And so it begins. The opening bell of the worst time of the year to be a Patriots fan: The free agency period.
Not that it's begun. That annual goatfuck unofficially kicks off with the official legal tampering period on March 16th, two days ahead of actual free agency. But this non-move by the Patriots, deciding to not even take Greg Olsen for a test drive or look under his hood, is the first player personnel news we've had so far. (Apart from that big signing of potential First Team All-Funny Namer Lenzy Pipkins.) And as it usually the case during this part of the calendar, I find myself sitting here, palms up, doing the "I dunno" thing. Because this makes no sense to me.
It's not that I expect signing Greg Olsen would have Vegas recalculating the Super Bowl odds. It's just that he struck me as the pluperfect Patriots signing at their absolute No. 1 non-Brady area of need. He's about to turn 35, so he's not going to command top-of-his-position dollars. He's likely to accept less to come to New England and chase a ring. After a couple of injury-shortened seasons, he had a bit of a bounce back year:
81 Targets (9th most among all tight ends), 52 Receptions (11th), 597 Yards (11th), 11.5 YPR, 2 TDs. 84.2 Passer Rating when targeted
Granted, that production's not going to blow everybody's nips off. But Ben Watson and Matt LaCosse combined for 30 Receptions and just over 300 Yards. More to the point, from 2014-16, Olsen topped 77 Receptions and 1000 Yards, making the Pro Bowl all three seasons. Traditionally, Belichick and Nick Caserio have loved to take a flyer on a veteran who's had great production in the past as he approaches the 18th tee of his career. Hell, they just did it with Watson, who is four years older, was already retired and suspended for PED use. So them not even taking a look at Olsen seems so counter-intuitive as to be bizarre.
But like I said at the outset, that's February and March around here. It's our lot in life. It's not a lot, but it's our life. I should be used to it by now, but it catches me off guard every year. That is, until I see the final product. Belichick is a master artist. Like a Van Gogh or a Bob Ross. And how many times did you see Ross put a huge black smear on the canvas that looked like he'd ruined the painting? But if you were patient, in a few minutes and with a few dozen or so brush strokes, he'd turn it into a majestic mountain range reflecting a golden sunrise or something.
So while I can't process this lack on interest in a solid, capable, affordable tight end, I'm not going to complain. It's not for me to make sense of, only for Belichick to. I'm just going to be patient while the artiste' creates his next masterpiece.