Five Big Mistakes The New England Patriots Have Made So Far In 2013
Five Big Mistakes For The New England Patriots In 2013
The 2013 offseason has been a complete whirlwind for the New England Patriots so far. From the Aaron Hernandez situation, letting Wes Welker go to the Denver Broncos, the Alfonzo Dennard recent DUI, to the multiple Rob Gronkowski surgeries, the team has had no shortage of headlines so far.
Although many of the headlines that circulated this offseason for the Patriots were off the field issues, there were several on-field mistakes the team made that could come back to haunt them during the regular season.
Even though the team is usually very solid when it comes to personnel decisions, it seemed at times this year that they let their personal feelings interfere with their business decisions.
As we all know, this is not a smart way to build a football team. With that in mind, I have compiled a list of top 5 mistakes that the Patriots have made so far in 2013. Some of these highlighted mistakes serve as a further illustration of the lack of professionalism that was displayed by the team this year.
Please note that this is simply my opinion and some of these moves have not yet been played out. I am simply looking at the moves on paper and drawing up my own conclusions.
If you read this and wonder why Hernandez is not on the list, the Patriots signed him to an extension last year so technically, they made no mistakes with him in 2013. Here are the top 5 mistakes the Patriots have made so far in the 2013 season.
5. Releasing Kyle Love
The first mistake the Patriots made was releasing DT Kyle Love. Although Love is not a sexy name by any means, he was a dependable, tough player. Love also was very versatile lining up with Vince Wilfork. He was an excellent run stuffer who also could get to the quarterback quite well.
During his time with the team, he took some of the pressure off of Wilfork on the other side. He was arguably the most underrated Patriot on the team during his time there. Even though he isn’t a big name, make no mistake, the team will miss his presence on the defensive line in 2013 and beyond.
4. Letting Mike Wallace Sign Within The AFC East
The second big mistake that the team has made so far in 2013 is letting Mike Wallace sign with the Miami Dolphins. The mistake was not that they didn’t sign him in free agency given how expensive Wallace was, but they made a mistake allowing him to be signed by the Dolphins who are in the same division as the Patriots, the AFC East.
Wallace has always given the Patriots trouble in head-to-head matchups, and now he will play against them twice a year. The Patriots should have driven the price even higher on Wallace so the Dolphins would not be able to afford him. Instead, Wallace will be a threat playing against them for years to come.
3. Passing On Greg Jennings In Free Agency
The next mistake that the team made in 2013 was passing on veteran wide receiver Greg Jennings. With all of the uncertainty regarding the pass catchers in New England this year, Jennings would have brought proven ability and durability that the team, at this point in time, does not seem to possess. Jennings, although he is not as fast as he once was, is still a solid playmaker with great hands.
The Patriots justified not signing Jennings by signing Amendola who has a lengthy injury history and is currently questionable for the third preseason game on Thursday with an unknown injury. Without Jennings, the team is playing with mostly unknowns on the field in 2013, and it will hurt them in the end.
2. The Tim Tebow Signing
Another big mistake that the Patriots have made so far in 2013 is bringing in Tim Tebow. When the Patriots first brought in Tebow, the media was buzzing and it became a distraction for the team. If not for the Hernandez situation, the signing would have been even more of a distraction.
The controversy aside, Tebow has looked beyond awful on the field so far in the preseason. He seems to be getting worse each game instead of better. As of right now, this move looks like a mistake, especially since he is only serving a role as a third string quarterback right now.
1. Letting Wes Welker Go To The Denver Broncos
The single biggest mistake that the Patriots have made so far in 2013 was letting Welker go in free agency to the Broncos. This offseason the team moved on from Welker because of what seemed like personal issues among the two sides. To replace him, the team signed Amendola who is hurt the majority of the time. He has missed 20 games the last two seasons.
Compare that to Welker who only missed three games in six seasons with the team. What does this mean? Well, it’s obvious to me; you let go of a player who is never hurt and leads the league in catches every year for a guy that is always hurt and has underperformed even when healthy for roughly the same money. This move is the biggest mistake the team has made in 2013 so far and it will come back to bite them down the stretch.