Forums - Sports Discussion - The NFL Thread 2019: The Kansas City Chiefs Win Super Bowl LIV

Who do you believe will have a stronger defense in 2020?

Patriots 1 100.00%
 
Steelers 0 0.00%
 
Total:1
MTZehvor said:
Shaunodon said:

Easily #1 Defense? By the end of the year they were pretty badly exposed, and it was more fitting to call them a top 5 defense at best. You can say they had the best secondary, and maybe still do, but they were shown to be a defense that's mostly great in situational football and could never stop the run.

"Virtually the entire starting roster on that side of the ball is back." Have you actually paid any attention to player transactions?

"Since the Brady/Belichick era began, the Patriots are 13-6." Convenient that you said the 'Brady/Belichick' era, and not just the Belichick era, otherwise you'd have to add an extra 5-11 season. And that's doing him a service because it doesn't include the Browns years.
Are you gonna mention how he went 11-5 with Matt Cassel? A roster that was 3mins away from being perfect the previous year, and then didn't make the playoffs, with a QB who went on to make a Pro Bowl 2 years laters with the Chiefs and have a statistically better season.
Were you also gonna mention that every QB that's played a full season for Belichick has been a Pro Bowler at some point, but the only one to make the Pro Bowl with Belichick was Tom Brady? Two of them were also former no.1 picks.

Honestly, it just keeps getting more clear how delusional you are. I'm not even trying to disprove that Bill Belichick is the best coach in the league, because he is. But when you look at how hard it was for the Steelers to win 8 games last year with arguably the second best coach in the league, and right now the Patriots aren't as good or talented on either side of the ball, just looking at the team on paper. No one can win games alone (especially if they're not even on the field), and you should've realised that by now.
This isn't even taking into account that it just wouldn't be smart for the Patriots to win games next season, when they really should be jockeying for the best possible draft position to get a QB. Or do you actually believe Jarret Stidham is the future?

I mean, it wasn't bad enough that you spent the whole of last season in denial, but here you are still in denial, believing the Patriots can still get away with not having to rebuild after 20 years, even after the cornerstone of the team has left.
You should be more concerned about whether Belichick has enough years left in him to successfully rebuild the team, and hopefully get a new era started for the next coach on the right track. And a lot of that will be probably be down to luck, just like it was the first time round.

Ah, how I missed you and your lovely penchant for dismissing anyone who disagrees with you as delusional or in denial.

>Easily #1 Defense? By the end of the year they were pretty badly exposed

Over the final seven games of the season, they only gave up more than 350 yards in a game once. They forced more than one turnover a game. They never allowed a team to reach 30 points, and only two teams surpassed 24. All of those measures are best in the NFL. So, yes, easily #1 defense in the league. The 49ers, widely regarded as the second best defense in the league for comparison's sake, gave up 350 yards in a game or more twice times (as well as 348 yards once), 400 yards once, 30 points or more twice, and forced "only" one turnover per game. The only games in which they were "exposed," as you put it, were Baltimore (who exposed just about everyone up until the playoffs) and the Derrick Henry palooza, which given what he did to both Baltimore and KC (at least before Vrabel just decided to stop running the ball), I'm not too embarrassed about either.

>Have you actually paid any attention to player transactions?

..have you? Assuming the Patriots stick with their 3-4 scheme (which, again, things can change depending on personnel), last year's starters were J. McCourty, D. McCourty, Gilmore, Chung, Hightower, Collins, Simon, Van Noy, Guy, Winovich, and Shelton. We return 8 of those 11 starters. That's pretty damn close to keeping the entirety of your statistically best defense in the league back. And most of the holes can be filled by players who played significant time last year while not in a starting position.

>"Since the Brady/Belichick era began, the Patriots are 13-6." Convenient that you said the 'Brady/Belichick' era, and not just the Belichick era, otherwise you'd have to add an extra 5-11 season. And that's doing him a service because it doesn't include the Browns years.

This argument gets wheeled out so often that it's quite frankly tiresome. Yes, Belichick had a rough start to his career in New England. But, for the love of God, that was 20 fucking years ago, in his first year with a new team. One would think there just might be some difference in how well someone performs after being with a team for not even a full season vs. being with a team for 8 or 16 years. Or, for that matter, how someone coaches two decades ago versus now.

>Are you gonna mention how he went 11-5 with Matt Cassel? A roster that was 3mins away from being perfect the previous year, and then didn't make the playoffs, with a QB who went on to make a Pro Bowl 2 years laters with the Chiefs and have a statistically better season.

...so your argument is that Belichick's teams are worse without the best QB of all time? Man, there's a surprise.

The point isn't that the 08 Patriots didn't suffer from not having Brady; it's that he was able to keep the team afloat with an inexperienced QB who had never started a game before. Sure, they missed the playoffs, but they won 11 games, and only missed the playoffs due to incredibly unfortunate luck. And, yes, that is quite impressive imo. Compare it to something like the 2011 Colts, who went from 11-5 with Peyton Manning to 2-14 without him. Your coach and how well they've prepared is extremely important in keeping a team afloat in a scenario where your best player is no longer available.

>But when you look at how hard it was for the Steelers to win 8 games last year with arguably the second best coach in the league, and right now the Patriots aren't as good or talented on either side of the ball, just looking at the team on paper.

You're...absolutely crazy if you think the Steelers' probable 2020 defense is as good as the Patriots. The Patriots are better at every single secondary position than the Steelers. Gilmore is better than Haden. J McCourty is better than Nelson. D. McCourty is better than Fitzpatrick. Chung is easily better than...Terrell Edmunds or whoever ends up as the Steelers' second safety. Bentley is better than Bush. Guy is better than Tuitt. Wise is better than Wormley.

The only positions that the Steelers potentially outdo the Patriots on defense is LB1 with Watt vs. Hightower, and DL #2 with Heyward vs. whoever the Patriots end up starting there (probably Allen). And Watt vs. Hightower is, at the very worst, close. New England's defense, especially the secondary, is far superior to Pittsburgh's.

>This isn't even taking into account that it just wouldn't be smart for the Patriots to win games next season, when they really should be jockeying for the best possible draft position to get a QB. Or do you actually believe Jarret Stidham is the future?

I'd like to see him play in a real game before making a judgement on that. He's showed promise in preseason against starting lineups, but that is obviously preseason. I wouldn't bet on him being "the future," but I'm also not going to rule it out, either. Given your status as a...what are you now, a Tampa fan since Tom's moved there? A guy with a weird desire to only cheer for a single player? Whatever the case...I would imagine you of all people should know that late round picks shouldn't immediately be dismissed.

>I mean, it wasn't bad enough that you spent the whole of last season in denial, but here you are still in denial, believing the Patriots can still get away with not having to rebuild after 20 years, even after the cornerstone of the team has left.

...what exactly was I in denial of? My team won 12 games with an offense so injured we would've embarrassed the 2013 squad. Yeah, playoffs didn't end up how I hoped, but that's life in the NFL. 2009 and 2010 teams met a similar fate, and I don't think predicting a win then would've been "denial" either.

"Ah, how I missed you and your lovely penchant for dismissing anyone who disagrees with you as delusional or in denial." If you think I'm just randomly dismissing you as delusional or in denial, how about you start with every case where you actually came out on the right side? Maybe my memory's getting bad, but I'm pretty sure I was the one coming here pretty early in the season, saying that the Patriots were glaringly short on weapons (after they'd cut them all) and it wasn't going to bode well. This was before they had played the Ravens or even lost a game. Even though they'd spank teams like the Browns, the Browns were still running all over them, but would end up shooting themselves in the foot with careless ball control. Once the cracks started to show, it only got worse as the season wore on. But you, Mr. Head In The Sand, just kept waffling on about how everything would just work out through the magic of Belichick & Brady.

"Given your status as a...what are you now, a Tampa fan since Tom's moved there? A guy with a weird desire to only cheer for a single player?" Since when is it weird to be a fan of one player? Do you think everyone that started watching the NBA for Michael Jordan is a Bulls fan to this day? It's not like I desire to only be a fan of one player, but I'm not gonna feign allegiance to some team I have no affinity for. I don't live in America, so I can't be a fan of a home state team or even a close neighboring state team.
I started watching the NFL because of Tom Brady, and I just happened to discover that I also love watching the sport. But I was never gonna claim to be a fan of the Patriots if I hadn't followed them for long enough or felt enough reason to, just like I'm not a fan of the Bucs now. I'll obviously be following them though, and while Brady is their QB I'll root for them to win, but that's really it.

I didn't realise getting embarrassed at home on Wild Card Weekend is considered ok in New England now, as long as you can win 12 games. Seeing how hard that might be in the near future, maybe it's not bad that you're starting to lower expectations. Though based on the fact you still seem to believe the status quo is intact and the Patriots can still run the AFC East, maybe it's more that you're trying really hard to look at the glass half full, when everyone else can see there's nothing left in it.



Around the Network
Shaunodon said:
MTZehvor said:

Ah, how I missed you and your lovely penchant for dismissing anyone who disagrees with you as delusional or in denial.

>Easily #1 Defense? By the end of the year they were pretty badly exposed

Over the final seven games of the season, they only gave up more than 350 yards in a game once. They forced more than one turnover a game. They never allowed a team to reach 30 points, and only two teams surpassed 24. All of those measures are best in the NFL. So, yes, easily #1 defense in the league. The 49ers, widely regarded as the second best defense in the league for comparison's sake, gave up 350 yards in a game or more twice times (as well as 348 yards once), 400 yards once, 30 points or more twice, and forced "only" one turnover per game. The only games in which they were "exposed," as you put it, were Baltimore (who exposed just about everyone up until the playoffs) and the Derrick Henry palooza, which given what he did to both Baltimore and KC (at least before Vrabel just decided to stop running the ball), I'm not too embarrassed about either.

>Have you actually paid any attention to player transactions?

..have you? Assuming the Patriots stick with their 3-4 scheme (which, again, things can change depending on personnel), last year's starters were J. McCourty, D. McCourty, Gilmore, Chung, Hightower, Collins, Simon, Van Noy, Guy, Winovich, and Shelton. We return 8 of those 11 starters. That's pretty damn close to keeping the entirety of your statistically best defense in the league back. And most of the holes can be filled by players who played significant time last year while not in a starting position.

>"Since the Brady/Belichick era began, the Patriots are 13-6." Convenient that you said the 'Brady/Belichick' era, and not just the Belichick era, otherwise you'd have to add an extra 5-11 season. And that's doing him a service because it doesn't include the Browns years.

This argument gets wheeled out so often that it's quite frankly tiresome. Yes, Belichick had a rough start to his career in New England. But, for the love of God, that was 20 fucking years ago, in his first year with a new team. One would think there just might be some difference in how well someone performs after being with a team for not even a full season vs. being with a team for 8 or 16 years. Or, for that matter, how someone coaches two decades ago versus now.

>Are you gonna mention how he went 11-5 with Matt Cassel? A roster that was 3mins away from being perfect the previous year, and then didn't make the playoffs, with a QB who went on to make a Pro Bowl 2 years laters with the Chiefs and have a statistically better season.

...so your argument is that Belichick's teams are worse without the best QB of all time? Man, there's a surprise.

The point isn't that the 08 Patriots didn't suffer from not having Brady; it's that he was able to keep the team afloat with an inexperienced QB who had never started a game before. Sure, they missed the playoffs, but they won 11 games, and only missed the playoffs due to incredibly unfortunate luck. And, yes, that is quite impressive imo. Compare it to something like the 2011 Colts, who went from 11-5 with Peyton Manning to 2-14 without him. Your coach and how well they've prepared is extremely important in keeping a team afloat in a scenario where your best player is no longer available.

>But when you look at how hard it was for the Steelers to win 8 games last year with arguably the second best coach in the league, and right now the Patriots aren't as good or talented on either side of the ball, just looking at the team on paper.

You're...absolutely crazy if you think the Steelers' probable 2020 defense is as good as the Patriots. The Patriots are better at every single secondary position than the Steelers. Gilmore is better than Haden. J McCourty is better than Nelson. D. McCourty is better than Fitzpatrick. Chung is easily better than...Terrell Edmunds or whoever ends up as the Steelers' second safety. Bentley is better than Bush. Guy is better than Tuitt. Wise is better than Wormley.

The only positions that the Steelers potentially outdo the Patriots on defense is LB1 with Watt vs. Hightower, and DL #2 with Heyward vs. whoever the Patriots end up starting there (probably Allen). And Watt vs. Hightower is, at the very worst, close. New England's defense, especially the secondary, is far superior to Pittsburgh's.

>This isn't even taking into account that it just wouldn't be smart for the Patriots to win games next season, when they really should be jockeying for the best possible draft position to get a QB. Or do you actually believe Jarret Stidham is the future?

I'd like to see him play in a real game before making a judgement on that. He's showed promise in preseason against starting lineups, but that is obviously preseason. I wouldn't bet on him being "the future," but I'm also not going to rule it out, either. Given your status as a...what are you now, a Tampa fan since Tom's moved there? A guy with a weird desire to only cheer for a single player? Whatever the case...I would imagine you of all people should know that late round picks shouldn't immediately be dismissed.

>I mean, it wasn't bad enough that you spent the whole of last season in denial, but here you are still in denial, believing the Patriots can still get away with not having to rebuild after 20 years, even after the cornerstone of the team has left.

...what exactly was I in denial of? My team won 12 games with an offense so injured we would've embarrassed the 2013 squad. Yeah, playoffs didn't end up how I hoped, but that's life in the NFL. 2009 and 2010 teams met a similar fate, and I don't think predicting a win then would've been "denial" either.

"Ah, how I missed you and your lovely penchant for dismissing anyone who disagrees with you as delusional or in denial." If you think I'm just randomly dismissing you as delusional or in denial, how about you start with every case where you actually came out on the right side? Maybe my memory's getting bad, but I'm pretty sure I was the one coming here pretty early in the season, saying that the Patriots were glaringly short on weapons (after they'd cut them all) and it wasn't going to bode well. This was before they had played the Ravens or even lost a game. Even though they'd spank teams like the Browns, the Browns were still running all over them, but would end up shooting themselves in the foot with careless ball control. Once the cracks started to show, it only got worse as the season wore on. But you, Mr. Head In The Sand, just kept waffling on about how everything would just work out through the magic of Belichick & Brady.

"Given your status as a...what are you now, a Tampa fan since Tom's moved there? A guy with a weird desire to only cheer for a single player?" Since when is it weird to be a fan of one player? Do you think everyone that started watching the NBA for Michael Jordan is a Bulls fan to this day? It's not like I desire to only be a fan of one player, but I'm not gonna feign allegiance to some team I have no affinity for. I don't live in America, so I can't be a fan of a home state team or even a close neighboring state team.
I started watching the NFL because of Tom Brady, and I just happened to discover that I also love watching the sport. But I was never gonna claim to be a fan of the Patriots if I hadn't followed them for long enough or felt enough reason to, just like I'm not a fan of the Bucs now. I'll obviously be following them though, and while Brady is their QB I'll root for them to win, but that's really it.

I didn't realise getting embarrassed at home on Wild Card Weekend is considered ok in New England now, as long as you can win 12 games. Seeing how hard that might be in the near future, maybe it's not bad that you're starting to lower expectations. Though based on the fact you still seem to believe the status quo is intact and the Patriots can still run the AFC East, maybe it's more that you're trying really hard to look at the glass half full, when everyone else can see there's nothing left in it.

But you, Mr. Head In The Sand, just kept waffling on about how everything would just work out through the magic of Belichick & Brady.

Ah, and now we've moved onto personal insults. Again, lovely.

If you want to play the "who's more delusional about football" game, then we can, although given that you blamed the Patriots management for not spending money on Trent Brown, despite the fact that he had been offered $66 million to play for Oakland at the time and New England literally didn't even have the cap space to match, or that you stated one post ago that Pittsburgh's defense looked better than New England's on paper, I'm not sure that's a contest you want to have.

Since when is it weird to be a fan of one player?

It's very abnormal/uncanny to be a fan of a singular player versus a team. Not unheard of, obviously, but certainly not common. If you don't believe me, then take a poll from any large group of NFL fans, and see how many people are fans of a team versus fans of a player. That should tell you all you need to know.

I didn't realise getting embarrassed at home on Wild Card Weekend is considered ok in New England now, as long as you can win 12 games.

There's a difference between saying it's "ok" versus saying "the sky is falling and everything has gone to shit."

Take 2009 for instance, when the Patriots actually did get embarrassed on Wild Card weekend rather than losing by one possession. Obviously that's a result that no one wants to repeat. But that doesn't mean you immediately write the team off as hopeless. Similarly, losing at home in the wild card last year isn't ideal by any stretch of the imagination. But losing before the AFC Championship for the first time in a decade doesn't mean you just give up on the team as it stands. There's an incredibly strong defense, quality special teams, and with David Andrews returning and Isaiah Wynn healthy, a very talented offensive line.

That isn't a team composition that you immediately press reboot on without at least trying to see if you can develop something with. At least give Stidham a shot, especially given the amount of confidence New England seems to have in him. See if Sanu, Meyers, etc. can fit into the team given an offseason to heal and become more familiar with the playbook. There's a middle ground between being fine with something and also throwing all your toys out of the pram.

Last edited by MTZehvor - on 24 April 2020

MTZehvor said:
Shaunodon said:

"Ah, how I missed you and your lovely penchant for dismissing anyone who disagrees with you as delusional or in denial." If you think I'm just randomly dismissing you as delusional or in denial, how about you start with every case where you actually came out on the right side? Maybe my memory's getting bad, but I'm pretty sure I was the one coming here pretty early in the season, saying that the Patriots were glaringly short on weapons (after they'd cut them all) and it wasn't going to bode well. This was before they had played the Ravens or even lost a game. Even though they'd spank teams like the Browns, the Browns were still running all over them, but would end up shooting themselves in the foot with careless ball control. Once the cracks started to show, it only got worse as the season wore on. But you, Mr. Head In The Sand, just kept waffling on about how everything would just work out through the magic of Belichick & Brady.

"Given your status as a...what are you now, a Tampa fan since Tom's moved there? A guy with a weird desire to only cheer for a single player?" Since when is it weird to be a fan of one player? Do you think everyone that started watching the NBA for Michael Jordan is a Bulls fan to this day? It's not like I desire to only be a fan of one player, but I'm not gonna feign allegiance to some team I have no affinity for. I don't live in America, so I can't be a fan of a home state team or even a close neighboring state team.
I started watching the NFL because of Tom Brady, and I just happened to discover that I also love watching the sport. But I was never gonna claim to be a fan of the Patriots if I hadn't followed them for long enough or felt enough reason to, just like I'm not a fan of the Bucs now. I'll obviously be following them though, and while Brady is their QB I'll root for them to win, but that's really it.

I didn't realise getting embarrassed at home on Wild Card Weekend is considered ok in New England now, as long as you can win 12 games. Seeing how hard that might be in the near future, maybe it's not bad that you're starting to lower expectations. Though based on the fact you still seem to believe the status quo is intact and the Patriots can still run the AFC East, maybe it's more that you're trying really hard to look at the glass half full, when everyone else can see there's nothing left in it.

But you, Mr. Head In The Sand, just kept waffling on about how everything would just work out through the magic of Belichick & Brady.

Ah, and now we've moved onto personal insults. Again, lovely.

If you want to play the "who's more delusional about football" game, then we can, although given that you blamed the Patriots management for not spending money on Trent Brown, despite the fact that he had been offered $66 million to play for Oakland at the time and New England literally didn't even have the cap space to match, or that you stated one post ago that Pittsburgh's defense looked better than New England's on paper, I'm not sure that's a contest you want to have.

Since when is it weird to be a fan of one player?

It's very abnormal/uncanny to be a fan of a singular player versus a team. Not unheard of, obviously, but certainly not common. If you don't believe me, then take a poll from any large group of NFL fans, and see how many people are fans of a team versus fans of a player. That should tell you all you need to know.

I didn't realise getting embarrassed at home on Wild Card Weekend is considered ok in New England now, as long as you can win 12 games.

There's a difference between saying it's "ok" versus saying "the sky is falling and everything has gone to shit."

Take 2009 for instance, when the Patriots actually did get embarrassed on Wild Card weekend rather than losing by one possession. Obviously that's a result that no one wants to repeat. But that doesn't mean you immediately write the team off as hopeless. Similarly, losing at home in the wild card last year isn't ideal by any stretch of the imagination. But losing before the AFC Championship for the first time in a decade doesn't mean you just give up on the team as it stands. There's an incredibly strong defense, quality special teams, and with David Andrews returning and Isaiah Wynn healthy, a very talented offensive line.

That isn't a team composition that you immediately press reboot on without at least trying to see if you can develop something with. At least give Stidham a shot, especially given the amount of confidence New England seems to have in him. See if Sanu, Meyers, etc. can fit into the team given an offseason to heal and become more familiar with the playbook. There's a middle ground between being fine with something and also throwing all your toys out of the pram.

https://www.patspulpit.com/2019/2/16/18227266/pats-off-season-making-the-case-for-the-franchise-tagging-of-trent

https://larrybrownsports.com/football/patriots-trent-williams-trade-using-money-saved-on-brady/507655

"They chose not to use the franchise tag on Trent Brown this offseason, and he signed a massive contract with the Oakland Raiders. Brown was New England’s left tackle last season, but the Patriots did not prioritize keeping him since they will be getting 2018 first-round pick Isaiah Wynn back after he missed his rookie season with a torn Achilles. Wynn has not been able to participate in full at training camp this year, and he has never appeared in an NFL game."

Are we gonna keep playing this game? I'm already 1-for-1. I wouldn't be against you making a poll to ask people who they believe will have the better defense this season, and then seeing how the teams actually pan out. I mean you're pretty confident in your team, right? They kept '"vrtually the entire starting roster on that side of the ball", and if they're that good, there's nothing to worry about right?



Shaunodon said:
MTZehvor said:

But you, Mr. Head In The Sand, just kept waffling on about how everything would just work out through the magic of Belichick & Brady.

Ah, and now we've moved onto personal insults. Again, lovely.

If you want to play the "who's more delusional about football" game, then we can, although given that you blamed the Patriots management for not spending money on Trent Brown, despite the fact that he had been offered $66 million to play for Oakland at the time and New England literally didn't even have the cap space to match, or that you stated one post ago that Pittsburgh's defense looked better than New England's on paper, I'm not sure that's a contest you want to have.

Since when is it weird to be a fan of one player?

It's very abnormal/uncanny to be a fan of a singular player versus a team. Not unheard of, obviously, but certainly not common. If you don't believe me, then take a poll from any large group of NFL fans, and see how many people are fans of a team versus fans of a player. That should tell you all you need to know.

I didn't realise getting embarrassed at home on Wild Card Weekend is considered ok in New England now, as long as you can win 12 games.

There's a difference between saying it's "ok" versus saying "the sky is falling and everything has gone to shit."

Take 2009 for instance, when the Patriots actually did get embarrassed on Wild Card weekend rather than losing by one possession. Obviously that's a result that no one wants to repeat. But that doesn't mean you immediately write the team off as hopeless. Similarly, losing at home in the wild card last year isn't ideal by any stretch of the imagination. But losing before the AFC Championship for the first time in a decade doesn't mean you just give up on the team as it stands. There's an incredibly strong defense, quality special teams, and with David Andrews returning and Isaiah Wynn healthy, a very talented offensive line.

That isn't a team composition that you immediately press reboot on without at least trying to see if you can develop something with. At least give Stidham a shot, especially given the amount of confidence New England seems to have in him. See if Sanu, Meyers, etc. can fit into the team given an offseason to heal and become more familiar with the playbook. There's a middle ground between being fine with something and also throwing all your toys out of the pram.

https://www.patspulpit.com/2019/2/16/18227266/pats-off-season-making-the-case-for-the-franchise-tagging-of-trent

https://larrybrownsports.com/football/patriots-trent-williams-trade-using-money-saved-on-brady/507655

"They chose not to use the franchise tag on Trent Brown this offseason, and he signed a massive contract with the Oakland Raiders. Brown was New England’s left tackle last season, but the Patriots did not prioritize keeping him since they will be getting 2018 first-round pick Isaiah Wynn back after he missed his rookie season with a torn Achilles. Wynn has not been able to participate in full at training camp this year, and he has never appeared in an NFL game."

Are we gonna keep playing this game? I'm already 1-for-1. I wouldn't be against you making a poll to ask people who they believe will have the better defense this season, and then seeing how the teams actually pan out. I mean you're pretty confident in your team, right? They kept '"vrtually the entire starting roster on that side of the ball", and if they're that good, there's nothing to worry about right?

...do you know how the franchise tag works? The Patriots would have been spending a guaranteed $16 million on a one year deal for an OT. That's even more per year than the 5 year, $66 million he got from Oakland. The franchise tag is an even more expensive way to keep a player on a short term contract so a team doesn't have to commit to them. The Patriots had roughly a million dollars left in the cap by the time the regular season began. They would have had to jettison so many other players to sign a contract for an aging LT that underperformed in 2019.

Alternatively the Patriots could have TT'd him but then he would still be free to leave for Oakland so that ultimately doesn't change anything.

And, for what it's worth, according to reports, the Patriots did, actually, try to make a deal for Williams (although it's still not clear how New England would have fit him under the cap/who they would have cut). But Washington wasn't interested. A multitude of teams actually contacted Washington looking for a trade, but they refused to do so even after Williams started holding out.

So, no, you're not 1 for 1. All you've done is suggest that the Patriots somehow spend even more money that they didn't have/trade for a player that the Redskins wouldn't trade.

I wouldn't be against you making a poll to ask people who they believe will have the better defense this season, and then seeing how the teams actually pan out. I mean you're pretty confident in your team, right? They kept '"vrtually the entire starting roster on that side of the ball", and if they're that good, there's nothing to worry about right?

Sure, although I should emphasize again it's not just me that thinks this way. Oddsmakers have New England as the favorite to give up the fewest points and yards allowed this season, and despite having a clearly worse offense than the Steelers and a more difficult schedule, the Patriots are favored to win the same number of games (something that would only happen with a superior defense). But no, I don't mind a poll one bit. Is the NFL subreddit an acceptable place in your mind for it to be posted?

Last edited by MTZehvor - on 24 April 2020

MTZehvor said:
Shaunodon said:

https://www.patspulpit.com/2019/2/16/18227266/pats-off-season-making-the-case-for-the-franchise-tagging-of-trent

https://larrybrownsports.com/football/patriots-trent-williams-trade-using-money-saved-on-brady/507655

"They chose not to use the franchise tag on Trent Brown this offseason, and he signed a massive contract with the Oakland Raiders. Brown was New England’s left tackle last season, but the Patriots did not prioritize keeping him since they will be getting 2018 first-round pick Isaiah Wynn back after he missed his rookie season with a torn Achilles. Wynn has not been able to participate in full at training camp this year, and he has never appeared in an NFL game."

Are we gonna keep playing this game? I'm already 1-for-1. I wouldn't be against you making a poll to ask people who they believe will have the better defense this season, and then seeing how the teams actually pan out. I mean you're pretty confident in your team, right? They kept '"vrtually the entire starting roster on that side of the ball", and if they're that good, there's nothing to worry about right?

...do you know how the franchise tag works? The Patriots would have been spending a guaranteed $16 million on a one year deal for an OT. That's even more per year than the 5 year, $66 million he got from Oakland. The franchise tag is an even more expensive way to keep a player on a short term contract so a team doesn't have to commit to them. The Patriots had roughly a million dollars left in the cap by the time the regular season began. They would have had to jettison so many other players to sign a contract for an aging LT that underperformed in 2019.

Alternatively the Patriots could have TT'd him but then he would still be free to leave for Oakland so that ultimately doesn't change anything.

And, for what it's worth, according to reports, the Patriots did, actually, try to make a deal for Williams (although it's still not clear how New England would have fit him under the cap/who they would have cut). But Washington wasn't interested. A multitude of teams actually contacted Washington looking for a trade, but they refused to do so even after Williams started holding out.

So, no, you're not 1 for 1. All you've done is suggest that the Patriots somehow spend even more money that they didn't have/trade for a player that the Redskins wouldn't trade.

I wouldn't be against you making a poll to ask people who they believe will have the better defense this season, and then seeing how the teams actually pan out. I mean you're pretty confident in your team, right? They kept '"vrtually the entire starting roster on that side of the ball", and if they're that good, there's nothing to worry about right?

Sure, although I should emphasize again it's not just me that thinks this way. Oddsmakers have New England as the favorite to give up the fewest points and yards allowed this season, and despite having a clearly worse offense than the Steelers and a more difficult schedule, the Patriots are favored to win the same number of games (something that would only happen with a superior defense). But no, I don't mind a poll one bit. Is the NFL subreddit an acceptable place in your mind for it to be posted?

"The Patriots would have been spending a guaranteed $16 million on a one year deal for an OT."

https://www.nbcsports.com/boston/patriots/what-can-patriots-do-salary-cap-space-freed-brady-contract

"The Patriots will very likely have somewhere in the range of $13 million in cap space following the execution of Brady's new deal."

You're telling me the great Belichick couldn't free another $3 mil in cap to shore up their o-line? I mean they were more than willing to carry over $5 mil in dead cap to have a short fling with Antonio Brown, all just on a whim.

"an aging LT that underperformed in 2019" Trent Brown? The guy that just turned 27 and made the Pro Bowl?

It's been laid out pretty clearly for you. The links are all there. The Patriots could've kept Trent Brown if they wanted. They instead kept cap open for players they aquired who did practically nothing (Sanu) or literally nothing (Brown), then had problems with their o-line and running game for basically the entire season.

If you're gonna start a poll, I'd rather you did it here. Doesn't have to be this thread. But I don't ever check the NFL subreddit, and I'm not going to for this.

Edit: I also have no desire to go back-and-forth over these semantics with you. Your statement was pretty conclusive that they couldn't have any space for Trent Brown. I've given you articles from fan sites not only disproving that, but also advocating for why it would've been the right move.

"Applying the Franchise Tag for Brown at $15.6M might seem a bit impossible for the cap-strapped Pats, but as I demonstrated in a previous post, the Pats could get to $80M in cap space if they felt so inclined. And with over $80M available for 2019, paying Brown seems like a no brainer to me."

How about you actually try researching and verifying some of the topics you talk about for once, so I don't have to keep wasting energy doing it for you.

Last edited by Shaunodon - on 25 April 2020

Around the Network
Shaunodon said:
MTZehvor said:

...do you know how the franchise tag works? The Patriots would have been spending a guaranteed $16 million on a one year deal for an OT. That's even more per year than the 5 year, $66 million he got from Oakland. The franchise tag is an even more expensive way to keep a player on a short term contract so a team doesn't have to commit to them. The Patriots had roughly a million dollars left in the cap by the time the regular season began. They would have had to jettison so many other players to sign a contract for an aging LT that underperformed in 2019.

Alternatively the Patriots could have TT'd him but then he would still be free to leave for Oakland so that ultimately doesn't change anything.

And, for what it's worth, according to reports, the Patriots did, actually, try to make a deal for Williams (although it's still not clear how New England would have fit him under the cap/who they would have cut). But Washington wasn't interested. A multitude of teams actually contacted Washington looking for a trade, but they refused to do so even after Williams started holding out.

So, no, you're not 1 for 1. All you've done is suggest that the Patriots somehow spend even more money that they didn't have/trade for a player that the Redskins wouldn't trade.

I wouldn't be against you making a poll to ask people who they believe will have the better defense this season, and then seeing how the teams actually pan out. I mean you're pretty confident in your team, right? They kept '"vrtually the entire starting roster on that side of the ball", and if they're that good, there's nothing to worry about right?

Sure, although I should emphasize again it's not just me that thinks this way. Oddsmakers have New England as the favorite to give up the fewest points and yards allowed this season, and despite having a clearly worse offense than the Steelers and a more difficult schedule, the Patriots are favored to win the same number of games (something that would only happen with a superior defense). But no, I don't mind a poll one bit. Is the NFL subreddit an acceptable place in your mind for it to be posted?

"The Patriots would have been spending a guaranteed $16 million on a one year deal for an OT."

https://www.nbcsports.com/boston/patriots/what-can-patriots-do-salary-cap-space-freed-brady-contract

"The Patriots will very likely have somewhere in the range of $13 million in cap space following the execution of Brady's new deal."

You're telling me the great Belichick couldn't free another $3 mil in cap to shore up their o-line? I mean they were more than willing to carry over $5 mil in dead cap to have a short fling with Antonio Brown, all just on a whim.

"an aging LT that underperformed in 2019" Trent Brown? The guy that just turned 27 and made the Pro Bowl?

It's been laid out pretty clearly for you. The links are all there. The Patriots could've kept Trent Brown if they wanted. They instead kept cap open for players they aquired who did practically nothing (Sanu) or literally nothing (Brown), then had problems with their o-line and running game for basically the entire season.

If you're gonna start a poll, I'd rather you did it here. Doesn't have to be this thread. But I don't ever check the NFL subreddit, and I'm not going to for this.

Edit: I also have no desire to go back-and-forth over these semantics with you. Your statement was pretty conclusive that they couldn't have any space for Trent Brown. I've given you articles from fan sites not only disproving that, but also advocating for why it would've been the right move.

"Applying the Franchise Tag for Brown at $15.6M might seem a bit impossible for the cap-strapped Pats, but as I demonstrated in a previous post, the Pats could get to $80M in cap space if they felt so inclined. And with over $80M available for 2019, paying Brown seems like a no brainer to me."

How about you actually try researching and verifying some of the topics you talk about for once, so I don't have to keep wasting energy doing it for you.

"The Patriots will very likely have somewhere in the range of $13 million in cap space following the execution of Brady's new deal. You're telling me the great Belichick couldn't free another $3 mil in cap to shore up their o-line? I mean they were more than willing to carry over $5 mil in dead cap to have a short fling with Antonio Brown, all just on a whim."

Right. $13 million (it was actually closer to $12 million when Brady's contract was finalized but that's a small nitpick) left over to spend on not only Trent Brown, but Stephen Gostkowski, Trey Flowers, and any other free agents they would go after (Michael Bennett, Jamie Collins, Demaryius Thomas, Danny Shelton, etc.). So let's assume that the Patriots do tag Trent Brown. How do you propose they pay for anyone else? You yourself are the one criticizing the team for not surrounding Brady with enough pieces, so would you rather them spend on those players, or basically bundle all of it into a single package for one offensive tackle?

Belichick realized pretty early on that there was no realistic way he could keep Brown around while simultaneously trying to shore up as what he viewed as areas of need. Sure, he could take steps to free up cap and sign Brown; restructure some contracts here and there like they did to fit Sanu in. But you're basically ensuring that you can't go after anyone in free agency. Look at the impact Brown made on the Raiders and compare it to, hell, just Collins and Shelton alone, who the Patriots paid less than half what the Raiders paid for Brown.

If you're gonna start a poll, I'd rather you did it here. Doesn't have to be this thread. But I don't ever check the NFL subreddit, and I'm not going to for this.

I mean, I can take a screenshot for you if the prospect of clicking on a link is truly that repulsive.

I'm also a little surprised that you'd trust this thread, given that it seems like you've insulted just about everyone on here at one point or another. But, very well, I'll change the poll. Note that we're going to have an extremely small sample size, so there's an inherent limitation on any conclusions you can draw.

"an aging LT that underperformed in 2019" Trent Brown? The guy that just turned 27 and made the Pro Bowl?

Brown missed an entire third of the season. He posted an AV of 7. Despite being the highest paid offensive lineman in the league, he wasn't even ranked on PFF's top 25 offensive linemen. In fairness to him, injury hurt his production, but it's tough to look at a contract of that size and say that he didn't underperform. Incidentally, that should probably tell you all you need to know about the concept of using a pro bowl as a measuring stick for the quality of a singular season. A guy who was injured for an entire third of the year made the pro bowl.

As for aging, yeah, for an o-linemen, mid-late 20s is certainly "getting up there." 

Your statement was pretty conclusive that they couldn't have any space for Trent Brown.

Very well, since I have to apparently spell everything out to the finest detail.

Obviously, it was within the realm of human possibility for the Patriots to bring back Brown. Just like the Patriots could, if they really wanted to, release their entire offense to free up cap space and trade their next ten first round picks to bring in Aaron Rodgers. It should be extremely obvious that I'm not saying they literally did not have the ability to bring in Brown, but rather saying that there is no realistic way they could have without compromising a substantial part of their plans moving forward.

I've given you articles from fan sites not only disproving that, but also advocating for why it would've been the right move.

The article (singular, the other article just proposes going after Trent Williams) that you linked that actually supported going after Trent Brown advocated for doing so with exactly the same logic I explained above. Throw out any hope of getting free agents, give up on Flowers off the bat, and just shoot for Brown instead. So, again, if you're willing to go back on what you've argued for all along and say that the Patriots should have spent big on one person and then have had nothing to go after anyone else to improve the team, sure. Imo and in the view of most of the fanbase, that was utterly ridiculous. Most of the people who wanted to bring Brown back were thinking he'd be willing to take a team friendly contract at $11-$13 million a year. Very few thought it was realistic to tag him.

Trust me. I'm an actual fan of, you know, the team. I'm pretty familiar with how the Patriots' decision to let Brown leave went down.

How about you actually try researching and verifying some of the topics you talk about for once, so I don't have to keep wasting energy doing it for you.

I could realistically say the same to you. I'd encourage you to do the math yourself, if you don't believe me, rather than just googling articles supporting your position and parroting them without understanding the logic behind them. Here's the entire Patriots roster from 2019, along with their cap hits (you'll have to change the year to 2019). Please, by all means, tell me who you would cut in order to find room for an extra $13 million or so. Since you are obviously so well informed, I assume it will be easy for you.



MTZehvor said:
Shaunodon said:

"The Patriots would have been spending a guaranteed $16 million on a one year deal for an OT."

https://www.nbcsports.com/boston/patriots/what-can-patriots-do-salary-cap-space-freed-brady-contract

"The Patriots will very likely have somewhere in the range of $13 million in cap space following the execution of Brady's new deal."

You're telling me the great Belichick couldn't free another $3 mil in cap to shore up their o-line? I mean they were more than willing to carry over $5 mil in dead cap to have a short fling with Antonio Brown, all just on a whim.

"an aging LT that underperformed in 2019" Trent Brown? The guy that just turned 27 and made the Pro Bowl?

It's been laid out pretty clearly for you. The links are all there. The Patriots could've kept Trent Brown if they wanted. They instead kept cap open for players they aquired who did practically nothing (Sanu) or literally nothing (Brown), then had problems with their o-line and running game for basically the entire season.

If you're gonna start a poll, I'd rather you did it here. Doesn't have to be this thread. But I don't ever check the NFL subreddit, and I'm not going to for this.

Edit: I also have no desire to go back-and-forth over these semantics with you. Your statement was pretty conclusive that they couldn't have any space for Trent Brown. I've given you articles from fan sites not only disproving that, but also advocating for why it would've been the right move.

"Applying the Franchise Tag for Brown at $15.6M might seem a bit impossible for the cap-strapped Pats, but as I demonstrated in a previous post, the Pats could get to $80M in cap space if they felt so inclined. And with over $80M available for 2019, paying Brown seems like a no brainer to me."

How about you actually try researching and verifying some of the topics you talk about for once, so I don't have to keep wasting energy doing it for you.

"The Patriots will very likely have somewhere in the range of $13 million in cap space following the execution of Brady's new deal. You're telling me the great Belichick couldn't free another $3 mil in cap to shore up their o-line? I mean they were more than willing to carry over $5 mil in dead cap to have a short fling with Antonio Brown, all just on a whim."

Right. $13 million (it was actually closer to $12 million when Brady's contract was finalized but that's a small nitpick) left over to spend on not only Trent Brown, but Stephen Gostkowski, Trey Flowers, and any other free agents they would go after (Michael Bennett, Jamie Collins, Demaryius Thomas, Danny Shelton, etc.). So let's assume that the Patriots do tag Trent Brown. How do you propose they pay for anyone else? You yourself are the one criticizing the team for not surrounding Brady with enough pieces, so would you rather them spend on those players, or basically bundle all of it into a single package for one offensive tackle?

Belichick realized pretty early on that there was no realistic way he could keep Brown around while simultaneously trying to shore up as what he viewed as areas of need. Sure, he could take steps to free up cap and sign Brown; restructure some contracts here and there like they did to fit Sanu in. But you're basically ensuring that you can't go after anyone in free agency. Look at the impact Brown made on the Raiders and compare it to, hell, just Collins and Shelton alone, who the Patriots paid less than half what the Raiders paid for Brown.

If you're gonna start a poll, I'd rather you did it here. Doesn't have to be this thread. But I don't ever check the NFL subreddit, and I'm not going to for this.

I mean, I can take a screenshot for you if the prospect of clicking on a link is truly that repulsive.

I'm also a little surprised that you'd trust this thread, given that it seems like you've insulted just about everyone on here at one point or another. But, very well, I'll change the poll. Note that we're going to have an extremely small sample size, so there's an inherent limitation on any conclusions you can draw.

"an aging LT that underperformed in 2019" Trent Brown? The guy that just turned 27 and made the Pro Bowl?

Brown missed an entire third of the season. He posted an AV of 7. Despite being the highest paid offensive lineman in the league, he wasn't even ranked on PFF's top 25 offensive linemen. In fairness to him, injury hurt his production, but it's tough to look at a contract of that size and say that he didn't underperform. Incidentally, that should probably tell you all you need to know about the concept of using a pro bowl as a measuring stick for the quality of a singular season. A guy who was injured for an entire third of the year made the pro bowl.

As for aging, yeah, for an o-linemen, mid-late 20s is certainly "getting up there." 

Your statement was pretty conclusive that they couldn't have any space for Trent Brown.

Very well, since I have to apparently spell everything out to the finest detail.

Obviously, it was within the realm of human possibility for the Patriots to bring back Brown. Just like the Patriots could, if they really wanted to, release their entire offense to free up cap space and trade their next ten first round picks to bring in Aaron Rodgers. It should be extremely obvious that I'm not saying they literally did not have the ability to bring in Brown, but rather saying that there is no realistic way they could have without compromising a substantial part of their plans moving forward.

I've given you articles from fan sites not only disproving that, but also advocating for why it would've been the right move.

The article (singular, the other article just proposes going after Trent Williams) that you linked that actually supported going after Trent Brown advocated for doing so with exactly the same logic I explained above. Throw out any hope of getting free agents, give up on Flowers off the bat, and just shoot for Brown instead. So, again, if you're willing to go back on what you've argued for all along and say that the Patriots should have spent big on one person and then have had nothing to go after anyone else to improve the team, sure. Imo and in the view of most of the fanbase, that was utterly ridiculous. Most of the people who wanted to bring Brown back were thinking he'd be willing to take a team friendly contract at $11-$13 million a year. Very few thought it was realistic to tag him.

Trust me. I'm an actual fan of, you know, the team. I'm pretty familiar with how the Patriots' decision to let Brown leave went down.

How about you actually try researching and verifying some of the topics you talk about for once, so I don't have to keep wasting energy doing it for you.

I could realistically say the same to you. I'd encourage you to do the math yourself, if you don't believe me, rather than just googling articles supporting your position and parroting them without understanding the logic behind them. Here's the entire Patriots roster from 2019, along with their cap hits (you'll have to change the year to 2019). Please, by all means, tell me who you would cut in order to find room for an extra $13 million or so. Since you are obviously so well informed, I assume it will be easy for you.

"Michael Bennett, Jamie Collins, Demaryius Thomas, Danny Shelton, etc."

Hold on, is this really the haul of players you're trying to use as an example for why they needed to keep all that cap? One of them never even played during the regular season, one of them quickly became problematic and was shipped off, and two of them are apparently so irrelevant you didn't seem to care about them leaving when mentioning, "virtually the entire defense is coming back".
Who exactly are the pieces here that Tom Brady would've really missed? Because I sure didn't see them on the field when his 42yr old ass was running for dear life. I'd have much rather they didn't just keep adding pieces to try and overload a defense, which could never stop the run anyway, and actually got Brown so they could have a chance of a functioning o-line and run game themselves.

"Trust me. I'm an actual fan of, you know, the team. I'm pretty familiar with how the Patriots' decision to let Brown leave went down."

Honestly though, what advantage has that given you over anyone else that happens to follow the team? From all I can tell, it's just made you more inclined to ignore any questionable decisions they may make.



Chris Hu said:
sethnintendo said:

Hmm sounds like I'll pass but I'll maybe watch a game or two.  No offense huh.  Need to bring back hehateme from original xfl league.  He is probably too old now though. The league will probably fold again like first one after a year or two.

There was actually a decent spring league USFL in USA during the 80s that even got some high profile players from college that after the league folded wound up in the NFL. Apparently Trump ruined the league trying to get it merge with the NFL.  He got the league to switch it to fall to I guess compete directly with NFL but that move proved to be a disaster.  In his quest for an attempt to become an owner of NFL team by having his USFL team become a NFL team it brought down the entire league.  Just one of his many failures.

The USFL first two seasons where actually pretty good but in the third season attendance dropped dramatically and ended up loosing 163 million during its existence.

Yea it went good first two seasons because they were on spring schedule.  Trump pushed them to go to fall to challenge NFL.  Dumbest move and it killed league. 

The USFL had good players. Better than XFL.  They got top recruits from college back then and when league collapsed many of those player became stars in NFL.  That league was set up for success it only took one dumb idea to kill it.



So where is the preseason prediction picks. It never materialized. I want to see results.



Shaunodon said:
MTZehvor said:

"The Patriots will very likely have somewhere in the range of $13 million in cap space following the execution of Brady's new deal. You're telling me the great Belichick couldn't free another $3 mil in cap to shore up their o-line? I mean they were more than willing to carry over $5 mil in dead cap to have a short fling with Antonio Brown, all just on a whim."

Right. $13 million (it was actually closer to $12 million when Brady's contract was finalized but that's a small nitpick) left over to spend on not only Trent Brown, but Stephen Gostkowski, Trey Flowers, and any other free agents they would go after (Michael Bennett, Jamie Collins, Demaryius Thomas, Danny Shelton, etc.). So let's assume that the Patriots do tag Trent Brown. How do you propose they pay for anyone else? You yourself are the one criticizing the team for not surrounding Brady with enough pieces, so would you rather them spend on those players, or basically bundle all of it into a single package for one offensive tackle?

Belichick realized pretty early on that there was no realistic way he could keep Brown around while simultaneously trying to shore up as what he viewed as areas of need. Sure, he could take steps to free up cap and sign Brown; restructure some contracts here and there like they did to fit Sanu in. But you're basically ensuring that you can't go after anyone in free agency. Look at the impact Brown made on the Raiders and compare it to, hell, just Collins and Shelton alone, who the Patriots paid less than half what the Raiders paid for Brown.

If you're gonna start a poll, I'd rather you did it here. Doesn't have to be this thread. But I don't ever check the NFL subreddit, and I'm not going to for this.

I mean, I can take a screenshot for you if the prospect of clicking on a link is truly that repulsive.

I'm also a little surprised that you'd trust this thread, given that it seems like you've insulted just about everyone on here at one point or another. But, very well, I'll change the poll. Note that we're going to have an extremely small sample size, so there's an inherent limitation on any conclusions you can draw.

"an aging LT that underperformed in 2019" Trent Brown? The guy that just turned 27 and made the Pro Bowl?

Brown missed an entire third of the season. He posted an AV of 7. Despite being the highest paid offensive lineman in the league, he wasn't even ranked on PFF's top 25 offensive linemen. In fairness to him, injury hurt his production, but it's tough to look at a contract of that size and say that he didn't underperform. Incidentally, that should probably tell you all you need to know about the concept of using a pro bowl as a measuring stick for the quality of a singular season. A guy who was injured for an entire third of the year made the pro bowl.

As for aging, yeah, for an o-linemen, mid-late 20s is certainly "getting up there." 

Your statement was pretty conclusive that they couldn't have any space for Trent Brown.

Very well, since I have to apparently spell everything out to the finest detail.

Obviously, it was within the realm of human possibility for the Patriots to bring back Brown. Just like the Patriots could, if they really wanted to, release their entire offense to free up cap space and trade their next ten first round picks to bring in Aaron Rodgers. It should be extremely obvious that I'm not saying they literally did not have the ability to bring in Brown, but rather saying that there is no realistic way they could have without compromising a substantial part of their plans moving forward.

I've given you articles from fan sites not only disproving that, but also advocating for why it would've been the right move.

The article (singular, the other article just proposes going after Trent Williams) that you linked that actually supported going after Trent Brown advocated for doing so with exactly the same logic I explained above. Throw out any hope of getting free agents, give up on Flowers off the bat, and just shoot for Brown instead. So, again, if you're willing to go back on what you've argued for all along and say that the Patriots should have spent big on one person and then have had nothing to go after anyone else to improve the team, sure. Imo and in the view of most of the fanbase, that was utterly ridiculous. Most of the people who wanted to bring Brown back were thinking he'd be willing to take a team friendly contract at $11-$13 million a year. Very few thought it was realistic to tag him.

Trust me. I'm an actual fan of, you know, the team. I'm pretty familiar with how the Patriots' decision to let Brown leave went down.

How about you actually try researching and verifying some of the topics you talk about for once, so I don't have to keep wasting energy doing it for you.

I could realistically say the same to you. I'd encourage you to do the math yourself, if you don't believe me, rather than just googling articles supporting your position and parroting them without understanding the logic behind them. Here's the entire Patriots roster from 2019, along with their cap hits (you'll have to change the year to 2019). Please, by all means, tell me who you would cut in order to find room for an extra $13 million or so. Since you are obviously so well informed, I assume it will be easy for you.

"Michael Bennett, Jamie Collins, Demaryius Thomas, Danny Shelton, etc."

Hold on, is this really the haul of players you're trying to use as an example for why they needed to keep all that cap? One of them never even played during the regular season, one of them quickly became problematic and was shipped off, and two of them are apparently so irrelevant you didn't seem to care about them leaving when mentioning, "virtually the entire defense is coming back".
Who exactly are the pieces here that Tom Brady would've really missed? Because I sure didn't see them on the field when his 42yr old ass was running for dear life. I'd have much rather they didn't just keep adding pieces to try and overload a defense, which could never stop the run anyway, and actually got Brown so they could have a chance of a functioning o-line and run game themselves.

"Trust me. I'm an actual fan of, you know, the team. I'm pretty familiar with how the Patriots' decision to let Brown leave went down."

Honestly though, what advantage has that given you over anyone else that happens to follow the team? From all I can tell, it's just made you more inclined to ignore any questionable decisions they may make.

We'll set aside the fact that Jamie Collins himself posted an AV of more than twice what Brown did and actually showed up on PFR's top 25 LBs despite not starting for the majority of the season and also apparently in spite of your claims of irrelevancy as well, and move on to the larger point.

There was a time, believe it or not, last season where the Patriots were considered to have easily the best offensive weapons in the league. Even before Antonio Brown was picked up (and then quickly released). New England had Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, and Demaryius Thomas at receiver. Losing Chris Hogan seemed like small potatoes. Trent Brown was the only member of 2018's top offensive line not returning. Sony Michel, who scored 7 TDs in the previous postseason, looked like he might develop into the first real rushing threat the Patriots have had since Corey Dillon.

The defense, conversely, was what looked shaky. A large number of players had been replaced at defensive line and LB. Flowers, Malcolm Brown, Eric Rowe, starters or significant role players in defensive spots, had left and were largely replaced from within rather than major free agent acquisitions.

So, you tell me. You're Bill Belichick. You have an offense in the summer that ranked 4th the year before. You've lost Gronk and Chris Hogan, and replaced them with Josh Gordon returning from suspension and Demaryius Thomas. Most people regard you as easily having the best receiving corps in the league. Your defense, conversely, ranked middle of the pack last season despite an impressive Super Bowl performance, is losing some key performers. What would you go after?

Sadly, the Patriots ran into an abyss of bad luck on the offensive side of the ball. David Andrews suffered blood clotting and had to sit out an entire season. Andrews injury forced Marshall Newhouse into action, which is a big portion of why Brady was running so much. They acquired Antonio Brown, which meant realistically having to let a receiver go or understaff a position badly. But then Brown happened to run into all sorts of drama, which meant that both Thomas and Brown were off the team yet with nothing to gain. Gordon got injured, saw his production suffer, and then it turned out he was still having drug problems after getting traded. Sony Michel never really developed. Julian Edelman got injured later in the season as well, if reports are to be believed. Mohammed Sanu suffered a leg injury virtually just after they traded for him.

Regardless of who you want to blame for those incidents and why (especially Antonio Brown), it's tough to stick blame with preseason free agency decisions on Belichick. The offense looked, by all means, stacked. The defense did not. Regardless of how the season played out, at the time, it seemed like a no-brainer to spend money on defense rather than sink all your cap into an OT.

Honestly though, what advantage has that given you over anyone else that happens to follow the team? From all I can tell, it's just made you more inclined to ignore any questionable decisions they may make.

Because it means I actually follow the team. Not just one player on the team. So when I see Tom Brady running for his life on the field, as you describe it, I know how we got here rather than googling like two articles and immediately assuming the whole thing was just the Patriots management not caring about giving Brady help