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Patriots Do Nothing; Sportwriters Effuse Worshipful Praise

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots are an enormously successful franchise. They are extremely well run. There is no arguing this. Evidence for this is abundant, which is why there is no need to stretch to find additional evidence where none exists. Yet analysts just can't help themselves.

In the latest in a seemingly endless line of examples, USAToday published an article in which they essentially argued the Patriots were geniuses beyond compare, and offered as evidence the fact that THE PATRIOTS DID NOTHING.  Let's take a look.

The thrust of the article regards the evolving trade market for backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.  After reviewing the reportedly escalating demands of the Patriots for Jimmy G. in any potential trade, to the point where now it is rumored it might take two first round picks to land him, the article makes a large logical leap to somehow equate rumors of Patriots' demands with unparalleled genius in the Patriots' handling of the situation. Here is the relevant evidence offered for the unique genius of the Patriots' organization:

The Patriots handled this situation absolutely perfectly (and would you expected anything less?).

They were able to show off Garoppolo’s skills while Tom Brady was suspended, saw a flawed quarterback class in this year’s NFL Draft and simply waited for Jimmy G’s price to keep rising. And just when it’s hit the "first rounder and another pick" hype? Suddenly there’s talk of a first-round pick this year and one next year.

Let's unpack this, shall we?

They were able to show off Garoppolo's skills while Tom Brady was suspended. I.e., they cheated, got caught, were forced to bench their Hall Of Fame quarterback for four games and play his backup, and lost a 1st round pick and a 4th round pick in the process.  What a diabolically brilliant plan.  Unfortunately for the thesis of the article, the Patriots didn't actually do anything here other than play the backup they had to play when their own malfeasance resulted in multiple penalties for the organization. Genius!

They saw a flawed quarterback class in this year's draft and simply waited for Jimmy G.'s price to rise. I'm not sure quite how to interpret this.  Are we really now giving credit to the Patriots for the questionable quality of the 2017 QB class?  Do the Patriots actually control the timing of every college quarterback's entry into the draft, as well as their developmental status upon entry? If so I have seriously underestimated just how deep the tentacles of this organization have penetrated into controlling every fiber of every level of football.  Much respect to the Patriots for their nefarious deeds.

Moving on, the next bit here is how the Patriots simply waited for Jimmy G.'s price to rise. In other words, they did nothing. It's not like the Patriots could have traded Jimmy G. before the start of the new league year; the trading deadline passed in early November of 2016.  They certainly weren't going to trade Jimmy G. in 2016 when they still had two cheap years left on his contract.  No team does this.  Trades for these players are made after the third year, or occasionally in a tag and trade deal after the fourth year.  Trades with two cheap years still left on a rookie deal almost never happen, and there is virtually zero chance the Patriots would have considered it in a year when they were loaded for a Super Bowl run that could have been derailed with an injury to Tom Brady if Jimmy G. had been traded.  So essentially here we are praising the Patriots for their unique genius of doing nothing when there was no other realistic possibility open to them.  Yep, that's remarkable stuff right there.

The concluding sentence is a gem:

Only the Pats could find themselves in this situation and play it to absolute perfection.

This is what it's come to.  The Patriots do absolutely nothing.  Rumors develop about their possible trade demands.  Ergo, Genius!

The worst part of pieces like this is that the Patriots are in fact a superbly run organization. There is an enormous amount of evidence to support that proposition. There is no need to invent reasons to worship them out of thin air. Yet in their enthusiasm to pile on the bandwagon of a winner many analysts just can't help themselves.  And so we are treated to nonsense pieces about how doing nothing, in the case of the Patriots, constitutes a level of genius only the Patriots could pull off.