NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (15-4)
OPEN CAMP: July 29, Foxborough, Massachusetts.
LAST YEAR: Easily won AFC East for 11th time in 12 seasons, then beat Baltimore 35-31 and Indianapolis 45-7 to reach Super Bowl for sixth time in Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era. Beat Seattle 28-24 when Malcolm Butler intercepted pass at goal line with 20 seconds left. Offseason was dominated by ''Deflategate'' controversy involving improperly inflated footballs in AFC championship game.
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IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: CB Chimdi Chekwa; DE Jabaal Sheard; QB Matt Flynn; WR Brandon Gibson; TE Scott Chandler.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: CBs Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner; DT Vince Wilfork; RBs Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley; OL Dan Connolly; equipment managers Jim McNally and John Jastremski.
CAMP NEEDS: Develop backup quarterback in case Brady's four-game suspension is upheld. Candidates are Jimmy Garoppolo, in his second season, and veteran Matt Flynn. Patriots will also need to revamp defense to account for losing Revis and Browner, as well as Wilfork.
EXPECTATIONS: Even with Brady's suspension looming, Patriots should be able to claim another division title. Problem arises if his absence costs them chance at first-round bye; none of team's four Super Bowl titles has come after it played in wild-card round. But look for team to use cheating allegations as motivation; last time Patriots were punished for breaking rules, in 2007 after being caught videotaping opponents' signals, they went 16-0 in regular season, ultimately losing Super Bowl to Giants.
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