After a quiet start to NFL free agency, the 2022 Patriots look ready to get to work.
It was understandably frustrating for anyone expecting Bill Belichick to begin free agency with a bang – or several bangs, like he did in 2021. But many of the angry overreactions were really born of impatience. While several AFC contenders launched their fireworks, New England stared at an empty sky. So people went stir-crazy.
But the second wave of free agency was when the Patriots planned to take real action all along. As Mike Reiss explained it in his Sunday column at ESPN.com, they essentially did two years’ worth of big spending in one off-season. The philosophy wasn’t necessarily wrong, considering the wild amounts of money thrown around in the first week.
The risk, there, is that the Pats are going to hope for year-two improvement among their free-agent signings that underperformed in 2021 according to their contracts. This year’s pass-catching help? Nelson Agholor, Jonnu Smith. Defensive interior? Davon Godchaux. Secondary? Jalen Mills.
But that doesn’t mean the Patriots won’t add at those same positions, plus others, with plenty of notable free agents still available. And at this stage, talented players can become depressed assets and be had for unexpectedly good value. This is where one would hope that a free-agent’s motivation and Belichick’s program converge to deliver a productive contract year.
The outlook for the Patriots in the second wave of free agency
Keep reading below for more on the Patriots in 2022 NFL free agency.
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NFL Free Agent Tracker: Friday, March 18
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