Which Team Declined Most This Offseason? Why NFL Writer Picks Patriots


There hasn’t been a whole lot to get excited about this spring for Patriots fans.

Sure, New England made a few encouraging moves. Bill Belichick and Co. were able to retain two key starters in Devin McCourty and Joe Thuney, and the franchise addressed multiple needs in the draft. But by and large, this offseason in Foxboro was headlined by critical departures.

Tom Brady found a new home, as did a handful of defensive stalwarts. Not to mention, the Patriots experienced some turnover on the coaching staff, which could prove to be costly. As such, it’s tough to knock ESPN’s Mina Kimes, who believes New England declined more so than any team across the league this offseason.

“I’m not terribly worried about the defense, despite their losses up front (file my confidence under ‘Trust in Belichick’), but losing Brady and replacing him with an unknown in Stidham is a big question mark,” Kimes wrote. “I also worry that the retirement of offensive line guru Dante Scarnecchia could have an unexpected impact up front.”

Not only will the Patriots be moving forward with a reshaped roster, but they’re also set to take on arguably the toughest regular-season schedule in 2020. The sky might not be falling in New England, but its streak of postseason appearances certainly is in jeopardy.

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