Spending big in NFL free agency rarely translates to Super Bowl success, and the New England Patriots are well aware of that.
Bill Belichick and the Patriots rarely make a huge splash when the free-agent market officially opens, and we've seen that again this year. Instead of breaking the bank and handing out massive amounts of guaranteed money to keep defensive end Trey Flowers, left tackle Trent Brown and others, the Pats decided to let them walk in free agency and look for cheaper replacements.
The Patriots aren't the only team shying away from guaranteed money in free agency. In fact, several of the league's best teams are taking a similar approach. The graphic in the tweet below shows the teams that have guaranteed the most money in contracts during free agency. The New York Jets lead the way.
#Jets have led the NFL offseason with about $117M in fully guaranteed salaries being negotiated. Here is a quick look at the total value of the contracts signed vs the fully guaranteed portion pic.twitter.com/38sNYgXok4— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) March 19, 2019
The Patriots check in with the fourth-lowest amount of money guaranteed in free agency. New England has made a bunch of smallers moves to this date, and that strategy certainly worked out last year.
The seven teams with the most guaranteed money spent in free agency all missed the playoffs in 2018. The Green Bay Packers might be the only team in that group with a strong chance to make the playoffs in 2019.
So, while teams like the Jets and Lions are grabbing all the headlines in March, the likelihood of these signings being a springboard to the playoffs is not great. The draft remains the best way to build a perennial winner, and that's one area where the Jets and many other teams have enjoyed little success over the last decade or so.
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