NFL Notebook: Winners and losers after Patriots’ spree, and latest on Garoppolo

(Adam Richins for BSJ)

Well, that was something.

After spending $160 million in guaranteed money adding 23 players — that includes retaining five of their own free agents — the Patriots have had a massive amount of personnel turnover following their 7-9 season in 2020.

From trading for Trent Brown before free agency, to bringing back core veterans David Andrews, James White and Lawrence Guy this week, Bill Belichick has successfully jolted a roster that had gotten old, slow, stale and decidedly untalented. And who knows, maybe a new/old QB will be coming back as the Prince They Were Promised?

Whether it all works and comes together in Weeks 1, 8 or 18 and is enough to capture a playoff spot and beyond, we'll have to wait to see what happens. No one knows, not even Belichick (true story). Are they way more talented and should they compete for an AFC East title? On paper, yes. But football is played by living and breathing humans and often trust is one of the most important aspects of football.

Can the ultimate team sport be conquered in one year by a team of mercenaries (they are for the first season)? The history isn't good, but we've never seen a free-agent class like this. We're about to find out.

What is clear, at least at this point, is that there are some big winners and losers around One Patriot Place as a result of this influx of personnel and outlay of capital. Before we give you the latest on the Jimmy Garoppolo Homecoming Campaign, let's hand out some awards: