It has been clear that the Patriots have had issues with the cap space over the years, and Belichick is not too fond of spending a lot of money on one player. Due to this, there have been complications with players’ contracts, and many talented players have left to find better money. However, some players on the Patriots can be saved if they are paid more, and some players are better off letting go due to being overpaid.
This article discusses three overpaid players and three underpaid players and how this could help the cap space.
Overpaid: Nelson Agholor
Probably one of the most overpaid players on the list, Nelson Agholor has shown that he’s a mediocre receiver at that and gets a lot of money for it. Currently, he gets paid 11 million a year, and that amount would pay off if he had the stats to back it up.
Last season, he only had 37 receptions with 473 yards and three touchdowns, a year where we needed a receiver to step up, and he didn’t. In his six-year career, he only has 309 receptions, 3384 yards, and 29 touchdowns (not to mention three out of six seasons he didn’t playfully and missed a couple of games).
He’s a solid player; however, it looks like that money could be used on someone with more talent and better numbers. To put this in perspective, in his six-year career, Bengals receiver Tyler Boyd has 388 receptions, 4571 yards, and 24 touchdowns while getting paid 10.7 million a year.
The money on Agholor could go to a better receiver, or maybe a defensive player that has improved, primarily due to the defensive players lost this year (Jackson, Gilmore, Van Noy).
Overpaid: Jonnu Smith
Another player with a lot of money in his wallet is Jonnu Smith, who was meant to be a huge asset with Hunter Henry but didn’t produce many numbers. Not to say he’s a terrible tight end, but he could do better, as last season, he had 28 receptions, 294 yards, and one touchdown.
He has only produced 142 receptions, 1596 yards, and 17 touchdowns in his five-year career. He’s a good end zone threat, but in general, he’s not a go-to guy.
His blocking is also phenomenal, but the point here is that there are cheaper options and wiser players on which we can spend the money. For example, Mike Gesicki, Dolphins tight end, has 199 receptions, 2255 yards, and 13 touchdowns in only three years with a ten million dollar contract.
Jonnu Smith currently gets 12.5 million a year, the same as Hunter Henry, who outperformed him. So it would be wiser to invest in other players.
Overpaid: Davon Gauchaux
Kind of a wild card player, Davon Gauchaux is a good defensive tackle. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get as much money; he only gets paid 7.5 million a year, but he still could do better. Last season, he had a good 65 tackles but only produced one sack, which could use some improvement since the defense is slowly crippling.
In his five-year career, he has 244 tackles and four sacks. The tackles numbers are good; however, many players in the league can put up good tackles, but not many can put up sacks. The Bills’ defensive end, Ed Oliver, is a good example. Although he has fewer tackles in his career (117), he also has 12 sacks in three years, only getting paid 4.8 million a year.
It is not necessary to say he doesn’t deserve the money, but it seems that for the number of sacks he gets, 7.5 million may be a little over, and he could give it to other defensive players.
Underpaid: Lawrence Guy
One of the few defensive veterans left on the Patriots, Lawrence Guy’s contract is mind-boggling cheap, as he only gets 2.8 million a year. Granted, he’s not the best defensive end, but he does put up solid numbers. Last season he had 60 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
His expertise and veteran status could also help the young team, as, in his 11-year career, he has produced 423 tackles and 15 sacks.
His career is slowly closing and isn’t improving much each year. However, his numbers are still solid, and the money doesn’t speak for itself. Considering he gets 2.8 million for being such an experienced veteran is a big shock, and Guy deserves way more money for being a leader.
Underpaid: Jakobi Meyers
Although he is still very young, Jakobi Meyers deserves a little more money. He has proven to be a solid wide receiver and leader on offense, only for four million a year. Last season Meyers stepped up when his team needed him to. Although he only got two touchdowns, he did produce 83 receptions and 866 yards.
He only has two touchdowns and 168 receptions, and 1954 yards in his three-year career. Last season was arguably his best season, and he can only get better from this point. He will likely want more money, and the team can’t let him walk.
Although he’s not a considerable touchdown guy, he gets the ball down the field, and he’s a great target to go to now since the addition of Davante Parker will keep defenses distracted.
Underpaid: Devin McCourty
A well know patriots player who deserves a lot more money and praise, Devin McCourty recently got a nine million dollar offer to stay one last year. McCourty had a good year for the Patriots last season, putting up 60 tackles and three interceptions.
He’s also a substantial veteran player on the field, as, during his 12-year career, he has put up 900 tackles, three sacks, and 31 interceptions which is impressive. His achievements are also a good case for why he deserves good money, as he’s made it to the 2nd all-pro team three times, the pro bowl twice, and the rookie team.
Considering the success he brought to the team and the talent he gives to the defense, he deserves more money, and it would be a shame to see him leave.
All of the players on this list are good players, and they all deserve some praise, but some do not deserve the money they get, while others earn more. Belichick has also made some key pickups this off-season, such as Montgomery, Parker, and Peppers, so that the cap space could shrink each year. Hopefully, the players who have a lot more money than they should have great seasons, and those who are not paid enough earn that money eventually.
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