Dont’a Hightower is the best player available, may stay in New England

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Dont’a Hightower is the best player available in free agency. The linebacker is the No. 9 player in our Free Agent Hot 100 and the only one of our Top 15 who hasn’t either signed a contract or been given the franchise tag.

And the longer Hightower goes without signing with some other team, the more it appears that the Patriots are the favor to keep him.

Mike Reiss of ESPN notes that Hightower isn’t a fit for some defenses, and is a perfect fit for what Bill Belichick likes to do. Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com reported that one team that had discussions with Hightower now thinks he’s going to stay in New England.

Belichick has made no secret that he loves Hightower. The first player Belichick mentioned by name after the Patriots’ win at Super Bowl LI was Hightower, whose strip sack of Matt Ryan spurred the comeback. And Hightower has said many times that he enjoys staying in New England.

So even though the Patriots decided not to franchise or transition tag Hightower, and even though Hightower has looked into his options over the last few days, no one should be surprised if the 26-year-old Hightower decides to stay in the place where he has spent the first five years of his career.

78 responses to “Dont’a Hightower is the best player available, may stay in New England

  1. I can’t relate to it but are a few million bucks in your 20’s worth a lifetime job that Brady has earned? Pats…you do for me I do for you.

  2. Many of us Patriots fans are still in a state of shock over the way things have unfolded with Gilmore and Butler.

    No offense to Gilmore–if BB says that you’re worth $13 million then I say: “welcome and thanks for picking the Patriots.”

    But Butler is one of my personal favorites. A GREAT young man.

    Getting back to the point: Hightower is also a GREAT young man and if they re-sign him then that will go a long way towards reducing the shock.

    #signdont’a

  3. snake11s says:
    Mar 12, 2017 6:54 AM
    I can’t relate to it but are a few million bucks in your 20’s worth a lifetime job that Brady has earned? Pats…you do for me I do for you.

    ————————–

    These guys have only that short earning window so a few extra million is really helpful when atretching it all to cover self and family for the rest of the lifetime.

    But that said, what the Patriots are doing is letting HT explore and see what else is out there. If the ridiculous payday is out there he can get it. But if its not he is not left wondering. He signs with the Patriots solud in his knowledge that this is the best deal for him which makes the relationship that much better. This guy they look to for leadership so having the relationship on that great level is significant.

  4. No one has made the HoF based off earnings, its division titles, & rings that get you in. Clearly BB is the one coach who can help men reach those heights.

  5. New England puts a value on the player and the position which is why the amount paid to Gilmore is irrelevant. If the Patriots offer is competitive,then Hightower likely returns.

  6. All you Pats fans that think everything is just great and dandy, you are just coming off a Super Bowl that was basically handed to you by the worst coaching display from the Falcons in the history of the game, also you are signing all these great free agents and making big trades.
    However, the football Gods will not shine on you in 2017, you will not go “back to back” as you all already claim it is going to happen, even though the season hasn’t started yet.
    You will not win the Super Bowl in 2017, when everything appears to be a sure thing, it usually isn’t.

  7. However, the football Gods will not shine on you in 2017, you will not go “back to back” as you all already claim it is going to happen, even though the season hasn’t started yet.
    You will not win the Super Bowl in 2017, when everything appears to be a sure thing, it usually isn’t.

    ———————————–

    We don’t need “football gods” to shine on us. We have Tom Brady.

  8. Yup the Pats were handed the Super Bowl because of the worst coaching display from the Falcons and they were handed the Super Bowl two years ago because of the worst coaching decision from the Seahawks. That’s because BB uses mind control on his opponents’ coaches. Time for another investigation!

  9. stucats says:
    Mar 12, 2017 7:27 AM
    All you Pats fans that think everything is just great and dandy, you are just coming off a Super Bowl that was basically handed to you by the worst coaching display from the Falcons in the history of the game, also you are signing all these great free agents and making big trades. However, the football Gods will not shine on you in 2017, you will not go “back to back” as you all already claim it is going to happen, even though the season hasn’t started yet. You will not win the Super Bowl in 2017, when everything appears to be a sure thing, it usually isn’t.
    ———————-
    So says a salty butt-hurt Boys fan, whose team has choked for 20yrs! But to respond:
    1) Every Pats fan knows luck plays part of every SB campaign, as seen when a crazy helmet-catch ruined a perfect 2007 season (though some Giants players said Tyree used stickem).
    2) By SB51’s 2nd half, Pats had stuffed the Falcons run, putting it in Ryan’s hands. Had they tried a FG from the 23yd line, that’d be a 40yd attempt, which is not a gimmie – had a kick failed, folks like you would be screaming that they should have left the ball in Ryan’s (and Julio’s) great hands. Pats were also fitter late in the game & OT thanks to extra conditioning that most teams don’t do, and more experienced so didn’t panic (that isn’t luck).
    3) Every follower of football knows it’s nearly impossible to repeat in the era of cap and FA. In part that’s because most teams have spent big and go into cap hell to reach the SB, and rode a massive luck-wave and avoided injuries etc. However, Pats didn’t! And fans like that the team kept most of its pieces, and think Brady could well get a 6th in his last few years – and that the team will stay relevant for many years to come. So go and buy some salt tablets or, like me, just enjoy watching greatness in football.

  10. Super Bowl appearances/wins are far from a “sure thing”, that’s just silly. We Patriots fans look forward to double digit win seasons and playoff runs now while we rake the leaves and listen to the games.

  11. “a Super Bowl that was basically handed to you by the worst coaching display from the Falcons in the history of the game”

    Yeah the Pats only had to execute on play after play after play to pull that off, it had absolutely nothing to do with what the Pats did. Nothing at all.

    SMH just keep lying to yourself and believing what you said has any merit. It doesn’t but go right ahead.

  12. If you’re a GM from a team outside New England: Hightower won’t fit your scheme. You need a 230 lb overgrown safety to run around the secondary. It’s a passing league, etc.

    Please, whatever you do, just do not look at High’s game tape especially from the Super Bowl, and please please please keep believing that one of the best linebackers in football won’t work on your team. Please.

  13. “I can’t relate to it but are a few million bucks in your 20’s worth a lifetime job that Brady has earned? Pats…you do for me I do for you”.

    What if he gets hurt in the pre season. He gets cut so yea its WORTH IT… I take from you then toss you aside.

  14. Yea, that’s it, the Patriots have had their success “handed to them”. Hard work, smart choices, and execution had nothing to do with it.

    Hate warps minds.

  15. To me he is one of the few players they really cannot afford to lose.

    He sits in the premier spot in the locker room. The seat, reserved for Big Willy, Mayo and others, is located near the door I believe, and is there for a purpose, leadership. Not all players have that unique combination of skill and leadership. The responsibility of this spot goes beyond leadership on the field too, it includes the locker room, training room, and I would imagine off the field to some extent also. Some teams probably do not rely on players like this as much as the Pats do but the Pats have a way of doing things and it is different than many other teams. The absence of leaders in that locker room would be the death knell.

  16. Most Patriots fans have taken the one game at a time mantra that coach preaches.Our expectations are not determined by what the Patriots do or don’t do during the offseason.BB does what he feels is best for HIS team,in the now and in the future.This is one of the few times he has been active in the first days of FA and he is not done yet.He will bring in players that will help make this team stronger and be competitive.So you haters deal with it,or don’t,as a Patriots fan your opinions really are a waste of our time and your breath.

  17. I have to disagree with you stucats. Pats have reloaded and have a good shot at going undefeated this year. Yes they have an easy division, yes they got lucky with Seattle and again with Atlanta but they are still the Patriots and better on paper this year. You want to beat them you better be ready to play hard for the whole 60 minutes.

  18. @stucats
    The patriots built a roster last year based on the competition last season to would make them competitive with the rest of the league. It would out well for the patriots.

    Now BB is taking the lessons learned in the playoffs and the superbowl and building a roster that will again be competitive with the rest of the league.

    BB seems to be doing a good job.
    Unlike you,,,BB has never and will never make predictions. I’m sure BB is focused 100% on roster building and that started the day after the superbowl.

    Most patriot fans don’t make predictions. A few do just to push the buttons of patriot haters. The patriot haters seem to deserve it for the silly comments that they often make.

  19. Who said anything was a “sure thing”?

    New year, new teams, everyone starts all over from square one.

    Patriots do seem to be approaching 2017 based on the 1st half of the SB, and knew they needed to upgrade the roster if they wanted any chance to repeat.

  20. Mar 12, 2017 7:27 AM
    All you Pats fans that think everything is just great and dandy, you are just coming off a Super Bowl that was basically handed to you by the worst coaching display from the Falcons in the history of the game, also you are signing all these great free agents and making big trades.
    However, the football Gods will not shine on you in 2017, you will not go “back to back” as you all already claim it is going to happen, even though the season hasn’t started yet.
    You will not win the Super Bowl in 2017, when everything appears to be a sure thing, it usually isn’t.

    The season has not even started yet and you are already whining about the Pats winning in 2018? Wow your team must really be bad.

  21. What hasn’t any team tried to sign this guy ? He can blitz and tackle, no other qualifications needed. I would think a team like the Browns would want to have this guy on your team.

  22. cloud1515 says:
    Mar 12, 2017 9:46 AM

    From a fans perspective, i hope the Patriots keep Butler and Hightower. I would be angry if they don’t treat them fairly.

    ————————————————————-
    Patriots are already being fair.
    They could have franchise tagged Hightower. Players hate the franchise tag because they believe it delays them from signing a big multi-year deal. They also have risk should they get a major injury in that tagged season that they won’t get the big payday.

    The Patriots are allowing Hightower to find out what the market rate is for his skillset and position. If a team offers Hightower a crazy deal then he will be gone. If another team only offers Hightower a fair deal then the Patriots will match of come close enough to that deal to make him stay.

  23. Hightower and McCourty run that defense.
    ————————————–

    and before that, Collins ran it, and before that Mayo, and Bruschi, and so forth.

    Let’s be clear. Bill Belichick runs that defense, through Matt Patricia and on down the chain of command.

    Hightower or McCourty could be lost forever on the first defensive series of the first practice game. No matter how much money you throw at them, you can’t insure against that. By not overpaying, Belichick always has enough capital to afford Plan B – the highest paid middle class and practice squad in the NFL.

  24. Hightower is a different type of player, but his big game impact reminds me a lot of Willie McGinest. Big Game Willie came up huge in the biggest spots, delivering stops when they absolutely had to have one. Leader on the field and in the locker room. High’s strip sack in SB 51, and his stop of Lynch on the goal line in SB 49 are those types of plays, and he’s just entered his prime. Those kinds of guys are very, very hard to replace.

  25. rootpain says:
    Mar 11, 2017 2:35 PM
    rootpain says:
    Mar 11, 2017 2:13 PM
    After that disappointing loss to the Falcons in the SuperBowl, Belichick obviously learned his lesson. He knows he has to spread the defence to prevent them from being able to swarm the receiver as efficiently as the Falcons did this year. And he needs to tire them out before the end of the game to give Brady a chance to pull off a “never-been-done-before SuperBowl comeback. Oh wait…..

    That will teach the Falcons for forcing Belichick to win in overtime. Haha.

  26. Moodyponders is right about Cowbell being right.

    The Pats usually let their FA’s see what’s out there. Hightower has a lot of respect from the organization and if he ends up staying, it’s with no animosity and with a clear heart and mind that it was the right play for him. Oh, and you likely will win more (if that sort of thing is important to you).

    Being a legacy full-career multiple champion Patriot also has a longer-term upside after the playing part of the career is over. There’s much better earning potential.

  27. I would love for them to resign Hightower,he is awesome in our defense.BB allows some players to guage the market,he has done so since he became the HC.I also like Butler,I hope he doesn’t think that game winning int makes him a true #1.The resigning of Harmon and Branch was huge in keeping our defense strong.BB is not complacent and always strives to make A TEAM.As he has said “players win games but Teams win championships

  28. i will nevet forget the broncos factually cheating the
    cap under the honorable tagliabue

    meanwhile, goodell has framed ne twice to cheat the
    pats to try to keep parity

    well known facts at this point

  29. LMAO @ that SB being “handed” to the Patriots. Lots of teams have scored 31 unanswered points in the last 20 mins of a super bowl and won it in OT.

    You people are suffering from Patriots Derangement Syndrome.

  30. RandyinRoxbury says:
    Mar 12, 2017 11:06 AM
    Good, we need him now more than ever as the Dolphins are in the early stages of building a Dynasty!
    ========================

    And the Sun is in the ‘early stages’ of going nova.
    Chipster you really are the gift that keeps on giving.

  31. While I am excited to see what my Fins can do this year, I am pretty impressed what the Pats are able to do. I just hope that we have quality games to be honest. Gase isn’t a BB but he is at least trending the right way with the Dolphins. Would have loved to have signed Hightower, quality run stopper and great defense “QB”. Covers pretty well too hard to find these days.

  32. tylawspick6 says:
    Mar 12, 2017 11:14 AM
    i will nevet forget the broncos factually cheating the
    cap under the honorable tagliabue

    meanwhile, goodell has framed ne twice to cheat the
    pats to try to keep parity

    well known facts at this point
    ———————————————————

    Typical idiot Alternative Fact statement.
    1. Yes, Denver did subvert the cap, BUT all the money from the effort went to building the new stadium, NOT additional salaries. Bowlen family is one of the poorer owners based on full income/investment.
    2. All the contracts (namely Elway & Davis) were approved by the league contract review department.
    3. Denver was penalized by the league, just under $2 million and two 3rd round draft picks in 2002 & 2004.

  33. umm, elway’s salaries in 1995, 1996 and 1997 after years
    of sell outs and corporate backing for the new stadium, would
    have been drops in the bucket towards stadium
    investment, little millennial.

    we aren’t that stupid

    what an insult to everyone’s intelligence

  34. bigfan62 says:
    Mar 12, 2017 11:41 AM
    tylawspick6 says:
    Mar 12, 2017 11:14 AM
    i will nevet forget the broncos factually cheating the
    cap under the honorable tagliabue

    meanwhile, goodell has framed ne twice to cheat the
    pats to try to keep parity

    well known facts at this point
    ———————————————————

    Typical idiot Alternative Fact statement.
    1. Yes, Denver did subvert the cap, BUT all the money from the effort went to building the new stadium, NOT additional salaries. Bowlen family is one of the poorer owners based on full income/investment.
    2. All the contracts (namely Elway & Davis) were approved by the league contract review department.
    3. Denver was penalized by the league, just under $2 million and two 3rd round draft picks in 2002 & 2004.

    ————————–

    Thats all completely true. But I think when it gets mentioned its in response to guys (espevially Denver fans) acting like a ball pressure question (that its gotten hard to think wasnt due to field conditions, you have to be trying hard) is the end all and that players, coaches, and teams should be cast out of the NFL, years of history redacted, etc.. you are right that even something much bigger like what Denver did (regardless how the spent the money they still did it) does not warrant so much hupe either. Its gootball, go forth and play it.

  35. ikeclanton says:
    Mar 12, 2017 11:06 AM
    Moodyponders is right about Cowbell being right.

    The Pats usually let their FA’s see what’s out there. Hightower has a lot of respect from the organization and if he ends up staying, it’s with no animosity and with a clear heart and mind that it was the right play for him. Oh, and you likely will win more (if that sort of thing is important to you).

    Being a legacy full-career multiple champion Patriot also has a longer-term upside after the playing part of the career is over. There’s much better earning potential.

    —————–

    Whats funny is that the comment I was getting support on was removed. No idea why.

    The one you are supporting was an earlier one and I think you spoke well to it too. In the end what its about is the standard business rule that decency will beget decency when both parties are into that.

  36. Point to ponder – The Pats won the SB in 2015 and they won the SB in 2017.

    On their 2017 roster there were 23 names that weren’t there in 2015 – they average between 10 & 11 new names every season between trades, free agents, draftees and undrafted players.

    BB knows what he’s doing.

    And yes, I win the coveted ‘Captain Obvious’ title for this week.

  37. “Typical idiot Alternative Fact statement.
    1. Yes, Denver did subvert the cap, BUT all the money from the effort went to building the new stadium, NOT additional salaries. Bowlen family is one of the poorer owners based on full income/investment.
    2. All the contracts (namely Elway & Davis) were approved by the league contract review department.
    3. Denver was penalized by the league, just under $2 million and two 3rd round draft picks in 2002 & 2004.”

    Actually the alternative fact is that the league approved the contracts for Davis and Elway. What they approved were versions of the contracts that did not disclose the deferred payments to the players so those deferred payments would not count against the cap.

    That’s why it was salary cap cheating and why the team was fined and lost picks. And unless Davis and Elway gave their deferred payments back to the owner which is of course not the case, no all the money did not “go for the new stadium”

    Had they just disclosed those payments and had them on the books there would have been no wrongdoing. Of course that might well have prevented them from re-signing one or both, or other players that helped win those Super Bowls.

  38. Luck and randonmess play huge roles in every season.

    Just like it did in Atlanta developing a huge 21-0 lead, just like it did in 2 Giants SB wins in 08 and 12, just like it did in the 07 loss at Indy or the 09 knee injury or the 97 kick return or the two 16 losses at Denver, or even Chuck Fairbanks bailing in the 70’s a year after the infamous 76 roughing the passer.

    Quite a few bounces have gone agst NE.

    The Patriots were very close to winning it all in 76-77, 97, 08, 12, and 16, plus in 09 Brady was out for the year. Thats 6 potential Super Bowl wins.

  39. Bigfan62, you should have stopped your entire post at “yes, denver did subvert the cap.” Would have been a perfect post had you ended it right there.

  40. steeelfann0155 says:

    And Cook and Gronk join the offense next year. Oh my gosh hand it to them.
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    Cynical much?

    Why not, just like NE has been handing the Steelers their head for decades now.

    To recap, since 1998 NE 11-3 over PIT and most important, when it matters most, 4-1 in the post season, 3-0 in AFCCG’s.

    Man it feels good to type that.

  41. It’s pretty easy to “own” someone in a debate when they regurgitate lies that are easily exposed.

    By lying and deferring Elway and Terrell Davis’s payments for 3 straight years, it allowed Denver to keep Ray Crockett, numerous other pricey veterans on their roster, while adding key players at weak spots like:

    FB Howard Griffith
    CB/KR/PR Extraordinaire Darien Gordon (stolen from division rival)
    DE Neil Smith (stolen from division rival)

    The greatest cheating scandal, that actually existed, that the NFL has ever seen.

    “This one is for John!”

    Yeah, right. Good work asking Elway to take deferred payments, Bowlen, all so Johnie Horseteeth wouldn’t embarrass himself in more Super Bowls, which the entire country had become so accustomed to for so long.

  42. Could anyone suggest a good antique store that might have a Dolphin superbowl championship hat laying around?

    Finding a such a relic would likely be the only way that a Dolphin fan younger than 50 would be able to ever see a Dolphin superbowl championship hat.

    On the other hand the stores in New England have piles of Patriots superbowl championship merchandise. It can even be ordered by telephone or online.

  43. stucats says:
    Mar 12, 2017 7:27 AM
    All you Pats fans that think everything is just great and dandy, you are just coming off a Super Bowl that was basically handed to you by the worst coaching display from the Falcons in the history of the game….

    _______________________________________________

    So what you are trying to tell us is that one coaching decision, when the Falcons are up 28-12 in the third quarter lost them the game? Bill Belichick walks over to the Atlanta sideline and demands “that was the most boneheaded coaching I have ever seen… you must give us 22 points and forfeit the game. Call Roger… it’s in the rule books.”

    Do you know football? Did you see that the Pats had dominated time of possession and basically ground down a young defense. Even at that point, they HAD TO EXECUTE. Falcons didn’t give them anything, the Patriots took it. Brady was throwing lasers and his receivers started catching. James White was otherworldly and couldn’t be stopped by a gassed defense.

    Learn some football, man

  44. steelcurtainn says:
    Mar 12, 2017 2:25 PM
    The patsies can sign the entire probowl roster for next season. Sorry, They won’t be winning or having no sb handed to them next year.

    Oh you still t’d off by the whipping the Pats gave to you in the AFC championship. Like they say, the Patriots are the Steelers “Daddy” and will continue to be loser!!!

  45. When was the last time pitt was in the SB? Didn’t they lose? Tomlin will never beat Belichick, especially in the post season. More foot in the mouth frustration and jealousy on the menu for tinfoilcurtain. Best of times.

  46. “The patsies can sign the entire probowl roster for next season. Sorry, They won’t be winning or having no sb handed to them”

    As soon as the steelers make a dent in their wholly dismal, and quite frankly pathetic, record against the Patriots in the BB/TB era, then you can talk.

    Now go get your shinebox little guy.

  47. You will not win the Super Bowl in 2017, when everything appears to be a sure thing, it usually isn’t.

    ************************

    No one thinks it’s a sure thing. But if you had to put money on a team to win the AFC next season, who would you put it on?

    The Steelers? Denver? KC?

    No. No. And no. It’ll be the Raiders and Pats in the AFC Championship game next January and thanks to the ineptitude of the Jets & Bills it’ll most likely be played in Gillette Stadium.

    Nothing is a sure thing in sports, but anyone with even half a brain puts their money on the Pats.

  48. Depending on which research you subscribe to nearly 1 out of 5 NFL players go broke within 12 years of retirement. So much emphasis is put on “getting paid now” and “taking care of my family”.

    I get it.

    If I were Hightower I would take less to stay with the Patriots. Loving my job versus losing is important to me. I’m sure the Browns or a similar team would pay him more, but who wants to lose more games than they win?

    Fellas, if you take the money as opposed to the legacy, at least put that money in smart places so you’re not broke, with a busted up body, and wondering “what if” every time the Hall of Fame inductees put on that jacket.

  49. If the Cheaps want Hightower they’ll have to pay top money. Too many other teams with large cap space bidding for him.

  50. steelcurtainn says:
    Mar 12, 2017 2:25 PM
    The patsies can sign the entire probowl roster for next season. Sorry, They won’t be winning or having no sb handed to them next year.

    ———

    The Pats may or may not win the SB next season …..but one thing is sure, it won’t be Mike Tomlin who stops them….

  51. snake11s says:
    Mar 12, 2017 6:54 AM
    I can’t relate to it but are a few million bucks in your 20’s worth a lifetime job that Brady has earned? Pats…you do for me I do for you.

    Brady. He’s the only one who has earned that moniker of a lifetime job. The Pats have shown no loyalty to anyone else. If Hightower blew an MCL tomorrow they wouldn’t offer him a dime. They let go of anyone who has asked for any amount of money over what they want to spend. If Hightower is smart he takes the best offer available. This is a violent game and your career is short. Take the most money you can get from the highest bidder and set your family up for the future. Go to the Browns with another guy BB let get unceremoniously Jaime Collins and build something in Cleveland.

  52. mrboado says:
    Mar 12, 2017 2:49 PM
    Depending on which research you subscribe to nearly 1 out of 5 NFL players go broke within 12 years of retirement. So much emphasis is put on “getting paid now” and “taking care of my family”.

    I get it.

    If I were Hightower I would take less to stay with the Patriots. Loving my job versus losing is important to me. I’m sure the Browns or a similar team would pay him more, but who wants to lose more games than they win?

    Fellas, if you take the money as opposed to the legacy, at least put that money in smart places so you’re not broke, with a busted up body, and wondering “what if” every time the Hall of Fame inductees put on that jacket.

    Again he’s won championships. Time to get paid.


  53. If the Cheaps want Hightower they’ll have to pay top money. Too many other teams with large cap space bidding for him.”

    Have you been paying attention to this at all sweetie? The Patriots were in the top 5 of teams with the most cap space going in to the off season. 65 million. After winning a super bowl. Let that sink in, and maybe have a clue about the topic before posting next time steeler boy.

  54. steelercrazy says:
    Mar 12, 2017 3:03 PM
    If the Cheaps want Hightower they’ll have to pay top money. Too many other teams with large cap space bidding for him.
    ——————————
    Well, that is the expectation since. after all, NE opted to let him establish his market value instead of just keeping him off the market by franchise tagging him.

    NE/BB: Find out what you can get elsewhere on the open market. Then we’ll talk.

    Hightower: A’ight.

  55. beachsidejames says:
    Mar 12, 2017 9:22 AM
    I have to disagree with you stucats. Pats have reloaded and have a good shot at going undefeated this year. Yes they have an easy division, yes they got lucky with Seattle and again with Atlanta but they are still the Patriots and better on paper this year. You want to beat them you better be ready to play hard for the whole 60 minutes.
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    If you bother to check, you will find that the AFC East is one of the better divisions. Just look it up. And this year, they have 7 games against playoff teams. SEVEN…just about half.

  56. I love this talk about the “easy division”. First of all, according to W/L percentage over the last 16 years the East is middle of the pack….and that’s true even if you remove the Pats.record. Secondly, there are maybe 4 teams in the NFL you expect to win every week and have a shot at winning it all. Everyone else is up in the air. There’s no surprise when any of the other 28 teams lose or have a bad season. Parity? lol, sure.

  57. The Patriots were very close to winning it all in 76-77, 97, 08, 12, and 16, plus in 09 Brady was out for the year. Thats 6 potential Super Bowl wins.

    I know why you didn’t include them, but that 85 team did very well. Prior to being smoked by the Bears, they had to win 3 straight road playoff games to get to that Super Bowl. The first time any team had done so.

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