Patriots Purge

Photo via Patriots
McDaniels with Brady and Belichick

The purge officially started. Something we all knew was coming. Something New England fans have been dreading for a long while. But the purge is looking to be ending a little sooner than expected.

Bill Belichick. Tom Brady. Josh McDaniels. Matt Patricia. Malcolm Butler. Rob Gronkowski. All names which have been in the news lately.

Matt Patricia is gone. That’s official, no questions asked. He’s with the Lions now as the head coach. Patricia brings more of a defensive head coaching role to Detroit, as the Lions try to improve their defense from last year.

The Lions Defense was hit hard by injury and did not have much experience. Ngata, Tavon Wilson, and Ziggy Ansah, three key players, all struggled with injuries. Then at the linebacker position, they had rookies Jared Davis and Jalen Reeves-Maybin, who showed improvement, but did not play well enough. The Lions were eyeing defensive coordinators for their head coach, and got Patricia. Already with the 7th ranked offense in the league, Patricia will look to improve the defense.

McDaniels said no. He said no. The Colts offered a nice contract for McDaniels to be head coach, but he denied it. A few reasons are possible for the denial. Before, McDaniels has stayed with the Pats to avoid moving with his family. Although unlikely, because he has moved teams a couple of times. Another possible explanation is the fact of waiting to take over this Pats team and stay with Robert Kraft. It’s not a secret that Belichick could retire soon, so this totally is possible. He could be just in it for the money. His deal with the Pats was reportedly “sweetened”, meaning more money, and more incentive to stay. Now for my favorite reason, although the most likely, he is annoying the Colts for Deflategate.

Now for the rumors! Brady isn’t leaving. This is just a fact. He’s said he looks to play in 2018 again and no one in the right mind trades a player who just put up more than 500 yards, three touchdowns, and no picks in the Super Bowl. “TB vs Time” has shown Brady is doing just fine. But, he’s retiring soon (meaning in the next four years), so who’s his replacement?

Belichick, Butler, and Gronk make things a bit more interesting.

“I want to thank Mr. Kraft, the Kraft family, and my coaches for giving me an opportunity to play for one of the most successful organization in sports. I also thank my teammates, as we have won a lot of games together, and all I know is leaving.”

This sounds like what every player says when they are leaving a team, so is Butler leaving? He also puts down all the rumours going around about why he was benched, but then why was he benched? Belichick said his decision to sit Butler was a football decision. Then there was a report that Butler smoked marijuana and broke the team’s curfew rules. Whatever the case, Butler’s future in New England is not looking good.

Gronk started all the speculation he could after his comments following the Super Bowl loss.

“I’m definitely going to look at my future for sure. I’m going to sit down in the next couple of weeks and see where I’m at.”

To all fans, this seems absurd. One of the best tight ends may hang it up after the shot to be the undoubtedly best tight end in history. Unlikely. But is it really? The guy gets beat up on the field. Literally. The amount of injuries he’s had and damage that has been done to his body is dangerously bad, so maybe retirement is the right decision. But then you look at his success even with the injuries. It’s up to him, but Gronk has good reason to stop playing.

I’m the most uncertain about Belichick. Reports have gone in the direction of him staying with the Pats in 2018. But, it’s interesting to think about McDaniels in this case. Did they sweeten his deal to get him to stay as offensive coordinator, or are they just keeping him as Belichick’s replacement (hinting at Belichick’s soon retirement).

I don’t think this is going to happen. Belichick is not leaving after a Super Bowl loss. Belichick has the chance to finish working with one of the best in the league’s history, so why not just stay until Brady stays, and then leave. As long as he has Brady, he has a chance to get another championship. Why not?

There is a lot of speculation on the status of New England’s personnel. Expect a lot of news to come out in the next few weeks, and maybe it will come to an end soon. Enjoy the drama!