By: Russ Goldman
NFL Free Agency begins at 4PM EST on Tuesday, and there is already plenty of rumors being written in regards to the Patriots having interest in several players. Legal tampering is allowed right now, and teams can talk to agents. However, it is hard to gauge how interested the Patriots are at this point in most players. Patriots fans should be skeptical regarding the speculation before free agency begins.
First, I want to say that in the Boston media, we are lucky to have great reporters that cover the Patriots, and I do not doubt there sources. However, where this gets tricky has to be figuring out how much real interest the Patriots have in a player.
The oldest trick in the book by agents is to leak information that several teams are interested in their client. The Patriots are a huge NFL brand, and having a player linked to them probably helps in negotiations with other teams.
The Patriots could be interested in some of these players I have been seeing stories on lately, but again how interested are they? It could be a phone call to an agent by the Patriots, but it could be just due diligence.
When it comes to the Patriots, fans know how secretive they are, and don’t often show their true hand in negotiations. Please keep that in mind when reading these stories.
I will bring everyone back to the trade deadline last season, and there were a few names linked to the Patriots. However, I honestly did not see anyone have the story that the Patriots were trading for Aqib Talib until it actually happened. The Patriots kept this story extremely quiet, and I feel that is how they like to do their business.
Over the years I have seen so many players linked to the Patriots with possible interest from the team. I am extremely skeptical of true interest until I see stories of visits scheduled, or more concrete evidence other than just “sources say “ the Patriots are interested.
You will also see stories that will say the Patriots “could” or “might” be interested in a player. Stories like that I am sorry are just not good enough. Fans should demand more distinct information regarding buying these stories.
I am a fan and of course, and I want to believe that the Patriots could be bringing in players that can help, but just keep into perspective the types of stories you are reading right now. Also, do not forget how the Patriots operate, and how difficult it is to really know what they are going to do.
I will take stories seriously that I read after 4PM on Tuesday that have true information that is more than just speculation. I think Patriots fans deserve more than just rumors when they read information on their team.