Matt Chatham isn’t sold the Patriots spent money in free agency due to Tom Brady winning another title.
For two decades, the New England Patriots will be remembered by a pair of names; Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. One could not be found without the other and all assumed the two meshed well for their success.
Six Super Bowl rings later, they’d have a point.
As Brady left in 2020 to head to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the question rose on who was the mastermind of the Patriots’ dynasty? After a 31-9 victory against the Kansas City Chiefs, Brady claimed Round 1.
Belichick, who watched his team finish 7-9, could have thought this would be the reason to begin spending money in free agency.
According to former Patriots linebacker Matt Chatham, that’s far from the motive.
“The only way for that to be true, is that he would have to have some sort of lower level of competitiveness prior to the act. As if he would not have done that if not for Tom having success.” Chatham told FanSided’s Matt Lombardo on The Matt Lombardo Show. “That’s not Bill.”
Patriots will win Bill Belichick’s way
Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft and Belichick finally open up their wallets this offseason to expand the offense. After electing to stick with Cam Newton for another season, New England added a pair of wide receivers in Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor.
After much success with a 12-man personnel early in Rob Gronkowski days, they added a pair of tight ends in Tennessee’s Jonnu Smith and Los Angeles Hunter Henry.
New England also re-signed David Andrews and traded for former Pro Bowler Trent Brown to bolster the offensive line.
“This isn’t about seeing Brady win. It’s about being in a particular conference, in a division that’s improving rapidly with teams like the the Bills and the Dolphins,” Chatham said on the Patriots’ high-end offseason spending. “Those of the conditions they had to react to, not really the conditions of what’s going on with Bruce [Arians] and Tampa.”
New England watched eight key contributors opt-out for the 2020 season due to COVID-19. Six are expected to return next season while Marcus Cannon will head to Houston via trade and Patrick Chung elected to retire.
For the first time since 2008, the Patriots saw a rival win the AFC East. It also was the first time since they missed the postseason. While there will need to be improvements to Newton’s passing and overall defensive play, Belichick remained in the hunt for a Wild Card spot until Week 15 with a roster limited in all areas except the offensive line.
Chatham is certain the Patriots’ success can return in 2021. A 2020 COVID season, plus multiple opt-outs certainly forced New England to take a step back last season. However, for anyone wondering if the free agent frenzy was due to Brady’s eighth Super Bowl title, one might want to think again.
“He’s a problem solver,” Chatham said. “That doesn’t mean that problems don’t happen to him, that just means when they do, he’s going to be exceptionally aggressive at resolving them and pinpointing what it is.”