Everyone is freaking out about the Patriots defense this free agency, and rightfully so. The Pats will be losing some big names on the defensive side this Free Agency. New England’s defense was ranked 8th overall last year with some stellar performances in the secondary and zone coverage.
Dont’a Hightower has already elected to try free agency, along with Chris Long and many others have not already declared but likely will in the near future with the Thursday deadline looming. Some of these names include Logan Ryan, Alan Branch, Duron Harmon and Jabaal Sheard. Not to mention Butler, although restricted, was just tendered with a first round pick, which is a steal for many teams in need of a #1 cornerback.
Trying to maintain these guys will cost a lot of money and inevitably a key player. So what are the chances of the Patriots repeating without the star defense they had last year that had some defining moments in the legendary Super Bowl comeback? Well the Patriots historically led the worst defense in the league to Indianapolis, which later came to bite them as yet another miracle Manning throw robbed them of a rightfully deserved ring and WE SHALL HAVE REVENGE! THEIR HEADS WILL BE CUT OFF AND HUNG ON PIKES AS A WARNING TO ALL WHO DARE CHALLENGE-- sorry, off topic.
But could the Patriots do that again and win? Unlikely. Don’t get me wrong, Brady will have his 6th ring by the time he is done and the Patriots could easily coast on to our 7th straight AFC title game. I just don’t see them repeating their 2011 miracle or their Super Bowl win without some Belichick offseason magic. This will be especially difficult since the only players either attracted to New England or vice versa are older offensive players chasing a ring. Luckily the Patriots still have old reliables like Ninkovich and McCourty hanging around.