The New England Patriots breaking the bank during the first week of free agency was a delight to watch unfold, as it’s literally never happened before (to this extent) in franchise history, let alone during Bill Belichick’s two-decade reign as de facto general manager.
As much as fans would like to see the spending spree continue, it’s reasonable to assume their remaining signings are spread out through the next few weeks.
After all, there’s only so much cap space to go around and the Patriots have about $25.9 million left.
That’s still enough to make another bombshell transaction, but now that Belichick’s initial splurge is over, expect him to go back to his old ways and look to exploit the slow-moving market for certain positions.
Speaking of which, the running back market has been incredibly sluggish thus far, and it could actually help the Patriots retain one of their own free agents.
Per insider Michael Girardi of NFL Network, James White has only received a few calls from potential suitors and is prepared to wait and see if more offers emerge.
The Patriots should consider a reunion with James White if reports about his market are true.
White is currently among a handful of quality running backs — including Leonard Fournette, Le’Veon Bell, and Todd Gurley — still braving the free agent waters, and if the RB market has been any indication, they will continue to struggle to find deals that they feel reflect their overall value.
For context, a total of 14 RBs have inked contracts in free agency thus far, with a split down the middle in terms of one and two-year deals. In fact, Kenyan Drake’s two-year, $11 million deal with the Raiders and Chris Carson’s two-year, $10.42 million deal to return to the Seahawks are the offseason’s most expensive contracts at the position up until this point.
Prior to the start of free agency, it was reported that the Patriots were looking to add to their running back room, which was viewed as a surprise among fans given that they already have the likes of Damien Harris, Sony Michel, JJ Taylor and Brandon Bolden under contract for next season.
Perhaps that was just a ploy to throw teams off the scent of their actual plans, but it’s worth noting that nobody in that foursome can be relied on as a receiver out of the backfield. That’s precisely what makes re-signing White at a bargain price so feasible for the Patriots.
Based on White’s stagnant market, New England should have plenty of time to determine whether they should retain the beloved 29-year-old or target a pass-catching specialist in the draft next month.