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Peppers apologizes for calling Patriots 'ass' in hot-mic incident

Kathryn Riley / Getty Images Sport / Getty

New England Patriots defensive back Jabrill Peppers regrets criticizing his team in a postgame conversation with New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley.

Following a 10-7 loss in Week 12, a mic'd-up Peppers was caught telling Barkley: "You lucky we ass."

"I just want to apologize to my teammates and the coaches for even having to answer questions about that," Peppers said Friday, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss. "We've got more important things to worry about than me being caught on a hot mic.

He added, "I don't think it was right that they put that out because a lot of things are said on that football field."

The Patriots fell short against the Giants after Chad Ryland missed a 35-yard field goal in the final seconds that could have forced overtime. The defeat dropped New England to 2-9 for the first time since 1992.

"At the end of the day, we're 2-9, we got a top-five pick in the draft that didn't come through a trade," Peppers said. "We all know the standard, we all know what it's supposed to look like, and it's not that right now."

"We have good players, great players, in the locker room, but every team has great players. ... And if those great and good players aren't executing, that team isn't a good team," Peppers added. But that doesn't speak to the character of men we've got in this locker room. ... The ball just hasn't been rolling in our favor and that's on no one but us."

Peppers is in his second season with the Patriots. The 28-year-old, who played three seasons with the Giants before joining New England, has racked up 62 tackles, six pass breakups, one sack, and one interception through 11 games in 2023.

The Patriots rank 31st in points scored and 21st in points allowed.

New England would own the No. 3 pick in the 2024 draft if the season ended today. The Patriots haven't drafted in the top five since selecting defensive end Willie McGinest fourth overall in 1994.

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