FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots coach Invoice Belichick stated that his struggling 2020 group does not have the identical stage of depth as some previous golf equipment, partly due to the wage cap, which has led to youthful gamers being thrust into motion.
The two-4 Patriots, within the midst of their first three-game dropping streak since 2002, go to the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills (5-2) on Sunday.
“We’re taking part in extra younger gamers than we have performed previously [for a] mixture of causes. We have been fairly closely invested in our group previously few years. From a salary-cap standpoint, we did not have a lot flexibility in any respect. I believe that was apparent on the Cam Newton contract [one year, $1.05 million base salary],” Belichick instructed Sirius XM NFL Radio.
“Then we had some opt-outs, so we misplaced some gamers there that might usually have been giving us vital quantity of taking part in time. After which like yearly, a pair guys are banged up and we have missed some guys right here and there in sure video games. I believe once you mix all of it collectively, there’s alternative there; a few of that chance has gone to youthful gamers.
“That is sort of the yr that we have taken to, I might say, modify our cap from the spending that we have had in accumulation of prior years. We simply have not been capable of have the sort of depth on our roster that we have had in another years. That is offered extra alternative for youthful gamers. So it is a mixture of all the explanations.”
The Patriots had an NFL-high eight gamers choose out of the 2020 season, led by linebacker Dont’a Hightower. As for the wage cap, the group has about $26 million in useless salary-cap area, which accounts for previous offers with quarterback Tom Brady, receiver Antonio Brown and kicker Stephen Gostkowski, amongst others.
That restricted their strikes within the offseason as they have been extraordinarily tight to the cap, though had the Patriots struck an extension for Brady, they may have offered themselves with extra reduction.
Belichick’s feedback to Sirius XM NFL Radio, within the interview with former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis and Invoice Lekas, have been uncharacteristic for the usually tight-lipped coach. However with the Patriots having scored 10, 12 and 6 factors previously three video games and with Belichick acknowledging early within the interview that speaking to media members is a technique to talk with the group’s followers, it was a message he appeared motivated to share with one in every of his former coaches.
Belichick additionally famous the disruption the group had after a 2-1 begin, when Newton examined optimistic for the coronavirus two days earlier than a street sport in opposition to the Kansas City Chiefs. That led to a two-week stretch wherein the Patriots hardly practiced.
“We had a superb coaching camp. We performed fairly effectively the primary three weeks of the season. After which I might say we regressed over the following two and a half weeks for a mixture of causes. We’re attempting to make that floor again up and extra. We have to hold going ahead. So that is what we’re doing,” he instructed Sirius XM NFL Radio.
“We’re in that sort of area — we’re getting higher, however we have to get higher sooner and, like I stated, make up for some misplaced floor the place we did not apply and had a number of gamers taking part in completely different spots on the offensive line. Issues like that, the place even the expertise we obtained — it was helpful, however it wasn’t as helpful because it might have been.”