I take no pleasure in this. I am saddened, not gladdened, that Dion Lewis is getting released in Tennessee. There are six banners hanging in Gillette, and the second one from the left is there in part because Lewis resurrected his career in New England in 2015 after missing two full seasons. It might even be fairer to say he jumpstarted his career since, in his two seasons in Philly from 2011-12, he had a combined 192 yards from scrimmage in 24 games. In New England, he played 30 games and had 2,100 yards from scrimmage.
Still, when it came time to extend him, the Patriots passed. After his career year in 2017, they decided, as they so often do, that they'd gotten best out of the player, let him walk, drafted his replacement, took the compensatory pick and moved on. In Lewis' case, they let him walk to Tennessee for four years at $20 million with $5.75 million guaranteed. And what the Titans got was an aging 3rd down back with declining skills. His 5.0 YPA in 2017 plummeted like a coronavirus Stock Market to 3.3 in this first year. His carries fell from 180 in his last season in Foxboro to 54 last year. You could chalk that up to the mighty presence of Derrick Henry and you'd be right. But still, Lewis only had 25 receptions. He became the definition of a part time role player. An expensive and ultimately expensive one.
Again, this does not make me happy. I was not rooting for this. Which is to say I kind of was rooting for this when the Patriots lost at Tennessee in 2018 and Lewis did not miss the opportunity to teabag them for letting him go. “Hell yeah it’s personal," he said in the postgame. "That’s what happens when you go cheap. You get your ass kicked. I know those guys. I know that you be physical with them and let ’em have it and they’ll fold.” And I responded by saying something to the effect of "Dion Lewis can fuck right off."
But that's water under the bridge. He later apologized, saying it wasn't, in fact, personal. He didn't mean anything by it. He said he's a feisty guy. I'm a feisty guy. Those bygones are long since gone by. I hope lands somewhere and reboots his career once again like he did in New England.
So the point of this post is not to celebrate. It's to point out once again that Bill Belichick made exactly the right call.
The world is lousy with Captain Hindsights who never miss a chance to remind us of the moves he makes that don't work out.
Who pound the table every chance they get to make the false claim that GM Bill is no help to Coach Bill. Self-satisfied know-it-alls who try to make the case he can't draft and is too cheap to hang onto the players he needs and only wins because he lucked into finding a diamond in the dogshit of the 6th round in 2000 and that explains all his success. And those ingrates were positively killing GM Bill for the decision to move on from Lewis. Then pleasured themselves like horny chimps when Lewis called him out for it.
The one thing you never hear from these malcontents is what you'll hear from me: They were wrong. GM Bill was right. Once again. They replaced Lewis with Sony Michel who is younger, better and cheaper. And he helped win them a championship they probably wouldn't have were it not for this decision.
Best of luck to Lewis going forward. But I repeat: GM Bill was right. I won't let anyone forget that.