Morning Sports Update

Scott Pioli explained why he agrees with ‘patient’ Patriots approach to free agency

"This idea of 'all gas and no brakes' isn't always the best way to do business."

Scott Pioli Bill Belichick
Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli at Patriots training camp in 2021 alongside Vanderbilt baseball coach Tim Corbin. Jim Davis/Globe Staff

The Celtics defeated the Jazz 125-97 at TD Garden on Wednesday. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown led Boston with 26 points each.

The Bruins host the Lightning tonight at 7 p.m.

Also tonight, the U.S. men’s soccer team is in Mexico City to play Mexico in a pivotal World Cup qualifier at 10 p.m.

Scott Pioli on the Patriots’ offseason: Partway through the NFL offseason, it’s already been one of the most active and dramatic in recent memory. Multiple blockbuster trades — including the deal sending wide receiver Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins on Wednesday — have been agreed to, along with a plethora of high-profile free agent signings.


The Patriots, meanwhile, have been largely absent from the news cycle, making only a few small signings (while watching multiple free agents depart for larger contracts elsewhere).

One former Patriots executive recently explained why it’s important to not rush to too much judgement of Bill Belichick’s current approach.

Scott Pioli, who worked in the Patriots’ front office from 2000-2009 (and is now an analyst on NFL Network), emphasized how New England takes the long view on free agent spending.

“Player acquisition isn’t a sprint,” Pioli began, “it’s a marathon. Just like the season. Last year the entire league was in a depressed market, so the Patriots went out and spent two years worth of free agency money and they received tremendous value. You look at the financial terms a year later and they look very good.”

“So they’ve done some of this year’s free agency last year,” Pioli added.

Looking at the NFL market, Pioli cited billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

“It’s wise to be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful,” Pioli said, quoting Buffett. “That’s how the Patriots have treated free agency going back to when I was there. It’s a core tenet of their football, and their business. This idea of ‘all gas and no brakes’ isn’t always the best way to do business. It works sometimes, it’s good sometimes, but sometimes you need to tap the brakes and be a little bit more patient.”


As Pioli pointed out, the first round of free agency is only a fraction of the larger offseason picture.

With the NFL Draft approaching (it begins on April 28), and other points in the offseason still to come, opportunities to potentially acquire new players are far from over.

“The first wave of free agency has ended,” Pioli explained. “We’re now into this second wave. In this second wave, there’s a new free agency, because once players are signed, [other] players get cut. So now there are even more players [available]. After the draft, there will be more players cut. After the 53-man cut, there will be more players available in free agency. So building a football team and building a roster is something that takes a lot of work, a lot of time, and a lot of patience.”

Trivia: Scott Pioli is married to the daughter of what Hall of Fame coach?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: His first head coaching job was at Air Force for one season in 1978.

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Keyshawn Johnson isn’t a huge fan of the Tyreek Hill trade: The former No. 1 overall pick says that the deal for Hill “doesn’t do a whole lot” in closing the gap with AFC East rivals.

Omar Gonzalez featured in a U.S. vs. Mexico preview: In a piece for CBS Sports, Revolution center back Omar Gonzalez was one of several players to discuss the CONCACAF rivalry through the prism of their own stories as players with Mexican-American backgrounds.

On this day: In 2015, then-Patriots beat writer Jeff Howe tweeted a photo of Bill Belichick drinking orange juice that’s since become a memorable Patriots meme.

Daily highlight: Rafael Devers made an impressive play to record the out on Christian Vazquez’s throw during a spring training game on Wednesday.

Trivia answer: Bill Parcells


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