Next Pats Podcast

What message are Patriots sending with their spending?

Pro Football Focus' salary cap expert Brad Spielberger joins Phil Perry on a new Next Pats Podcast.

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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft made it clear that money spending will never be the issue for his team. Bill Belichick has the green light to splurge on a top-tier talent if he sees an opportunity to improve the roster.

Despite that, the Patriots rank near the bottom of the league in cash spending and haven't made many significant changes from last year's roster. They've replaced wide receiver Jakobi Meyers with JuJu Smith-Shuster and tight end Jonnu Smith with Mike Gesicki, but third-year quarterback Mac Jones still lacks a true No. 1 wideout.

So what is Belichick telling us with the way he has built the current roster? What message is he sending with his lack of spending? Pro Football Focus' salary cap expert Brad Spielberger joined Phil Perry on a new Next Pats Podcast and shared his take.

Next Pats Podcast: Follow the money: How confident is Bill Belichick in his roster?  | Listen & Follow | Watch on YouTube

"The Jets, Bills, and Dolphins -- once the Jets move a bunch of (Aaron) Rodgers' salary forward, they're all going to be top five in cash spending in the NFL and they're going to have New England down in 31st," Spielberger said. "And so I think to a degree, (Bill Belichick) is also saying, why spend a ton to get into the top 15 or top 20 when we have three division rivals, one of which is the Jets, they probably have a two-year window and then everything kind of starts over? And Miami too, if it doesn't work out, they have to kind of restart it at quarterback and they have some older contributors there as well.

"Let's wait for them to kind of flush through this window and then again, we can maybe capitalize on that and pounce when those two teams are down. Buffalo is going to have Von Miller and Stefon Diggs, and both safeties are 32, 33. Like, they're going to have to turn over their roster as well. I think maybe that is a factor to a degree. He'll just, of course, never, ever say that at a podium. I don't blame him."

Also in the new episode: Does Spielberger still think Belichick is the greatest GM of all time? Can the Patriots’ spending approach work in today’s NFL? Why haven’t the Patriots spent money on weapons for Mac Jones? Does ownership believe this team can be championship-caliber? And evaluating what DeAndre Hopkins would cost.

Check out the latest episode of the Next Pats Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network, or watch it on YouTube.

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