Patriots Are Penny-pinchers When It Comes to Receivers
You get what you pay for. Need an example? Take a peek at the receiving corps of the New England Patriots. Through three games, the Patriots have struggled to score points and it’s no wonder why.
Tight end Rob Gronk-owski is getting double-teamed all over the field, leaving Tom Brady to throw to Phillip Dorsett, Cordarelle Patterson and Chris Hogan. None get separation from defenders.
According to Spotrac, National Football League teams are spending an average of $17.9 million for their wide receivers.
The Patriots are allocating $10.6 million toward the position. Only the Eagles ($8.9 million) and Saints ($10.3 million) are spending less on their wide receivers.
Until Julian Edelman returns for Game 5, of course, the number the Patriots are spending on Brady’s “weapons” is far less than $10.6 million.
Consider the salary cap hits for Hogan ($3.28 million), Patterson ($3.25 million), Dorsett ($1.4 million) and Josh Gordon ($697,000), who has yet to take the field for his new team.
Without Edelman, the Patriots are paying their four receivers $8.62 million for the season.
Contrast that with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are spending a league-high $34.2 million on their receivers. Aaron Rodgers, meanwhile, has $26 million of receiving talent to work with in Green Bay.
On Sunday, in Foxboro, Ryan Tannehill and the undefeated Dolphins will trot out $25.3 million worth of receiving talent for the Patriots to try and cover. That will include some guy named Danny Amendola, who the Patriots let walk over salary concerns.
Brady remains great. But it’s asking too much of anyone -- even the GOAT -- to make this current crop of wide receivers strike fear into opposing defenses.
Maybe Gordon and Edelman will light a fire under the offense when they return to the field. Gordon is battling a hamstring injury and personal demons which make him questionable from week to week. The suspended Edelman is coming off a serious knee injury and hasn’t played in more than a year.
Through three games, defenses have covered the Patriots’ wide receivers like a cheap suit -- with cheap being the key word.
Most overrated position in sports?
Ryder Cup captain. I love the Ryder Cup, which pits the best golfers from the United States against the best from Europe. The U.S. hasn’t won on foreign soil since 1993 and France hosts the 2018 event beginning Friday.
If the U.S. fails to win this year, much of the blame will go to captain Jim Furyk. Why? He’s irrelevant. He won’t hit a single shot this week. He won’t sink a single putt. His job is to select the lineup and make sure everybody’s wearing the right shirt. That’s it. He won’t even provide any coaching.
Can you imagine if Tiger Woods is spraying his irons all over the place and Capt. Furyk approaches him?
Furyk: “Hey, Tiger. I can’t help but notice that some of your 4-irons are threatening to leave France. Come here for a second. Give me the club. Now watch. This is how you swing the club. Your feet are too far apart. Your hips aren’t rotating properly. Your hands are too low.”
Woods: “Ah, Jim. This is embarrassing. Appreciate the advice and all, but I don’t need your help. Get away from me before I throw you in that pond. Do what a good Ryder Cup captain does: Stay out of the way and when all the matches are over, talk to the media like you’ve had some impact out here.”
Jimmy Butler is making $18.6 million to play basketball in Minnesota. But Jimmy isn’t happy. He doesn’t like some of his teammates. He wants out. He’s instructed the Timberwolves to trade him.
In other leagues and in other times, Butler’s demand would fall upon deaf ears. Not in the National Basketball Association. The players have all the power. So in the next week or so, expect the Timberwolves to cave into Butler’s demand.
Good luck to the next team. They’ll have to pay him millions and cross their fingers that little Jimmy doesn’t get upset, take his ball and go home.
Follow Barry Scanlon on Twitter @BarryScanlonSun