Must Be the Money: The New England Patriots Are Taking No Prisoners During NFL Free Agency

Illustration for article titled Must Be the Money: The New England Patriots Are Taking No Prisoners During NFL Free Agency
Photo: Ronald Martinez (Getty Images)

I don’t consider myself a religious person, but as much as I despise the New England Patriots, head coach Bill Bellicheat is really out here turning water into bottles of Luc Belaire.

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Back in October, when the Patriots were 2-4 and looking like dog shit for the first time in decades, Tom Brady’s step-daddy attributed the team’s struggles to a lack of salary cap flexibility. Basically, he did what your friends won’t do when the dinner bill comes: He admitted he was broke.

“We’re playing more young players than we’ve played in the past [for a] combination of reasons. [...] From a salary-cap standpoint, we didn’t have much flexibility at all. I think that was obvious on the Cam Newton contract [one year, $1.05 million base salary],” he told Sirius XM NFL Radio. “This is kind of the year that we’ve taken to, I would say, adjust our cap from the spending that we’ve had in accumulation of prior years.”

Fast forward five months and now that each team in the league has received its own stimmy—in the form of a new league year with 2020 contracts coming off of the books—and the Pats entered free agency on Monday with $67 million in cap space. Do you know how many crab legs and Playstations you can buy with that shit?

Now typically, the Pats aren’t big spenders when it comes to free agency, while the teams who do spend big tend to regret not keeping the receipt on their high-priced acquisitions. (Nick Foles anyone?) But it’s a new day; and with Tom Brady off winning Super Bowls in Tampa, Bellicheat has deployed an aggressive approach to spending this time around.

Nah, like he’s really running it up.

While Rome wasn’t built in a day, New England very well might be after they spent the first day of free agency doing everything humanly possible to snatch up every player worth half a shit. And as I got ESPN notification after notification after notification throughout the day, it was like watching an episode of Supermarket Sweep. Like, damn! Can you at least save somebody else a stick of deodorant?!

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Then on Tuesday morning came another bombshell: The Pats scooped up former Chargers tight end Hunter Henry with a three-year, $37.5 million deal.

I’m telling y’all: That New England stimmy hits different.

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In less than 48 hours, the Pats have filled almost every gaping hole in their roster with spackle, premium talent, and dollar bills. Most importantly, Cameron Jerrell Newton got some new toys to play with—and you already know Bill will be doing damage in the draft, too.

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Just don’t call it a comeback until we see the results on the field. But under Belichick’s stewardship, don’t be surprised if the evil empire resumes tormenting the league this season.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for y'all to stop putting sugar in grits.

DISCUSSION

Yeah I ain’t calling it a comeback, why? This division is no longer the shit show Belichick had run roughshod over for two decades. The Bills are better, The Dolphins have picks, cash, young talent and a GM that knows what to do and The Jets are in the cat bird seat if they want to acquire DeShuan Watson or improve themselves the old fashioned way. Look Bill I know you got accustomed to lightweights for years but that ship has sailed, plus other teams are looking to whip your ass for all the shitty things you and Lord Rub & Tug did for two decades