David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE
Brandon Lloyd hopes to make a difference this year with Patriots
When free agency officially began in 2012, it seemed like every other player was lining up to sign a contract to join the New England Patriots. For a team that had just lost in the Super Bowl, you would think that they wouldn't have too many needs, but then again, not every team is coached by Bill Belichick.
As the Patriots prepare for the start of their preseason games, we are noticing a number of the free agents who were signed are starting to be released or opting to retire from the NFL. Chad Johnson didn't fare well in New England and felt he wasn't allowed to be himself. Clearly, the New England experience isn't cut out for everybody.
In retrospect, the Patriots seemed to approach the available player pool of free agents with a quantity over quality approach.You know, throw a bunch of stuff against the wall and see what sticks.
So far, the Patriots free agent signings have been: WR Anthony Gonzalez, DE Trevor Scott, CB Marquice Cole, WR Brandon Lloyd, CB Will Allen, G/T Robert Gallery, WR Donte' Stallworth, FB Tony Fiammetta, FB Spencer Larsen, LB Bobby Carpenter, RB Joseph Addai, RB Brandon Bolden, TE Bo Scaife, TE Jake Ballard, TE Visanthe Shiancoe and DL Kyle Love. Whew. You thought I was exaggerating before right?
Out of the above group, Gonzalez, Gallery, Fiammetta, Addai and Scaife are no longer with the team. There will undoubtedly be other names to add to this group as we get closer to final roster cuts.
The real question is did the Patriots add enough quality to truly improve the defense to the point that they can dominate the AFC and return to the Super Bowl, or was this a veiled attempt to use the allure of the Patriots franchise to bring in veterans for a shot at a ring, who didn't have much left in the tank?