Tom Brady is gone. So are Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, Danny Shelton, Duron Harmon, Ted Karras, and Elandon Roberts — and there will be more to come. All this offseason movement boils down to one simple question: How much do you trust Bill Belichick?
New England Patriots fans have lived by the “In Bill We Trust”-mantra for the past two decades. However, they also always had Tom Brady during this time to rely on. Some of Belichick’s head-scratching moves have worked out (trading Logan Mankins, releasing Lawyer Milloy), some have not (trading Deion Branch, all the second-round cornerbacks), and some left fans split (trading Chandler Jones, trading Jimmy Garoppolo).
One thing is for sure, Belichick has had final say on all the football moves since he got here, and Patriots fans have usually been okay with that.
Now that Brady is gone, however, how willing are Patriots fans to put that blind trust in the architect of the dynasty? Do they still have faith that Belichick will get this right. After all, one of the biggest Patriots doubters on Boston sports radio — Michael Felger — has said for years that he would not care what happened as long as Belichick was the one choosing the next quarterback. Does he still feel that way? Do you? And what if Belichick has already chosen the next guy? Can you put your trust in Belichick, and root for Jarrett Stidham this season?
Did Belichick think that Tom Brady was his best option this season? Maybe he did, but unlike in years past, it looks like it was at the right price. Maybe he was unwilling to extend financially, or in regards to duration, which would speak volumes about Belichick’s mindset — that this might have been the last year he wanted Brady around, and he wasn’t about to lock him up long-term when he knew that this was the only one he fit into the plan.
Moving on from a player is a hard decision to make. When that player is the greatest and most successful of all time, it can feel impossible. That’s what Belichick gets paid to do, though: make the decisions that he feels are going to benefit the team in the long run, even if people hate them at the time. He has never cared what people thought about his moves before, so why would this offseason be any different?
How you feel about the moves all depends on your perspective. It hurts like hell to lose your favorite players, but the thing to remember is this is part of Belichick’s plan. Whether or not you are happy about the plan shouldn’t matter. Patriots fans have always placed their trust in Belichick to do what’s best for the team, not only this season, but in the future as well. So, I’m putting my faith in him again and hope that this plan works out — just like so many others have in the past.
Pat is a host of The Patriot Nation Podcast
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