Okay, let’s all take a deep breath, shall we, Patriots fans?
With the free agent signings of now-former New Englanders Dion Lewis, Danny Amendola, Malcolm Butler, and Nate Solder, the forecast of the 2018 season has gotten more grim than a double Nor’easter. It’s appropriate that this column posts on the Ides of March, because so many fans are looking up from their wounds and saying, “Et, tu, Bill?”
No, Bill Belichick is not flawless. And yes, it stinks. Dion Lewis is an amazing player, as creative and dynamic with a ball in his hands as any Patriots running back before him. Whether he was juking linebacker Koa Misi into an engine stall or executing his iconic dart, duck, and dive at Dallas, he brought energy and productivity to the position that will prove difficult to replace.
Danny Amendola proved himself as reliable and clutch a receiver as any who’ve come before him, right up there in playoff consistency with the metronomic David Givens. Nate Solder guarded the Best QB Ever with all the tenacity and diligence one could ask for. Malcolm Butler equals Malcolm Go. That’s all there is to say.
You can relax, here. I’m not going to say how everything will work out just fine. I’m not here to point out any negatives of any of the above players. But let’s pause for a minute and consider the positives.
There’s a lot more to free agency, which is where the Patriots got Amendola and Lewis. There’s the draft at the end of April, which is where they got Solder. And right after the draft, there’s the rookie free agency signing period, which is where they found Butler. By the end of today, there may be some new players moving to the Foxboro area.
Plus, New England has veteran players like Dont’a Hightower and Julian Edelman coming back from injury, along with some promising second-year guys like Derek Rivers and Harvey Langi. This could become an entertaining, even intriguing, year.
You can get as upset as you want, but wasting too much energy on how the New England roster looks in March is like worrying that the Celtics are going to lose when they’re down six in the first quarter. Yes, they might come up short, but we should all wait to see how it turns out.
Chris Warner looks forward to watching morning preseason practice next to Gillette before lunch at Patriots Place, well after all this roster hubbub has subsided. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter @cwarn89.