Mac Jones Dealing With "Pretty Severe" High Ankle Sprain

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 3 - The New England Patriots may be without their starting quarterback for an extended period. As first reported by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, second-year quarterback Mac Janes suffered a "pretty severe" high ankle sprain during Sunday's loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

While Pelissero initially reported that "the hope is Jones won't need surgery," NFL Network's Mike Giardi reported that a team source said they would be surprised if Jones avoids surgery, if only because it could speed up the healing process.

Sports doctor and Boston Sports Journal contributor Dr. Jessica Flynn added that Jones was at the University of Alabama when the school's football program adopted "tightrope surgery" as a means to repair high ankle sprains. The process, a relatively new innovation that stabilizes an ankle via high-strength sutures, was used to expedite high-ankle sprain recoveries for both Tua Tagolvailoa and Jalen Hurts during their time at Alabama. 

Jones, who finished his rookie campaign as the best among the five 2021 first-round selections by DVOA and DYAR, took a slight step back early in 2022 amidst offensive schematic changes. Through his first two weeks, Jones finished 15th in DYAR (57) and 14th in DVOA (2.4%) among current starting quarterbacks. His QBR of 32.0, however, ranked 26th over that span.

 

Comments

56 comments, Last at 30 Sep 2022, 1:42pm

#1 by KnotMe // Sep 26, 2022 - 2:24pm

Honestly, this feels like a big loss...that doesn't matter.  It's not like their offence was functioning well enough to be anyone anyway and the defence is decent but not the all-time greatness that would be needed to carry this offence. Hopefully we get Bailey Zappe just for the entertainment factor.  

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#2 by RickD // Sep 26, 2022 - 3:14pm

It would be better for Jones and for the Patriots if he could play, even if they are not a playoff team. 

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#3 by KnotMe // Sep 26, 2022 - 3:19pm

That's part of it. It's not clear how much better Jones CAN get.  Low ceiling and all that. 

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#4 by RickD // Sep 26, 2022 - 3:32pm

People who say "low ceiling" seem to have forgotten who Brady was in 2001.  It took him years to shed the "game manager" label.  

Sure, Jones has less natural strength than Josh Allen, but it I think it's very premature to assign him a "ceiling".  Especially when his main mistakes this season have been more mental than physical. 

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#5 by BigRichie // Sep 26, 2022 - 3:33pm

Peyton Manning was considered to have a low ceiling (along with a very high floor). Which I offer not to suggest Mac will ever have anything at all much to compare with regard to Peyton, but that 'ceiling' in regard to quarterbacks is the rankest of garbage. Comparable to Tarot cards.

(another example: a certain 6th Round draft choice who fell almost altogether out of the draft not due to any 'character' concerns at all, but rather because it was clear he could never athletically amount to all that much, really)

(heck, Bart Starr, Johnny Unitas; 3rd Rounder Joe Montana; Kurt Warner; Brees was considered to have his crystal clear limitations)

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#6 by KnotMe // Sep 26, 2022 - 4:07pm

If you have to bring out the "crazy list of low drafted HOFs" it pretty much proves it I think. 

The interesting thing will be if NE ends up with a high draft pick. Not sure what they do then.*

 

*Ok, we know what they will do. Belichick will trade down and then overdraft some linemen. 

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#13 by RickD // Sep 27, 2022 - 12:09pm

If you have to bring out the "crazy list of low drafted HOFs" it pretty much proves it I think.

Seems to do the opposite.

"Look at all these people who were wrong!  I can't be wrong, too!"

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#41 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 29, 2022 - 9:42am

In reply to by RickD

If you have to comp him to all time QBs (that are quite different in every way except for the overall fact they all play QB)... ignoring all the misses in between...

Yeah it's probably not a great argument. With all the info we have on Jones, from HS to his 2nd year in the NFL, saying low ceiling (but high floor!) is appropriate. I'd feel very comfortable to never compare anyone to Tom Brady or Peyton Mannings level (as a prospect). I think it's fair to be realistic (and not as open ended, which can be dangerous). Doesn't mean you can't with him though. 

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#25 by mehllageman56 // Sep 27, 2022 - 11:56pm

Comparable to Tarot cards.

I guess that post did ruin my reputation.

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#7 by Pat // Sep 26, 2022 - 4:21pm

That's part of it. It's not clear how much better Jones CAN get.  Low ceiling and all that. 

Jones could absolutely get better. It'd be easy. Get a freaking serious WR. Like, a real one. Not "guy that surprised the hell out of you in the Super Bowl," not "guy you love because he plays special teams and does whatever you ask," a freaking real one.

But this is New England we're talking about. For all of Bill Belichick's greatness, he's always had a blind spot with regard to wide receivers.

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#8 by Mike B. In Va // Sep 27, 2022 - 10:29am

In the current market, that's an expensive miss in FA, as they've pretty much proven they can't draft one.

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#9 by Pat // Sep 27, 2022 - 11:13am

In the current market, that's an expensive miss in FA,

So was throwing market-blowing amounts of money to Henry, Smith, and Agholor! All three of those guys combined were like $82M practical guarantee and they're combining for basically zero value above replacement.

Saying "hmm, we're going to stay out of what we view as the overpriced WR market" and then throwing market-blowing deals at two tight ends doesn't exactly seem to be logically consistent. Even if you think the TE market's underpriced, you take advantage of it, you don't blow it up.

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#10 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 27, 2022 - 11:18am

So was throwing market-blowing amounts of money to Henry, Smith, and Agholor! All three of those guys combined were like $82M practical guarantee and they're combining for basically zero value above replacement.

So you're saying Agholor has worked out better than expected?

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#11 by KnotMe // Sep 27, 2022 - 11:34am

He's been their best receiver by DYAR this year. Of course he's 32 overall so...yeah. 

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#12 by Pat // Sep 27, 2022 - 11:35am

He's the one that actually makes the trio close to replacement. :)

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#15 by RickD // Sep 27, 2022 - 12:23pm

"hmm, we're going to stay out of what we view as the overpriced WR market" and then throwing market-blowing deals at two tight ends doesn't exactly seem to be logically consistent. 

It's consistent if you think one position is overpriced while the other is undervalued.

Belichick clearly thinks that market efficiency is a myth, at least in terms of providing football value as opposed to selling tickets.  He doesn't pay big money for edge rushers or wide receivers or cornerbacks (with rare exceptions).  He does spend money on linemen, off-ball LBs, and safeties. He let Chandler Jones walk and break the Cardinals' budget for several years.  He kept Donta Hightower and won two more Super Bowls.

The current issues that the Patriots have aren't based on failings of the Belichick philosophy so much as an inevitable result of the aging of his core group of stars from the second generation of Super Bowl-winning players.  And this time that group included Brady, which will make a rebuild much harder than the rebuild of 2009=2011.  

Given Belichick's age, it might well be impossible to climb the mountain a third time. But cheap accusations of inconsistency only reveal the critic's inability to really understand Belichick.

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#17 by Pat // Sep 27, 2022 - 12:54pm

It's consistent if you think one position is overpriced while the other is undervalued.

"I'm not going to buy a truck, they're way overpriced. Cars are way better value, which is why I paid over sticker price for mine."

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#19 by KnotMe // Sep 27, 2022 - 12:57pm

Exactly. The point of going after an undervalued position is you can get it at the market rate which is less than you think it is worth. Overpaying ruins the point. 

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#20 by Pat // Sep 27, 2022 - 1:17pm

In New England's defense, Henry's contract isn't the most expensive TE contract (in terms of how much cap it'll cost per year, not how much they'll earn in total). Kittle and Kelce's are like, 2-3% higher.

Sadly, Kittle and Kelce are just a bit more valuable than 2-3% more than Hunter Henry.

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#22 by KnotMe // Sep 27, 2022 - 2:06pm

LOL. Well, this is pretty much what happens when teams overpay for mediocre players. It gets ugly quickly. 

We just arn't used to seeing it from teams we think of as good. 

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#30 by RickD // Sep 28, 2022 - 3:35pm

Henry and Smith are getting $12.5M/year.  Kittle is getting $15M/year.  That's 20% more, not 2-3% more.

There are seven TEs making more than the Pats pair.  Kelce is a bit below Kittle, while Darren Waller leads to NFL at $17M/year.  

Cap hits are malleable things.  They can be moved around to a year where there's room for them.  It's not really the best measure of cost.  Not compared to, well, cost.  Hunter Henry's  cap hit in 2021 was $6.88M, but it's $15M this year.  Because there was room for it this year.

This thread seems to have moved from "Belichick is inconsistent" to "he's paying too much for these two TEs".  I didn't come here to defend those signings, just to point out that they don't indicate any "inconsistency."  I pointed out that Belichick thinks some markets are overinflated while others are not, and prefers the second type.  This quickly led to a bizarre claim that Belichick was "paying more than sticker price."  

Which, obviously, is false.  The analogy to "sticker price" for football players would be asking price.  Obviously Belichick, a notoriously stingy GM, isn't doing that. 

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#40 by Pat // Sep 29, 2022 - 8:40am

Yeah, I actually calculate contract value by actual cap hit, not by Agent Contract Theater like you're doing. Waller isn't making 17M/yr. He *added new years* onto the end of his contract at 17M/yr average.

Those years occur in the future, so by cap hit, they cost *less* today. And the more they occur in the future, the more it drives it down. Waller's actual contract (the literal amount in the contract, not just the new money) is 5 years, 64M. Which is *less* expensive cap-wise than 3 years 37.5M from last year under exponential growth.

Agent Contract Theater matters to players, but cap hits matter to teams. And of course they're malleable: but shorter contracts are *less* malleable.

edit: Similarly, Kelce and Kittle were both extensions: Kelce and Kittle's contracts are both 6 yrs, 75-76M (signed in 2020), so it's comparable to 5 yrs, 68-70M projected forward (again, both less than 3 years 37.5M). Goedert and Andrews were also both extensions as well.

Henry and Smith are the largest contracts ever given to tight ends by a new team (even cap-adjusted). The next-nearest comparison would be Jared Cook back in 2013 and this is 20% higher (again, cap adjusted: obviously in straight dollars it's much more than that).

You also may notice that the "~20% higher than Jared Cook" is very consistent with the 18% overpay relative to what Spotrac's market value valuation was, because Cook and Henry are broadly consistent. 

Obviously Belichick, a notoriously stingy GM, isn't doing that.

I don't agree. Belichick's been stingy with WRs. He's paid top of the market money to plenty of other positions. Adalius Thomas, Gronkowski, Revis, Mankins, Seymour, Mayo.

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#26 by LionInAZ // Sep 28, 2022 - 1:40am

"I'm not going to buy a truck, they're way overpriced." 

For the past 20 years, I've thought they were underpriced. That's one reason why so many people have gravitated toward buying pickups as bloody commuter vehicles, of all things.

Expensive does not equate to overpriced.

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#27 by Pat // Sep 28, 2022 - 10:18am

This is actually a good analogy: trucks are way overpriced as commuter vehicles relative to, say, a compact sedan. Not just because of the sticker price, but also because the gas mileage is so much worse (can't beat cross-sectional area and weight). But in the same vein, they're underpriced as delivery/towing vehicles because if you tried to use a car to do the same thing, it'd likely kill it. It's about what your needs are, and the cheapest way to fill them.

In my opinion, in the same way, when Belichick had Brady, high-end wide receivers were way overpriced because there was little marginal benefit for the price. Would a high-end WR have helped Brady? Obviously. But not that much.

But Jones absolutely could use a high-end WR. Maybe eventually he doesn't need one, but he needs one now. Going bargain-shopping for TEs and WRs just isn't viable.

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#28 by KnotMe // Sep 28, 2022 - 1:11pm

Honestly, they need talent all over the place. Lots of guys who are ok, but no stars. The downside of being ok everywhere is it's hard to improve also. 

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#31 by RickD // Sep 28, 2022 - 3:42pm

Belichick was willing to pay Randy Moss and he was willing to pay Danny Amendola and he was willing to pay Brandin Cooks.  What he doesn't like doing is giving long-term contracts with a lot of guaranteed money.  That was why Moss left when he did; ditto for Cooks. 

Looking at the pricey WRs: Tyreek Hill is set to make $30M this season.  The highest paid Pats' WR?  Agholor at $11M.  The Patriots' entire WR corps costs less than Hill.  Hill is obviously much better, but he's also just one guy, and he can get injured.  

So, yeah.  Belichick preferred to get two TEs rather than one WR.  

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#34 by Pat // Sep 28, 2022 - 3:55pm

What he doesn't like doing is giving long-term contracts with a lot of guaranteed money.

In other words, he doesn't like paying market value for high-end WRs.

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#36 by KnotMe // Sep 28, 2022 - 4:27pm

Honestly, you almost never get a chance to pay a high end WR till they are past 30(and...that's scary) unless you draft them(which is impossible for Belichick).

While Hill and Davante are awesome now, it will be interesting to see how those work out long term since both destinations gave up alot in trade and put out for the extension. I think it works due to the ages involved but it's interesting. 

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#38 by Pat // Sep 28, 2022 - 4:40pm

 

While Hill and Davante are awesome now, it will be interesting to see how those work out long term

Hill, Davante, AJ Brown, Diggs, and Cooper are all high-end WRs who were signed to significant contracts not by their drafting teams that I can think of off the top of my head.

I mean, the Patriots traded for Brandin Cooks, too, and could've kept him an additional year for pretty darn cheap, and the contract the Rams signed him to was pretty close to market value.

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#29 by RickD // Sep 28, 2022 - 3:22pm

And football players don't come with a sticker price.  Henry and Smith got market value for their position. 

People are so desperate to find ways to criticize Belichick...

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#32 by Pat // Sep 28, 2022 - 3:53pm

Henry and Smith got market value for their position. 

Yeah, if you want to stick with that, we'll have to agree to disagree. There's no market model out there for them that even came remotely close to what they got from New England.

Spotrac had Henry at 4 years/43.8M (10M flat) as opposed to the 3 years/37.5M (11.8M flat) so obviously an 18% hike. Smith's was even worse, at 5 years/40.3M (7M flat) as opposed to the 4 years/50M (11.4M flat), a nearly 63% hike.

If the Titans or Chargers had considered Smith or Henry anywhere near that valuable they could've kept them for far less via the franchise tag.

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#14 by RickD // Sep 27, 2022 - 12:16pm

 he's always had a blind spot with regard to wide receivers.

This is such a misrepresentation of history, it's hard to know where to go.

You think he didn't notice the lack of WRs in 2006?  That he just accidentally picked up Donte' Stallworth and Wes Welker and then Randy Moss?  And then Edelman and Amendola?

He has brought in tons of established WRs over the years.  Many of them were past their prime and didn't work out, but pretty much every single year he brings in WRs.

This year it was Parker.  Last year it was Agholor and Bourne.  The year before it was Byrd.  He brought in Brandin Cooks for a season in 2017.

Now, he's not willing to spend a lot  of money on a long-term contract like what Tyreek Hill got.  

But I don't see how the Patriots could have consistently had the best passing attack in the NFL for the better part of a decade if Belichick had a "blind spot."

People are really eager to kick him when he's down.  But, please.  Make your criticisms fact-based.

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#16 by Pat // Sep 27, 2022 - 12:52pm

This is such a misrepresentation of history

Um. Literally what I'm saying is this:

Now, he's not willing to spend a lot  of money on a long-term contract like what Tyreek Hill got.  

Sooo.... you're disagreeing with me... and agreeing with me. Belichick signs reclamation projects and undervalued guys to receiver. He doesn't target actual high-value WRs.

But I don't see how the Patriots could have consistently had the best passing attack in the NFL for the better part of a decade

You're right. This completely refutes what I'm saying. I cannot imagine any reason why the Patriots could have had such a great passing attack given their lack of receivers. It's inconceivable why they dropped from nearly 4000 yards/season to 3000 yards/season in 2020.

People are really eager to kick him when he's down.

Kick him when he's down?? People have been talking about this for years!

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#33 by RickD // Sep 28, 2022 - 3:54pm

 he's always had a blind spot with regard to wide receivers.

This is such a misrepresentation of history, it's hard to know where to go.

 

If you trim out exactly what I was responding to, you can go on the pretend that I was disagreeing with a different point, and then act like I said something completely different from what I said.

The notion that Belichick has a "blind spot" when it comes to wide receivers is risible.  He knows WRs are important. He was pleased as punch to get Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Brandin Cooks, etc.  Troy Brown, David Givens, David Patten, and Deion Branch all worked out well.

What he's guilty of is not finding good WRs recently.  He's certainly tried, though.  At one point in 2019 he had Julian Edcelman,Josh Gordon, Antonio Brown, and Philip Dorsett.  All four washed out for various reasons.  But trying and failing is different  than a "blind spot," which implies he doesn't think the position is important.

Obviously N'Keal Harry was a bust. Agholor and Bourne are mid-tier WRs getting paid roughly what they deserve.

It's just that I've seen people extrapolate like crazy when it comes to a small number of events.  Before Gronk, the take on Belichick was that he couldn't find a tight end.  Ben Watson, Christian Fauria, and Daniel Graham were all less impressive than one hoped.  And then he got Gronk (and the crazy guy in the same draft.)

Basically, if a position group is weak, it cannot be simple random noise that is hard to avoid when a franchise usually drafts without any high picks. It has to be some kind of fatal flaw.

 

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#37 by Pat // Sep 28, 2022 - 4:30pm

 

is different  than a "blind spot," which implies he doesn't think the position is important.

No, that's not what it means. I'm the one who said it, so I'm pretty sure I know what was meant when it was said.

What I meant was that Belichick doesn't believe WRs are worth their current market value. I mean, he hasn't believed they're worth their market value for years. Again, he's never paid a WR a contract more in terms of cap-adjusted APY than Wes Welker's franchise year, which was 7.9% cap.

The only other teams that have never paid a WR more than that are the Jets and Ravens.

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#18 by KnotMe // Sep 27, 2022 - 12:54pm

He's not the Bears, he knows they need WRs. He's just horrible at drafting and developing them. The only two he has drafted who were worth anything in 20 years are: Julian Edelman and Dion Branch*. Everyone else was a bust. The Steelers have done better in a single year I bet.

He's usually had modest success bringing in FA, but losing the appeal of Brady(brady pretty much made Welkers career) +not wanting to pay the crazy market rates has gotten to where they are now so he has to overpay for mid range guys. Agholor was a stupid overpay for a career year. Hopefully a learning experience. 

Parker is decent when healthy...but never is(Cowboy mistake there). 

Some weak drafts + bad FA decisions have pretty much tanked the team talent level at this point. I don't see how that team gets back to being good for quite a while. 

 

Basically, Belichick has decent argument for GOAT coach, but he's only a bit above average as a GM. 

*Matt Slater had a decent career as a special teamer 

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#23 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 27, 2022 - 4:56pm

He's usually had modest success bringing in FA, but losing the appeal of Brady(brady pretty much made Welkers career)

Welker was decent on a wretched, terrible Miami team and was probably the best receiver on the Manning Broncos.

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#24 by Pat // Sep 27, 2022 - 9:01pm

I think Welker's actually pretty much said that (Brady saving/making his career) so pretty sure that's where that comment came from.

But I think that's mostly hyperbole, in the sense that it's basically exactly what we're talking about: Belichick saw a receiver that was very talented but horribly misused, and offered what in hindsight was peanuts for him. Then kept him until he became too expensive (for New England!) and he promptly continues the success elsewhere.

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#35 by RickD // Sep 28, 2022 - 3:57pm

Belichick didn't like Welker by the time he was escorted out of town.  Didn't like Welker bitching about returning punts and other things.  He made a token effort to retain him, but the real intent that off-season was to replace him with Amendola. What actually ended up happening is he replaced him with Edelman.

Welker was great for one season in Denver, got another concussion, and was pretty much done at that point.  A classic get-rid-of-them-a-year-early-rather-than-a-year-late for Belichick. 

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#39 by BJR // Sep 29, 2022 - 5:06am

The most productive receiver on the current roster is Jakobi Meyers, an undrafted free agent. Now that indeed says a lot about the current state of the WR room, but it rather puts a dent in your argument that the team is terrible when it comes to identifying/developing WR talent. Meyers isn't a superstar, but any team would kill for that type of productivity from an UDFA. 

Regardless, we are still dealing with a tiny sample size when it comes to 'WRs drafted by Bill Belichick'. Nowhere near enough to reach firm conclusions. 

Regarding Belichick's drafting overall, he perhaps has been below average over recent years. But hold on - might that be more to do with the fact the Patriots have spent the last 20 years drafting in the high 20s/30s???

The purpose of the draft is literally to try and ensure talent is distributed evenly around the league. And in the Patriots case, it seems to have worked. It was possible to overcome that whilst Brady was around, but eventually took its toll when he left.

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#43 by Pat // Sep 29, 2022 - 10:16am

but it rather puts a dent in your argument that the team is terrible when it comes to identifying/developing WR talent. Meyers isn't a superstar, but any team would kill for that type of productivity from an UDFA. 

It actually supports the overall argument perfectly!

The Patriots are great at identifying value at WRs. Absolutely no doubt there. It'd be hard to argue against it, especially since Moss and Welker are probably two of the biggest "value" WR signings in NFL history. And Edelman was a great late-round pickup, and if anyone was surprised when the Patriots picked up Antonio Brown after the Raiders kerfluffle, it certainly wasn't me.

Where they have a blind spot is identifying high-end WRs who are worth it. To continue the car analogy, it's like they're great at going through junkyards and finding shells of cars cheap, but terrible at buying actual high-value cars that don't need a lot of work.

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#44 by KnotMe // Sep 29, 2022 - 12:15pm

More accurately. They are terrible at drafting and developing WRs. Edelman(and Dion Branch, waaaay back) are the only two that have worked out in 20 years!  He usually did OK in trade and FA which is why the recent misses stand out. 

Honestly, I think Brady taught Belichick that WR's don't matter that much. (which is true if-and-only-iff you have an all-time great QB).  I think part of it is, without Brady they arn't that appealing a destination so they have to overpay. 
 

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#45 by Pat // Sep 29, 2022 - 12:45pm

if-and-only-iff

My math-brain broke because it autoexpanded iff to "if and only if". 

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#49 by KnotMe // Sep 29, 2022 - 3:07pm

I actually wrote "iff" originally(darn math-brain), but realized people would just think it's a type

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#54 by BJR // Sep 30, 2022 - 6:04am

The point I was responding to said specifically that the Patriots were "horrible at drafting and developing (receivers)". Nothing about high end/low end/whatever. 

Ok so Meyers wasn't technically drafted, but he was certainly recruited/developed, and is therefore (IMO) a strike against the notion that the organisation is "horrible at drafting and developing (receivers)".

 

 

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#55 by theslothook // Sep 30, 2022 - 12:26pm

Everyone is great or terrible at drafting until they aren't. And all of this is determined entirely from the benefit of hindsight, when narratives are formed to explain the results you see this time. I don't begrudge that; its a deeply human instinct. And not entirely wrong. You see five people all dying from eating the poisonons plant, its safe to assume its best not to eat the plant.

However, for finite and seldom repeatable events in an uncertain, constantly changing world - such ex post facto narratives are misleading at best and dangerous at their worst. 

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#56 by Pat // Sep 30, 2022 - 1:42pm

The point I was responding to said specifically that the Patriots were "horrible at drafting and developing (receivers)". Nothing about high end/low end/whatever. 

Yeah, that's why I said it supports the overall argument.

Although in general their track record at late-round/UDFA receivers isn't like, dramatically better than the rest of the league or anything.

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#21 by johonny12 // Sep 27, 2022 - 1:25pm

They can run the ball and aren't out of the play offs by any stretch in a parody AFC. I don't see how missing time increases development in young players. Tua did not get better by injuring his ribs last year. 

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#42 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 29, 2022 - 9:52am

This is the nail the coffin for their playoff hopes. Bold take I know.

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#46 by theslothook // Sep 29, 2022 - 1:09pm

The more I read these posts, the more I shake my head. People have to come up with a rationalization ex post for things they observe and then it becomes a kind of confirmation bias, as if they knew it all along.

People have been proclaiming the dynasty dead and Belichick losing his marbles since as far back as I can remember. It started in 05 when Brady threw a terrible interception against Denver that sent the team home. It continued in 06 when people laughed at Belichick for shipping off Deion Branch and that costing them a sb in 06. And then in 07 it was an aging defense. 08 it was letting Samuel walk. 09 it was the infamous 4th and 2 decision where he clearly didn't know what he was doing anymore. And on and on.

I get that Tom Brady is gone now and thus scaling the mountain just got infinitely harder. Are they likely to win a SB in his remaining tenure with the team? Probably not but that's not proof of anything. Winning the SB is freaken hard - as evidenced by the fact that I can name a string of all time hall of fame QBs stuck at 1 ring or no rings. Given just how much coaching turnover there is every year, I think if Belichick is able to keep the team competitive - that alone is more than most anyone else can manage. 

A reminder, talent ebbs and its hard to restock, especially after you've been drafting late over and over. I get that this runs counter to the prevaliling zeitgeist, that people have a very hydraulic view of NFL team building - good teams draft well perpetually and bad teams don't. Except even this narrative has never stuck and I don't need to recite the long long list of GMs who went on a heater run before their luck ran out. Its a tale as old as time. 

Has Belichick made mistakes? Of course. But consider, he's probably made similar mistakes in the past and it didn't become the proverbial nail in the coffin because the talent, including at QB, was overwhelming. Just like Polian's draft day blunder for Tony Ugoh got rendered a minor footnote when the Colts went to the SB in 09 and probably never even mentioned if they happened to win.

That's the other lesson here. Ex post narrations and specious claims of certainty about this person now being bad or knowing all along so and so was good is just a pretense of knowledge. If anything, the longer you watch football, the more you appreciate just how uncertain everything is.  

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#47 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 29, 2022 - 1:45pm

Winning the SB is freaken hard - as evidenced by the fact that I can name a string of all time hall of fame QBs stuck at 1 ring or no rings.

Belichick's difficulty is his owner has gotten used to rings. Tomlining the franchise to >.500 won't help him. Kraft considered 2021 a failed season, remember?

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#51 by KnotMe // Sep 29, 2022 - 3:22pm

It does feel like there is a big "owner does something stupid" potential here. 

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#48 by Pat // Sep 29, 2022 - 2:06pm

People have to come up with a rationalization ex post for things they observe and then it becomes a kind of confirmation bias, as if they knew it all along.

That's not what any of the WR commentary is from me. Belichick not wanting to pay market value for high-end WRs has been talked about since '06, and literally everything since then has just continued to back that up. I tend to agree with the "can't draft high-end WRs either" part as well, although the statistics are obviously way lower, so it's more of a "eh, maybe."

There's a difference between saying "HC X doesn't do this one thing well" and saying "HC X is toast." I certainly don't think Belichick's toast or a dummy or anything like that. He's way too freaking good of a defensive mind for that, and offensively he's creative enough to get the most out of the guys he has.

I just don't think he values high-end WRs enough now that Brady's not there. He was 100% right to do what he did while Brady was there. But with Adams, Hill, Brown, and Cooper all moving this offseason, he should've gone after one.

On a similar note, for instance, Roseman is a fantastic GM overall but undervalues linebackers significantly (also is too reactionary, but that's a separate commentary). He inherited that from Andy Reid, who also continues to undervalue linebackers (while simultaneously demolishing them on offense).

because the talent, including at QB, was overwhelming.

seriously disagree. The Patriots rarely had overwhelming talent anywhere except quarterback. They had good talent, sure, but they were more solidly constructed and extremely disciplined. The list of high-end talent that Belichick's had in 20 years is definitely not significantly more than other teams have had.

Points: 0

#52 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 29, 2022 - 4:55pm

On a similar note, for instance, Roseman is a fantastic GM overall but undervalues linebackers significantly (also is too reactionary, but that's a separate commentary). He inherited that from Andy Reid, who also continues to undervalue linebackers (while simultaneously demolishing them on offense).

Pairing Reid with Belichick would be terrifying, although they might do something weird like play a slot receiver at LB.

It's kind of interesting how much the Reid and Belichick roster designs resemble each other, with a few differences. The early Reid teams were very Belichickian, although he got more WR-centric as years passed. But those early FredEx teams? Very Pats-like.

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#53 by Pat // Sep 29, 2022 - 5:11pm

The early Reid teams were very Belichickian, although he got more WR-centric as years passed.

Going after Owens was a very Belichick-type move, for instance.

Points: 0

#50 by KnotMe // Sep 29, 2022 - 3:19pm

I think the stupidest thing they could do here is try to rush Jones back. 

He's the guy you picked and this season is lost (it pretty much was anyway), taking chances is silly. You need time to build for the future. They clearly need to upgrade the support structure anyway. 

Points: 0

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