Patriots

This graphic helps shows why Patriots' free-agency approach is smart

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USA TODAY Sports

This graphic helps shows why Patriots' free-agency approach is smart

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.

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.

Click here for NFL free agency winners & losers>>>

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Tom E. Curran's week-by-week breakdown of 2019 Patriots schedule

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Tom E. Curran's week-by-week breakdown of 2019 Patriots schedule

For months, we've known which opponents the Patriots would face in 2019. But we had to wait until Wednesday to find out when every game would slot into their 16-game schedule.

The defending champions will open on Sunday, September 8 against the Steelers, and their schedule includes five primetime games.

But between the intriguing matchups, the most challenging games, and the games that are basically glorified bye weeks, Tom E. Curran takes a week-by-week look at what's ahead for New England in its Super Bowl defense.

Click here for Curran's take on the 2019 schedule.>>>>

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Patriots get rousing ovation from TD Garden crowd at Celtics game

Patriots get rousing ovation from TD Garden crowd at Celtics game

The Patriots were in the house for Celtics-Pacers Game 2 on Wednesday night.

More specifically it was Bill Belichick, Julian Edelman, Duron Harmon, and both Devin and Jason McCourty in attendance to see the C's in action. As you would expect, the TD Garden crowd gave their Super Bowl champs a loud ovation.

The Celtics look to follow in the Patriots' footsteps and continue the trend of bringing parades to Boston.

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