New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has made a habit of waiting for the perfect time to make big moves. Now, before the free agency period even starts, the Pats have already strengthened their roster by signing two of the league’s top defensive players. For the first time in four years, the Pats are set to have four players on the field at the same time, with defensive stars Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower joining a team-high 10-time Pro Bowler Rob Ninkovich. It’s no wonder Belichick has been nicknamed “the genius” by many of his peers.
The Patriots took a major hit in the off season, losing two major pieces of the puzzle in LB Jerod Mayo and WR Brandon Lloyd. But the Patriots will still be good, because they a) have Tom Brady, and b) have the gold standard for coaching and personnel management in Bill Belichick.
The Patriots have won three Super Bowls in the last four years, and after this season they will be playing for a fourth. So, it’s safe to say that Belichick and Co. are the best team in football. But, how many would have anticipated that the team would have a much more active offseason than other leagues?. Read more about patriots’ quarterback 2020 and let us know what you think.After Tom Brady officially left the New England Patriots team, it seemed that the Patriots’ road had little chance of survival. But despite the loss of a legendary quarterback and locker room leader, Bill Belichick doesn’t seem to have a problem with team culture at all.
In fact, his riskiest acquisition of the season has already proven that some of the key principles that helped the Patriots win six Super Bowls from 2001-19 are still true. And if Trent Brown is back to his best in his second stint in New England, Belichick can match Brady and add another Super Bowl ring to his impressive collection.
The Patriots are making strides this season, and it’s still early.
– OL Trent Brown (trade)
– QB Cam Newton (FA)
– TE Jonnu Smith (FA)
– OLB Matt Judon (FA)
– NT Davon Godchaux (FA)
– DB Jalen Mills (FA) pic.twitter.com/BZHa6wrxP2
– Sporting News (@sportingnews) 15 Mar 2021
While the Patriots have certainly improved their overall talent level this spring, it remains to be seen if Belichick has contracted the right group of players to contend for a championship. Finally, most of the team’s acquisitions this season have been surrounded by question marks.
Can outside linebacker Matthew Judon provide enough passing room to justify his four-year, $56 million contract? He didn’t get past 10 sacks in his five seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. This raises the question of whether the Patriots overpaid for a player who may have been the product of a defensive system that worked well.
Belichick also paid a heavy price for improving the passing game. However, the Patriots have not contracted a true No. 1 receiver. Instead, they took a big risk by giving Nelson Agolor $16 million in guaranteed money for a two-year, $22 million contract. Between his struggles with the Philadelphia Eagles and his resurgence with the Las Vegas Raiders, he has tremendous potential. Likewise, tight ends Hunter Henry and John Smith should address concerns about their solid but unimpressive performance and longevity. Expectations are high for him with a $12.5 million per season contract to fill the void left by Rob Gronkowski.
In the end, Belichick’s biggest gamble for the offseason was to trust Brown again. Although the Patriots acquired him cheaply (they sent a 2022 fifth-round pick to the Raiders in exchange for Brown and a 2022 seventh-round pick), the 28-year-old defensive end will receive a $7.6 million salary for 2021. Given that he’s only played in 16 games the past two seasons, Brown doesn’t seem like a solid contributor capable of staying healthy. He also doesn’t have a great track record of reliability, aside from his one season with the Patriots in 2018. But judging by the current depth chart of the New England team, Belichick seems to believe that his former left guard will be able to dominate the linebackers and defenders again with ease.
Belichick reaped the benefits of his efforts at Brown in 2018. Thanks in large part to the consistent play of the 6-foot-3 quarterback who weighs 380, the Patriots ran the ball safely throughout the game. And at the end of the season, Belichick and Brown could call themselves Super Bowl champions.
The partnership worked well, in large part because Brown was fully committed to the Patriots. He earned the respect of legendary offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, who helped him get the best out of a Pro Bowl caliber player. Unfortunately for Brown, the success did not continue after he left New England for Las Vegas. So, right now, there’s still a big question mark.
But if Belichick’s main offseason project goes according to plan, it looks like the Patriots will have a better version of Brown again. In his final press conference, the veteran said he would spend the next six weeks in Foxborough working with the team’s strength, conditioning and athletic training staff. Brown said he followed the same protocol in 2018, which coincidentally (or not) led him to the best season of his NFL career.
The fact that Brown chose to focus on his craft rather than take a vacation or go home is clearly the second time he has embraced the Patriot’s Way. He was criticized for his work ethic in San Francisco and Las Vegas, but that was not the case in New England. With his football future on the line, Brown is making the most of his and teams by staying put. He can get in good shape, work on his weaknesses and prepare to play a big role this season. This will allow him to succeed and make New England’s offensive line even better. And in the grand scheme of things, the fact that Brown sacrificed his summer shows that Belichick’s belief in putting the team first and doing what it takes to be successful in his job still holds true.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick talks to offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (left) while Trent Brown comes out of the tunnel before the game (right). | Catherine Riley/Getty Images Adam Glanzman/Getty Images
In reality, the Patriots need Brown as much as he needs them. Damien Harris and Sony Michel will run the ball a lot, which will require constant movement from the offensive line. Brown’s size and strength make him an excellent blocker, and without him, the Patriots weren’t as impressive the last two seasons.
And given the injury problems of presumed starting left guard Isaiah Wynn (he’s only played in 18 games since being selected in the first round of the 2018 draft), it’s safe to say Belichick is missing a reliable player at one of the most important positions on the field. If Wynn is injured, Brown may have to switch from right wing to left wing. In any case, it will play a key role.
Brown will also have enough motivation to perform at a high level again.
He becomes a free agent next season and must regain his value and remind everyone why he is considered one of the most talented quarterbacks in the NFL.
And if his reunion with the Patriots goes well, Brown could take another step forward by teaming up with Belichick.
Oh, and buying Patriots’ Way helps too.
COMPARED TO: After a reasonable buyout from Julio Jones, it’s time for Bill Belichick to make a long overdue investment.Bill Belichick never has been one to talk about “the Patriot Way” at the start of the offseason, but the end result of the New England Patriots offseason has competitioned that idea. Belichick didn’t just bring back one or two players, he brought back most of his 2015 team. Belichick also brought in some of his most creative free agency bets since the days of Rob Gronkowski and Darrelle Revis.. Read more about patriots super bowl wins and let us know what you think.
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