The Patriots weren’t a bad team last year despite having an offence that was about as exciting to watch as paint dry. They have the third-most cap space in the NFL with $62 million and that’s a scary thought. Bill Belichick will be able to re-sign the important pieces, bring some key acquisitions in and have this team back battling for the division and continuing the Patriot way.
Super Cam was set up to fail. The Patriots had signed Newton on July 8th the last offseason. This was well after the spring offseason meetings, there was no preseason to come familiar with the new offence, unfair expectations replacing the GOAT, and an offence that had arguably the worst set of weapons in the NFL.
There aren’t many quarterbacks who would find themselves having success against the tidal wave odds.
Will the Patriots bring him back? I think they will. Cam since day one has shown he is bought into the Patriot way. His play was lacklustre at times and Bill stood by him.
The Patriots find themselves in a draft position that prevents them from getting a day one upgrade, free agency doesn’t have a better option, and a Watson trade looks to be nothing more than a dream.
Super Cam comes back to New England on a one-year $15 million contract with intensives to be worth up to $20 million.
The only way they don’t run it back; the Chicago Bears general manager, Ryan Pace throws a ton of money at Cam hoping he can find his 2015 form saving Pace’s job.
The full expectation is for the Patriots to bring in a couple of quarterbacks, and whichever one puts the team in the best position to win will start.
Marcus Cannon (Tackle): He is set to be a $9.6 million cap hit. He didn’t play in 2020, and Onwenu was nothing short of fantastic. A restructure could free up $5 million in space.
JC Jackson (Cornerback): The Patriots are extremely lucky Jackson is a restricted free agent. This is going to allow them to put a first-round tender on him bringing him back for a one-year, $5 million deal.
Jason McCourty (Cornerback): one-year, $3 million, McCourty by all accounts wants to still play. He’s not as fast as he used to be, but can still play on the outside. The Patriots likely get the brother discount to keep him.
Lawerence Guy (Interior Defensive Lineman): two-year, $7 million, Guy has been a trusted run stopper for New England. At 31 years old with a one-dimensional skill, he isn’t going to find himself getting a payday elsewhere.
David Andrews (Centre): four-year, $36 million, Andrew’s is one of the best players in this offence along with being their captain. I don’t expect Andrews to be anywhere but Boston next year.
Spending $35.5 million on re-signing guys leaves $31.5 million to bring in some names to help this team win the division.
Stephon Gilmore is 31 years old and still playing elite football. But with the emergence of JC Jackson being one of the NFL’s elites (having to sign him long term still), Jonathan Jones showing lockdown potential, former second-round pick Joejuan Williams making the most of playing time and McCourty being very reliable, paying Gilmore $15 million just doesn’t make sense.
New England Patriots Trade: CB Stephon Gilmore & 6th (Pick 197)
Cleveland Browns Trade: WR Odell Beckham Jr & 7th (Pick 255)
The Patriots were known to be in the running for OBJ when the Giants were shopping him. He hasn’t lived up to anything of what Cleveland fans had hoped but is still an elite talent.
Both players have a $15 million cost and help both teams improve major weaknesses.
The Patriots would swap the higher pick simply due to OBJ being two-years younger.
While he carries a lot of risk, so too does Gilmore being on the opposite side of 30 for a corner.
The Patriots head into free agency with $31.5 million in space.
Hunter Henry (Tight End): Three-year, $27 million. This Patriot offence needs a bonafide starting tight-end. Henry has battled injuries, but he can fill a massive void that has been left from Gronks departure.
Jacoby Brissett (Quarterback): Two-year, $12 million. A homecoming for Brissett; if Newton cannot elevate this offence, then there’s no doubt this offence can be efficiently run through Brissett.
He started 15 games for Indy after being traded there leading them to seven wins while throwing for 2,942 yards, 18 touchdowns, six interceptions, adding another four touchdowns on the ground.
This Cam Newton touchdown looks eerily similar to what Brissett ran in 2017.
Thought Newton’s bootleg TD today was extremely similar to Brissett’s vs Houston in 2016. Looks like the exact same play: pic.twitter.com/hnkuteLVyi
— Brian Hines (@iambrianhines) September 14, 2020
Derek Wolfe (Defensive Line): One-year, $3 million. Wolfe can come play limited snaps and be an impactful player for this defence creating pressure inside.
Aldon Smith (Edge Rusher): One-year, $3 million. Patriot fans had the join of watching a lot of John Simon last year. While Smith is also a bargain bin grab, he appeared to still have some game for Dallas and will be a low-cost upgrade.
The Patriots find themselves with pick 15 in the NFL draft along with nine other selections.
Pick 15 – Edge – Gregory Rousseau. If it weren’t for him opting out of the season we likely would have seen top 10 pick tape. Rousseau having only one season under his belt is risky, however, a 16.4% pressure rate on 550 defensive snaps is nothing to shy away from.
He is freaky athletic for being 6’6, 260 pounds and could be the rusher they have missed since letting Flowers go.
Gregory Rousseau’s FSU tape is nsfw, IOL had no answer for him.pic.twitter.com/b0Pb3GHoI4
— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) July 21, 2020
Pick 46 – Trade Down. With the Ravens interested in trading up, the Patriots could move 12 spots back and acquire pick 104 in trading picks 48 & 145.
Pick 58 – Receiver – Tylan Wallace. The Patriots haven’t had a burner since Brandon Cooks. Wallace has track speed along with an impressive resume that averages over 100 yards a game since 2018.
Pick 77 – Forfeited; don’t cheat kids.
Pick 96 – Quarterback – Davis Mills. The quarterback from Stanford has 10 career starts. He has a laser quick processor and release with a 2.43-second average time to throw in those 10 starts.
Bill has found himself starting worthy quarterbacks in the middle rounds that need work before and Mills could be another.
Pick 104 – Linebacker – Chazz Surratt. The Patriots vitally missed Donte Hightower last season, and need to address the depth of linebacker.
Surratt will need work on his ability in coverage, but Bill can trust him on run downs and sending him on a blitz. Surratt is a heat-seeking missile when it comes to ball carriers.
Pick 120 – Interior Defensive Line – Bobby Brown. The Patriots have always valued the big run-stopping defensive tackle. Brown has the body and skills to fit the role as a Patriot.
Pick 139 – Safety – James Wiggins. Wiggins was a phenomenal safety in 2018, having three walk-off interceptions. In 2019 he tore his ACL, followed up by play that was nothing special in 2020. He does possess physical traits that make him well worthy he selection.
Pick 159 – Guard – Kendrick Green. More of a run blocker than a pass blocker. Green also brings versatility to the inside of the offensive line having experience playing centre when the Illinois starter went down.
Pick 199 – Running back – Jaret Patterson. Patterson can frequently be used in the passing game, not to mention he is a great runner in between the tackles. Patterson’s skill set will compliment Michel and Harris’s to round out the backfield.
Pick 241 – Edge – LaBryan Ray. Near the end of the draft, you really are just shooting for trait guys. The Alabama edge rusher can battle for a right to make the squad but likely is landing on a practise squad somewhere.
Pick 255 – Corner – Nahshon Wright. Six foot four corner who doesn’t miss many tackles. Bill can hope he has a future gunner here.
Don’t count Bill out
If there’s one thing we can count on, it’s Bill Belichick turning this around. While many are pointing to the former Patriot, Tom Brady having the last laugh in winning the Super Bowl his first year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It’s now Bill’s turn to take another run at the Lombardi trophy.