New England Patriots

Nov 14, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots outside linebacker Matt Judon (9) runs off of the field after a game against the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

A podcaster accused Bill Belichick of shopping at Target in free agency. Matthew Judon ended up with the receipts.

Nearly seven months after George Chahrouri of Pro Football Focus had a soon-to-be unfortunate take on his podcast “The PFF Forecast,” Judon is circling back. Chahrouri said on a Mar. 22 episode, after Belichick’s early spending spree in free agency: “The Patriots had all this cap space, and instead of going and buying nice things, they went to Target.”

Fast-forward to Week 13 of the 2021 season, and Judon is in the All-Pro conversation. He’s third in the NFL with 11.5 sacks, behind only Myles Garrett and T.J. Watt, second in QB hits with 24, and fifth with 12 tackles for loss. Even if he somehow produced nothing for the rest of the season, Judon has obviously transcended the typical Target purchase.

So he went and let poor George know about it, and looped in teammate Kendrick Bourne:

First of all, nothing wrong with a little Target shopping. You can get perfectly fine products for your home at reasonable prices. Little insulting and snobby for a PFF podcaster to characterize shopping at Target that way in the first place. At least make it funny if you’re going to do that.

But more importantly, describing Judon as a Target purchase was dumb at the very moment he said it. Judon had been coming off a Pro-Bowl season with the Ravens in which he played under the franchise tag. He was already very good. So if Bill Belichick found that guy at Target, you’d have to wonder why more GMs didn’t make a stop there.

Beyond Judon, much of the Patriots’ high-priced free-agent class has stepped up as the season has gone along. Bourne may not have the volume of an All-Pro candidate like Judon, but he’s been arguably the most valuable free-agent signing at wide receiver from this past offseason. NESN’s Zack Cox posted some data that makes a strong case for that.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - NOVEMBER 18: Matt Judon #9 of the New England Patriots reacts as the Patriots defeat the Falcons 25-0 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on November 18, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – NOVEMBER 18: Matt Judon #9 of the New England Patriots reacts as the Patriots defeat the Falcons 25-0 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on November 18, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Additionally, tight end Hunter Henry has seven touchdown catches, already one short of his career-high. That’s tied with the Bills’ Dawson Knox for first in the league at his position. Cornerback Jalen Mills has had his moments and made a nice fumble recovery in Sunday’s win over the Titans. Defensive tackle Davon Godchaux forced a fumble on Sunday and has been key to improving the Patriots’ run defense.

You could point to Jonnu Smith and Nelson Agholor as examples of free-agent signings who have yet to live up to the standard set by their contracts. But you’re not going to hit every time in free agency, especially when you do as much shopping as Belichick did.

MORE: Matthew Judon becomes Patriots’ tone-setter

But, considering the successes, that’s pretty good for a Target trip. So it looks like George Chahrouri will never hear the end of that comment. That’s what happens when you have a viral take that goes ice-cold, especially about the Patriots.

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Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.