Filling out brackets is a March tradition. It’s no different here at Pats Pulpit. Last year, we looked at the best games of the New England Patriots’ Bill Belichick era, which was fun, but this year, we’re doing something a little different: we decided to take a look at the biggest busts of the Belichick era.
They could be draft picks, free agent signings, or trade acquisitions. We picked 32 of the biggest disappointments, and arranged them into a bracket for you to fill out:
The first thing we need to discuss when looking at this is, though, is what constitutes a bust.
This is a combination of assets spent, expectations placed on a player, and yes, also their skill on the field. For this reason, all the draft picks in the bracket were selected in either the first or second round. Expectations for players outside the second should be much lower, and, even if they don’t perform, there is a level of acceptance based on where they were drafted.
These qualifiers should guide your decision-making through the entire process. Use it when you’re comparing two players. Did one have higher expectations put on them based on the money that was given to them, or a role that the team had seemingly left available for them?
It should be a fun process, and make sure to discuss it with your friends and family, because there’s a whole lot of good arguments that can be made for, and against, a lot of these players. Also, remember how lucky Patriots fans are to be able to do this. If you were following the Browns, this wouldn’t be a fun exercise — but it’s New England, so it’s okay.
You can print your brackets here, and there will be polls on our @PatsPulpit Twitter account and right here at PatsPulpit.com, so that we can all jointly decide the biggest bust of the Bill Belichick era.