New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick didn’t waste any time after his season ended one game short of making it back to the Super Bowl. Like a lot of NFL coaches and executives, Belichick immediately started tinkering with his roster. Knowing that his offense needed a makeover, Belichick decided that Brandon LaFell and Scott Chandler were no longer necessary to the Patriots plan, according to CBS Sports.
One of the first things that the New England Patriots did when their season was ended by Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos was to give a new contract extension to Tom Brady. Most everyone in the organization know that he was not the problem with the offense. Even at 38 years of age, Brady is still one of the most productive players in the NFL. That’s why there are people who believe him when he says that he’s going to play several more years.
Expectations were not that high for Brandon LaFell when he signed with the New England Patriots. It’s not like the Carolina Panthers were devastated by his departure. However, when you’re playing with Tom Brady, you’re expected to do a little better than normal because he has a knack for getting the ball right to your hands. LaFell struggled with that. The Patriots fan base rightfully turned on Brandon because of all the passes that he dropped.
Scott Chandler spent only one season with the New England Patriots. While expectations for him were not high when he signed, Bill Belichick was hoping to see more than what Chandler provided. The veteran tight end only caught 23 passes, which is a bit disappointing when you consider that defenses in the NFL put so much focus and emphasis on covering Rob Gronkowski, one of the most dominating offensive players in the league.
From a salary cap perspective, these two moves make a lot of sense for the New England Patriots. Brandon LaFell would have cost the team $3.67 million, while Scott Chandler had a salary cap mark of $3.05 million. Combined, that’s $6.72 million. When you have someone as gifted as Bill Belichick at finding NFL talent, that amount of money could produce several contributors on both sides of the line of scrimmage.
While it’s true that there are many talented players coming up from the college ranks in a few weeks, this might not necessarily be the end of the road for Brandon LaFell and Scott Chandler. They can still find an NFL team to give them a crack at being on the roster. Both LaFell and Chandler are still young and healthy enough to play. It’s just a matter of whether or not they are willing to take much less money to continue their careers.
As far as the New England Patriots are concerned, very few people would be surprised if Bill Belichick were to find upgrades over Brandon LaFell and Scott Chandler. He’s done it many times before. When the Patriots lost Wes Welker, Belichick replaced him with gems in Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman. Same thing with the running back position over the years as Belichick has gotten great production from the backfield without spending a ton of money to make it happen.
Another thing that bodes well for the New England Patriots is that NFL players want to be there. The Atlanta Falcons released Roddy White earlier today, and his name has already been linked to the Patriots because they will provide him with a chance to win a Super Bowl.
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