Yesterday was day one of the legal tampering period in NFL Free Agency, and the New England Patriots were spending money like it's the end of the world (in their defense, it might be).
To quote someone I'm going to write about as soon as I finish this blog; the Pats signed "not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6" but SEVEN free agents yesterday (and I covered six of them, sorry Henry Anderson). They dished out over 137.5 MILLION dollars of guaranteed money in the process.
In 20ish years of fandom, I've never seen anything like this before. It only took four of those contracts to out-spent the Patriots' last three off-seasons combined.
Yes, the Patriots have given out big deals to free agents before, but after Stephon Gilmore in 2017, the next big contracts that come to mind are Adalius Thomas in 2007 and Roosevelt Colvin in 2003; it's okay to say this is something they don't normally do. Whatever the Patriots were doing from 2001-2019 seemed to work out alright.
Today, the Patriots continued to use free agency to reload for 2021 as they added another tight end to pair up with Jonnu Smith, someone that most websites had as the #1 tight end free agent, Hunter Henry.
Belichick has had his eye on Hunter Henry since he was taking pre-algebra at Pulaski Academy. Hell, I bet BB could correct me and recite Hunter's entire transcription since Kindergarten.
It's safe to say I've wanted to get my thoughts about this deal out on DOL for a while.
I've already said I'm not super crazy about all the guys they signed (really just Mills, and that's only because I'm stereotyping all Eagles DBs as ass after last season...oh and Agholor too, but it could work...it's clear he's not going to be the #1 target now), but I LOVEEEE this signing.
The Patriots have a clear identity on offense now. They're going back to their 12 personal routes from the days of Gronk and a guy whose jersey you should definitely never wear.
Now, neither of these guys will ever be pre-Pollard injury Gronk, but after getting essentially nothing from their two third-round tight ends this season, the Patriots aren't fucking around. They know they fucked up like Jim Calhoun and are trying to right their wrong(s). Hopefully, Asiasi or Keane can turn into Emeka Okafor, but if they don't, the Pats signed the two best available options to give Cam Newton (or somebody else) some big targets in the red zone and the rest of the 80 yards of the field as well. I am beyond excited to see these guys give opposing defenses nightmares.
Am I worried about all this spending to cover up the last seven or so years' worth of draft mistakes? Yeah, a little.
But none of those teams were coached by Bill Belichick. He knows this roster has holes, and he's addressing them. Patriot fans should be happy. I feel like people aren't giving him enough credit for his coaching job this past season. From a talent standpoint, the Patriots roster should've maxed out at 4-12, but Belichick coached and schemed the Patriots into seven wins. They were a few Cam Newton mistakes away from 10!
If what the Patriots are doing is good enough for Cynthia, it's good enough for me!
I still have zero clue how the salary caps and you're probably in the same boat, but apparently there's still plenty of room to make even more moves!