New England Patriots made quite an impression with their activity on the NFL market in the past few days, and it seems that they aren’t stopping.
After two departures, with RT Marcus Cannon and OL Joe Thuney leaving Foxborough, many believed that the Pats might experience one frustrating offseason once again. However, the response came pretty quickly as New England spent enormous money in the last two days, handing $137.5 million in guaranteed cash to eight players.
The latest one on the list of the Pats’ additions was Hunter Henry, the former tight end of the Los Angeles Chargers. Henry, who was under a franchise tag, previously signed a three-year $37.5 million deal, $25 million guaranteed. In the meantime, Bill Belichick added the Titans’ TE Jonnu Smith on a four-year $50 million contract, $31.25 guaranteed. It seems that the legendary head coach is coming back to his basics, having two equally good TEs, as he had throughout his career.
New England struggled with the passing game last year, and Cam Newton had to run often, having to overexpose his body to hits and a lot of beating. Pats were No.30 in the league in passing yards and had awful percentages as well.
That is why Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne landed at the Gillette Stadium. Even though these two guys aren’t some big superstars, they are very productive and can provide a lot of relief to Newton. Combined with the two above-mentioned tight ends and an already present core, the Pats will have a solid attack through the air.
This is a blessing for Newton, who had a very frustrating season, in which he didn’t play as badly as many think. In fact, his rushing was superb, and it cleared all the doubts the fans had about his physical conditioning. Super Cam was back, and with this team, the quality of his performances would be more visible.
Regarding the defense, Matthew Judon’s comeback is the move that might shift the balance of power in the AFC. This guy is one of the hardest hitters in the league, and paired with Dont’a Hightower, who will be back following a year once he decided to opt-out due to COVID-19, the Pats will have one cruel defense.
DTs Henry Anderson from the Jets and Davon Godchaux from the 49ers also landed, but their arrival didn’t get the attention as some others. These two would make the Pats’ defense very deep and decrease its vulnerability against running, which was one of the main weaknesses of Belichick’s crew in 2020.
It seems that the six-time champions are coming back big style and that they aren’t going to be a playoff contender but a dark horse for winning the Super Bowl. This might seem like a pretty bold prediction at the time, but do know that while many look at the offensive additions, from our point of view, New England’s defense will be the better part of the team in the upcoming campaign.
With Judon and Hightower involved in the action, there won’t be many teams able to outscore the Pats.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.