The Patriots have quietly put together a solid offseason. They've boosted the offense by extending quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski- the latter via a contract option, but it's still a positive. They've hopefully upgraded at both wide receiver #3 with Chris Hogan and at tight end #2 with Martellus Bennett. Former first round pick Donald Brown will help out at running back.
They've improved the team's draft capital by sending defensive end Chandler Jones to the Cardinals in exchange for a 2nd round pick and a former top 10 selection in guard Jonathan Cooper. The Patriots are now one of two teams- the other being the Rams- with four picks in the top 96 of the draft.
They've helped fix some of the depth at defense, too. Free agent defensive end Chris Long will replace Jones in the lineup as a rusher on passing downs. The depth at linebacker has improved by adding former Bears linebacker Shea McClellin and Saints linebacker Ramon Humber.
It looks like the 2016 Patriots could be even better than the 2015 team that made the AFC Championship game. The oddsmakers certainly think so.
Per Bovada, the Patriots have inched ahead of the Carolina Panthers are the favorites to win the Super Bowl in 2016.
1. New England Patriots 15/2
T-2. Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks 10/1
It looks like the reign of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady will continue for the foreseeable future.