Bill Belichick said his comments about the lack of salary cap flexibility were not an excuse

"It's obvious we didn't have any money. It's nobody's fault."

Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on from the sideline. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Bill Belichick believes that the Patriots’ struggles this season are in part due to the mindset and approach they had the previous five seasons.

“We sold out and won three Super Bowls, played in a fourth, and played in an AFC Championship Game,” Belichick said Monday on WEEI. “This year we have less to work with. It’s not an excuse. It’s just the facts.”

The head coach was elaborating on a previous interview, with SiriusXM on Saturday, in which he acknowledged to Charlie Weis that the Patriots are relying on more young players than they have in the past. Belichick said that trend exists for “a combination of reasons.”


Between opt-outs, injuries, and a variety of other factors, the Patriots haven’t had close to the success they’ve had in the past so far this season. Belichick said the Patriots have had to adjust their cap from the spending they’ve had “in accumulation of prior years,” which has resulted in a lack of depth.

“We were pretty heavily invested in our team in the past few years,” Belichick said Saturday. “From a salary-cap standpoint, we didn’t have much flexibility at all. I think that was obvious on the Cam Newton contract.”

ESPN’s Mike Reiss noted that Belichick “seemed to take offense” Monday on Ordway, Merloni, & Fauria when told that some might have viewed his comments Saturday as an excuse.

“I didn’t say it as an excuse. I never said that,” Belichick said. “Look, we paid Cam Newton a million dollars [on July 8]. It’s obvious we didn’t have any money. It’s nobody’s fault. That’s what we did the last five years.”

When asked if it was inevitable that it would catch up to the Patriots at some point, Belichick said “the structure of the league is the structure of the league,” noting that it won’t change.

As for New England’s approach during Tuesday’s trade deadline, Belichick kept it vague, pointing out that things can change quickly.


“It looks like the ball is going to roll into the cup, and then at the last second, it spins out,” he told reporters Tuesday morning. “So you have to take it as it comes.”

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