Right on the money.I think I just showed you that half the roster came through the draft, on their first contract.
You build through the draft, partly - because the Patriots cleared most of their dead cap, lost some expensive players, then lost another group, cap-wise, with opt-out...and because so many other teams got hammered when the cap dropped this year, the Patriots were able to rebuild their middle class overnight, with cap room left to spare.
So I ask again, what exactly has caught up to them? They've got a really damned good roster right now, with CAP to spare, and with a fantastic balance between the three age/experience levels of player: lots on rookie deals, a really talented middle class, and some true vet leadership.
QB is another story. That's the missing piece right now, which has nothing to do with their previous drafts.