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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

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February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Winds of Change Come Sweeping Through Foxboro

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On March 16 the Patriots picked up tight end Martellus Bennet to pair with existing TE Rob Gronkowski. Staff Writer Sean McLean wonders if we will see an offensive duo similar to when Aaron Hernandez held the same position. 

The New England Patriots were coming off of a season where they finished 12-4, winning the AFC East Division, and once again making it to the AFC Championship game. Despite that, so far in this offseason Bill Belichick and crew have felt it necessary to make some major changes in the core of this team. On Tuesday afternoon, New England shipped their leading pass rusher, Chandler Jones, to the Arizona Cardinals for a draft pick and offensive guard Jonathan Cooper. The fan base was quite disgruntled until Wednesday evening when the Patriots made an acquisition on offense in tight end Martellus Bennett, taking him and a pick from Chicago for another pick. The Patriots may have lost on defense, but gained on offense. So, where does the team stand early in the offseason?
Jones finished last season with a career high in sacks with 12.5. He was a centerpiece of New England’s terrific defensive attack. Jones, and the rest of the New England defense is what kept the Patriots in the tight game against Denver. Though Jones was in the last year of his rookie contract, nobody really considered the possibility of his leaving, as his importance on the field and popularity among fans was well documented. The trade itself was underwhelming; the return on the end of the Pats was disappointing. Jones would in theory be worth a first round pick, however New England instead got a former first round pick in Cooper, a talented guard which New England needed, and a second round pick. Overall, I would have liked to see the Patriots at least take away a first from the deal. Arizona however, was 20th in the league in sacks with 36, a flaw that proved to be fatal in the NFC Championship game where their inability to get to the QB reared its ugly head. Ultimately, Arizona is the team that looks like a force after this trade.
New England wasted no time trying to improve after losing out on defense. The next day, New England went and acquired Martellus Bennett from Chicago. Bennett had a down year like the rest of his team this past year. However, the year before, Bennett had nearly 1,000 receiving yards and six TDs. Bennett didn’t approach those numbers this year, but with Brady at QB (a major upgrade over Jay Cutler) and if New England goes back to the two tight end set of the Gronkowski-Hernandez days, the Patriots would have a prolific offensive attack. The Bears, in this trade, continue a downswing as they head towards their rebuild. This trade at least gives Bennett a chance to win, and saves some cap space along the way.
The Patriots trading ability has been under fire for many years. This occasion was no different. The Patriots lost the best pass rusher on their defense, and though they attempted to replace him with Chris Long for cheap money on a one year deal, they are still going to feel the loss of a dynamic pass rusher like Jones. The Patriots are hoping that filling the needs of a guard on the offensive line, and another target for Brady will suffice with sacrificing a great player on a still quality defense. Only time will tell, and we will find out how this team holds up in December.
Trade:
New England Sends Chandler Jones to Arizona in exchange for Jonathan Cooper and a second round pick.
Winner:
Arizona
Why? Arizona wins this trade because they are bringing a guy who piles up a lot of sacks, which is something they did not get a lot of last year. New England loses this quality player and has no legitimate way of replacing him.