A New England Patriots conspiracy theory is circling throughout the NFL world, in light of a number of the team’s veterans opting out for the 2020 season. FS1’s Colin Cowherd’s all in on these allegations that Bill Belichick and the franchise are “restructuring” for the future.
On Tuesday, after six Patriots opted out for the upcoming year, ESPN’s Adam Schefter received a really telling text message from an unnamed NFL team executive. “You know Bill is masterminding all of this somehow,” the exec said. When asked what the rationale is, he responded “I don’t know! That’s why he is who he is!”
Of course, the most simple explanation isn’t that mysterious. The 2021 NFL Draft brings what could be a historically strong quarterback class. Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence is widely regarded as the most surefire prospect since Andrew Luck, and he may not even be a total lock to go No. 1. Ohio State’s Justin Fields and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance are both in the conversation.
The New England Patriots have accrued some serious draft capital for next year. Colin Cowherd says its ridiculous to think that everything that has happened this offseason after Tom Brady’s departure, with the exception of Cam Newton falling into their laps, is not part of some larger plan. He thinks some people are afraid of the “tanking” word, and while it is understandable to shy away from the notion of Belichick coaching without wins at the top of mind, some extra losses now could pay off in a big way down the road.
The Patriots aren't tanking. They're restructuring.
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) July 29, 2020
During today’s episode of The Herd, Colin Cowherd laid out four things that happened that point to Belichick engineering a lean 2020 season for the Patriots. To his credit, it is pretty compelling.
“There’s a plan behind everything that Bill Belichick does… You believe in the last four months, these are all random occurrences?:
- They weren’t remotely aggressive in free agency.
- They let some really good players go. Valuable, like Kyle Van Noy, (who) they like, that were marginally expensive.
- They didn’t have any real plan to replace Tom Brady. Cam Newton wasn’t a real plan…if it was a plan they wouldn’t have let the rest of the market have a shot at signing Cam Newton.
- Now all of their players are opting out.
“You think these are all random? This is the least random coach in the history of the league.”
He compared Belichick’s alleged plan to his own experience on the stock market, discussing how he recently sold off Starbucks stock at a loss to offset some capital gains taxes from others that he cashed out on.
“The Patriots aren’t building. They see there are three A-plus college prospects, and about three teams in the league that need them, and they have enough draft picks where they can move up even more… I don’t think this is tanking, this is restructuring. It’s selling a stock at a loss to help you with some capital gains wins.”
The Cam Newton part still introduces some confusion here. If Bill Belichick really wanted to field the worst possible team, it stands to reason that adding the 2015 MVP at the sport’s most important position wasn’t the best move. Of course, it could be a hedge in case Newton returns to his prime play, and the New England Patriots can’t make a move to nab one of those quarterbacks at the top of the 2020 NFL Draft.
The 2020 NFL season promises to be one of the most strange in recent memory. The potential for the Patriots to not only fail to win the AFC East, but be pretty bad, is a huge part of it.