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NFL Free Agency: Speculation About New England Patriots' Signings Is Pointless

SAN DIEGO - OCTOBER 24:  Head Coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots during warm up against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 24, 2010 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images
Robert YeeCorrespondent IIJune 14, 2011

As fans, we have this annoying habit of thinking we know what's best for our team.

"We need a pass rusher!" "Sign a running back for once!" "Why aren't we going after Player X?"

It's a yearly process, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't participate. The impulse to let our own general manager instincts kick in is a tough one to bury.

But look at that second paragraph again: We need a pass rusher. Why aren't we going after Player X?

The notion that we, as fans, have anything to do with a signing is misguided. Unless a team's brass is worried about losing fan support, it won't fold to the notions of the public.

Therefore, a team like the New England Patriots, a team that wins year after year, has no need to listen to its fans for football advice.

For example, the Patriots entered this year's NFL Draft with, according to the fans and the media, one glaring need: a pass rusher. And in typical Bill Belichick fashion, the Patriots looked elsewhere with their draft picks by picking an offensive lineman, a cornerback and two running backs with their first four picks.

It wasn't until the the sixth round that New England added a linebacker in Markell Carter from Central Arkansas.

Going into the 2010 season, it was the signing that nobody even knew about, Danny Woodhead, who made the biggest impact on the team.

The point is: There's a reason Bill Belichick gets to stand on the sidelines and call the shots while the rest of us watch on our HD monitors.

These men have been schooled in the game for longer than some of us have been alive (Belichick took a job with the Baltimore Colts in 1975; I was born in 1990).

It's a waste of time for us, as fans, to speculate as to a team's signings. It's along the same line as fan superstitions. Up until last night's Stanley Cup Finals Game 6, I had stayed home for each Bruins loss and gone out for every win. I quite rationally figured we (that is, the Bruins) were in trouble when I couldn't find any plans.

The Bruins went on to win, 5-2, and I was reminded again that, in sports, some things are just out of the fans' control.

So far this spring/summer, the Patriots have signed just one player, defensive end Marcus Stroud—a signing that has gone relatively under the radar, possibly due to his age.

But given Bill Belichick's pedigree, I wouldn't bet against him and I would advise other fans to just relax and let the man do what he does: win us football games.

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