Official PatsFans Gamer
The problem with building heavily on free agency is that the fact you have to (and can) sign many expensive players means you don’t have many already.
The laughingstock big spenders were the teams in the vicious cycle of making bad big money decisions, continuing to stink, then getting rid of that crew and missing on a whole new crew. See Jete, NJ
The other mistake is paying a player past his prime based upon his prime then having him through his decline
All of this is true, but the cycle you're describing is pretty much exclusively caused by the "other mistake". I think this team has done a good job of targeting young players with potential beyond their prior production. Some teams really just aren't afraid to throw big, long term contracts at players in their 30s, and it goes about as well as you would expect.