While President Donald J. Trump attempts to make America great again, his friends Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft look to continue the New England Patriots’ greatness.
In other words, win another Super Bowl, and based on their offseason moves it could certainly happen.
The Patriots aren’t resting on the laurels of their Super Bowl 51 triumph over Atlanta. Hungry to follow up with another one, they’ve had perhaps the best offseason of any NFL team. You could make a strong argument they’re a better team now than on February 5 when they beat Atlanta in the Super Bowl.
On March 9, the first day of the league year, they inked the top free agent cornerback, former Buffalo Bill Stephon Gilmore, to a five-year deal for $65 million.
The next day, they acquired one of the NFL’s most explosive receivers, Brandin Cooks from New Orleans. The Patriots traded their 2017 first and third-round picks to the Saints for Cooks, and a fourth-round pick.
The Patriots had an outstanding passing attack last season, but they lacked a bonafide deep threat. Cooks, who ran the 40-yard-dash in the exceptional time of 4.33 seconds, gives them the speedy receiver they lacked last season.
The only downside to the Cooks trade is the Patriots no longer have a first round pick. But not for long. They are close to trading cornerback Malcolm Butler to New Orleans for a first round pick, perhaps the one they just traded for Cooks.
New England also acquired a terrific tight end, sending a 2017 fourth-round pick to Indianapolis for Dwayne Allen. Allen is a very good all-around tight end, equally proficient at blocking as receiving. And by trading for Allen, they let Martellus Bennett walk in free agency. Bennett will boycott the Patriots upcoming visit to the White House, and that can’t sit well with the owner (Kraft) and the coach (Belichick), both good friends of the president.
Allen is a perfect fit for New England. Not only is he a good player, but is extremely bright, graduating from Clemson with a degree in biological/health sciences. The Patriots, who run a complex scheme, like to have smart players.
And there’s more. They also sent a second-round pick to the Carolina Panthers for defensive end Kony Ealy and a third-round pick. Ealy had 14 sacks in his first three NFL seasons and was very highly-regarded coming out of Missouri. On Tuesday, they added versatile running back Rex Burkhead, who isn’t just an underrated runner but also a terrific receiver. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady loves throwing to his running backs, so Burkhead will fit in well.
The new Patriots can’t wait to get to work.
“Obviously, to play for an organization like this, it’s a dream come true and it’s a blessing,” Cooks told the Patriots website. “I couldn’t be more thankful. I’m just thankful for the opportunity, and I can’t wait to get started. To be on a team like this now, it’s amazing.”
But not so amazing for the rest of the league.
With their work this off-season, it looks like Belichick and Kraft have made the Patriots great again.