Foxborough, MA– The strategy for the New England Patriots and their front office decision-making has long been famously known as one that is cutthroat and ruthless. The most talented players can be traded or cut at a moment’s notice if they do not fit into Bill Belichick’s overall plan for his team. The biggest fan favorites and most beloved franchise stalwarts can be allowed to leave if they are past their prime and Belichick wants to get at least fifty cents on the dollar. Much like Seinfeld, the motto of the Patriots seems to be “nothing touchy feely please.”
But this off-season for the reigning Super Bowl champions has been markedly different, especially in regards to the way Belichick has been interacting with players and seemingly seeking to maximize the most potential of every last contributor that the league has to offer. Maybe he is just in a good mood! Come on, everyone, let’s all try out for the Patriots, and Belichick will open his heart to us all!
This unexpected goodwill began with the NFL Draft when Belichick did not go against the grain and actually fell in line with many mock draft experts by utilizing his position to secure some offensive talent. It continued when he brought back two former Patriots, Chandler Jones and Benjamin Watson, into the fold. And the plan keeps on rolling now that Belichick has offered a contract to a player he might have deemed not worth it in past seasons.
Super Bowl LIII MVP Julian Edelman is here to stay, at least until 2021! The soon-to-be 33-year-old signed a two-year contract extension with the Patriots yesterday that is worth $18 million dollars, with $12 million of that guaranteed. Mind you, I do not mean to say that Edelman is past his prime. Clearly he is capable of performing with the best of them around the league. I was just surprised to see Belichick go all in to keep his talents around. Obviously, he is a good clubhouse guy, great friends with Tom Brady, and a needed depth chart boost to the wide receiver position, but I definitely breathed a sigh of relief to see that the team has a vested interest in keeping him.