ESPN has released an updated NFL power rankings to celebrate the end of the opening wave of free agency and it’s no surprise that the New England Patriots come out on top.
“Did the Super Bowl LI champions really need to trade for 23-year-old receiver Brandin Cooks?,” ESPN asks. “Probably not. But Cooks brings a big-play ability that hasn't been seen in New England in a while. Cooks has seven career 40-plus yard touchdowns. The Patriots have nine total in that time.”
The reigning Super Bowl champions have been incredibly active in free agency and have added a quality cornerback in Stephon Gilmore and a good tight end in Dwayne Allen, while also retaining key free agents like LB Dont’a Hightower, DT Alan Branch, and FS Duron Harmon.
The Patriots are followed by the Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, and Pittsburgh Steelers. There are low expectations for the AFC East as the Miami Dolphins rank 15th, while the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets both rank in the bottom ten of the league.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick isn’t one to rest while on top, but don’t be surprised if you see him wearing shorts, sandals, and drinking a margarita around some of his top competition at the owners’ meeting- he’s earned it after a great first quarter to 2017.
Just getting to this now, but moments after the #Raiders general session finished, these two talked. pic.twitter.com/S9OM21DFpG— Lorenzo Reyes (@LorenzoGReyes) March 27, 2017
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell appears to be the only competition to the Patriots in 2017.