For all of the success Bill Belichick has had identifying stars on the defensive side of the ball, the New England Patriots coach has struggled mightily in recent seasons to equip an offense with elite skill-position players.
The Patriots' struggles have gotten so bad in that regard that one executive categorized them as the worst group in the NFL.
"It's the worst group of skill players in the NFL, and you should probably put skill players in quotes," the executive told Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. "That has to be the slowest offense in the league."
The New York Jets may have something to say about the Patriots being categorized as the worst offense in the league, but New England is not far off. Julian Edelman and James White are the only skill-position players on the roster who could even be categorized as net positives, and even they are limited in their contributions to underneath passes.
Cam Newton has struggled through the air for most of the season, calling back Tom Brady's struggles toward the end of 2019 with the same lack of help around him.
La Canfora reported the Patriots are expected to acquire help ahead of the deadline, but that plan backfired last season. The team traded a second-round pick for Mohamed Sanu, only to have him be ineffective before being waived in September. Sanu is currently out of football.
The Patriots have attempted to use draft picks at the skill positions in recent years to little success. N'Keal Harry and Sony Michel have not become stars after being first-round draft picks, and the Patriots have watched as other teams have taken better players several picks after them.
With the Pats sitting at 2-3 heading into Week 7, it's fair to criticize Belichick for not doing enough to keep his team afloat in the post-Brady era.