In another notable departure from the Patriots’ standard operating procedure, some of the bigger contracts signed by the team on Monday seem to represent the players potential, not overall body of work. Normally, that wouldn’t be the case as Bill Belichick had tended to pay for past performance, not potential. For instance, the team made Jonnu Smith one of the three highest-paid tight ends in the league, despite him never having more than 500 yards in a season. The contract doesn’t reflect what he’s done, but what the team expects him to do going forwards. Smith, Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, Jalen Mills, and even Deatrich Wise are all younger players coming off career years, whose new contracts seem to be more in line with career projections than past accomplishments. It’s not necessarily a good thing or a bad thing, but it is a stark change in style for the Patriots’ front office.