Bill Belichick's comments in January about the New England Patriots' frugality over the last three seasons raised some eyebrows.
“Our spending in 2020, our spending in 2021 and our spending in 2022, the aggregate of that, was we were 27th in the league in cash spending," the Patriots head coach/general manager said. "Couple years we’re low, one year was high, but over a three-year period, we are one of the lowest spending teams in the league.
"Had we averaged that out in those three years, you would have had the same numbers. Whether it’s two low and one high, two medium, three mediums, two sort of high and one really low, whatever it is, there’s an average that comes. That’s the three-year average, we’re 27th in the league in cash spending.”
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Belichick denied those remarks were a subtle jab at ownership. Monday at the owners meetings in Arizona, Boston Sports Journal's Greg Bedard got Robert Kraft's take on Belichick going out of his way to point out the lack of spending.
"So I asked Robert about Bill Belichick's comments, about how they're one of the lowest cash-spending teams in the league," Bedard said on Early Edition. "And a lot of fans took that as a little bit of a shot at ownership, that the Krafts aren't willing to spend for this team. And I asked Robert about that, and I just want to quote him accurately.
"He says, 'He has never come to me and not gotten everything he wanted from a cash-spending perspective. We have never set limits.' And he further went on to say, 'Money spending will never be the issue, I promise you, or I'll sell the team.' So that's pretty definitive."
New England Patriots
Belichick's comments came after he was asked whether he believed the organization got the best bang for its buck for its expensive 2021 free-agent class. The Patriots spent approximately $ 137.5 million in guaranteed money that offseason. To his point, the team dialed the spending back significantly in 2022 by making minor additions to the roster and retaining talent.
The Patriots haven't been big spenders so far this offseason either, but they have made a few notable signings. Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster inked a three-year, $ 33 million deal to replace Jakobi Meyers. Tight end Mike Gesicki signed a one-year contract worth $ 9 million and running back James Robinson joined on a two-year deal worth $ 8 million. The rest of the contracts they've handed out have been for returning players, special teamers, or offensive line depth pieces.
New England currently has about $ 11.64 million in salary cap space, per OverTheCap.com.