Think the Patriots Overspent in NFL Free Agency? You Shouldn't Care

Curran: I don't care about Patriots 'overspending,' and neither should you originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The "Well, actualllllyyyys…" are pouring in.

After Bill Belichick spent a week signing every pass-catcher, run-stopper and edge rusher who wasn’t nailed down -- and being showered with hosannas for doing so -- people from accounts payable want to second-guess the purchases.

Bad contracts abound! The Patriots are peeing on The Patriot Way! What ever happened to "value?!?!?!"

Can I have a moment? I. Don’t. Give. A. Flock. And neither should you. Here’s why.

Patriots Talk Podcast: How Bill Belichick got his mojo back | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

The Patriots have a 69-year-old head coach and an 80-year-old owner. Neither man trucks in mediocrity. The Patriots also have a fanbase, season-ticket holders and corporate sponsors who -- after 20 years of almost unstinting success -- were growing visibly distressed at the personnel rudderlessness of the past few years.

Exacerbating the situation, Robert Kraft and Belichick held the door open for the greatest quarterback in NFL history to walk out the door. He did. And then he went and rubbed his former team’s face in that decision by winning a Super Bowl in Tampa Bay.

So there’s your motive for what the Patriots did. The weapon? Cash.

Belichick said the Patriots were eating the poop sandwich in 2020 to get right with the cap. In 2021, they’d go off. He had no way of knowing that -- in his "get right" year -- a pandemic would hit, revenues would drop, the cap would shrink and the Patriots would be one of the few teams flush enough to spend, spend, spend. Serendipitous!

As for the drunken splurge? Let’s add some context to the "why" of it.

House money
Money Kraft spent to purchase the franchise in 1994
Money the Patriots have guaranteed to new signings (estimate)

Because the Patriots have no future plan at quarterback and a suboptimal thrower at the top of the depth chart, they knew that nickel-and-diming free agent targets was bad strategy. So they made a whole bunch of offers that Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne could not refuse. And it worked.

You can argue the merits of whether a Bourne and an Agholor should have been replaced by a Golladay. I say the whole lot of available wideouts was overrated. We’ll see.

You can also count the pennies on those deals if you like. Just don’t forget the money not spent at those spots – and the money still not being spent at quarterback – while you’re counting.

Meanwhile, when the cap returns to its normal level and the new TV money starts coming in, how will those multi-year deals for Jonnu, Matt Judon and Henry look? Pretty good.

Curran and Perry rank the Patriots' top 10 additions to date

But, but, but … this is not what the Patriots dooooo!!! Even Kraft admitted it. He said to Albert Breer: "Look, we’re not going to know till the fall -- we always used to make fun of the people who won the headlines in March -- but here I believe we really improved our team."

He said to Peter King, “It’s like investing in the stock market. You take advantage of corrections and inefficiencies in the market when you can, and that’s what we did here. We’ll see. Nothing is guaranteed, and I’m very cognizant of that. But we’re not in the business to be in business. We’re in this business to win.”

He’s almost apologizing!!

No. He’s not apologizing. He’s deflecting. But he can’t say, “Look, we really butchered a bunch of opportunities to get better in the draft and almost completely ignored wideout and tight end. We can’t have a homegrown team right now that competes for a Super Bowl because we didn’t grow enough guys. So we bought a team that maybe can compete. We’ll see.”

The Patriots have been standing with the bat on their shoulder for a few years. We bitched. Now, they’re swinging. We gonna bitch about that too?

Perry: Patriots vets who could feel roster crunch after moves

Anyone who wants to get lost in the sauce of what the Patriots woulda, coulda and shoulda done differently in the opening rounds of free agency using actuarial tables to make their points needs to take a breath. Take your eyes off the paper.

These are the New England Patriots. Not the Jets, Bears or Jaguars. They have a narrow window in which to write the epilogue to the Belichick-Brady Era. They attacked it. Get out of here with your Kelley Blue Book values on wideouts and tight ends.

Watch the damn show.

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