This is the two-sided coin of being a Pats fan in a nutshell. It is stressful watching Belichick avoid any big splashes in the early days of free agency. We bite our nails as contributor after contributor is snatched up on contracts ranging from “way too much” to “that makes sense why the fuck are we staying put?” The doubt, whether we want to admit it or not, begins to creep in about next year and concerns starts to swirl around the holes in our roster.
Then, slowly but surely, things, start to turn around. Like a time lapse of a flower blooming. The front office make a smaller move or two, like the Austin Sefarian-Jenkins pick up earlier this spring. Then the draft comes and the team makes a number of solid picks, including a few selections of unspectacular but ready-now players that can immediately contribute and fill a hole or two that glared at us back in March (K’Neal Harry, who actually is spectacular but is also ready-now, Chase Winovich).
Things slowly come into focus, for the 866th time in a row you realize that Belichick and Nicky Twoguns have had a plan all along. And then the next few, significant moves are made and you can’t even read a story about OTAs without standing and screaming “let’s gooooo”. And that is what being a Patriots fan is.
First we signed Dontrelle Inman, a Brandon LaFell-contribution level type of receiver that should immediately be in the mix for the rights to be one of TB12’s top options. We signed the controversial but talented DT Mike Pennel. Then we resigned Danny Shelton, who had an up and down season last year but if nothing else STILL has loads of potential and can give you a number of good snaps per game at DT. And now, as continue to try and plug a Gronk-sized hole at TE, it looks like we’re chasing the very “gettable” Kyle Rudolph. Who knows if we’ll close this deal and if so, there are questions surrounding what the 29 year old Rudolph can contribute at this point. Regardless, this is Belichick chess at its best. Find some pieces, put them on the board, see how they can move, and either keep them on and cultivate a strategy using them or cut them. Simple as that. Do it slowly, do it wisely, do it without losing you shirt. Who knows, you might get six Super Bowls out of out.
I for one believe Rudolph can still give you about 500/5 from the TE position. He is also a solid blocker and a good guy to have in the locker room. I can’t imagine adding him can hurt. It’s possible the only thing in this trade’s way is the Vikings foreseeing playing us, and Rudolph, in the Big Game some time soon. But lets assume Belichick lands him or a similar tight end in the next few weeks. It would be just the latest example of a master class in roster building. They should teach it at West Point. Army Assembling By The Greats.
Might get LIV tattooed tomorrow.