Patriots DB Jabrill Peppers apologizes after hot mic catches him calling his team ‘ass’

NFL

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GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 19: Jabrill Peppers #5 of the New England Patriots looks on in the second half against the Green Bay Packers during a preseason game at Lambeau Field on August 19, 2023 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

The New England Patriots are 2-9. They are a team that has looked like it should be 2-9. They are a team that has been frequently lamented by a fan base conditioned to expect a perennial contender for the past two decades.

But there are still apparently some things their players shouldn’t say out loud, even while joking.

Patriots defensive back Jabrill Peppers found himself apologizing Friday after a hot mic on the person of New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley caught him saying “You lucky we ass, bro” following a 10-7 Patriots loss.

Peppers, a former member of the Giants, was clearly joking around with his former teammate when he made that statement, but he still decided to deliver an apology to his teammates and coaches while speaking with reporters five days later.

Peppers spoke for more than three minutes, taking responsibility for his words and lamenting the potential distraction, though he also didn’t deny there was some truth to his words:

“First of all, I just want to apologize to my teammates and the coaches for even having to answer questions about that. We got more important things to worry about than me being quoted on a hot mic. At the end of the day, we’re 2-9, we got a top-5 pick in the draft that didn’t come via trade and we all know the standard. We all know what it’s supposed to look like, and it’s not that right now. It’s not no shot at anybody in the locker room. I said ‘we.’ We own that. I own that. “

Peppers went on to say he should have known better while lightly criticizing the fact that the video saw the light of day:

“I’m a professional, so things like that should not have happened. No need to blame but myself. It’s my seventh year in the league, I’m 28 years old and I know better. It was a little frustration. I know I’m smiling, but I was very, very angry. That’s one that I wanted.

“I want to be part of the solution, so it is what it is. The guys in here, they know me. They know I speak my mind. Got caught on a hot mic, man. I didn’t even give Saquon a chance to tell me. I don’t think it was right that they put that out, because a lot of things said on that football field — I know there’s multiple people mic’d up game in and game out — that they don’t put out. I was kind of taken aback by that, but at the end of the day, I own that, I own everything I say. I’m not running from it.”

The full apology:

Peppers is in his second season with the Patriots, having signed a one-year deal with the team last year and re-joining them on a two-year deal last summer.

Unfortunately for the Patriots, a few words from a starting safety are far from their biggest issue. After treading water in their first few seasons without Tom Brady, their offense has fallen apart this year.

Brady’s heir apparent, former first-rounder Mac Jones, has struggled badly enough this season to be benched in favor of Bailey Zappe, and many seem ready to move on from a quarterback once believed to be an ideal replacement. Zappe is reportedly expected to get the start this week against the Los Angeles Chargers.

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