The New England Patriots underwent remarkable roster change this offseason, bidding adieu to Wes Welker and most of their receiving corps, two starting defensive tackles in Kyle Love and Brandon Deaderick, their second-leading rusher in Danny Woodhead and most recently, legally embroiled tight end Aaron Hernandez.
That’s far from just another day at the office, but for NFL teams, the only constant is constant change.
The Patriots certainly aren’t the first team to launch a rebuilding effort while simultaneously vying for a championship, and they won’t be the last. Heck they aren’t even the only team hoping to accomplish that this year. Consider the offseason restructuring efforts of the 2012 NFL champion Baltimore Ravens.
The trick with rebuilding, though, is to replace what you lose. Otherwise it’s just a demolition.
During free agency and the NFL draft, those adieus changed to bienvenues in Foxboro as the Patriots welcomed faces new and old into the fold for the 2013 season.
While each signing has a role to play for the Patriots, some will make a greater impact than others and some will serve as nothing more than training camp competitors. However, all players great and small still hold some purpose for Bill Belichick.
Outside of a Doug Flutie drop kick, I don’t believe New England’s hooded and half-sleeved sideline scowler does anything on a whim.
Many of these new additions arrived with little to no fanfare, while others might as well have had a medieval squire trumpeting their approach.
Hype and hoopla, however, are hollow and herald no hastening hometown hopes of hoisting the highly sought and hard-won Vince Lombardi Trophy. Nor do subdued suppositions and slight status spell certain surcease of significant or sustainable success.
Additionally, authorial abuse of alliteration attracts alternating audience assertions of appreciative amusement and acerbic acrimony without assuring the author any added acclaim for his aplomb, but I digress.
In other words, I know using flowery language starting with the same letter doesn’t necessarily make me a better writer, but sometimes I like to have fun stretching my mental muscles. Sue me.
The larger point remains though. Basically, the hype we heap on certain players often proves unwarranted in making them overrated while other players flourish despite their arrival going largely unnoticed and making them underrated.
Both relate to perception and how it compares to actual production. Using that basis, here are the most underrated and overrated signings by the New England Patriots this offseason.