I have a simple question: How in God’s name does Belichick keep doing it? How does keep getting guys to accept way less money to come play for him? What Jedi Mind Trick (“This is not the max contract you’re looking for…”) does he pull that makes otherwise shrew, self-interested businessmen take huge paycuts just to be on his team? Randy Moss. Chad Ochocinco. Aqib Talib in 2013. Now Darrelle Revis. I mean, we know how John Elway signs all these guys. He backs a dump truck filled with money up to their house and spills it all over their driveway. And probably cheats on the salary cap like Denver did to win those two Super Bowls back in the ’90s, the ones Al Davis went to his grave insisting was way worse than SpyGate. But what does Elway care? By the time those deals have the Broncos bankrupt, having to cut everybody and going 2-14, he’ll be retired and playing Pebble Beach everyday.
But somehow, Belichick doesn’t have to. The first couple of days of Free Agency are like the floor of the Stock Exchange. GMs just running everywhere throwing tons of money around. But The Hooded One just quietly strolls in there like Bane and cold-bloodedly takes the place over. He signs not only the best player on the market, but a guy who wasn’t even on the goddamned market to begin with. And he arranges it so he doesn’t even have to trade to get him, in spite of the fact that Tampa GM Jason Licht did two tours of duty on Belichick’s staff (2001, 2008). Most importantly of all, he gets the most notorious negotiator in all of football to tear up a $96 million contract and sign a one year, $12 million deal. Which, by the way, doesn’t stop the Pats from franchising him in 2015 and again in 2016 for only slightly more money. This is what Belichick negotiated with the man who dominated the Jets season of “Hard Knocks” by forcing Rex Ryan and Tannebaum to chase him all around New York state to grovel at his feet and beg him to end his holdout.
But Belichick has to do none of those things. He takes a future Hall of Famer who’s never left a dime on the negotiating table and convinces him to come to Foxboro for 1/5 of what Denver paid for that porcelain doll Talib. Denver declares an arms race so Belichick lets them spend themselves into ruin while he gets better players for much more stable deals and protects the Patriots future. He’s Reagan staring down the Soviets all over again. And Revis is the superweapon that will ultimately destroy them. Dave says he’d kill a man if Belichick told him to? I’d be all for it, even if I was the guy he wanted whacked.
One last thought: You Ocean State people aren’t real attached to the name “Rhode” right? I say now is the perfect time to change it. @JerryThornton1: