2016. The Super Bowl XVIII ring of Lester Hayes also sold that year for $54,970.

Other big-ticket items Goldin sold in the auction on Sunday morning include the racket Bobby Riggs used in his “Battle of the Sexes” match against Billie Jean King for $27,500. An unopened box of 1966 Topps football cards sold for more than $75,000 and a head of the famous San Diego Chicken sold for $9,820.

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Gardner Minshew’s mullet is no more

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Mondays are heavy days historically, but this one is particularly so because Gardner Minshew II‘s mullet is no more.

Yeah, Minshew may have gotten a hair cut yesterday, but this is the first I’m learning about it. So the pain is as fresh as if the stylist had just swept the Jacksonville Jaguars‘ backup quarterback’s fallen locks from the floor.

In what feels like the last remnant of a phenomenon once known as “Minshew Mania,” the former pride of Duval County chopped off his power source:

At the risk of sounding rash, it seems to me Trevor Lawrence came to town and basically told his new QB2 that there wasn’t enough room for both of their glorious heads of hair in that town and, well, we know who won that battle.

To be fair, I sort of knew this was going to happen as soon as Tim Tebow signed with the Jags.

Tebow, Lawrence’s mane AND one of the defining mullets of our generation? That’s just too much juice for one team.

Now, let us take one last look at Minshew’s former masterpiece for posterity:

In the haunting words of Michelle Branch: “Goodbye to you, goodbye to everything that I knew.”



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Minnesota Vikings expect DE Danielle Hunter at mandatory minicamp, source says

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MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings expect to have defensive end Danielle Hunter back in the fold this week during mandatory minicamp, a source told ESPN, after the Pro Bowl defensive end missed the team’s entire voluntary offseason program.

Hunter, 26, sat out the 2020 NFL season with a herniated disk that required surgery last October. At the time of his surgery, it was reported that the defensive end was unhappy with the state of his contract and wanted a reworked deal ahead of the 2021 season.

NFL Network, which first reported that Hunter planned to attend minicamp, is reporting that the Vikings and Hunter have agreed to terms on a reworked deal that will give the defensive end $5.6 million of the $12.75 million he is set to make in 2021 as a signing bonus. Hunter now has an $18 million roster bonus due on the fifth day of the 2022 league year.

With $14.272 million in cap space, the Vikings moved up a significant amount of money to satisfy Hunter’s desire for more compensation in the short term while allowing both parties the time to work out a long-term extension following the 2021 season, NFL Network reported. The Vikings will need to make a decision on Hunter’s future by the fifth day of the 2022 league year.

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CB Stephon Gilmore doesn’t report for New England Patriots’ mandatory minicamp, source says

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, did not report to mandatory minicamp that began Monday, a source confirmed.

Gilmore could be making a statement about his contract, as he is scheduled to earn a base salary of $7 million in 2021.

The Patriots had advanced $4.5 million of Gilmore’s 2021 salary to him last year, leading to this year’s low figure.

Gilmore, who turns 31 in September, is in the final year of the five-year, $65 million pact he signed with the Patriots as an unrestricted free agent in 2017. The deal included $40 million in injury guarantees and $31 million fully guaranteed at signing.

At the time, a contract with those guarantees and an average of $13 million per season was viewed as a strong deal. The cornerback market has since exploded, with Jalen Ramsey of the Los Angeles Rams topping it with a contract averaging $20 million per season.

Acknowledging they didn’t have specifics of the situation, teammates noted Gilmore’s absence in the locker room Monday, as well as on the practice field.

“I support my brother. I wish he was here, but I support him all the same,” veteran safety Adrian Phillips said. “What he has going, whenever he gets back here, he’ll let you know how it went.”

Longtime captain Matthew Slater added: “That’s a situation I don’t want to get too far into, because it’s frankly none of my business. Obviously you support all your teammates, whether they are here or not.”

Head coach Bill Belichick deflected questions on Gilmore earlier Monday and wouldn’t reveal whether he has given him (or any player) an excused absence. Players who don’t report for mandatory minicamp can be fined up to $93,085 — which breaks down to $15,515 for the first missed day, $31,030 for the second missed day and $46,540 for the third missed day.

Gilmore partially tore his quad in a Week 15 loss last season, landing on injured reserve.

The Boston Globe first reported Gilmore’s absence.

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