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What free agency moves are next for Bill Belichick and the Patriots?

SportsNFLWhat free agency moves are next for Bill Belichick and the Patriots?

Foxboro, Mass. – Quick-hit ideas and notes all around new England Patriots and NFL:

1. What’s next? Coach Bill Belichick’s Strategy Explained Through first week of free agencywith the patriots essentially swapping Mike Gesicki For jonnu smith in the tight end, juju smith-schuster For jacobi meyers At receivers, working to build depth at offensive tackles in the mid- to low-end of the market, and retaining as many defenders as possible.

What could be the next moves? What top areas of need remain?

The Patriots Have A Huge Void After Safety Devin McCourty‘S retirementThat’s why he was visiting with the free agent taylor rap ,Los Angeles Rams) on Thursday.

Cornerbacks still rank among their weakest spots, after release starter’s Jalan Mills on Friday. It Won’t Be A Surprise If The Patriots Invest High Format The choice at that spot (the team owns the 14th pick and has 11 overall selections) in a year that analysts predict a strong group of early-round prospects at the position.

Likewise in offensive attack, where the Patriots may be ready to play a game today but would benefit from an infusion of upside and/or youth.

Wide receivers, along with Smith-Schuster’s top four, davante parker, tycon thornton And kendrick bourneFits into that discussion as well.

They look like sweet spots, and nothing moves the needle quite like the search for a top receiver, which leads the current Patriots linebacker Mack Wilson Sr., jumping on twitter last week to recruit denver broncos caught by jerry jeudy And arizona cardinals receiver deandre hopkins, The team also had a scout odell beckham jrRecent workout.

Michael Lombardi, a former assistant to Belichick, said of himself “gm shufflepodcast that he believes the market for Hopkins is “really soft” because teams are reluctant to trade for him and “renegotiate his contract”. Financial expectations with Beckham, which are torn Coming out of the ACL, reportedly the same.

This suggests that nothing is imminent with those players, at least from a Patriots perspective.

2. Role of the Judge: When McCourty told the story of how he informed Belichick of his decision to retire WEEI Radio Interview, he explained how he walked into Belichick’s office and that the judge was meeting with Belichick. It marks what some believe will eventually be Judge’s role with the team this year: a senior advisor to Belichick.

3. McCourty Sound Bites: Notable sound bites from McCourty’s hour-long studio interview:

  • at quarterback mac jones, “I don’t think he deserves as much outcry and scrutiny as he gets. We sat here his rookie year and said, ‘Hey, I’m with it! I love this new era.’ We go into the playoffs and it’s ‘Here we go!’ Then what happened coaching-staff-wise an offensive position this year…he needs some consistency [around him],

  • On 2022 QBs/Offense: “I think player-wise there was a lot of confidence that we were going to get the best player out there. But the struggle on offense, I think there were some guys in the locker room who were like ‘let’s go with [Bailey] Zap, or ‘No, Mac looked good today.’ It was just a back and forth that, to me, spoke more about our offense than the quarterback. We had never been stronger as an offensive group that people had complete faith in what we were doing. There was never any real hope.

  • on whether he will trade Baltimore Ravens Quarterback lamar jackson, “I don’t know if I’ll do it because once I give that money to Lamar Jackson, we don’t have enough right now for me, it’ll be like ‘this team is going to win the Super Bowl if we Just put Lamar Jackson in here instead of Mac.'”

  • On free agent signing: “Too much activity as a player is scary. In ’21, when we had tons of activity and all the fans were like ‘Yeah! We got this guy!’ … It’s very hard to know how it’s going to work.”

4. Big Year For Bibi: McCourty’s recounting of how players view the offense in 2022, along with his coaching-staff’s perspective, highlights Belichick’s miscalculations, and some of the internal damage it has caused. This sets up 2023 as a significant bounce-back year for him. Belichick, who is 25-26 over the last three seasons, is 18 wins away from tying Don Shula for the NFL’s all-time wins mark.

5. Financial Health: As it stands, the Patriots are among the league leaders in salary cap space with $140 million for 2024. This is a result, in part, of not having a big-ticket quarterback on the roster because Jones (with options for a possible fifth year through 2024 and 2025) and belly zap (by 2025) are on their rookie deals. As players are added to the roster or deals are extended, cap space can quickly dissipate (e.g., right guard Mike Onwenu and safety kyle dugger are in the last year of their contract). But the franchise is in a healthy spot from a two-year financial snapshot.

6. Mac back on track?: While it’s a big bounce-back year for Belichick, it’s also one for Jones. Can he overcome last season’s “never true hope” dynamic to get back on track? Giants quarterback daniel jones Had similar turbulence early in his career and returns in 2022 with more stability around him. What unfolds with Mac Jones will provide the organization with vital information to inform its decision on his fifth-year option, which should be made by the spring of next year.

7. Little is left of 2019: reserve offensive tackle yodni cajst The last of the team’s 10 draft picks from 2019 is still on the roster, and he may not be there until the end of training camp. With the signing of Meyers, the top ’19 undrafted free agent with the Raiders in free agency, the Patriots now have almost nothing left of the class that ideally would have developed in their system and spent their prime years/fifth season in the NFL. will be entering. Thankfully for them, the 2020 to 2022 drafts look at least a little more promising.

8. Buying Low on Gesicki: Newly signed Patriots tight end Gecicki was fifth in receptions (73) among players at his position two seasons ago and was targeted on 22% of his routes with the Dolphins. But his target rate dropped to 16% last season and he had just 32 catches (tied for 28th among tight ends) after the Dolphins were added. tyreek hill and relied more on his receivers in coach Mike McDaniel’s system. So the Patriots bought short on his one-year deal with Gesicki, who is banking on the Patriots’ system, boosting his value for next year’s market.

9. Robinson Int’l: Sometimes Belichick targets a free agent who has hurt the Patriots, but this is not the case with a running back. James Robinson, In fact, it was Robinson’s explosive performance against New England the previous season (7 carries, 10 yards) that ultimately caused the Jets’ coaching staff to lose faith in him and fall him out of favor in New York. Robinson, who battled a knee injury in 2022 and is coming out of Achilles surgery in late 2021, should come to New England with plenty of motivation to prove the Jets wrong — which would immediately align him with Belichick. Is.

10. Did you know? Newly signed Patriots receiver Smith-Schuster, who in 2017 at age 20 became the youngest player to score a touchdown in the NFL since Chicago’s Andy Livingston in 1964, went to the same high school as the Patriots Hall of Famer participated in. Willie McGinest Long Beach Polytechnic.

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