The biggest story of NFL free agency so far is Bill Belichick’s recent spending spree with the New England Patriots. He is not only trying to make the Patriots Super Bowl contenders again, but it appears that Bill Belichick potentially wants to get even with Tom Brady after Brady won a Super Bowl on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past season. Among the people to react to Belichick’s recent moves was ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith. He had a strong message about what Belichick has been doing, too.
The Patriots have spent a lot in free agency so far
The New England Patriots went from being a mediocre team to a playoff contender overnight.
So far in free agency, the Patriots have signed tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry. Those two could possibly emulate what the Pats had with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. They also signed receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, as well as linebacker Matt Judon.
All five of these players can be game-changers for New England in 2021.
What has been most surprising about the Patriots’ free agency moves so far, though, is how many they have made within a short period of time.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith thinks that this proves one thing.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith sent a strong message about Bill Belichick’s spending spree
Stephen A. Smith recently appeared on his ESPN show, First Take, and he sent out a strong message about Bill Belichick’s recent moves, saying Tom Brady and the Buccaneers potentially had something to do with it.
“He’s coming after Tom Brady, let’s just call it what it is; he’s coming after Tom Brady,” Smith said on the March 16 episode. “That’s what the hell’s going on here. It’s one thing to lose Tom Brady and to not be what you are. It’s another thing to watch him go someplace else; in his first year there, he wins the Super Bowl. Not just because he’s still a star quarterback, but also, he played the role of GM, basically making decisions as to who should be on the team and who should be added to the team.”
He continued: “You don’t throw any shade on Bill Belichick the coach. There’s nothing to question about him as the coach. He is the greatest of all-time. … But there were a lot of questions, legitimate questions about Bill Belichick the GM, and Tom Brady out-maneuvered him in that regard as well. … For the first time in a very, very long time, there are questions about him in that regard, and in that regard, he had to answer it, and I think that he made steps toward doing that yesterday.”
He definitely made steps toward doing that, indeed.
It will still be tough for Bill Belichick to top what Tom Brady has been doing in Tampa, though.
Bill Belichick has a lot of work to do to beat Tom Brady
We all know that strong quarterback play matters when it comes to winning Super Bowls, and the Patriots simply don’t have that right now. Cam Newton only threw for 2,657 yards, eight touchdowns, and 10 interceptions last season. The recent free agent moves on the offensive side of the ball with Smith, Henry, Agholor, and Bourne can potentially help Newton significantly, but it will still probably be pretty hard for Bill Belichick to match Tom Brady.
The Buccaneers have two of the best wide receivers in the NFL in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, in addition to Scott Miller, who had an excellent season this past year. They, of course, also have Rob Gronkowski at tight end and Ronald Jones at running back, and hope to have guys like Leonard Fournette and Antonio Brown back. That’s an absolutely stacked offense led by the greatest quarterback of all-time, and it is paired with a top 10 defense.
Bill Belichick is proving that he wants to match Tom Brady and win another Super Bowl. However, no matter how many moves he makes this offseason, it will be pretty hard to beat the GOAT and all of his weapons.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference