This is a theme that seems to have been coming up in individual threads, so maybe its time to actually discuss it. The Patriots payroll has been on somewhat of a rollercoaster over the past few years. Here are their team payrolls from 2005 to 2009 with their respective ranks in the NFL:
Edit: Got the numbers from USAToday, here's the link http://content.usatoday.com/sports/f...s.aspx?team=19
So, between 2005 and 2007 the Pats were among the biggest spenders ranking in the top 15 yet since Black Sunday they've been among the bottom feeders relative to the rest of the NFL. The reason is why?
Obviously, the billion dollar shopping plaza attached to the stadium might cause the decrease in payroll, its no coincidence that payroll decreased 25M the year that it opened. However, 2+ years into Patriot Place being open, you'd have to think that they are turning a profit or at least close to it. It could be that management hasn't seen any players available in FA that they think are worth the investment and that combined with some of their higher profile players leaving(Bruschi, Harrison, Vrabel, etc) could be the reason. Maybe the ownership group is playing it safe because they saw problems with developing a new CBA, and all the press releases regarding the negotiations
haven't done anything to ease the public's mind about the likelihood of a lockout. Whatever it is, this team hasn't been spending a whole lot over the last 2 years after being completely willing to push the cap before hand and I personally can't help but notice that this team did a whole lot better when they were spending(small sample size be damned!).
Coming into an uncapped year with some key team free agents, off of the most disappointing season since 2000, and having spent conservatively the past 2 years, this team should be poised to make a huge run at the free agent corps and retain their most important pieces. To me, it would be a slap in the face of all the fans if they didn't and if they just decide to roll with the status quo and refuse to spend, I'll have a difficult time getting behind this team.