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Patriots Daily: Roster Overhaul Greatly Exaggerated

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New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo faces reporters before NFL football practice, Tuesday, June 4, 2024, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Many in the media discussed the roster overhaul the New England Patriots would experience this offseason. Eliot Wolf took the reigns in the Patriots’ front office following the disappointing 2023 campaign. The new regime was led by Wolf, head coach Jerod Mayo, and others, replacing longtime franchise head honcho Bill Belichick. They discussed a desire to burn cash to bring in talent, weaponize New England’s offense, and retool the roster among their stated goals.

Eliot Wolf mentioned wanting to do things the “Packer Way” in New England. It was a nod to the Green Bay Packers, his original NFL employer. Hall of Fame executive Ron Wolf, Eliot Wolf’s father, was general manager of the Packers for a decade. Some took this as a dig at Bill Belichick, stating a desire to move away from the “Patriot Way” of doing business for the past 24 years.

“Draft and develop. Extend your core performers from within,” Wolf explained. He would add, “And again, it’s about honesty, respect, and treating people the right way.”

Jerod Mayo helped walk Wolf’s comments back the next day.

“Bill (Belichick) did a great job for a long period of time,” Mayo acknowledged. “I don’t want you guys to take this, just because we’re changing, as shots toward the previous regime.

“In saying that, we will do it differently, and it’ll feel different,” the head coach went on. “And at the end of the day, we would like to replicate the success that the prior regime had.”

Offseason Signings and Extensions

One of Eliot Wolf’s points about change was evaluating draft picks. Robert Kraft previously indicated an unhappiness with how the New England Patriots have drafted in recent years. So it comes as a bit of a surprise that nearly all of the offseason signings in New England are players originally brought to the Patriots by Bill Belichick.

Wolf re-signed Kendrick Bourne and Hunter Henry before free agency officially got underway, preventing either player from exiting. Both were orginally signed by Bill Belichick.

New England “burned cash” in free agency to retain the services of several 2023 Patriots players. The two biggest contracts were given out to Mike Onwenu and Kyle Dugger, both Bill Belichick draft picks. Other free agents signed back from the Belichick Era in New England included Anfernee Jennings, Joshua Uche, and Jalen Reagor.

The Patriots have handed out contract extensions this offseason to Christian Barmore, David Andrews, and Rhamondre Stevenson. Again, spending money to retain players Belichick brought to New England.

This is not meant to be a criticism of any of these signings. It is a matter of confusion over why the franchise seemed so desperate to distance themselves from Bill Belichick and his moves. They spent considerable cash retaining and extending players Bill Belichick evaluated as solid football players. They failed to spend serious cash on players from outside of the organization. Why?

Again, the moves the New England Patriots have made all seem solid. They are not locked into any risky contracts, they added eight players through the 2024 NFL Draft and retained a core of solid players. But the “new way of doing business” comments, along with analysis anticipating a massive overhaul, was way off base.

Also in today’s Patriots Daily:

Daily Patriots Fun Fact

The record for career games with the New England Patriots for players who first played for another NFL franchise belongs to offensive lineman Bill Lenkaitis. After beginning his career with the Chargers, Lenkaitis played for the Patriots from 1971 to 1981, appearing in 153 games.

Post of the Day

A look at the longest run of Rhamondre Stevenson’s New England Patriots career, courtesy of Ben Brown:

New England Patriots

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Patriots Football Now – Six potential candidates heading into the final year of their contracts with the New England Patriots were previously identified on PFN as contract extension candidates. The Patriots extended Rhamondre Stevenson, getting one of those deals done. Who will be next in New England to avoid free agency in 2025?

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