Are Bill Belichick’s poor moves as a general manager hidden by his unquestionable talent as a head coach? Well, at least one respected NFL analyst thinks this is the case. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller took to Twitter and in no uncertain terms, conveyed that message about the New England Patriots head coach and de facto general manager.
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Matt Miller Pulls No Punches in His Assessment of Bill Belichick as a GM
As you might have expected, Miller’s tweets drew some spirited responses.
Some even called into question Miller’s contradictory tweet from three years ago.
Miller had to respond to this one seeing as though it was especially condemning to his point, and it’s fair to say one’s assessment of a player or executive’s work can change in three years.
Another Twitter user, Rich Flerra, who also hosts a Patriots podcast, wouldn’t let Miller off the hook so easily. He followed up with these posts:
Bill Belichick is Far From Perfect as a GM…But
No GM is perfect. Belichick has drafted his share of stinkers. Brandon Merriweather in the first round in 2007 and Laurence Maroney in the first round in 2006 immediately come to mind. More recently, some might seriously question selecting WR N’Keal Harry in the first round of 2019, though the jury is still out on him. Hopes are high he’ll have a breakout 2020 season.
He’s also responsible for Matt Cassel in 2005 who turned out to be a strong fit and fill-in for Tom Brady when he went down in 2008. There’s also obviously Brady and let’s not forget about Asante Samuel in the fourth round in 2003, and Rob Gronkowski in the second round in 2010.
There’s more to being a general manager than drafting. Belichick has had some very bright spots in player acquisition through trades and free agency. In 2007, Belichick procured Randy Moss from the Oakland Raiders for a fourth-round pick and he went on to team with Brady for a perfect regular season and the two nearly re-wrote the record books.
Belichick also swung deals for Wes Welker, signed Rodney Harrison, Corey Dillon, Mike Vrabel, and Darrelle Revis–all of whom played major roles for Super Bowl teams. When you factor in the success the team has had with players like that, it more than balances out what was lost with acquiring the likes of Adalius Thomas, Antonio Brown, Shawn Springs, Roosevelt Colvin, David Terrell, or Tank Williams.
Also, let’s not forget, Belichick may have engineered the comeback story of the year this offseason. In signing Cam Newton to a one-year, incentive-laden deal for the 2020 season, Newton is poised to be the biggest bargain in the league, and even if he reaches all of his benchmarks–which includes a seventh Super Bowl championship for the Patriots–the team will only pay him $7.5 million.
That’s a shrewd move, but one that sets Newton up for a big payday in 2021, and the Patriots up for more success.