New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick met with reporters Tuesday at the NFL Annual Meeting, and as is usually the case at this event, it was a mostly pointless endeavor.
Looking for proof?
Belichick certainly could have been more helpful. He seemingly keeps his answers short to prove a point. The Patriots haven’t played a game or practiced in nearly two months. There is no certainty and things are in flux. He genuinely doesn’t know how (insert new player here) will fit in, so he’ll have to see.
At the same time, there are certain questions he could answer and chooses not to. He cited past statements when asked about new Miami Dolphins head coach and former Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores, for instance.
Belichick’s longest answers were related to the event itself regarding rule proposals, though he elected not to give an opinion on them.
Belichick’s most impactful answer, however, was just two words long. He was asked a question about how the Patriots would handle the possibility they don’t retain kicker Stephen Gostkowski and have to find his successor.
“It’s March,” Belichick began.
For at least the next five days, that should be the rallying cry of level-headed Patriots fans.
Concerned about the wide receiver corps?
Worried about finding Rob Gronkowski’s replacement at tight end?
Will the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady reach a contract extension?
This isn’t to say Patriots fans have no reason to be concerned. Their wide receiver and tight end situation is a mess. To call it anything else would be disingenuous. And it’s strange that Brady is in a contract year, unchartered waters for both the team and QB.
But it’s March.
There are trades to be made, players to be signed and rookies to be selected. And the Patriots have more than $17 million to work with under the salary cap after Gronkowski’s retirement.
The Patriots’ fixes aren’t immediately evident. But it’s March. Last offseason, the Patriots didn’t trade for their starting left tackle until April 27. Offseason trades typically are consummated around the start of free agency and during the draft, which doesn’t begin for another month.
If the Patriots’ wide receiver and tight end depth chart still looks barren in September, panic. But there’s a lot of time between the NFL Annual Meeting and the start of the 2019 season. Let’s see how this thing shakes out. It’s March. And in six days, it’ll be April, not September.