The New England Patriots aren’t necessarily known to be among the top spenders in free agency, but the 2021 legal tampering period still represented a throwback to Bill Belichick’s roots – at least according to someone familiar enough with how it works. Team inside: ex-Patriots executive Mike Lombardi appeared on the Pat McAfee show to talk about his former employee’s active free agency week so far.
New England signing eight free agents in 24 hours was a step in the right direction and a sign that Belichick is well aware of previous weaknesses on his roster.
“They had a tough year last year, and I think it’s not just Belichick throwing things in the caddy down the aisle. It’s a strategic plan, ”Lombardi said. “At the end of the year he knew he had a team with very few skillful players, no tight ends, receivers who really couldn’t play and be dynamic, a quarterback who couldn’t. throw the ball efficiently, but who could direct the ball. bullet well.
“I think what he decided to do is go back to his roots. He had to mend his offensive and defensive lines – trades for Trent Brown, signing a few guys on the defensive front who will help them – and then try to improve his team’s skill level.
Lombardi worked in the Cleveland Browns front office under Belichick, then joined him again in New England between the 2014 and 2016 seasons.
In the first two days of the legal tampering period, the Patriots signed tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, defensive tackles Davon Godchaux and Henry Anderson, wide receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, as well as linebacker Matthew Judon and cornerback Jalen Mills. They also retained two of their own free agents in defensive linemen Deatrich Wise Jr. and Carl Davis.