The last year has featured a great deal of talk about the environment in New England, from the reports of friction between Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, to Philadelphia’s Lane Johnson saying that the Patriots live in fear instead of having fun. Former Patriot Nate Solder has offered a more nuanced take.
[McDaniels] told me that if I ever needed to dip out of a meeting because the stress got to be too much, nobody would ask any questions. Coach Belichick told me the same, Solder writes. He said that if I ever needed to miss practice or a meeting, it was totally fine.’Whatever Hudson needs,’ he said. I don’t think I can even put into words how much I appreciated that — both what Bill said and how Josh handled everything. They treated me like a human being instead of a football player or a left tackle.
Solder titled his piece, Thank You, New England.
He cautioned against the drafting of quarterbacks and spoke supportively of the idea that running backs are worth picking early. Here are three dumb things Gettleman said in the press conference exactly a week before the 2018 NFL Draft:
OK… but, yes, they are. Gettleman can believe running backs are still valuable and establishing the run is important, but the fact that teams are spending less at the position is objectively true.
In free agency this offseason, Jerick McKinnon’s four-year, $30 million deal was easily the highest at the position and the only that included more than $10 million in guarantees. Meanwhile, the Vikings dished out a fully guaranteed three-year, $84 million deal to Kirk Cousins.
It’s pretty simple: it’s difficult for running backs to get much on the free agency market, because they’re being — drum roll, please — devalued.
Should it be that way? The stats would tell you yes, but I suppose Gettleman can make the argument that having a top running back is transformative. But it’s certainly not a myth that the position is being valued less.
Representatives for Murphy, Sweeney and Coughlin declined to comment.