Bill Belichick made some surprisingly candid comments about the salary cap last week. On Monday, he was left defending what some considered to be excuse-making.
During last week's interview with Charlie Weis on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Belichick said the Patriots were playing more young players this season than in past years because their depth was impacted by salary cap limitations.
“Because of our cap situation — in this particular year, this is kind of the year that we’ve taken to, I would say, adjust our cap from the spending that we’ve had in accumulation of prior years,” Belichick said. “We just haven’t been able to have the kind of depth on our roster that we’ve had in some other years.”
The Patriots head coach was asked about those comments Monday on WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni & Fauria," specifically if they were an excuse for the team's 2-5 start to the season.
“I mean it’s pretty obvious," Belichick said. "It was an honest answer to an honest question. No more, no less than that. I’m sure you can read a lot into it if you want to. That wasn’t the intent. ...
“I mean, look we paid Cam Newton a million dollars. I mean, it’s obvious that we didn’t have any money. It’s nobody’s fault. That’s what we did the last five years. We sold out and won three Super Bowls, played in a fourth and played in an AFC Championship Game. This year we had less to work with. It’s not an excuse, it’s just a fact.”
New England undoubtedly was hindered by a lack of cap room during the offseason, but that's far from the only reason for the team's struggles in 2020. Belichick's recent drafts simply haven't panned out. A number of players drafted in the last few years are no longer with the Patriots, and early selections like wide receiver N'Keal Harry and running back Sony Michel haven't played well enough to justify their draft position.
The Patriots will look to put an end to their four-game losing streak when they take on the New York Jets next week on Monday Night Football.