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Curran: A word of advice for Pats fans entering free agency -- RELAX!

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Bill Belichick

Will you sit for a minute? Just take a beat? Listen. Before you submerge yourself in the 2023 FREE AGENT FRENZY!!!!! and start mainlining the empty calories of news, rumors, tweets and which player started following which team on Twitter, remember this:

Among the teams that "won" the 2022 offseason were the Denver Broncos, New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. By January, those three had a fired head coach, a failed franchise quarterback and a sad Tom Brady, respectively. And they combined for zero playoff wins.

Also, remember this: The most needle-moving trades of the 2022 offseason were the Commanders getting Carson Wentz, the Chargers acquiring Khalil Mack, Cleveland securing Amari Cooper, Denver getting Russell Wilson, Indy getting Matt Ryan, Vegas trading for Davante Adams, Miami getting Tyreek Hill and the Eagles getting A.J. Brown.

Eight deals. Six of those teams didn’t make the playoffs. Miami did make the playoffs with the same record it had in 2021 (9-8) and was one-and-done. A.J. Brown was a godsend for Philly.

Look at you. Wild-eyed. You can’t wait to get out there and see who’s flying where, which team is clearing cap space, which team is making a "splash" and going "all-in." Take a sip of this. It’s just water.

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Remember, nobody delivered in the crucible of free agency like the 2021 Patriots, am I right? And how’d that work out? Nelson Agholor gave them two seasons for $ 22 million and caught 68 balls for 835 yards and five touchdowns. Two years of Jonnu Smith yielded 55 catches for 539 yards and a touchdown. The Patriots dealt Smith to Atlanta on Monday in a salary dump that yielded a seventh-round pick.


As for the rest: Matt Judon? Home run. Hunter Henry? Stand-up double. Kendrick Bourne? Hard single up the middle, caught stealing.

Stop saying, "I know, I know…" If you know, then why are you armed and ready to praise or condemn the Patriots' offseason before April Fool’s Day? And "It’s what we do…" is not a great explanation.

I’m agreeing with you: The Patriots are in a good spot. They have more than $ 30 million in cap space, that’s about sixth in the league. There’s no reason for them to be wallflowers when the music starts.

They’re going to have to spend Bob Kraft’s money. You’re right. Nobody’s coming to New England on a discount to ring chase. The lure of playing for Bill Belichick with an embattled Mac Jones at the controls and a 25-25 record since Tom Brady left town? Not that magnetic.

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I think the main reason you’re so jumpy is you’re mad and sad because the neighbors are busy. You see the Dolphins have Jalen Ramsey and the Jets may get Aaron Rodgers and you’re hearing people like me say re-signing Jakobi Meyers is a Patriots must-do. No, you’re right. Jakobi Meyers does not make Jalen Ramsey nervous.  

Call me a sap, but I think they already made their biggest offseason move in getting an actual offensive coordinator to coordinate the offense. I think that -- just by osmosis -- Jones, Bourne, Henry, etc. will improve fairly drastically. It was that bad last year. Stop rolling your eyes.

They need a tackle. I don’t trust Trent Brown. They have too many mini-corners. They are going to need safety depth. A field-stretching receiver would be nice, but for God’s sake, it said "PROFESSIONAL FIELD STRETCHER" right on Agholor’s business card. That quality, while valuable, is overrated.

Ok, I’m almost done. All I’m saying is keep it in perspective, will ya? Nobody clinches a playoff spot in March, never mind a Super Bowl. The Patriots aren’t bereft of talent. Their problem last year was – here comes the heresy – bad coaching, situational stupidity and lack of discipline. No free agent acquisition this week is going to fix that.


So, with all that said, I want you to go out there and consume all the content you like. Read the "instant grade" on every trade. Get excited, get pissed off, get into it. Just remember -- and I know you will -- that more often that not, winning in the spring means you won’t be winning in the fall.