Looking at the Patriots - 2021

HSanders

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heard raiders might be thinking about parting ways with mayock. if so i'd take him in a minute in the personnel dept.
 

aloyouis

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heard raiders might be thinking about parting ways with mayock. if so i'd take him in a minute in the personnel dept.

Is he all that though? I know he sounds good on TV at the drafts etc but has he really done good things at Vegas?

I don't have an opinion on this this as I haven't followed him much at all. I am interested to read why you think this HS and why you are skeptical R71.
 

Roberto71

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I don't have an opinion on this this as I haven't followed him much at all. I am interested to read why you think this HS and why you are skeptical R71.
Well, he traded for AB, despite his issues and known personality problems. But look, so did we so you could give him a pass maybe. His first draft in the first 3 rounds he took Clelin Ferrell, Josh Jacobs, and Johnathan Abram....I mean, not great but maybe not woeful either?

I need more info on him, but sometimes well-known TV guys are given more credit on football coaching/management than they maybe deserve.Everybody is always an expert after the event.

I know he's a good guy and well regarded though by many.
 

TommyD420

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heard raiders might be thinking about parting ways with mayock. if so i'd take him in a minute in the personnel dept.
To do what? Get coffee?

Other than 'Do 5 minute camera standups with NFL Network about the Patriots draft', I can't see where he's qualified to actually do anything in the personnel department. Make sure the tapes are in alphabetical order? idk.
 

HSanders

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To do what? Get coffee?

Other than 'Do 5 minute camera standups with NFL Network about the Patriots draft', I can't see where he's qualified to actually do anything in the personnel department. Make sure the tapes are in alphabetical order? idk.
i think he'd work well with bb...if they need someone.
 

chevss454

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i think he'd work well with bb...if they need someone.

I don't know if he'd be good or bad but I'd be concerned that he's set in his ways of scouting players. BB wants it done the way he wants it done.
Would Mayock be willing to accept BB's way and reject his own? IDK, but it would be a concern for me.

Mayock did have a rough 1st two years drafting people.
 

chevss454

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Someone here criticized and made fun of BB for his free spending in FA this past off season. I can't remember who.
Now the league's front offices are studying how he did it because it worked to set the Pats up for a few years of success.
1/2

After 19 consecutive years above .500, head coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots hit rock bottom by their standards in 2020 with a 7-9 record. They were out of the playoffs for the first time since 2008. So they traveled an unconventional route to return to a familiar place, spending an historic amount in free agency to bandage their weaknesses and return to the postseason. They built a team with a model they so often used to mock — and one that has doomed some of their rival franchises.

Now that Belichick and the Patriots have shown the big-spending model can work, will it change the way teams view roster-building?

“They go against 20 years of their conventional model,” an agent said. “It’s a copycat league, and that’s the guy they tend to copy.”

The answer is truly shaded in gray. So many variables can color a team’s offseason roadmap — including salary cap space, recent draft performance and in-house free agents — and past teams have failed at catastrophic levels with significant splurges in free agency, to the point where even Patriots owner Robert Kraft acknowledged the risks with their plan.

The results have panned out. Even though the Patriots lost three of their final four regular-season games, they’re in the playoffs following a one-year hiatus and briefly held the AFC’s No. 1 seed in December. The roster overhaul is the reason why they improved to 10-7 in 2021.

“I think people will study (the Patriots’ offseason) to see why it was successful and then kind of come up with their own game plan,” a general manager observed.

New England missed the playoffs last season for the first time in a dozen years because quarterback Tom Brady departed in free agency, the defense lacked pass rushers and run stoppers and there were too many misses in the draft from 2017-19.

Even though Patriots executives and coaches admitted they used to laugh at teams that “won free agency,” they had no choice but to weaponize their $68 million in cap space. They signed 12 free agents from other teams with contracts that totaled $261.52 million, including $146.25 million guaranteed. Factoring in-house free agents, the Patriots’ combination of contracts amounted to $351.6 million with $193.9 million guaranteed.

The Patriots reeled in tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, wide receivers Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor, offensive linemen Trent Brown and Ted Karras, defensive lineman Davon Godchaux, linebackers Matt Judon and Kyle Van Noy and cornerback Jalen Mills. They also re-signed safety Devin McCourty, defensive linemen Deatrich Wise and Lawrence Guy and center David Andrews.

Not to be overlooked, the Patriots had a successful draft by picking quarterback Mac Jones, defensive tackle Christian Barmore and running back Rhamondre Stevenson.

“Quite honestly, they hit on all those guys,” former Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia said. “It’s paid off very nicely for them. Will people try to copy that? It’s a copycat league. But there’s a lot of pain that goes with paying guys a lot of money in free agency.”

The Patriots’ worst miss came in 2007 when linebacker Adalius Thomas secured a five-year, $35 million deal. The veterans quickly soured on Thomas when he monetized the team’s “humble pie” slogan on T-shirts, and he was a divisive locker-room figure in 2009 before his release. It provided a lesson in the unknown. A big contract can alter a player’s approach both on and off the field, and it might not even be intentional on the player’s behalf. Human nature can take control over time.

“How much does it change them?” Scarnecchia said. “Are they the same guys that you liked, then they got all that money and it changed them? There are a lot of highs and lows that go with it. I think everyone will do what the market bears for whatever motivations are put on people to spend a lot of money in free agency. We’re going to get better now, but that doesn’t always happen. It’s not always the answer. You’ve just got to do a really great job of scouting them, just as you do in the draft, to make sure you have all the information on these guys that gives you enough peace of mind to say, we’re going to give this guy a lot of money, and we think we’re going to get a lot back from this guy as a result.

“When you spend the kind of money that they did this past year, you better have a pretty good idea and better vet the guy pretty seriously to know what kind of problems or history this guy has. You don’t want a guy coming in, and then all of a sudden, ‘Oh my god, I didn’t know anything about that.’ You’ve got to make sure that you’re doing it the right way, get all the information, and talk to everybody who has dealt with this guy and make sure that this is the right kind of person that you’re bringing in. I think they do a good job of that, and I think a lot of people do, too. Sometimes, people just change.”

The Patriots haven’t been perfect in that regard, either, as they failed spectacularly with wide receiver Antonio Brown in 2019. He signed a contract with $10 million in guarantees, and his 11-day tenure included a civil lawsuit from a former trainer who accused him of rape and sexual assault along with accusations of harassing text messages to another woman. From a football perspective, the whiff exposed the Patriots’ lack of receiver depth and prevented them from addressing other needs at the trade deadline due to a shortage of cap space.

The Brown example highlights another risk with significant free-agent investments. Nine-figure splurges in free agency tend to follow a string of misses in the draft. If those mistakes are compounded, it’ll set a franchise back for several years. It can also lead to the firings of general managers and coaches, furthering the organizational instability.

Belichick likely has more job security than any coach in the league, so he could afford to take a risk that many others can’t.

“It’s a dangerous way to go,” the general manager said. “The difference is (the Patriots) know exactly what they need in their scheme offensively and defensively. Belichick knows exactly what he needs. He hasn’t always been great as far as drafting some positions. But going into it, if there’s one coach or personnel guy that you’d say you have confidence in spending that money, it’s them because they know exactly what they want to make their scheme work. Let’s say the Jets or some other teams try that. They may not have the same success, and it could set them back three or four years if they do it incorrectly.”

Belichick also has personnel control, which is important since his defense has consistently adapted to the league’s landscape. He doesn’t have to worry about the stability of his 3-4 base defense while the general manager signs 4-3 personnel. That’s a strangely common occurrence around the NFL.

“The problem is, (unsuccessful front offices) are grading players on a leaguewide scale. Bill Belichick is grading players on (his own scale),” an agent said.
 

chevss454

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2/2
Organizational stability is imperative to sustainable success, and it starts at the top. Just take a glance at this week’s events with the Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars, and the common denominator is apparent.

“There’s no chance — no chance, none whatsoever — you can look at the Jets, Giants, Jaguars, Lions and see them spending $200 million in free agency and winning next year,” an agent opined.

Belichick was also lauded for his penchant for signing cast-offs to fill specific roles on the Patriots. Safety Adrian Phillips is the latest example, as he was primarily a special teamer with the Chargers but has become a defensive staple in New England for two seasons and just signed a three-year extension.

Belichick also had no reservations over reacquiring Van Noy, Brown, Karras and linebacker Jamie Collins after they all took more money elsewhere in previous free agency periods. There are coaches around the league that have scoffed at reunions with former players.

“Getting Kyle Van Noy back, I mean fuck, who does that?” an agent said. “He gets cut after a year (with the Dolphins), and it’s not even a consideration for most teams to bring back that guy. Bill brings him back instantly. No other team or head coach or GM has the balls to do it.”

As the Patriots’ contracts mounted last spring, the graphics were blasted across various forms of media. They became the sixth team to guarantee $100 million in one free agency period, and the previous five didn’t win a playoff game. The 2020 Dolphins, 2019 Jets and 2018 Jets all missed the postseason, while the 2018 Bears and 2016 Giants lost in the wild-card round.

The sixth-seeded Patriots still have a major mountain to climb to break that trend, as they visit the No. 3 Buffalo Bills on Saturday night. The AFC East rivals split their regular-season meetings.

This game won’t solely validate the Patriots’ offseason approach, though. The moves were necessary to return to contention, and the additions will be valuable in future seasons, especially as they build around a quarterback on a rookie contract.

The competition took notice, and the other 31 pro personnel departments will surely study where the Patriots thrived while other big-spending teams failed in prior free agency periods. With the salary cap rising to $208 million in 2022, plenty of teams will have money to spend, and 12 teams have at least $40 million in cap space.

“I think teams are going to approach free agency like they normally do,” an executive said. “There are going to be a few teams that spend a bunch, and there are going to be a few teams that play the waiting game and let the market come to them. I would say teams are going to go about free agency the way they normally would and not be affected by what other teams do. If they have the money and the players they want and can get them, there will be teams that are going to spend a shit-ton of money.”

An agent added, “There’s going to be a lot of room with the cap increasing, and there’s going to be a ton of spending. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be wise spending. There are always players who get overpaid.”

And how will this impact the Patriots? Last year at this time, there was a perception — which was proven false — that prized free agents wouldn’t be willing to join the Patriots in the post-Brady era.

Rather, there will always be players whose personalities don’t jibe with certain coaches, and vice versa. That doesn’t make anyone’s priorities right, wrong or indifferent, but it’s another way to illustrate why it’s paramount to find the right fit between the player and coach.

“I’ve had multiple players reject the idea of playing for the Patriots over the years, even with Tom (at quarterback),” an agent said. “That’s because people have this misconception that it’s not fun to play for Bill. It’s an answer for individual players, except for one thing — whoever pays the most money 99 percent of the time gets the player. I don’t give a fuck if you’re Jacksonville, the Jets, the Dolphins or the Patriots. Give the guy the biggest contract, and he’s usually going to come to you.

“If you want to fuck around and come from a team where it’s a laissez-faire attitude, and they know they’re going to win six games then they’re going to fire the GM and head coach, then yeah, Bill Belichick is not your guy.”

Last offseason, Belichick found — and paid — his guys.

The Patriots are back in the playoffs.

And there’s been a ripple effect around the NFL.
 
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spacecrime

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Well, he traded for AB, despite his issues and known personality problems.
In his defense, didn't he trade directly from Pittsburgh? It seems, bad as he was in Piittsburgh, it was like how he went virally toxic in Oakland/New England/Tampa Bay.
 
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