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How they built their Team of the 2010s tells the story of the Patriots’ success

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Related: Patriots unveil All-Decade roster of the 2010s

Buffalo Bills v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

On Wednesday, the New England Patriots unveiled their Team of the Decade for the 2010s. Even though a lot more players than the 27 eventually listed were deserving of making the cut, the eventual selections themselves were rather uncontroversial: these players were instrumental in keeping the Patriots’ dynasty alive into second decade and in bringing three Super Bowls as well as 10 out of a possible 10 AFC East titles to New England.

When going through the list of players who did make the cut one-by-one, it can be seen that the construction of this All-Decade roster involved all elements of team building: players on this squad arrived in New England through draft picks both in the early and the late rounds (18 players), were acquired from the outside via trade (2 players), or brought on board as free agents either on the veteran (5 players) or the rookie market (3 players).

Looking from it at this perspective, their Team of the 2010s therefore tells the story of the Patriots’ success and how they have been able to successfully explore all avenues of adding talent to the roster. With that said, let’s take a look at the list:

Offense

  • QB Tom Brady: NFL draft (2000; 6-199)
  • RB James White: NFL draft (2014; 4-130)
  • FB James Develin: Unrestricted free agency (2012)
  • TE Rob Gronkowski: NFL draft (2010; 2-42)
  • WR Wes Welker: Trade (2007; via Miami Dolphins)
  • WR Julian Edelman: NFL draft (2009; 7-232)
  • WR Danny Amendola: Unrestricted free agency (2013)
  • OT Nate Solder: NFL draft (2011; 1-17)
  • OT Sebastian Vollmer: NFL draft (2009; 2-58)
  • G Logan Mankins: NFL draft (2005; 1-32)
  • G Joe Thuney: NFL draft (2016; 3-78)
  • C David Andrews: Rookie free agency (2015)

Defense

  • DT Vince Wilfork: NFL draft (2004; 1-21)
  • DT Lawrence Guy: Unrestricted free agency (2017)
  • DE Chandler Jones: NFL draft (2012; 1-21)
  • DE Trey Flowers: NFL draft (2015; 4-101)
  • OLB Rob Ninkovich: Unrestricted free agency (2009)
  • OLB Kyle Van Noy: Trade (2016; via Detroit Lions)
  • ILB Jerod Mayo: NFL draft (2008; 1-10)
  • ILB Dont’a Hightower: NFL draft (2012; 1-25)
  • CB Malcolm Butler: Rookie free agency (2014)
  • CB Stephon Gilmore: Unrestricted free agency (2017)
  • S Devin McCourty: NFL draft (2010; 1-27)
  • S Patrick Chung: NFL draft (2009; 2-34)

Special teams

  • K Stephen Gostkowski: NFL draft (2006; 4-118)
  • P Ryan Allen: Rookie free agency (2013)
  • R Julian Edelman: NFL draft (2009; 7-232)
  • ST Matthew Slater: NFL draft (2008; 5-153)