Peter King calls the Patriots ‘a cautionary tale for this time of year’

The columnist detailed the risks of free agent spending in Monday's "Football Morning in America" column.

Jonnu Smith was one of the signings criticized by Peter King.
Jonnu Smith was traded to the Falcons for a seventh-round pick after signing a $50 million deal with the Patriots in 2021.

On Monday, NBC’s Peter King led his weekly column with a section called “early report card” which examined each NFL team’s offseason to this point.

While he went rather in depth on certain organizations, he kept his analysis of the Patriots’ moves succinct. King led with the sentence, “New England is a cautionary tale for this time of year.”

King referred to the risks of spending big in the free agent market in football, and particularly how Patriots head coach Bill Belichick spent his cash in the spring of 2021.

“Two years ago, the smartest man in football, Bill Belichick, went nuts in free agency,” King said.


The Patriots entered that offseason with the second-most cap room in the league and made sure to use it, signing 11 free agents new to the team. The team committed $143 million to Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith, and Matthew Judon alone.

Other free agents added that offseason include Jalen Mills, Kendrick Bourne, Nelson Agholor, and Davon Godchaux.

As King addressed in his column, Mills and Smith are no longer with the team, two years into their four-year contracts.

Mills was released last week and Smith was traded to the Falcons for a seventh-round pick just days earlier.

King did note that the signing of Judon has paid off so far but not much else has from that offseason of spending in 2021.

“The only star of the group: Matt Judon, with 28 sacks from the edge in two years” King said. “DT Davon Godchaux and TE Hunter Henry have been solid, but it all goes to show you that winning free agency in March is a hollow crown. New England is 18-17 since, with zero playoff wins.”


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