The New England Patriots’ free-agent spending continued on Wednesday. This time, they brought back two of their own free agents.
On Wednesday, the Patriots re-signed veteran running back James White and defensive lineman Lawrence Guy.
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Both men are more than just key contributors in their on-field roles. They’re both captains and powerful locker room presences.
If you could sum up the Patriots’ offseason with two words, it would be depth and character.
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Twitter Reacts to White’s Signing
ESPN’s Mike Reiss chimes in with this noteworthy reaction:
Bill Belichick knew his team had some serious holes at several positions. He spent the early portions of free agency plugging most–if not all–of those gaps. The last four or five days have been about bringing back the valuable leaders from the past several seasons.
ESPN’s Field Yates drops a stat that undoubtedly speaks to Belichick:
White’s steadiness on and off the field has been exemplary. His history of taking care of the football is so appropriate.
There may be no better representation of a player’s value to a team than his teammates’ words about him. NESN’s Zack Cox posted comments from Patriots running back Damien Harris:
In his seven seasons in the NFL–all with the Patriots–White has been a part of three Super Bowl teams. That includes scoring the game-winning touchdown in the Super Bowl against the Atlanta Falcons.
White is a legend in New England and it would seem appropriate for him to finish his career with the Patriots.
In seven seasons, White whose primary production has come as a receiver out of the backfield, has registered 369 receptions for 3,184 yards, and 25 TDs. As a rusher, he has 1,240 yards on 309 carries (four yards per attempt) and 10 TDs.
Twitter Reacts to Guy’s Re-Signing
You’d be hard-pressed to find a player who has been more consistent as a run-stuffing defensive lineman and a more charitable athlete than Lawrence Guy. In fact, part of the reason Guy returned to the Patriots on a reported four-year deal was so that he and his wife could continue their work with his foundation. Talk show host Amy Lawrence mentioned this in her tweet:
You can see, the Patriots loved their leadership in 2020, despite the disappointing finish. Guy was the fourth 2020 captain the team brought back this offseason, as pointed out by Keagan Stiefel.
The Patriots’ defensive line is stout and deep. Guy, Deatrich Wise, Davon Godchaux, Harry Anderson, and Byron Cowart give the team plenty of beef on the line with some promising and proven linebackers behind them.
Expecting the Patriots to be a Top-5 defense in the NFL isn’t a crazy expectation. There are a few secondary concerns, mostly at cornerback with the possibility of a trade involving Stephon Gilmore. Still, at almost every other position, the Patriots look like a team that it will tough to score against in 2021.