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#pounditSaturday, May 15, 2021

Articles tagged: New England Patriots

Crazy stat puts Patriots’ free agent spending spree in perspective

Bill Belichick

The New England Patriots came into the offseason with more salary cap space than almost every team in the NFL, and they have wasted no time using that to their advantage. Bill Belichick has already made several major splashes in free agency, which is something that has rarely happened in his two decades with the team.

The Patriots made four big signings at the start of what is known as the “legal tampering period” on Monday. They agreed to deals with pass-rusher Matt Judon (4 years, $56 million), tight end Jonnu Smith (4 years, $50 million), defensive back Jalen Mills (4 years, $24 million) and nose tackle Davon Godchaux (2 years, $16 million). As of Monday afternoon, New England had spent $146 million on free agent contracts this offseason.

While not all of that money is guaranteed, it is still remarkable when you compare it to the approach Belichick has taken over the last decade. The $146 million is nearly half of all the money the Patriots have spent on free agents combined in the past 10 years.

By the time the day ended, the Patriots did even more damage. They added receivers Nelson Agholor (2 years, $26 million) and Kendrick Bourne (3 years, $22.5 million) and defensive lineman Deatrich Wise (4 years, $30 million).

There are several reasons why the Patriots are spending more this offseason than usual. For starters, Tom Brady’s money is now off the books. While Brady consistently took less than market value, he still earned significantly more than what New England is paying Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham.

Of course, the Patriots also have more holes to fill than usual this offseason. It makes sense that Belichick is trying to use free agency to re-tool after a 7-9 season. In the past, his rosters have been so good that he could focus more on re-signing his own players than scouring free agency.

Time will tell if the aggressive and unfamiliar approach pays off. All we know is most Patriots fans are pleased with it, and the team even sent a hilarious tweet about the big splashes.

Matt Judon agrees to deal with Patriots

Matthew Judon

The New England Patriots have already made multiple key signings in free agency, and pass-rusher Matt Judon is the latest.

Judon and the Patriots have agreed to a four-year, $56 million contract, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

Judon made the Pro Bowl in each of the last two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. The 28-year-old had six sacks last season and 9.5 the year before. He is considered one of the top free agents and pass-rushers on the market.

There was a report last month that Judon turned down a long-term deal with the Ravens that was worth more than $16.5 million per year. Judon denied it and threatened to retaliate against the reporter.

The Patriots had more than $60 million in salary cap space entering the offseason, and they have wasted no time spending it. They signed star tight end Jonnu Smith and nose tackle Davo Godchaux on Monday. The team sent a funny tweet about the big moves.

Patriots send great tweet amid free agent spending spree

Bill Belichick

The New England Patriots have begun their offseason spending spree, and the best reaction to Monday’s big moves may have come from the team’s official Twitter account.

Bill Belichick made a pair of big free agent signings on Monday when the Patriots agreed to deals with star tight end Jonnu Smith and nose tackle Davon Godchaux. Shortly after the news became public, the team’s official Twitter account shard a photo with no caption.

You may recognize the photo from last year’s virtual NFL Draft. ESPN had live cameras set up to capture the setups from every team’s head coach and general manager, and Belichick’s dog may as well have made one of the Patriots’ picks. You can see what happened here.

If Belichick’s dog is the one who decided to address the team’s need for a pass-catching tight end and interior lineman, he’s going to be even more endeared to fans in New England.

Jonnu Smith agrees to four-year deal with Patriots

The New England Patriots had arguably the worst collection of skill players in the NFL last season, and they are trying to address that heading into 2021. They felt signing star tight end Jonnu Smith was a good place to start.

Smith and the Patriots have agreed to a four-year, $50 million contract. Smith’s agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the deal includes just north of $31 million guaranteed.

Smith was the best tight end on the free agent market and one of the best players overall. The 25-year-old posted career highs across the board with the Tennessee Titans last season, including 41 catches, 448 yards and eight touchdowns.

The Patriots desperately lacked both a receiving tight end and red zone option in 2020, so Smith should help address both of those needs.

Bill Belichick will likely look to add another skill player or two in the coming days, as the Patriots have plenty of salary cap space.

Ex-Patriots executive shares great story about Tom Brady contract negotiation

Tom Brady Bucs

Tom Brady agreed to a contract extension with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week that lowered his salary cap hit and will pay him much less than some of his peers. To those who have followed Brady’s Hall of Fame career, that was the expected outcome. Former New England Patriots executive Scott Pioli certainly was not surprised.

Pioli, who worked in player personnel with the Patriots from 2000-2008, was one of the people who negotiated Brady’s first ever NFL contract extension. He shared a great story about that process on CBS this week.

According to Pioli, Brady at one point stepped in between his agent Don Yee and Pioli when the two were negotiating Brady’s deal. Pioli says Brady asked, “When is enough, enough?”

“Does he like to get paid like everybody else? Sure he does,” Pioli said. “But he doesn’t worry about being a pig. Winning championships is just as important as getting paid. … He told Bill (Belichick) and myself, ‘Listen guys, I will take less as long as you promise to take that extra money and continue to build a good team around me.'”

Brady took less than market value on his contracts throughout his entire two-decade tenure with the Patriots. It is a common misconception that he did that to help the team. Brady has always cared more about his legacy than being the highest-paid player in the NFL, and taking less money allowed New England to stay out of salary cap jail. The arrangement benefitted both sides.

Even when Brady chose to leave New England last year, it wasn’t about the money. He wanted a better supporting case, and the tweet he sent after signing his Bucs extension was a reminder of that.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have done it! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.

Does Cam Newton signing mean Patriots are out of QB market?

Bill Belichick

The New England Patriots have re-signed Cam Newton on a one-year deal, but does that mean they believe he will be their starting quarterback come Week 1 next season?

Not necessarily.

Newton’s new contract is worth up to $14 million, but it is loaded with incentives like the deal he signed last offseason. At least from a financial standpoint, the Patriots are in no way saying the former MVP is guaranteed a starting job. Both ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Michael Giardi said New England’s decision to bring back Newton does not mean they will bow out of the quarterback market.

Most Patriots fans are unhappy with the idea of Newton as the team’s starting QB again next season. The 31-year-old had just 2,657 yards passing, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season. It looked like his surgically repaired shoulder may have been an issue, and Newton did very little to prove he is still capable of winning games in the NFL.

The thinking from Bill Belichick is probably that Newton knows the offense and is relatively inexpensive. Newton likely knows that the team will either draft a quarterback or acquire another veteran to compete with him in training camp.

Belichick reportedly has another team’s quarterback at the top of his wish list, but it is highly unlikely the Patriots will land that player. For now, Newton provides some security and a potential bridge option, albeit one with an extremely low ceiling.

Cam Newton is back with the Patriots! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Cam Newton Patriots shirt. You can buy it here.

Details of Cam Newton’s new contract with Patriots revealed

Cam Newton hat

Cam Newton has agreed to re-sign with the New England Patriots on a one-year deal, and many were shocked to hear how much the contract is worth after the season Newton had in 2020. When you look at it more closely, however, it does not seem like a huge risk for the Patriots.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Newton’s one-year contract is worth $14 million. As you might expect, that amount is hardly guaranteed.

Newton’s contract with the Patriots last season was essentially a league-minimum base salary with numerous incentives. The contract was worth up to $7.5 million, so Newton has the opportunity to earn double that this year. However, Albert Breer of The MMQB reports that the new contract is loaded with the same types of incentives.

The Athletic’s Jeff Howe said Newton will only earn $14 million “if everything goes perfectly.”

There was no reason for Newton to think he could earn big money from the Patriots or any other team after the way he played last season. He may feel his performance was greatly hindered by the shortened offseason and his bout with COVID-19, but he knew he was going to have to sign another prove-it deal.

Newton finished with 2,657 yards passing, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season. He’s betting on himself once again, but he didn’t have much of a choice. Hopefully his unique offseason training this year will yield better results heading into the 2021 season.

Cam Newton is back with the Patriots! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Cam Newton Patriots shirt. You can buy it here.

Patriots re-sign Cam Newton on one-year deal

Cam Newton

Cam Newton did very little last season to prove he is still capable of being a starting quarterback in the NFL, but the New England Patriots still feel like he has something to offer.

Newton has agreed to re-sign with the Patriots on a one-year deal, Jim McBride of the Boston Globe reported on Friday.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the deal is worth $14 million.

Newton struggled in 2020, finishing with 2,657 yards passing, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He did, however, sign with New England very late in what was already a shortened offseason due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Newton also missed time early in the year after testing positive for the coronavirus.

The Patriots have been linked to a number of veteran quarterbacks this offseason like Matthew Stafford and Jimmy Garoppolo, but Newton is familiar with the offense and a very inexpensive option. Bill Belichick may also be planning to draft a quarterback and have Newton compete for the starting job.

Newton will certainly be plenty motivated to prove himself after he failed to do so last season. He’s already been going through some unique offseason workouts, so we’ll see if that pays off.

Cam Newton is back with the Patriots! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Cam Newton Patriots shirt. You can buy it here.

Report: Patriots WR N’Keal Harry drawing trade interest

N’Keal Harry has been the definition of a draft bust since the New England Patriots selected him in the first round two years ago, but apparently there are teams that still believe the wide receiver has potential.

Teams have reached out to the Patriots to inquire about trading for Harry, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports.

That will come as a shock to most Patriots fans, and it’s possible even Bill Belichick is surprised.

Harry was taken with the 32nd overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He’s a big receiver who flashed some serious play-making ability at Arizona State, but that has not translated to the NFL. He also has struggled to stay healthy.

In two seasons with the Patriots, Harry has 45 catches for 414 yards and just four touchdowns. He has missed a total of 11 games.

Harry’s trainer seemed to blame Cam Newton for the receiver’s struggles last season, and perhaps there are teams that feel that was the biggest factor in the 23-year-old’s struggles. Whatever the case, the Patriots would almost certainly be happy to unload Harry at a reasonable price.

Trent Brown trade details: Pro Bowler returning to Patriots via Raiders

Trent Brown

Trent Brown played some of his best football with the New England Patriots prior to signing a massive contract with the then-Oakland Raiders, and Bill Belichick is now bringing back the star offensive tackle.

The Patriots and Las Vegas Raiders have agreed to a trade that will send Brown back to New England, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports. The two teams are swapping draft picks in 2022.

Brown has also reworked his contract and agreed to a new one-year, $11 million deal. He previously had two seasons and $29.5 million left on his contract, but he will now become a free agent following the 2021 season.

Brown, 27, arrived in New England via a trade with the San Francisco 49ers back in 2018. He started all 16 games at left tackle for the Patriots, who went on to win the Super Bowl. Brown parlayed that success into a four-year, $66 million contract with the Raiders.

Brown spent some time on the reserve/COVID-19 and had another frightening medical scare last season. He appeared in just five games.