The New England Patriots finished 7-9 in the first season of the post-Tom Brady era, as their general manager Bill Belichick attempted to prevent them from registering their worst season since 2000, but he failed to do so.
There is room for improvement at the team, but everything will depend on who Belichick will name this season as Brady’s successor.
When will Mac Jones play?
By picking Mac Jones with the No.15 pick, the countdown to when he will become the Patriots’ quarterback as history says that of the 25 quarterbacks who were chosen in the top 15 picks since 2011, 19 started at least 10 games in their rookie season.
Cam Newton’s drop in form over the past three seasons points to that direction too, although having the entire off-season to prepare will help the veteran.
The biggest spending in free agency history
Belichick saw Brady succeed with his new team and decided to invest heavily to strengthen the teams and signed 320 million worth of players in free agency.
That’s a radical change in the team’s policy, as the Patriots tended to developed players chosen in the Draft or who were discarded by other teams in the past.
In 2020, they paid off their debts and they spent everything they saved during the year of the pandemic and they had to spend big too since there is no Brady factor that attracted veterans for little money in search of the ring.
Solutions at the tight end position
In the first 24 hours of free agency the Patriots signed the two best tight ends who were available on the market.
Jonnu Smith joined for four years and Hunter Henry for three years and theirs were the largest contracts given to attacking free agents in the Belichick Era.
Now, he has options in his preferred position, although his main issue is that neither Smith nor Henry are among the best in the league.
Cam Newton’s tough season
Injuries have taken their toll on Newton, who didn’t attract any interest last summer until the Pats signed him until June 28.
There was no worse year to sign your starting QB so late, because if it is already difficult to implement a new offense in two months, it is much more complicated to do so via Zoom and without pre-season preparations.
Mac Jones is the future of the New England Patriots, while Newton only has one more year left on his contract.
Jamie Collins, Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts were lost in free agency, while Patrick Chung and Dont’a Hightower opted against playing last season.
The perimeter remains almost intact and they added versatility to the team with Jalen Mills, but seven of the players who are expected to be starters didn’t participate in 2020.