Patriots: Revisiting the 2007 Offseason

Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports /
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Bill Belichick Patriots
Jan 16, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sideline as they take on the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half in a AFC Divisional round playoff game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Signed Adalius Thomas to a five-year, $35 million contract

The Patriots’ big-spending free agency was headlined by the Thomas signing. Thomas was ESPN’s second-best free agent for 2007, and the Patriots’ free agent acquisition was rewarded with the largest cap hit in the league and the largest contract ever given to a free agent by the organization.

Thomas was stellar for the 2007 Patriots as he started 15 games and piled up 78 tackles and 6.5 sacks. The former Baltimore Ravens‘ star in Rex Ryan’s defense and he was graded as the best free agent signing of the entire 2007 class.

Thomas’ talent shined in 2007 alongside Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, and Rosevelt Colvin, but his relationship with New England faltered and he was released just three years into his contract. Thomas failed to assimilate into the “Patriot Way,” however, the signing paved the way for future acquisitions of proven stars.

The Patriots always seem to make huge moves after losing to Manning in the playoffs. After the 2006 AFC Championship game, we saw the likes of these savvy veterans and under-the-radar players. After the 2013 AFC Championship game, Belichick acquired more veterans in Revis and Brandon Browner. Now, after falling to the defending champions in last year’s AFC Championship game, the Patriots have restocked and reloaded with more veterans, most notably, Martellus Bennett, Chris Long, and Terrance Knighton.

Next: The Resurgence of Patrick Chung

Who knows, if the pattern continues, the Patriots just might find themselves in the Super Bowl this upcoming season.