NFL rumors: Patriots’ free agent waiting game pays dividends

New England Patriots, NFL Free Agency

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The New England Patriots being patient is starting to serve them in NFL free agency.

While the New England Patriots were big spenders in NFL free agency a year ago, they went back to the old way of doing things this spring by playing the waiting game.

The Patriots benefited greatly by being big spenders in the first wave of free agency last year. Keep in mind the 2020 Patriots team was the worst New England had in 20 years. They had to rebuild this team on the fly in that manner. However, by them biding their time and lying in the tall grass, the Patriots are making smarter business decisions in the second wave of NFL free agency.

They are hosting Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette on a visit Monday.

New England brings back one of its own in offensive tackle Trent Brown in his NFL free agency.

New England Patriots making savvy moves in the second wave of free agency

While the Patriots have their fair shares of hits and misses in the NFL Draft, they do a better job of winning in free agency and especially on the waiver wire than just about anyone. This is because head coach Bill Belichick is an incredible pro scout. For years, he has seen what other teams do not see in their underutilized players. He is able to make smart financial decisions in acquiring talent.

Though Brown and Fournette are big names at their respective position groups, Belichick and the rest of the New England brass did not have to pay a gross premium for good, but not great players like the Jacksonville Jaguars did. Brown coming back to New England is a bit of a shock, but he did play his best ball for the Patriots. As far as Fournette is concerned, he wisely decided to wait it out.

He is a player who was rumored to follow Deshaun Watson to Atlanta had he been traded to the Falcons. Fournette has seen a career resurgence with Tampa Bay, but he may be going elsewhere for the right situation and dollar amount. New England has some money, but this would be all about playing for Belichick and helping bring along a second-year quarterback in Mac Jones.

Belichick firmly understands the value in free agency comes in the second and third waves.

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