It's been a wild week in Patriots Nation. Free agency frenzy was truly that -- a frenzy.
The Patriots added quite a few new faces, not to mention some familiar ones, as well. With eight new free agent signings, there is a lot of ground to cover to get to know each one beyond what they bring to the football field. So let's jump right in.
Introducing, the Patriots newest free agent signings -- off of the field.
Kendrick Bourne is joining the Patriots from the 49ers, and while the Bay has been his home for the past few years, he is the son of Portland, Oregon. In an Athletic article from last summer, Bourne returned to his home town and went above and beyond to show families and businesses in need love during a difficult time.
Bourne is also active on social media. In addition to his Instagram and Twitter, he is on TikTok and has a YouTube channel. On his channel, Bourne offers fans everything, from behind the scenes look at the life of an NFL player to what he eats in a day on a tour of Portland's best food carts. His former teammates in San Francisco said his positivity and joy that you see on his social media is infectious in the locker room, as well. In an NBC Sports story from 2019, head coach Kyle Shanahan said he has a kid-like love of football.
On top of social media savvy, Bourne is also dedicated to giving back. He and his family run the Bourne Blessed Foundation, which aims to provide financial support to those in need, promote community through activities and educate people about health care issues that impact minorities.
Hunter Henry joins the Patriots after spending his career with the Chargers, and he will be reuniting with former teammate, Adrian Phillips.
Much like Bourne, Henry uses his platform to share behind the scenes moments as an NFL player. He and former teammate Sean Culkin host a podcast series on YouTube, Flow Bros. On this show, they discuss whatever is on their minds, including their mindsets heading into the offseason. Henry is also present on the new platform, Clubhouse.
While Henry is used to grinding on the football field, in a Players' Tribune essay from December, he shined a light on his wife, Parker, who is a labor and delivery nurse in Los Angeles. He wrote how in the toughest year of her career, working in a hospital through the pandemic, he wanted to be there for her like she was in his most difficult times.
"I think that all both of us really want in life is to leave this world a better place than we found it. I still hope I'm able to do that," Henry wrote. "But I know you're doing it. So thank you, Parker. Keep doing what you do. And I'll continue being awed by it."
Next up, we welcome Jalen Mills, or the Green Goblin. You might recognize him from his signature bright green hair, fitting for his time as a Philadelphia Eagle. Even though the Patriots are firmly in the no-green camp as far as uniforms, don't expect Mills to change his dye or nickname.
Mills uses his social media to connect with fans, even doing an Instagram live to have conversations with one of their favorite players. He's also vocal on Twitter, using his platform to encourage others. Ahead of the 2020 presidential election, Mills was one of several Eagles players to take a bus around Philadelphia to promote and encourage people to vote.
After a difficult 2020, Mills also penned a letter that he read for Uninterrupted about his hopes for 2021 that Patriots fans will be happy to hear.
"I hope you provide me with strength, success, good health and great wealth. With this upcoming season, I hope you continue to bless me with being able to do the things I love to do," Mills said. "I promise to train harder than I ever did before because this year is going to be bigger and better than ever."
Smith reportedly joins the Patriots from the Titans, and just before free agency, he was on The Adam Schefter Podcast talking about his journey and how he would be handling jumping into free agency. Not long after the episode aired, it was reported he signed with the Patriots during legal tampering, so his future wasn't uncertain for long. On Wednesday afternoon, he appeared on NFL Network and said "[The Patriots] are definitely getting the hardest worker that's ever come through Gillette Stadium."
Away from the football field, Smith comes from a large family and is the youngest of six kids raised in Philadelphia. After his father died when Smith was 4 years old, his mother raised him and his siblings as a single mother. His upbringing was deeply rooted in faith, something he wrote about for the Titans team website in 2019.
Matthew Judon joins the Patriots as Pro Bowl pass rusher who was drafted by the Ravens. While he's got big game on the field, off the field, he has an equally boisterous personality. Just one scroll through his Instagram makes that clear.
He is unafraid to share the incredible and funny moments on his page, like a 20-minute IGTV video of him singing karaoke or taking a ballet class with his daughter. During the early days of the pandemic, he even hosted a mini-series dating show, "Desperate at 35," where he sought to match his sister-in-law, Jessica, with eligible single followers.
Patriots fans might also remember Judon from his memorable Sunday Night Football introduction in 2019. Typically, players introduce themselves with their name and college. Judon, however, went another route.
"Matthew Judon. Body built by Taco Bell," he said.
Turns out, he wasn't kidding. Taco Bell has been a consistent love for him. Before he was drafted, Judon was asked how he would spend his first NFL paycheck. He said he'd take a trip to his favorite spot. He even dedicated his Pro Bowl cleats to Taco Bell. Luckily for him, there's one within a 10-minute drive of Gillette Stadium.
Nelson Agholor spent most of his career with the Eagles, but spent the 2020 season with the Raiders. What he knows about hard work, he learned from his parents. In an interview, Agholor said he was 5-years-old when his family moved from Nigeria to the United States, and right away his parents went to work to provide for their family, often juggling more than one job. For Agholor, football and basketball were a way to connect to his peers after moving.
That hard work shows on the field, but especially in the community. Agholor's Our Kids, Our Responsibility initiative and Building Reading Muscles aim to get into the community and help kids thrive. He hosts football camps regularly, reading challenges and provides kids with school supplies.
Earlier this year, Agholor announced he was teaming up Homie's Make Homes Possible mission to help 25,000 Black families become homeowners over the next 10 years. The goal is to reduce the Black homeownership gap.
Henry Anderson spent his career to this point as a familiar foe to Patriots fans, first with the Colts and most recently with the Jets.
Though you may know him as well, Henry, he also goes by another nickname with mysterious origins: Goose. Anderson picked up the nickname during his Stanford days, and it has traveled with him all the way to the NFL. Rumor has it, it started with a round of Madden in college in which Anderson was getting shut out.
A teammate said he was going for the goose egg, and the rest is history.
However, in an ESPN article from 2018, Anderson alluded that this wasn't the full story.
"There are half-truths that have been released to certain media, especially in college," he said. "The true origin, I can't really say it. It's kind of a secret."
No matter. It'll be no time before he has a new Newton-given nickname in the rotation.
The next reported Patriot up is former Miami Dolphin Davon Godchaux.
Godchaux has quite the sneaker collection, and in an episode of "Sneaker Battle" on "Complex," he faced off against his now current teammate, Mills. The two went head-to-head, showing off their sneaker collections. They competed in best Air Force 1s, luxury designer sneakers, high top sneaker, sneaker and cleat to wear on game day and the battler's choice. So be sure to look out for a top-tier shoe game from both Godchaux and Mills.
Aside from an excellent sneaker selection, Godchaux is dedicated to giving back to the community through his Chaux Down Foundation. He is focused on helping kids be their best, empowering them through fitness, literacy and educational programming. While in Miami, Godchaux threw himself into the community so much that he was the Dolphins 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee.
"At the end of the day, I think the kids are the next generation," he said in an interview with the Dolphins website. "That's the next group up. We have to make sure our kids are straight. Any time I have a chance to impact a kid's life I think it's always important because I feel like growing up somebody impacted my life."
The next Patriot joining in the first week of free agency is former Green Bay Packer Montravius Adams.
Adams is a proud father and has quite the story about the birth of his first child, Montravius Jr. When his name was called as the No. 93 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, he was still in the hospital, celebrating the arrival of his baby boy. Quite the day for him and his family.
On Friday, the Patriots added another free agent: Raekwon McMillan.
If you're reading this and thinking his name sounds familiar, he has a famous namesake: Raekwon of Wu-Tang Clan. McMillan's mother is a big fan of Wu-Tang Clan and was inspired by their music, so much so that she named her son after one of its members. In an ESPN article from 2017, word got back to Raekwon about the young, budding linebacker with his name.
"It's a blessing to be able to get that kind of support from people that you never met, and they get an inspiration from you based on your talent and your work ethic in the music business," Raekwon told ESPN. "It's an honor. I feel honored. I'm happy that I can be some kind of inspiration to somebody to pass down to their family. That's a beautiful thing."
Name aside, McMillan has worked to create a legacy for himself off the football field. After losing his grandfather to throat cancer, he's become an advocate for cancer patients and survivors. When he was with the Dolphins, McMillan was on the board for the Dolphins Cancer Challenge.
"My grandfather passed away from throat cancer about six, seven years ago," McMillan said to the Dolphins team website. "My mom, she really pointed it out to me that I need to get out there and go support it and make sure that I build more awareness for people back home, not just here in Florida but people back home and make sure they realize that this is a big thing."
With all of this, it'll be an exciting 2021 season to see what these new Patriots bring to the field and off of it.