Patriots lose two more players to Lions: Danny Shelton and Duron Harmon

Cornerback Duron Harmon and nose tackle Danny Shelton became the latest in a long line of New England Patriots defections to the Detroit Lions.

If you’re a New England Patriots fan still reeling from the Tuesday news that Tom Brady plans to leave the franchise and potentially join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency, you’re certainly not alone.

You’re also probably not too thrilled with how this whole free agency period is continuing to go for the Pats.

Things started pretty encouragingly, with the team franchise tagging Joe Thuney and coming to terms on new deals for Matthew Slater and Devin McCourty. Then they took a turn when Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy signed deals with the Detroit Lions and the Miami Dolphins, respectively, on Monday.

But things really got bleak Tuesday morning.

On St. Patrick’s Day of all days, Tom Brady announced on Instagram and Twitter that he planned to leave the Patriots. Early reports have suggested he has agreed in principle to join the Bucs in 2020, and that an announcement of the union is imminent.

If that weren’t already depressing enough news for the week, the hits kept on coming throughout Wednesday.

Center Ted Karras and linebacker/fullback Elandon Roberts both joined Van Noy down with the Dolphins in Miami, and then according to Bleacher Report’s Rob Goldberg and Tim Daniels, the Lions further added insult to injury by trading for longtime New England safety Duron Harmon and then signing nose tackle Danny Shelton to a one-year, $8 million deal in free agency.

Are you sensing the arms race between the Dolphins and the Lions for Patriots players?

It makes sense. After all, two of Bill Belichick’s pupils, Matt Patricia and Brian Flores, are the head coaches of each team. Mike Vrabel’s Tennessee Titans and Bill O’Brien’s Houston Texans also have their fair share of Patriots ties on the staffs and rosters, but really it’s a two-way race between Detroit and Miami to see who can become the most Patriot-like the fastest.

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Harmon and Shelton join Danny Amendola, Trey Flowers, Tavon Wilson, Jamie Collins, Justin Coleman, Dan Skipper, and Christian Sam among the most prominent players on the Lions roster with Patriots ties.

Karras and Roberts join Kyle Van Noy, Aqib Talib, Eric Rowe, Calvin Munson, Ken Webster, Kamu Grugier-Hill, and Trent Harris among the more notable names on the Dolphins roster with New England connections.