For New England Patriots fans, this is turning out to be one hell of an offseason. The trade deals and free agency signings have gotten every Patriots fan salivating for the first preseason kickoff to see how Bill Belichick uses his new toys.
And we haven’t even gotten to the draft-day acquisitions yet. The offense was already strong and we upgraded with more receivers. To make matters even better, the defense is just about set.
If the Patriots ink the deal for Julius Peppers, that will leave few holes for rookie replacements on defense. Peppers would be used to fill the vacancy of Mike Vrabel.
The Patriots' current list of trade and free agency acquisitions is as follows.
Greg Lewis – WR
Joey Galloway – WR
Chris Baker – TE
Al Johnson – C
Fred Taylor – RB
Nathan Hodel– LS
Tully Banta-Cain – LB
Shawn Springs – DB
Leigh Bodden – DB
Am I just crazy or have I just figured out one of Bill Belichick’s strategies for team building?
Belichick builds through trade and free agency to the point that you don’t really need any draft day picks. He brings in those unloved pro-bowlers and quality players and show them a little appreciation.
Bring them up to New England and show them all the smiling faces and banners ringing Gillette stadium. It’s a simple matter to talk them into a low ball deal for a pretty good chance at a Super Bowl ring.
It wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened, just ask Corey Dillion. Even Junior Seau will attest that he has the option to come back every year until he gets one.
That is one hell of a lure that Belichick gets to dangle and now we see that he’s not just a good coach and businessman but a pretty good fisherman as well.
All of these early personnel changes create a situation New England only makes the draft acquisitions that are necessary and trade away the remaining picks for future picks; giving the Patriots further purchasing power next year.
Bill does his homework when it comes to the draft picks he makes. He treats his draft picks like gold, and he either cashes them in or saves them for a rainy day.
The draft picks that the Patriots do make always seem to be quality picks as well. First rounders like Richard Seymour, Ty Warren, Vince Wilfork and most recently Jerod Mayo are just the defensive picks that were immediate contributors.
I’m sure this strategy is not all that easy to accomplish otherwise every team in the NFL would be doing it as well. Wouldn’t they?
Or is Belichick a bit crazier than the rest and that’s why it works for him?