Overteam bloodletting: Heavy hits for Patriots
Munich – The New England Patriots are losing key players in the Free Agency right from the start. SPORT1 illuminates the background.
The start in the NFL Free Agency for the New England Patriots couldn’t have been much worse.
In just a few hours, the over team, which was just behind the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl, lost several heroes – and the bloodletting is not over yet. Further losses are imminent.
SPORT1 illuminates the patriots’ fixed exits and explains what is behind them.
The fact that the hero from Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks will leave the Patriots was already clear before last season when New England, instead of giving Butler his well-deserved salary increase, invested heavily in newcomer Stephon Gilmore – of which 65 million for 5 years were already a deep blow for Butler.
After a mixed season, there was a break between the cornerback and the patches when he was told just before the Super Bowl that he would not play. Butler shed bitter tears. The decision even experts puzzled experts.
In the future, Butler will play for the Tennessee Titans, who have offered the 28-year-old a five-year contract with a hefty 61 million dollars salary. His departure tears a big hole in the Patriots’ defense – butlers replacements Eric Rowe and Johnson Bademosi were shown in the Super Bowl by the Eagles.
Probably the most emotional – because the least predictable – loss is that of Danny Amendola.
The wide receiver – known for its strong play-off performances – will be hired by the Miami Dolphins for two years and twelve million, thus remaining in the AFC East. In recent years, the 32-year-old had repeatedly accepted salary cuts in recent years in order to continue playing for the regular favourites. In 2017, his salary amounted to only 1.7 million.
The fact that the big buddy of star receiver Julian Edelmann is still going came as a surprise even for observers. However, since Edelmann returns this season after his cruciate ligament rupture, the departure of Amendola as slot and posession receiver is still the most manageable.
At Running Back Dion Lewis, the patriots could not or did not want to invest enough in the final betting.
Like Butler, Lewis joins the Titans and collects 23 million dollars over the next four years. After his cruciate ligament rupture in 2015, last season the Running Back had reported back strong as hell and delivered a total of over 1100 yards plus 9 touchdowns.
In addition to James White and Rex Burkhead, who were mainly used in the Patriots system as passport receivers from the RB position, Lewis played the role of a runner – here the Pats now have to improve. At Free Agent Burkhead, the Patriots made nails with their heads – the Running Back has agreed on a multi-year contract with the franchise.
They still need a real power runner anyway. Possible candidates could be ex-patriot LeGarrette Blount or Adrian Peterson, who was fired from the Arizona Cardinals. Mike Gillislee, who was not even in the squad after a strong start to the season, has another year’s contract and could get another chance under these circumstances.
After Butler, Lewis and Amendola, he is the next painful departure for the Patriots – Brady’s protector Nata Solder is drawn to the New York Giants.
50 million euros in four years – 28 million euros of which are guaranteed – make Solder the NFL’s best-paid offensive liner.
It seems that the patriots were unable to make such a salary and suffered the loss without a fight.