Super Bowl LIII

Getting their due: Ex-Patriots say 2nd dynasty every bit the equal of the first

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(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

ATLANTA — Some of the Patriots who were part of the group that ended up winning three titles in four years — the teams that laid the groundwork for the start of the New England dynasty — say this group of New England players that have now won three in five years (2014, 2016, 2018) now deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as their forebears.

There are a handful of players who have made up the nucleus of the roster since 2014 that now have three rings to their name. It’s a group that includes (but is not limited to) Julian Edelman, Matthew Slater, Stephen Gostkowski, Devin McCourty, Rob Gronkowski, Dont’a Hightower, Duron Harmon and James White. It’s an impressive list, one that should likely be classified as the second Patriots’ dynasty.

“Every one is so special,” said team president Jonathan Kraft when asked if his group now has a right to stand alongside the great teams from the early days of the 21st century. “Every one is so special.”

In fact, Ted Johnson, who won rings with the Patriots in 2001, 2003 and 2004, says this group should maybe even be held in higher esteem