In the past, the Patriots have always built their football team using a formula that looks at both talent and value. It’s been a successful philosophy, allowing the Patriots to put together a balanced roster that has remained at or near the top of the NFL for an unprecedented nine straight seasons.
In the era of free agency and the salary cap, teams weren’t supposed to remain competitive that long. But the Patriots built a roster full of value contracts, sprinkling in some future hall of fame talent, and were able to win three Super Bowls and four AFC championships.
But that was then. Today the Patriots find themselves in an NFL without a salary cap. In 2010, Bob Kraft, one of the richest owners in the NFL, and the Patriots, one of the most profitable teams in the NFL, have no restrictions on the amount of money they can put into their roster.
In 2010, it’s time to change the philosophy from one that focuses on value to one that focuses exclusively on talent, regardless of the cost.
I’m not sure I’m completely sold on Julius Peppers, especially given his propensity to take plays off and his reported lack of passion for the game of football, but we’re playing under baseball rules this season.
The Patriots figured out how to do it in a salary capped environment. The Red Sox and Yankees have figured out how to do it in an uncapped environment. How have they done it? They’ve spent a heck of a lot more money than everyone else.
In 2010, the Yankees will spend north of $200,000,000 on players. The Red Sox will spend north of $170,000,000 on players. Because of this, they’ll be two of the best teams in professional baseball.
The Patriots charge ridiculous prices for tickets. They charge insane prices for parking. They steal money for food and beer inside their stadium. Patriots fans pay the price, and Bob Kraft isn’t exactly losing money on his investment. So now it’s time to spend some of that money.
The argument about teams being punished in the new collective bargaining agreement for spending a ton of money in 2010 doesn’t hold any water. None whatsoever, and the team should be ashamed for even trying to make it.
First, they have a hall of fame quarterback with only a few years of great football left in him. Even if it means they pay for years to come, they should take their shot at another championship while they still have Tom Brady relatively close to his prime.
Second, this argument has been made by NHL teams, NBA teams, and MLB teams in the past. It’s NEVER happened. Owners have NEVER advocated a system that punishes themselves for spending money BEFORE a new agreement is reached. EVER.
Do you really think Daniel Snyder is going to vote for a system that basically destroys his team for the foreseeable future because of things he did to win in 2010?
Not going to happen. Not even worth discussing.
The Patriots aren’t that far away from the Colts and the Saints of the world, and since the collective bargaining agreement basically ties the hands of the top 8 teams from last season, there’s no excuse for the Patriots not to make the moves needed to catch or even pass those guys.
Step up Bill Belichick and Bob Kraft. Forget about value and go buy yourself some talent.