It is no secret that NFL teams are becoming more and more desperate as the league continues to expand. One team, in particular, Buccaneers just made a shocking move by signing former Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Tom Brady has long been rumored to be on his way out of New England after the recent release of Jimmy Garoppolo for one final Super Bowl run with Belichick at the helm. Now it appears he will stay home and bring another star quarterback with him, likely Kirk Cousins or Drew Brees who were also available this offseason (and Alshon Jeffery if they can sneak him past Philadelphia).
The “brady belichick” is a power move executed by Bill Belichick that opens the door for Tom Brady to bring another star to Tampa.
Bill Belichick isn’t afraid to make a risky move if he thinks it would benefit his football club. After all, he’s made a lot of unexpected decisions in the past, including moving franchise legends like Richard Seymour and Logan Mankins, signing polarizing wideout Antonio Brown, and letting Tom Brady go.
Did Bill Belichick’s management style help the New England Patriots?
Not all of the time.
Some of his decisions failed (such as bringing AB to Foxborough), while others just made the roster worse from a skill standpoint.
With his club at 1-3, Belichick has made yet another surprising personnel move that will surely weaken the Patriots. Fortunately for Brady, his old employer gave him permission to invite another former teammate to Tampa.
Bill Belichick shocks the NFL world by releasing Stephon Gilmore.
On the first day of free agency in 2017, Belichick stirred eyebrows by signing Stephon Gilmore to a five-year, $65 million deal.
He made headlines on Wednesday when he severed connections with the All-Pro cornerback.
The Patriots dismissed Gilmore just three days after a tight defeat to the Buccaneers, in what has to be one of the most surprising decisions in club history. Of course, the talented defensive back hasn’t played this season (he’s been on the physically unable to perform list recuperating from quad surgery), and he’s looking for a new deal that pays him a lot more money.
Gilmore, on the other hand, clearly did not get what he desired from New England.
“The Patriots and Stephon Gilmore were unable to reach an agreement on a restructured deal, and the two sides have parted ways,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted.
The Patriots will be without their finest cornerback in a few weeks as a result of Gilmore’s release. At the same time, Belichick’s newest risky decision provides the Patriots with much-needed financial flexibility.
“The Patriots were about $54,000 under the salary limit when they needed to clear cap space, and now they’ll have an extra $5.8 million.” New England did not owe Stephon Gilmore any more money since he was in the last year of his deal, according to Schefter.
With Belichick putting the Gilmore era to a close, Brady now has the opportunity to persuade another great to join him in Tampa.
Thanks to Belichick, the Buccaneers have an opportunity to address their greatest personnel problem.
“I’d be surprised if Stephon Gilmore isn’t a Tampa Bay Buccaneer in the not-too-distant future. Tom Brady, like LeBron and KD, has pushed people over the edge when it comes to making a choice when it comes to winning a championship.”
@ESPNBooger pic.twitter.com/qsVbe4mRwS @ESPNBooger pic.twitter.com/qsVbe4mRwS
6 October 2021 — Get Up (@GetUpESPN)
If the Buccaneers want to win back-to-back championships, they need to improve their secondary. Injuries have hampered a squad that didn’t have much depth to begin the season. As a consequence, Brady enlisted the help of Richard Sherman, who is 33 years old, to join the defending champions.
Could TB12 be on the verge of calling another big-name corner?
That seems to be the case.
Longtime NFL writer Josina Anderson tweeted, “I’m informed just now that the Tampa Bay #Bucs are at least one club that’ll certainly explore’ CB Stephon Gilmore’s availability, per league source.”
Given that Brady was Gilmore’s teammate for three years, the Buccaneers may be able to acquire a significant asset thanks to their friendship. Of course, it remains to be seen whether any club is prepared to pay a 31-year-old cornerback something in the neighborhood of $15 million per year if he can show he’s healthy.
However, the prospect of winning another ring while avoiding state income taxes may persuade Gilmore to join forces with the GOAT. At the very least, Belichick has made it possible for the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year to reunite with Brady.
What will the Patriots do at corner now that Gilmore is on his way out?
Will Bill Belichick look back on his decision to part ways with Stephon Gilmore? | Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
What does the future hold for New England’s cornerback position? Clearly, Belichick did not want to waste any more salary contract money on an older player who may not be as productive after a partly torn quad. It wouldn’t be surprising if Gilmore’s release led to the Patriots signing J.C. Jackson to a long-term contract.
Despite coming into the game as an undrafted free agent, the 25-year-old has rapidly established himself as one of the greatest turnover-producing corners in the league. In 49 games (26 starts), Jackson has 19 interceptions and 34 passes defensed, demonstrating his ability to handle No. 1 receivers. Because the 6-foot-1, 198-pound defensive back is set to become a free agency at the end of the season, it would make sense for Belichick to look into signing him to a multi-year contract.
What about the rest of the cornerbacks?
Jalen Mills signed a four-year, $24 million contract with the club this spring. So far, the former Philadelphia Eagle has performed well, but can he consistently cover wideouts over the length of a 17-game season?
Jonathan Jones, a former undrafted free agent, is a strong slot corner with top-notch speed and unexpected toughness for the Patriots. However, the 5-foot-10, 190-pounder lacks the bulk to match up against larger, taller receivers, exposing him in certain matchups.
Meanwhile, rookie Shaun Wade and 2019 second-round selection Joejuan Williams both have interesting physical talents, but neither seems capable of garnering substantial playing time anytime soon.
Bill Belichick ultimately made a cost-cutting decision that plainly puts the Patriots in jeopardy at a crucial position. It’ll be fascinating to watch how the secondary plays down the stretch now that Stephon Gilmore’s mid-season comeback is no longer a possibility.
Given the offense’s performance after four games, New England’s defense is under extreme pressure to execute flawlessly.
Of course, having an All-Pro corner in the lineup would make it much simpler to shut down opposition quarterbacks.
Pro Football Reference provided all statistics. Spotrac provided all contract information.
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