Free agency is a long process, but here is the Patriots’ ledger so far:
In: NT Danny Shelton, ST Nate Ebner, ST Brandon King, ST Brandon Bolden.
Out: LT Nate Solder, RB Dion Lewis, CB Malcolm Butler, WR Danny Amendola
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) March 14, 2018
Like most Patriots fans, I’m pretty pissed about how this off-season has started off.
Nate Solder is gone, Dion Lewis is gone, Malcolm Butler is gone, and Danny Amendola is gone. Four of the Patriots key free agents going into the off-season are on their way out the door. You also missed out on Richard Sherman and Aqib Talib, who BOTH had interest in coming here. Jordy Nelson was released yesterday and he also has reported interest in coming here, but I can’t say I believe that’ll happen either based on how everything has shaken out so far.
What makes it even worse for the Pats is that the talent remaining in free agency only continues to shrink. Guys are committing to deals left and right across the league, except for in New England. Barring a trade for a big-time talent, the Patriots will now go into next season trying to replace four core players with the scraps that are left in free agency. I know they’re generally pretty good at picking the best out of those scraps, but put this into perspective: Tom Brady will be 41 years old next season. You traded Jimmy Garoppolo so you could take advantage of Brady’s window and win as much as possible right now. So why the hell wouldn’t you fork over whatever money you had this off-season to retain at least ONE of these guys for the remainder of Brady’s tenure in New England? What they’re doing right now just feels so ass backward to me. What good is that money going to do if it’s just sitting there collecting dust?
They may have lost some great players, but this team definitely still has a lot of talent left. And with Donta Hightower, Julian Edelman, and Malcolm Mitchell (hopefully) returning next season, the team will look a lot different for the better. But I think to lose the guys that they lost, Solder specifically, is going to wind up biting them in the ass. Now you have to pay out of your nose to sign whoever is left in free agency at LT (which we know won’t happen), or bank on drafting someone that can protect your 40-year-old quarterback’s blind side at the end of the first round. It just does not make sense.
But don’t worry guys, we re-signed NATE EBNER! Remember the impact he had last season? (He didn’t play).
Patriots reached agreement with special teams standout Nate Ebner on a 2-year deal, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2018
And, AND! We’re ALL IN on AJ McCarron! You know, the same guy that couldn’t even beat Andy Dalton out of a starting job in Cincinatti.
— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) March 14, 2018
-Nick Cherico (@NickCherico2)