There’s no way around it: the New England Patriots are having an incredible start to free agency. Normally the Patriots sit on their hands and allow the rest of the league to throw moneybags at free agents, but this year Bill Belichick led the charge with an open check book.
The Patriots have been linked to multiple top tier wide receivers and running backs, but managed to bolster the defense in a shocking move.
Over the first day, the Patriots have:
- Acquired TE Dwayne Allen from the Indianapolis Colts (trade became official on Thursday).
- Signed former Bills CB Stephon Gilmore to a 5-year, $65 million contract.
- Re-signed DT Alan Branch to a 2-year, $12 million deal.
- Re-signed FS Duron Harmon to a 4-year, $20 million contract.
- Retained all of their EFRAs and RFAs.
- Watched the Browns trip over themselves to acquire draft picks for QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
- Set the wheels in motion to acquire Saints WR Brandin Cooks.
Sure, the Patriots might need to send CB Malcolm Butler to the Saints in order to obtain Cooks, and, yes, that Gilmore contract is crazy expensive.
But with all of these moves in mind, and the implications that TE Martellus Bennett and CB Logan Ryan are as good as gone, how would you grade the Patriots first day of 2017 free agency?