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MORSE: 5 Thoughts as Wolf Underwhelms with Patriots Free Agency Class

Mark Morse
Mark Morse on Twitter
March 18, 2024 at 1:28 pm ET

MORSE: 5 Thoughts as Wolf Underwhelms with Patriots Free Agency Class(PHOTO: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)

🕑 Read Time: 2 minutes

Some thoughts on free agency so far:

1) The final straw broke the camel’s back.  When Tyron Smith signed a one-year deal with the NY Jets, this transaction spelled the doom of rookie GM Eliot Wolf’s 1st foray into Free Agency.

First, it’s not the “Packer Way” to sign Free Agents.  That is plain and simple.  Despite having a hole, the size of the Big Dig, Wolf didn’t acquire a starting Left Tackle in Free Agency, the same that Bill Belichick did.  A one-year contract, all it took was to throw money at Tyron Smith.  They have close to $52M in cap space, according to Miguel Benzan.   That number includes all the signings.

2) I wasn’t mad about losing Calvin Ridley. Especially at that ridiculous price, but I am furious at not signing Smith for a mere $20M on a one-year deal.  You could have drafted his backup and have him replaced next season.  That $20M spent would come back in 2025.

3) Not filling this hole changes the draft strategy away from taking a young QB and back to taking the generational Tackle.  The “Packer Way” is built on the draft, develop, and re-sign your draft picks.  No use taking a QB if you can’t protect that quarterback.  You would just create the same environment that ruined Mac Jones.  I would entertain a prospective swap with the Vikings for two 1st round picks and possibly a 1st next year.

4) I like the signings of Brissett, Gibson, Okorafor, Takitaki, Watts and Hooper.  However, these are ancillary pieces and not the studs that a team needs to move forward.  Wolf did not address WR or OT in Free Agency and leaves the team in a very bad situation.  The team did not improve.  These signings don’t move the needle indicating improvement.  I understand this is going to be a slow rebuild and those that want instant gratification (Felger) are not going to like it.  However, Wolf didn’t do everything at his disposal to help improve this team.

5) Look for my Post-Free Agency Mock Draft next week.  I guarantee you will not like it!  If the Patriots truly believe in the “Packer Way” of Draft, Develop and Re-sign, then you have to believe they trade the 3rd overall pick with the Vikings offering three #1 picks (11 & 23 this year and their #1 next year).  You come away with three, maybe four top players.  However, you pass on a potential franchise QB.

The chance they would get the Franchise QB at #3 is very low.  The last 20 QBs taken in the 1st two rounds, only 1 has panned out and that is Trevor Lawrence.  That great QB draft of 2020 yielded only Lawrence and the other 4 QBs taken in the 1st round are either on the bench or have been traded to another team.

Note: The signing of WR KJ Osborn was nice not great signing.  He ran a 4.48 40 at his 2020 Combine and a nice 7.00 3-cone drill too!  The 5’11” 203 lb wideout has never done anything with the Vikings since they drafted him in the 5th round.  As the Vikings #3 WR, he has had seasons of 50 receptions for 655 yards, and 7 TDs in 2021; it was 60 receptions, for 650 yards and 5 TDs in 2022; and 48 receptions for 540 yards and 3 TDs last season.  His stats from last season were better than all Patriots wide receiver, so I guess this is an upgrade over DeVante Parker.

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Tuesday Patriots Notebook 3/19: News and Notes

About Mark Morse

Merrimack Valley native and lifelong fan of the New England Patriots. My earliest memories of the Patriots were attending as a child with my dad, the off-season practice at Phillips Academy. I was at the Patriots game at Harvard Stadium in 1970 where Bob “Harpo” Gladieux was called out of the stands by the stadium announcer over the PA to play in the game. Analyzing the draft since ESPN first started to televise it in 1980 and former writer for the Lowell Sun Newspaper.


Posted Under: Patriots Commentary

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    2 Comments
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    Michael P. McGrath
    Michael P. McGrath
    8 days ago

    How on earth is a 32 year old multiple injured OT going to help this team in the coming years? Waste of money and roster space. Prudence. Name of the rebuild game. No ridiculous contracts. No veterans over 29 years old except for your bridge QB who you wat for his character and leadership. Youth for the future. I love we are not seeing a repeat of the horrendous signings from the last money wasted free agency. Build depth through free agency. Draft and trade for stars. Wolf and the Patriots are doing exactly what they should be doing. Being… Read more »

    rochrist
    rochrist
    8 days ago

    What on earth makes you think that a guy at the end of his career looking for a ring who’s already got his millions would even come here?

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