By Luciano Rapa
Featured writer for Sideline Report covering the World inside our borders
Free Agency changes the Topography of the AFCeast
Part 0ne…..THE WINNERS!
The first few weeks of Free Agency, 2014 style has now slowed down, and only the cheapest remain. Our division lost some talent, but imported some other; all in all, I believe that things changed, but pretty much remained the same.
The Patriots: Yes the rich seem to get richer, or did they?
Taking a page from the Miami Dolphins 2013 Free Agency, Mr. Belichick made the biggest splash. The Dolphins spent way more, and made way more ridiculous moves, however the Pats, are the closest thing to that achievement so far this year. Lets get a closer look at the winners. They signed Revis, fresh off the cutting board, and even though he was willing to sell his remains cheap, he made sure to make his point by adding a second year at his asking price. What the heck does this mean? Revis is still Revis, and ONLY money motivates him. Good signing, by the Pats, but did they improve? Yes, slightly. This is not much different than cutting or releasing Dansby to sign Ellerbe. You basically released a B+ player, in return for a more expensive A player. Now, if Revis is the Revis of old, than he is an A++ player at the position, but is he? We have not seen that in two years, has the injury slowed his movement? It looked like it in Tampa, but then again, in Tampa Revis was playing to get released, as he did. We will find out. Moneybags will always be moneybags, no matter which colors he wears.
That signing has upset some of the homegrown product, mainly Vince Wihlfork. He immediately asked for his release, especially since the same day they swore in the new King of Boston, they asked the “Wall” to take a pay cut. A cut fro the only big contract he ever signed for his team.
Second surprise They didn’t sign Spikes. I mean the Pats are not exactly a LB making machine, and Mayo will also be coming back from season ending injuries. Who in the world controls the middle of that defense, especially without Wihlfork? Teams will have no need top exploit the Island, they will drive straight down the Turnpike, and hit the Island when he is left alone.
The other puzzling move comes in the name of Browner. Has this team learned nothing from Aaron Hernandez? Browner is a bargain that will sit for 4 games, basically not mean much until game 6. And that is what the Pats are banking on. They could care less about the division foes; winning the division is a given. It’s the Broncos they have set their eyes on.
Early in the century, after the Pats dominated with a strong opportunistic defense, Mr Belichick watched the Colts and Mr. Manning take a SB away from him. The response was simple, buy WRs galore; in comes Welker, and Mr. Moss. The team will match the Colts stride for stride. The result? An almost perfect SB winning season; there was one tiny problem, the opponents played defense. That move resulted in more playoffs and wins, but no more SBs, why? While improving their offense, defense was an after thought, and…the defensive genius forgot that defense still wins SBs. Again, the Giants teach them that lesson shortly thereafter.
Today, the Patriots are chasing Manning again, this time, Bronco Manny. Finally Belichick may have learned that defense is the ticket to stardom, not offense. Offense wins games, many, but no championships. He watched the Manning led Broncos get demolished by a defensive first team.
I think BB is being smart finally, and going back to his roots…but is it too late? And if that is so, where are the RBs to help Brady? You see, when you play defensive style, you must have RBs to help your QB. Seattle, Ravens, Giants in recent memory have thought us that.
BTW. Yes I know that the Saints did it with offense, but that defense was very opportunistic, and the numerous INTs helped more than anyone remembers.
Next week…the remaining division teams, the runner-ups, the underdogs, the spoilers.