#1. I think I’m FLOORED by what Bill Belichick is doing in free agency right now. He’s signed nearly a dozen FAs, which is entirely uncharacteristic. What’s even more uncharacteristic is the calibre of the players. These aren’t just journeymen on their last legs looking for a final resting ground. Brandon Lloyd? Robert Gallery? Jonathan Fanene? All guys who can – and will – come in and contribute. I am impressed with Belichick’s more aggressive approach. Perhaps that Super Bowl loss stung just enough.
#2. I think I am really happy the Patriots took care of guys like Matthew Slater and Tracy White up front before diving into the free agent pool. It’s good to send a message that while there are bigger names out there, the guys who have been solid contributors to the team deserve to be taken care of quickly too. It’s nice to see those players rewarded.
#3. I think the team would be crazy to let BenJarvus Green-Ellis or Mark Anderson get away. The Pats rarely have any kind of pass rush to speak of and Anderson gave them ten sacks last year, coming up especially big at critical moments (like in the Super Bowl, for instance). Leaving him to pursue other opportunities, most notably with the Miami Dolphins, seems cavalier on the part of the Pats. They need guys like Anderson. As for Green-Ellis, who’s a restricted free agent, he deserves a deal. The man has never fumbled the football and he’s a reliable short-distance running back. I’d hate to see him in another uniform.
#4. I think we’ve seen the last of Deion Branch with the Patriots. Currently the Pats have nine receivers under contract. That’s…a lot. Branch is a free agent and he’s old. Don’t get me wrong, I love him, but with Welker in the slot, Lloyd on the outside and the other seven receivers splitting the rest of the duties (not to mention Aaron Hernandez and his receiver-like ways) I just don’t see how Branch fits anymore.
#5. I think the Pats still need to address the cornerback position. Granted they have a bunch of players on the roster who can play the position, I’m not sure the position is set. Whether they fill that hole in the free agency free-for-all or in the draft remains to be seen, but I’d like to see a high-level corner paired with Devin McCourty. IF, of course, he can return to form and once again be a high-level player.
#6. I think it’s horrible that the Denver Broncos just started negotiations with Peyton Manning. Believe me, I’m no Tim Tebow supporter, but why are the Broncos chasing a quarterback like Manning, who is four neck surgeries deep and by all accounts still can’t throw with any extreme accuracy, when they have a slinger their fans love, their team loves and, oh hey, a guy that lead the team past the defending AFC champions in the first round of the playoffs? And won the division? It’s a slap in the face to Tebow. One I don’t think he deserved.
#7. I think if the Patriots now sign Tim Tebow I will…I don’t know what I’ll do. But it won’t be good. And I won’t be happy.
#8. I think Chad Ochocinco will be a Patriot in 2012. Why? I don’t know. Just a feeling.
#9. I think the Mark Sanchez extension was the dumbest thing the Jets could have done. Yes, it happened awhile ago now, but let’s be real: Sanchez is not a leader. He’s a mediocre quarterback. A player like him needs a coach like Belichick, that would kick his ass, not one like Ryan, who, in one woman’s opinion, is a little too coddling. I’m not sure what to expect from the Jets next season, but so far I’m not sure it’s going to be good. For them. But probably will be good for the Patriots.
#10. I think Buffalo is INSANE for spending that much money on Mario Williams. He’s a fantastic player, but $100 million? When they are at least a couple years from competing? I just don’t know. It’s a bold move that could really backfire. And no, I am still not afraid the Bills will challenge the Patriots for AFC East supremacy.
BONUS THOUGHT: Kudos to the Patriots for re-signing Tiquan Underwood, who was cut on the eve – literally – of the Super Bowl. Classy move. Hopefully he can help them get back there again.