2023 Pats: Offseason

Shelterdog

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Richardson's not gonna drop to #14. The only (not very) realistic scenario I could see happening is something along the lines of:

- Stroud and Young go #1 and #2 to CAR and HOU
- IND really likes Levis as has been reported and takes him at #4
- SEA and DET go non-QB at #5 and #6
- LV trades #7 to NE for Mac Jones + #14. NE selects Richardson at #7.
Richardson is going to be very interesting because there's a YUGE discrepancy between how a lot of draftniks view him and how at least some GMs see him--basically is he a faster josh allen or is he jamarcus russell? I wouldn't be shocked if he went third and wouldn't be shocked if he went 40th.
 

Jimbodandy

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Not trying to be flip, but ... who the heck knows anymore? Is it possible? Sure. Are people adding 2 and 2 getting 113? That's possible, too.

All we know is that after last season's experiment failed, they've brought in a legit OC and things might improve.
They could be adding 2 and 2 and getting 100. That would be kosher.
 

Cellar-Door

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Richardson is going to be very interesting because there's a YUGE discrepancy between how a lot of draftniks view him and how at least some GMs see him--basically is he a faster josh allen or is he jamarcus russell? I wouldn't be shocked if he went third and wouldn't be shocked if he went 40th.
The only people I've seen make the Jamarcus comp are racist twitter trolls... for good reason, you're talking about one of the most athletic rushing QBs ever being compared to a big statue who never ran at all. If you're looking for comps in terms of bust it's probably... Gabbert? Vince Young?
 

DJnVa

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Man, I listened to Evan Lazar's latest podcast (Catch-22, with Alex Barth, whose voice and penchant for interrupting annoys me)---and he's *really* down on BB. Even dropped the "game might be passing him by" line and asked if there was any other team in the NFL that didn't believe the way to win currently in the NFL was by giving your QB, whoever it is, weapons. I'm paraphrasing a bit but he was discouraged.

"We'd be laughing at the Jets if this was them. Get a good rookie QB and overdraft a guard in the first round the next season, bring in Matt Patricia to coach the offense..."
 

Van Everyman

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Man, I listened to Evan Lazar's latest podcast (Catch-22, with Alex Barth, whose voice and penchant for interrupting annoys me)---and he's *really* down on BB. Even dropped the "game might be passing him by" line and asked if there was any other team in the NFL that didn't believe the way to win currently in the NFL was by giving your QB, whoever it is, weapons. I'm paraphrasing a bit but he was discouraged.

"We'd be laughing at the Jets if this was them. Get a good rookie QB and overdraft a guard in the first round the next season, bring in Matt Patricia to coach the offense..."
You also have Bedard taking a Robert Kraft quote about Mayo as a potential “heir apparent” out of context (he was literally asked whether Mayo was the air apparent and said he was one of many candidates) and blowing it up.

I mean, this is silly season, so it’s all probably expected. You are three seasons out from Tom Brady and you just had your first truly disappointing season offensively and reports of dysfunction internally. So it’s not entirely surprising that the knives would be out. But it doesn’t make it any less silly, particularly given how quickly they moved to address the problems after he season.
 

lexrageorge

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Man, I listened to Evan Lazar's latest podcast (Catch-22, with Alex Barth, whose voice and penchant for interrupting annoys me)---and he's *really* down on BB. Even dropped the "game might be passing him by" line and asked if there was any other team in the NFL that didn't believe the way to win currently in the NFL was by giving your QB, whoever it is, weapons. I'm paraphrasing a bit but he was discouraged.

"We'd be laughing at the Jets if this was them. Get a good rookie QB and overdraft a guard in the first round the next season, bring in Matt Patricia to coach the offense..."
If all he can do is re-litigate last season, then it becomes a very tired take. Especially given that we are still 3 weeks from the draft, and there has already been some retooling of the offense. And Bill did sign Henry, Smith, Agholor, and Bourne and traded for Parker and drafted Thornton. Most didn't work out (which is Bill's fault for sure), but it's not like he completely ignored the offense.
 

rodderick

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Man, I listened to Evan Lazar's latest podcast (Catch-22, with Alex Barth, whose voice and penchant for interrupting annoys me)---and he's *really* down on BB. Even dropped the "game might be passing him by" line and asked if there was any other team in the NFL that didn't believe the way to win currently in the NFL was by giving your QB, whoever it is, weapons. I'm paraphrasing a bit but he was discouraged.

"We'd be laughing at the Jets if this was them. Get a good rookie QB and overdraft a guard in the first round the next season, bring in Matt Patricia to coach the offense..."
Lazar straight up said on the latest Patriots Unfiltered podcast that he doesn't trust Belichick to coach/draft/develop offense at all. Dude has done a complete 180 from the "let's settle down, this is silly, a whole lot of offseason left, they're improving the roster" stuff from two weeks ago.
 

RedOctober3829

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Lazar straight up said on the latest Patriots Unfiltered podcast that he doesn't trust Belichick to coach/draft/develop offense at all. Dude has done a complete 180 from the "let's settle down, this is silly, a whole lot of offseason left, they're improving the roster" stuff from two weeks ago.
If Bob truly thinks all he has to do is hire BoB and things will be fine, I’d be starting to think the game is passing him by too.
 

Cellar-Door

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Lazar straight up said on the latest Patriots Unfiltered podcast that he doesn't trust Belichick to coach/draft/develop offense at all. Dude has done a complete 180 from the "let's settle down, this is silly, a whole lot of offseason left, they're improving the roster" stuff from two weeks ago.
Which is silly, as are all the other comments. The idea that a coach who hasn't been below 7-9 without a top QB has lost it is ridiculous... tons of coaches would kill for that. He's drafted and developed offenses that were top 10 offenses in 3 of the last 5 years, one of which was without Brady. He screwed up his coaching last year, but this idea that in 1 year he's suddenly doesn't know how to build an offense is so fucking stupid.
 

j44thor

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I think the problem with the NE offensive approach is largely trying to rebuild it through FA, at that WR position that is a recipe that simply doesn't work.
There are basically 4 WR FA successes the last 4yrs which is unfortunately a cautionary tale for this coming season.
In 2020 you had Emmanuel Sanders, Randall Cobb and Robbie Anderson the only WRs getting multi-yr contracts with more than 10M guaranteed all 3 were busts, the best FA WR signing that season was Nelson Agholor 1yr 1M.
In 2021 you had multi-yr 10+M guaranteed given to Golladay puke emoji, Corey Davis, Curtis Samuel and good friend Nelson Agholor, all massive busts. Honestly there isn't a good signing in 2021.
In 2022 we saw multi yr contracts given out to Christian Kirk - looks good, Allen Robinson - terribad, MVS & Russel Gage - meh, Zay Jones - laughed at when signed but surprisingly great last year. Honestly the best FA value signing last year was probably Juju to KC for 3M, hopefully that doesn't mirror Agholor in 2020/2021.

You need to either draft or trade for WR. You can obtain virtually every other position in FA besides WR/QB. OL is abundant as is every defensive position.

The problem in NE may simply be their attempts to build a competent WR core through FA combined with some scouting process flaws at the WR position that lead to the likes of Tyquan Thornton instead of George Pickens/Alec Pierce et all.
 

Shelterdog

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If Bob truly thinks all he has to do is hire BoB and things will be fine, I’d be starting to think the game is passing him by too.
Maybe, but what possible reason is there to think that's what BB thinks? He's done like ten things each of which appear to be an effort to make the team a little bit better. He got a new OC, OL coach and (if the reports about Douglas are true) WR coach. He changed the WR1 and added a reasonable TE and two reasonable OTs. He re-signed a bunch of guys on defense and added some special team depth. He hasn't put huge resources into getting the number one receiver that everyone seems to want but other than that what's the argument that he doesn't understand the modern game?
 

rodderick

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Maybe, but what possible reason is there to think that's what BB thinks? He's done like ten things each of which appear to be an effort to make the team a little bit better. He got a new OC, OL coach and (if the reports about Douglas are true) WR coach. He changed the WR1 and added a reasonable TE and two reasonable OTs. He re-signed a bunch of guys on defense and added some special team depth. He hasn't put huge resources into getting the number one receiver that everyone seems to want but other than that what's the argument that he doesn't understand the modern game?
The Lazar argument is that in 2023 you either succeed on offense by having a supremely talented quarterback or by surrounding an okay/good quarterback with elite talent (sometimes both), while Bill has done neither even with Mac Jones making no money and providing the ability for them to spend around him.
 

BaseballJones

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BB screwed up the Patricia thing but even that TO ME was kinda understandable in the moment. I think it's great that he knew he screwed up and made it a one year mistake only, and promptly corrected it. As for offensive weapons, yeah, it's not like he didn't try to fix it. In the last few years he added:

- A 1st round draft pick at QB (Mac)
- A WR who the year before had almost 900 receiving yards at an average of 18.7 yds/rec (Agholor)
- A TE who the two previous years had averaged 58 receptions, 633 receiving yards, and 5 TD (Henry)
- A TE whose numbers weren't jumping off the page but who everyone agreed was a great athlete at the position with huge potential (Smith)
- A WR who had been solid for 3 seasons, and who recently had a 1,200 yard, 9 TD season (Parker)
- A Swiss-Army knife WR (Bourne) who promptly gave them 800 yards receiving
- A 2nd round draft pick at WR with elite speed, which they needed (Thornton)
- A very good receiving TE who, in 20-21 averaged 63 receptions, 742 yards, and 4 TD (Gesicki)
- A WR with solid pedigree who had 78 receptions for 933 yards while winning a SB with KC (JuJu)

I mean, it's not like he hasn't addressed the "weapons" issue. Has he made the BEST decisions? Not necessarily, but it's not like he's been like, meh, we don't need any talent at those positions.

It's a dumb, stupid, idiotic take that people keep making to suggest that BB just doesn't really care about receiving options.
 

rodderick

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BB screwed up the Patricia thing but even that TO ME was kinda understandable in the moment. I think it's great that he knew he screwed up and made it a one year mistake only, and promptly corrected it. As for offensive weapons, yeah, it's not like he didn't try to fix it. In the last few years he added:

- A 1st round draft pick at QB (Mac)
- A WR who the year before had almost 900 receiving yards at an average of 18.7 yds/rec (Agholor)
- A TE who the two previous years had averaged 58 receptions, 633 receiving yards, and 5 TD (Henry)
- A TE whose numbers weren't jumping off the page but who everyone agreed was a great athlete at the position with huge potential (Smith)
- A WR who had been solid for 3 seasons, and who recently had a 1,200 yard, 9 TD season (Parker)
- A Swiss-Army knife WR (Bourne) who promptly gave them 800 yards receiving
- A 2nd round draft pick at WR with elite speed, which they needed (Thornton)
- A very good receiving TE who, in 20-21 averaged 63 receptions, 742 yards, and 4 TD (Gesicki)
- A WR with solid pedigree who had 78 receptions for 933 yards while winning a SB with KC (JuJu)

I mean, it's not like he hasn't addressed the "weapons" issue. Has he made the BEST decisions? Not necessarily, but it's not like he's been like, meh, we don't need any talent at those positions.

It's a dumb, stupid, idiotic take that people keep making to suggest that BB just doesn't really care about receiving options.
I guess the argument is that all of those are complementary pieces and none is the type of true difference maker that has been present of late when young QBs make a jump. This a collection of okay talent, but I think more than 20 teams have at least one receiver better than the Patriots' best. I don't necessarily subscribe to the idea that the only key to unlocking Mac Jones is providing him with at least one elite level receiver, but if that's the threshold (and for Lazar it is), they haven't done it.
 

DJnVa

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If all he can do is re-litigate last season, then it becomes a very tired take. Especially given that we are still 3 weeks from the draft, and there has already been some retooling of the offense. And Bill did sign Henry, Smith, Agholor, and Bourne and traded for Parker and drafted Thornton. Most didn't work out (which is Bill's fault for sure), but it's not like he completely ignored the offense.
Yes--YMMV on his takes. His point wasn't that they ignored the offense, his point was that teams with (at the time) iffy QB rooms--did Philly *really* think Hurts was the guy--still go out and get guys like AJ Brown. The Dolphins, with Tua, still went out and got Tyreek Hill.

The Pats got second-tier (at best) guys.

He simply thinks they Pats still operate with the idea that the way to build a team is a strong middle class and since we no longer have the GOAT, he hasn't changed. Not saying I agree with him, and, like you said, they draft hasn't happened yet, but it's year 4 post-Brady.
 

tims4wins

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I guess the argument is that all of those are complementary pieces and none is the type of true difference maker that has been present of late when young QBs make a jump. This a collection of okay talent, but I think more than 20 teams have at least one receiver better than the Patriots' best. I don't necessarily subscribe to the idea that the only key to unlocking Mac Jones is providing him with at least one elite level receiver, but if that's the threshold (and for Lazar it is), they haven't done it.
Right, this list would probably have been good enough to get the Pats to an AFCCG (at least) with Brady as the QB. But he isn't.
 

DJnVa

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It's a dumb, stupid, idiotic take that people keep making to suggest that BB just doesn't really care about receiving options.
I think you are misinterpreting Lazar's take. His take wasn't that BB doesn't care about receiving options. It's that his philosophy is that he can still win without top of the line receiving options and he thinks the game is so different now that you can't do that (unless you have the GOAT). He's arguing against BB's team-building philosophy not that he thinks BB simply doesn't really care about certain positional groups.

That said, he did like (in a vacuum) the JuJu, Gesicki, and BoB additions. He's just not sure that will work in a world of Diggs, Hill, Jefferson, Adams, etc.

And yes, we've heard all this before--I was just surprised Lazar, who now works for the Patriots, went there.
 
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Shelterdog

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The Lazar argument is that in 2023 you either succeed on offense by having a supremely talented quarterback or by surrounding an okay/good quarterback with elite talent (sometimes both), while Bill has done neither even with Mac Jones making no money and providing the ability for them to spend around him.
In a very simple way he's certainly right--you need more good players than the Pats have if you're going to compete for the superbowl without a top QB. The flip side though is that even with a QB on a rookie contract it's very hard to get that elite talent to surround him--they actually tried that his rookie year and spent a fortune and the result included Agholor and Jonnu--predictably free agency isn't going to land you great players. His argument is really just they should have treaded for AJ Brown or Hill--and beside the fact that those teams wouldn't trade those players to the Pats, and putting aside the long term costs of those trades, I think it's delusional to think that adding one top receiver would push the Pats to being a championship contender.
 

rodderick

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In a very simple way he's certainly right--you need more good players than the Pats have if you're going to compete for the superbowl without a top QB. The flip side though is that even with a QB on a rookie contract it's very hard to get that elite talent to surround him--they actually tried that his rookie year and spent a fortune and the result included Agholor and Jonnu--predictably free agency isn't going to land you great players. His argument is really just they should have treaded for AJ Brown or Hill--and beside the fact that those teams wouldn't trade those players to the Pats, and putting aside the long term costs of those trades, I think it's delusional to think that adding one top receiver would push the Pats to being a championship contender.
See, I don't think they tried to get elite talent that offseason. They tried to upgrade the baseline of talent on a completely barren roster. I mean, Agholor, Bourne, Henry, Smith, sure we were excited for those acquisitions but none of them were painted at the time as true difference makers, just guys that were significantly better than the Damiere Byrd/N'Keal Harry/Isaiah Zuber/Ryan Izzos of the world that were getting meaningful snaps the year prior.

I also think the Patriots absolutely could have traded for Brown or Hill. Why would the Chiefs fear the Patriots more than the Dolphins, for instance? As to the long term costs, the argument is precisely that they're way more manageable when you don't have a 35+ million QB on the roster. Sure, maybe those guys wouldn't be enough to make you a contender, but they'd probably be one of the most important pieces on the team if you got to that point. Brown certainly was for Philly.
 

lexrageorge

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I think you are misinterpreting Lazar's take. His take wasn't that BB doesn't care about receiving options. It's that his philosophy is that he can still win without top of the line receiving options and he thinks the game is so different now that you can't do that (unless you have the GOAT). He's arguing against BB's team-building philosophy not that he thinks BB simply doesn't really care about certain positional groups.

That said, he did like (in a vacuum) the JuJu, Gesicki, and BoB additions. He's just not sure that will work in a world of Diggs, Hill, Jefferson, Adams, etc.

And yes, we've heard all this before--I was just surprised Lazar, who now works for the Patriots, went there.
Then does Lazar give any indication how the Pats could simply just acquire players like that via trade? Or give actual examples? Because if not he is just spouting tired and lazy takes, regardless of who employs him.

Dolphins traded 4 picks to get a player that was not available to the Pats. Hill also came with some serious baggage; last time BB acquired a receiver with similar baggage he lasted all of one game in New England. And have you looked up the last time the Dolphins won a playoff game?

Diggs was a great trade for the Bills, although it also netted the Vikings the pick that became Justin Jefferson. But Diggs was not DIGGS!!! in Minnesota. That was a trade that simply worked out spectacularly; not all do.

Not clear the Davante Adams trade is going to work out all that well for Las Vegas. AJ Brown was a good pickup, but I think the Eagles thought a lot more highly of Jalen Hurts than the SoSH consensus, and the Titans were unlikely to trade him within the conference.

People keep talking about Hopkins, who's going to be 31 (huge red flag #1) and has missed 17 games the past 2 seasons (huge red flag #2).

If Tyquan Thornton hit, does Lazar have the same lazy and tired take?
 

rodderick

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Dolphins traded 4 picks to get a player that was not available to the Pats.
Why wasn't Tyreek Hill available to the Pats?
Diggs was a great trade for the Bills, although it also netted the Vikings the pick that became Justin Jefferson. But Diggs was not DIGGS!!! in Minnesota.
Nevermind the fact that it has been reported the Patriots were one of the finalists in the Diggs sweepstakes at the time (so presumably could have offered the Vikings a competitive package for him) he was coming off a season in which he ranked 2nd in the league in yards per target and 4th in yards per catch. He was already awesome, just played on the team that had the third fewest passing attempts in the league (and this high production per opportunity is precisely what makes me want Jerry Jeudy).
 

RedOctober3829

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Maybe, but what possible reason is there to think that's what BB thinks? He's done like ten things each of which appear to be an effort to make the team a little bit better. He got a new OC, OL coach and (if the reports about Douglas are true) WR coach. He changed the WR1 and added a reasonable TE and two reasonable OTs. He re-signed a bunch of guys on defense and added some special team depth. He hasn't put huge resources into getting the number one receiver that everyone seems to want but other than that what's the argument that he doesn't understand the modern game?
He really didn't change much in terms of personnel. Juju and Meyers are basically a wash. Gesicki isn't a bad move and the OTs at least are better depth if they do in fact draft one. But, the receiving core(including TEs) IMO is about the same as last year in terms of talent and explosiveness. There still isn't a player an opposing defense has to really base their game plan around.
 

4 6 3 DP

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It's a dumb, stupid, idiotic take that people keep making to suggest that BB just doesn't really care about receiving options.
Sure. He understands that you need receivers. But (and I say this knowing nothing about what the man actually thinks) he seems to prefer the Al Davis method of targeting receivers - fast and who gives a damn if they can play football. This board railed against the Agholar signing because, well, the guy can't catch, though he ran a 4.32 at his pro day. And guess what, in NE, he still couldn't catch. But he's fast. Thornton - traded up to get him - fast, ran a 4.28 at his pro day, so far doesn't look like much. Aaron Dobson runs a 4.37 at his pro day, again, can't catch. Taylor Price runs a 4.33 at his pro day, can't play. Chad Jackson runs a 4.32, Bethel Johnson runs a 4.38.

Harry ran a 4.52 his year. Of course that year the top guys who ran really fast were DK who ran 4.33 and McLaurin who ran 4.35 but for some reason that year we got infatuated with bench presses and jumping height, and took the guy who did the most bench presses and jumped the highest.

It's the same logic that led Al Davis to take Darrius Heyward Bey 7th in the 2009 draft, because he ran a 4.3, when no one thought he'd go that high, and of course he couldn't particularly play. Big, fast.

Im sure these old school guys all believed they could coach anybody up if they had the right tools, and I don't see that working here.

Davante Adams ran a 4.56
Cooper Kupp ran a 4.62
AJ Brown ran a 4.49
Stefon Diggs ran a 4.46
Justin Jefferson ran a 4.43
JaMarr Chase ran a 4.38
Deebo ran a 4.48

Point being is that there isn't one size fits all for these guys in terms of being effective, except they are all really good at playing wide receiver.

I'm only focusing on the top couple round guys because after the top 100 picks or so I consider all the picks complete crapshoot, and don't judge Bill one way or the other on them.

The idea that a 70 year old Bill Belichick is still clinging to the way they used to do it in terms of identifying players is not some outlier take. Anyone with a parent at that age or who works for an executive at that age knows that's exactly how these guys generally think. Very few are particularly innovative or quick to move with changing times. It is completely reasonable to be very concerned that he is adapting to where the league is going on offense, because his spending and choices don't suggest that he is.
 

BigJimEd

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Nevermind the fact that it has been reported the Patriots were one of the finalists in the Diggs sweepstakes at the time
So Belichick has tried to get elite talent.


The idea that a 70 year old Bill Belichick is still clinging to the way they used to do it in terms of identifying players is not some outlier take. Anyone with a parent at that age or who works for an executive at that age knows that's exactly how these guys generally think
Not sure this true is at all. Worked for a few older execs. Wouldn't pigeon hole them at all. Pretty open minded group. Saying the game has past Belichick by because he's 70 without any further evidence says more about your perspective and biases than anything. I mean you cite an example that was different than years past yet he's clinging to the old way?


We also seem to ignore that the front office has changed several times over the last several years. Bringing different voices, perspectives and processes.
 

Shelterdog

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See, I don't think they tried to get elite talent that offseason. They tried to upgrade the baseline of talent on a completely barren roster. I mean, Agholor, Bourne, Henry, Smith, sure we were excited for those acquisitions but none of them were painted at the time as true difference makers, just guys that were significantly better than the Damiere Byrd/N'Keal Harry/Isaiah Zuber/Ryan Izzos of the world that were getting meaningful snaps the year prior.

I also think the Patriots absolutely could have traded for Brown or Hill. Why would the Chiefs fear the Patriots more than the Dolphins, for instance? As to the long term costs, the argument is precisely that they're way more manageable when you don't have a 35+ million QB on the roster. Sure, maybe those guys wouldn't be enough to make you a contender, but they'd probably be one of the most important pieces on the team if you got to that point. Brown certainly was for Philly.
Of course they tried to get elite talent that off season. They spent a then nfl record 163 million dollars in guaranteed money after 2021. I don't know what you mean by "painted at the time as true difference makers" they absolutely paid Henry and Smith like pro bowl tight ends and agholor like a very very good receiver and paid the three of them like they were going to combine for something like 200 catches a year. They absolutely were using the cap flexibility they had from having a cheap quarterback on receivers--didn't they have the largest cap spend on TEs and WRs in the league last year? They just fucked up which isn't totally surprising because free agent signings often don't work out.

I personally don't think the Chiefs or Titans trade players to a storied in conference rival because of the PR hit (I also don't think the Pats trade for a wife beating monster like Hill and I'm fine with that).

You could structure the contract for a Hill or Brown to be expensive now and cheap later when the Qb's cost goes up but that's not actually what the Dolphins and Eagles did--the Hill and Brown contracts don't get expensive until 2024. The Eagles and Dolphins have both set themselves up to start having to deal with huge cap hits for their receivers at about the same time they're going to have to deal with big Qb cap hits.

The idea that there's a path to success by using the cap space you have for a rookie QB on other players is, I think, vastly overrated. It's definitely great if you're already a good team and you happen to end up with a good rookie QB (the Ravens with Jackson, seahawks with Wilson, maybe the 49ers with Purdy) but most teams with Qbs on rookie deals are pretty bad and it you just don't have a ton of time (or that much cap space to be honest) to implement an add/retain star players to a team strategy between the time you figure out the rookie is worth keeping and when you have to pay the rookie QB real money.
 

Mystic Merlin

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Why wasn't Tyreek Hill available to the Pats?
He was ‘available’, but KC reportedly let him pick his destination among the top bidders (NYJ v MIA, as it turned out), and he seemed to jump at the chance to play/live in Miami. Hill himself mentioned the state income tax disparity between NY/NJ and FL as a decisive factor, and, obviously, MA’s tax regime doesn’t compare favorably to FL.

More importantly, Kraft wouldn’t let Hill set foot in the building as a member of the Patriots, so it’s academic.
 

rodderick

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Of course they tried to get elite talent that off season. They spent a then nfl record 163 million dollars in guaranteed money after 2021. I don't know what you mean by "painted at the time as true difference makers" they absolutely paid Henry and Smith like pro bowl tight ends and agholor like a very very good receiver and paid the three of them like they were going to combine for something like 200 catches a year. They absolutely were using the cap flexibility they had from having a cheap quarterback on receivers--didn't they have the largest cap spend on TEs and WRs in the league last year? They just fucked up which isn't totally surprising because free agent signings often don't work out.

I personally don't think the Chiefs or Titans trade players to a storied in conference rival because of the PR hit (I also don't think the Pats trade for a wife beating monster like Hill and I'm fine with that).

You could structure the contract for a Hill or Brown to be expensive now and cheap later when the Qb's cost goes up but that's not actually what the Dolphins and Eagles did--the Hill and Brown contracts don't get expensive until 2024. The Eagles and Dolphins have both set themselves up to start having to deal with huge cap hits for their receivers at about the same time they're going to have to deal with big Qb cap hits.

The idea that there's a path to success by using the cap space you have for a rookie QB on other players is, I think, vastly overrated. It's definitely great if you're already a good team and you happen to end up with a good rookie QB (the Ravens with Jackson, seahawks with Wilson, maybe the 49ers with Purdy) but most teams with Qbs on rookie deals are pretty bad and it you just don't have a ton of time (or that much cap space to be honest) to implement an add/retain star players to a team strategy between the time you figure out the rookie is worth keeping and when you have to pay the rookie QB real money.
They spent a "then record amount of guaranteed money" on a whole lot of players. They needed competent NFL players at a lot of spots because the roster was horrendous. And I've said here before, in my mind they succeeded, the team was much better and they immediately made the playoffs, but I completely disagree any of the guys they brought in on offense were elite talents. Really, Agholor, Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, elite? They were seen as good to very good players and hey, the team was in desperate need of good to very good players so we all celebrated.
 

Cellar-Door

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Why wasn't Tyreek Hill available to the Pats?
They weren't on his list of teams he was willing to sign an extension with I believe. He ended up in MIA instead of NYJ because KC was willing to take either trade, but both teams would only make the deal if Hill would extend and he said he wanted MIA and would extend there.
 

rodderick

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They weren't on his list of teams he was willing to sign an extension with I believe. He ended up in MIA instead of NYJ because KC was willing to take either trade, but both teams would only make the deal if Hill would extend and he said he wanted MIA and would extend there.
Didn't he just say to a Browns fan he would have gone there but they didn't offer him the money he wanted? I think he was widely available, just the deal was complicated by the contract.
 

DJnVa

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Then does Lazar give any indication how the Pats could simply just acquire players like that via trade? Or give actual examples? Because if not he is just spouting tired and lazy takes, regardless of who employs him.
As I said upthread, to me, it's not the take that's surprising, because we've heard it before. It's the take coming from Lazar. You're welcome to listen to his podcast to hear him defend his takes. Similar to posting articles, we don't post the entire article, so I'm not getting into everything he said on the pod. I'm a BB guy so I lean closer to your take.

And yes, he gives some thoughts about how to acquire him--with draft capital and large contracts that the Patriots don't seem inclined to dole out. Which is his point. But again, you can listen to him explain it if you'd like.
 

Shelterdog

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They spent a "then record amount of guaranteed money" on a whole lot of players. They needed competent NFL players at a lot of spots because the roster was horrendous. And I've said here before, in my mind they succeeded, the team was much better and they immediately made the playoffs, but I completely disagree any of the guys they brought in on offense were elite talents. Really, Agholor, Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, elite? They were seen as good to very good players and hey, the team was in desperate need of good to very good players so we all celebrated.
This is a stupid and circular conversation because I have no idea what you mean by elite nor have you defined the term. The contracts for smith and Henry made those two top both top five tight ends by salary and in my book that is paying someone like an elite talent but if that’s not elite in your book fine; it's a purely semantic difference.

To put it differently if the thought is that the game has passed BB by because he hasn’t acquired receivers who are substantially better than Henry and Smith were hoped to be I question how many of those guys there are in the entire league. It’s like seven to ten guys right? Hill, Adams, Chase, Kelce, Jefferson, Kupp, Lamb, and perhaps of recent draft picks Waddle, Wilson, Olave? Surely that can’t be the standard of what a team has to do: at least 22 teams aren’t going to have a top ten receiver
 
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BaseballJones

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Top 10 receivers (my own list based on receptions, yards, and TD):

1. Jefferson (Min) - 128 rec, 1809 yds, 8 td
2. Hill (Mia) - 119 rec, 1710 yds, 7 td
3. Kelce (KC) - 110 rec, 1338 yds, 12 td (not a WR but still)
4. Diggs (Buf) - 108 rec, 1429 yds, 11 td
5. Adams (LV) - 100 rec, 1516 yds, 14 td
6. Brown (Phi) - 88 rec, 1496 yds, 11 td
7. Lamb (Dal) - 107 rec, 1359 yds, 9 td
8. Chase (Cin) - 87 rec, 1046 yds, 9 td
9. Smith (Phi) - 95 rec, 1196 yds, 7 td
10. Waddle (Mia) - 75 rec, 1356 yds, 8 td

So these top 10 receivers (on my list) included 1 non-playoff team (LV), and in two cases, two of them were on the same team (Hill/Waddle with Mia, and Brown/Smith with Phi).

So there are 7 playoff teams represented here out of the 10 WR listed.
 

Shelterdog

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The only people I've seen make the Jamarcus comp are racist twitter trolls... for good reason, you're talking about one of the most athletic rushing QBs ever being compared to a big statue who never ran at all. If you're looking for comps in terms of bust it's probably... Gabbert? Vince Young?
Just saw this and since I made the comparison let me explain my thinking. Richardson and Russell are obviously very different but the two biggest issues people raise for Richardson--accuracy and bad decision making--seem to have been russell's biggest problems. I couldn't quickly think of any top ten-ish physically gifted QBs other than Russell who busted because of accuracy and decision making in the same way (and Allen clearly overcome those concerns).
 

Eck'sSneakyCheese

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If Tyquan Thornton hit, does Lazar have the same lazy and tired take?
This kid has had a partial season in one of the most dysfunctional offenses of all time and he’s being labeled a miss? Is he that bad? Isn’t he supposed to be their “take the top off the defense” guy? I hope we haven’t seen his peak already.
 

Van Everyman

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So let me see if I can understand this reasoning:

1) You need great players to win football games.

2) Bill is a great coach, but great coaching isn’t enough.

3) The NEP don’t have any great football players.

4) Hence, the NEP can’t win enough football games to be champions.

Is that what we’re arguing?
 

lexrageorge

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This kid has had a partial season in one of the most dysfunctional offenses of all time and he’s being labeled a miss? Is he that bad? Isn’t he supposed to be their “take the top off the defense” guy? I hope we haven’t seen his peak already.
I did not call him a miss; it's just that he hasn't hit yet. That could have been due to his untimely injury combined with rookie season adjustments. Or could have been due to coaching issues. Or perhaps he took a dump in Mac's locker. Or he could be a miss. We just don't know yet, although obviously only the last one fits the narrative that Lazar and others are promoting, so we should blindly assume it to be the case.
 

Cellar-Door

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Top 10 receivers (my own list based on receptions, yards, and TD):

1. Jefferson (Min) - 128 rec, 1809 yds, 8 td
2. Hill (Mia) - 119 rec, 1710 yds, 7 td
3. Kelce (KC) - 110 rec, 1338 yds, 12 td (not a WR but still)
4. Diggs (Buf) - 108 rec, 1429 yds, 11 td
5. Adams (LV) - 100 rec, 1516 yds, 14 td
6. Brown (Phi) - 88 rec, 1496 yds, 11 td
7. Lamb (Dal) - 107 rec, 1359 yds, 9 td
8. Chase (Cin) - 87 rec, 1046 yds, 9 td
9. Smith (Phi) - 95 rec, 1196 yds, 7 td
10. Waddle (Mia) - 75 rec, 1356 yds, 8 td

So these top 10 receivers (on my list) included 1 non-playoff team (LV), and in two cases, two of them were on the same team (Hill/Waddle with Mia, and Brown/Smith with Phi).

So there are 7 playoff teams represented here out of the 10 WR listed.
Sneaking Kelce in to a WR list I see.

One takeaway might be... only 2 of the 4 Championship game teams had a top 10 WR (I'm not counting Kelce, he's a TE, and the Patriots discussion has consistently been based on ignoring what they do at TE). 4 of the final 8 teams. Which would argue that there are a lot of ways to build a successful team, and the only true constant is.... you need to have talented players of some type.
 

Shelterdog

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So let me see if I can understand this reasoning:

1) You need great players to win football games.

2) Bill is a great coach, but great coaching isn’t enough.

3) The NEP don’t have any great football players.

4) Hence, the NEP can’t win enough football games to be champions.

Is that what we’re arguing?
I think the argument is Bill may or may not be a great coach [there's been some sloppiness and the offensive coaching staff last year was incredibly bad] but he's a bad GM because he doesn't realize that if you don't have a great QB your only path to success is to get incredible receivers and Bill didn't do that.

My personal take is that that argument is totally wrong--you don't need an elite receiver but if you don't have a great QB you do need a shitload of good players and because BB was a shittyat acquiring young talent from roughly 2015-2019 you're nowhere close to where you need to be talentwise to be a consistent championship contender.
 

lexrageorge

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Top 10 receivers (my own list based on receptions, yards, and TD):

1. Jefferson (Min) - 128 rec, 1809 yds, 8 td
2. Hill (Mia) - 119 rec, 1710 yds, 7 td
3. Kelce (KC) - 110 rec, 1338 yds, 12 td (not a WR but still)

4. Diggs (Buf) - 108 rec, 1429 yds, 11 td
5. Adams (LV) - 100 rec, 1516 yds, 14 td
6. Brown (Phi) - 88 rec, 1496 yds, 11 td
7. Lamb (Dal) - 107 rec, 1359 yds, 9 td
8. Chase (Cin) - 87 rec, 1046 yds, 9 td
9. Smith (Phi) - 95 rec, 1196 yds, 7 td
10. Waddle (Mia) - 75 rec, 1356 yds, 8 td


So these top 10 receivers (on my list) included 1 non-playoff team (LV), and in two cases, two of them were on the same team (Hill/Waddle with Mia, and Brown/Smith with Phi).

So there are 7 playoff teams represented here out of the 10 WR listed.
Of those players, which one's were realistically ever available to New England? I removed those drafted before New England's highest draft slot that year, and removed Hill because of his baggage and openly stated desire to play in Miami. Pats were pretty much set at TE when Kelce was drafted, so I removed him as well.

We're left with 3 guys that were traded for substantial draft capital. It is a fair criticism for Bill for not trading for those players, but there are plenty of such trades that don't work out. And as noted, there are still several ways to build a team, no matter what Lazar claims.
 

rodderick

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Sneaking Kelce in to a WR list I see.

One takeaway might be... only 2 of the 4 Championship game teams had a top 10 WR (I'm not counting Kelce, he's a TE, and the Patriots discussion has consistently been based on ignoring what they do at TE). 4 of the final 8 teams. Which would argue that there are a lot of ways to build a successful team, and the only true constant is.... you need to have talented players of some type.
So, of the 4 championship teams 2 of them had top 10 wide receivers and of the two who didn't one had Patrick Mahomes and the other had the Aiyuk/Deebo duo. And that's supposed to be a counter to the "either elite QB or elite weapons surrounding the QB" argument? Because it seems to me that of the final 8 the only team that didn't conform to that "rule" was the Giants, depending on how you feel about Trevor Lawrence.
 

BaseballJones

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Of those players, which one's were realistically ever available to New England? I removed those drafted before New England's highest draft slot that year, and removed Hill because of his baggage and openly stated desire to play in Miami. Pats were pretty much set at TE when Kelce was drafted, so I removed him as well.

We're left with 3 guys that were traded for substantial draft capital. It is a fair criticism for Bill for not trading for those players, but there are plenty of such trades that don't work out. And as noted, there are still several ways to build a team, no matter what Lazar claims.
My post wasn't meant to imply that BB could have or should have gotten those guys. I was just intellectually curious to see how the top 10 receiver / team success stuff shook out is all.
 

lexrageorge

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My post wasn't meant to imply that BB could have or should have gotten those guys. I was just intellectually curious to see how the top 10 receiver / team success stuff shook out is all.
Sorry, never meant to imply that you implied as such. It was more in reaction to the general narrative (not by you) that the game has passed Bill by. The reality is that 6 of those 10 WR/TE players were drafted by their current teams, and of those 6, all but Kelce were simply unavailable when Bill drafted, so it's not all that easy to simply "get" those players no matter what Lazar claims.
 

BaseballJones

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Sneaking Kelce in to a WR list I see.
That's because earlier this offseason I pointed out that KC won the SB without having a top receiver, and people pointed out that Kelce (who is obviously superlative) is basically a receiver, so I'm like, ok sure, fine.

One takeaway might be... only 2 of the 4 Championship game teams had a top 10 WR (I'm not counting Kelce, he's a TE, and the Patriots discussion has consistently been based on ignoring what they do at TE). 4 of the final 8 teams. Which would argue that there are a lot of ways to build a successful team, and the only true constant is.... you need to have talented players of some type.
Yes, definitely this.
 

BaseballJones

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So you either need really good receiver/receivers, or a great QB. Pats have neither.
Well, I mean, yeah, you need to have a good offense. If you don't have a good QB or good receivers, you'd better have an offensive line like the '93 Cowboys, and RBs named Barry Sanders and Walter Payton. Plus an all-world defense.
 

Van Everyman

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I think the argument is Bill may or may not be a great coach [there's been some sloppiness and the offensive coaching staff last year was incredibly bad] but he's a bad GM because he doesn't realize that if you don't have a great QB your only path to success is to get incredible receivers and Bill didn't do that.

My personal take is that that argument is totally wrong--you don't need an elite receiver but if you don't have a great QB you do need a shitload of good players and because BB was a shittyat acquiring young talent from roughly 2015-2019 you're nowhere close to where you need to be talentwise to be a consistent championship contender.
I mean, it’s an interesting question that's perhaps worth revisiting this offseason:

Does Bill think that you don’t really "need" elite talent to win football games? Does he think you can win with merely competent players who are smart, and “do their jobs” -- ie, who buy in to the system the coach devises?

Belichick has been accused of arrogance for years, mostly based on superficial things like his overall demeanor and relationship with the press. Personally, I’ve never bought it. He seems to love football culture, football history, and football players too much (tho I don't put too much stock in his "all the credit goes to the players" lip service, which I think is mostly press savvy).

But if the game truly has shifted towards rewarding teams with elite playmakers on the offensive side of the ball, is it just taking Bill awhile to get the right pieces in place? Or, is this legendary but defensive-minded coach refusing to acknowledge this shift due to his own (and outdated) way of seeing football as a team game?

Again, I’m not sure I see it. After all, he 100% signed off on loading up on offensive players after the 2006 season. That said, the pre-2007 version of the NFL bears very little resemblance to the game we have today. And maybe, just maybe, the "real" answer to who was responsible for the dynasty is both Bill and Tom -- but not at the same time... that while Bill was the engineer of the 2001-2004 title teams, it was Tom who engineered the 2014-2018 titles. In addition, no player has ever signed a contract with the Patriots with a crazy amount of guaranteed money -- not even Brady--suggesting that Belichick is living the old George Carlin maxim when it comes to building a football roster.

I will say this again and again: I would prefer to find out with Bill as my team's coach than anyone else, even if it turns out this team never turns the corner. Football is just more interesting and seems to matter more when he's coaching than when he's not.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Thought this was relevant and interesting from today's Howe piece in the Athletic:

But on Tuesday, several high-ranking executives from quarterback-needy teams in both the AFC and NFC told The Athletic the Patriots never approached them with the idea of trading Jones. While it’s impossible to be privy to every conversation, particularly the more casual talks at league events, it’s at minimum an indication Belichick hasn’t planted a “for sale” sign in Jones’ front yard and texted the Zillow link to his entire contact list