Originally Posted by mayoclinic
This seems rather bizarre to me. No team in the NFL has a limitless pipeline of young talent that keeps them from having to make hard choices about who to pay come "crunch time". It's part of doing business in the salary cap era, and the Pats are as good as any team at evaluating talent and making those choices. Not mistake-free by any means, but their record is testimony to the success of their choices.
The same guys evaluated the talent of Gronkowski, Hernandez, McCourty, Spikes, Mayo, Jones, Hightower, Dennard, Solder, Vollmer, Ridley, etc. They "reached" for Vollmer and he became an All Pro. They "reached" for Ridley and he's the best back they've had since Dillon. They took Jones and Solder for their "upside" when both were considered "not ready" and both have performed well. They snagged the too-slow Spikes, Gronk with spinal stenosis, Dennard after a bar fight with a cop, and Hernandez after a failed drug test, all at a discount relative to their abilities and performance. I don't see that as a "failure of talent evaluation".
Amen to this. This is time of year when we act as if the patriots have failed of betrayed us. The reality is, year in, year out, they are one of the top 5 teams in the league. The other top 5 are constantly rotating. NE has gone 14-2, 13-3 and 12-4 over the last three years, yet somehow they lack talent.
Let's look at the other teams in the leagues who you wish the Pats could switch places with, are the new model team, or have recently won superbowls:
SF A reasonable choice. However, their talent base has come from years of being terrible and having high picks. They have great starters, little depth (no injuries thus far) and will soon have hard cap decisions. However, I could see if you wanted to trade rosters/ cap situation, etc. with them.
Baltimore: a very good team, but I wouldn't want to switch rosters. Soon they will have pay Flacco huge or let him walk. I don't see a better long term horizon there. We has bitterly complained about Super Bowl failures. If they lose this this year, they will have the same or worse history of coming up short.
Seattle: a trendy choice at the moment, and they do have a punishing D. They have drafted well and compiled a good roster. They sample size is small and they play in a tough division. They have some questions o. Offense, particular wide wr. Lets not forget their own defensive meltdown in the final seconds in the playoffs. Not a huge amount of playoff wins here, if you want to trade rosters.
New York Giants: Didn't even make the playoffs in a fairly mediocre division. Very inconsistent week to week/season to season.
Green Bay: we often lament how good Ted Thompson is at getting quality wr's after round 1, his acumen with DBs and his great overall approach. How awesome would we think he is if he was here. Last year, his team got pounded in the playoffs by the Giants, this year, the D was shredded and made no adjustments against SF, and several years ago, they were torched by AZ in the playoffs. Yes, they have a Super Bowl, but do they have any less questions than the patriots right now?
New Orleans: No playoffs this year, bitter playoff loss last year, and far more questions than we have on defense. Newsflash, Drew Bree's looked a lot worse than Tom Brady this year.
Pittsburgh: old and missed the playoffs
So there it is. Not many teams, if any, were better three years ago, and better now. It's the NFL. Every team is trying, every team has holes. You have to make the playoffs, then get hot and catch a few breaks. SF, who looks awesome, ca,e very close to getting beaten by ATl. Atlanta almost lost to Seattle. Baltimore barely got by Denver. The best teams are, barring bad match ups, were close to each other.
I get that we want the PAtriots to be better, that we want them to play better in the playoffs, and that it is interesting to examine the roster and the scheme to analyze how and where to improve.
It is fun to argue, dig deep in the draft, and talk about where the nfl is headed. Clearly, if they don't resign Talib, they need significant help. Even if they do, so help at safety would be good. however, every team has holes. How is Denver, Houston and GB feeling about their secondary right now? Even Seattle, who has a great secondary, got torched when it mattered most. SF got away with a pass interference on Tony G. at the end of a very tight Atlanta game that most teams would have had called.
The patriots have a very good NFL roster, and have consistory been as good as anyone. Who really is the magic team with loads of recent Super Bowls, an awesome roster that can withstand pro bowl free agency losses, and is having continuing NFL success? I am having a hard time finding them.