What Patriots’ aggressiveness in free company could inform us about New England’s hunt for a future QB


The New England Patriots have left the remainder of the NFL‘s jaws on the ground after a frantic two days to start the authorized tampering interval the place the membership has spent more cash than some other time within the franchise’s historical past. Invoice Belichick and firm had been armed with the fourth-highest quantity of cap house heading into the unofficial begin of free company and weren’t afraid to let money fly out the window, inking offers with a lot of high-profile free brokers on either side of the ball. 

Out of the chute, New England agreed to a $50 million take care of former Titans tight finish Jonnu Smith and in a while Monday got here to phrases on a contract with ex-Ravens defensive finish Matt Judon that’ll pay him $56 million. With these contracts, Smith and Judon change into the highest-paid ability and defensive gamers in crew historical past. These had been simply the tip of the iceberg, nevertheless, because the crew additionally introduced in defensive again Jalen Mills, added to the defensive position with Davon Godchaux and Henry Anderson, and stocked up at receiver by signing Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne

The cherry on prime of New England’s personal model of March Insanity got here on Tuesday morning once they doubled down at tight finish by including Hunter Henry on a $37.5 million deal. (Speak about a spending spree!)

In a matter of simply two days, the Patriots have stuffed a lot of their key wants as they give the impression of being to rebound following a 7-9 marketing campaign in 2020 the place they failed to succeed in the playoffs for the primary time since 2008. Whereas there’s loads of optimism surrounding New England after making the splash of all splashes in free company, there’s nonetheless an elephant within the room: quarterback. 

The Patriots had been in a position to re-sign Cam Newton — the membership’s starter in 2020 — to a one-year deal final week. Nevertheless, retaining Newton would not precisely mesh with the aggressive nature of all of New England’s different strikes in my thoughts, making one marvel if there’s one other shoe to drop within the weeks and months to come back. All of those latest additions are inking offers for a number of years excluding Newton, who is ready to play on a one-year contract that’s largely primarily based on incentives. 

If Invoice Belichick considered Newton because the clear QB1 and all thought he wanted was a revamped roster round him, the savvy transfer would’ve been to signal the quarterback to a multi-year extension now slightly than wait. In spite of everything, if the previous league MVP does return to that kind or comes near it, he will price the membership way over he would proper now. By taking a look at this low-cost, one-year dedication to Newton, it is clear New England continues to be within the hunt for a quarterback, which is one thing CBS Sports activities NFL Insider Jason La Canfora has famous beforehand as effectively. 

The place will the Patriots look to seek out that subsequent signal-caller? There’s purpose to recommend that the clues are hidden in these signings. As we touched on earlier, New England is spending at a fee that we have by no means seen earlier than. If we’re being sincere, it seems like a crew that’s seeking to capitalize on having a quarterback on his rookie contract for the subsequent few years by spending cash elsewhere that might sometimes be reserved for that place. 

Might that be the street Belichick has determined to move down if the likes of Jimmy Garoppolo really show to be unavailable? In that case, he now has himself in a positive place. As a result of the Patriots addressed a lot of key wants in free company, it provides New England extra flexibility with their assortment of picks on the 2021 NFL Draft later this spring. Now, the membership has freed up the chance to stockpile the majority of these picks, connect them to the No. 15 total choose, and climb even larger up the board within the first spherical to focus on the way forward for franchise beneath middle. In his newest mock draft, CBS Sports activities’ has 5 quarterbacks coming off the board within the first 9 picks, which suggests New England must leap into that group to have an opportunity at a high-end prospect. 

A commerce up of that proportions could be very in contrast to the Patriots, who’ve traditionally elected to commerce down to gather extra property. Nevertheless, after what the membership has accomplished over the past 48 hours, it would not be a shock to see them proceed this newfound aggressive persona by including a younger quarterback to cap off this wild offseason. 

Hold your head on a swivel, it would not really feel just like the Patriots are fairly accomplished but. 


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