Football conspiracy theorists believe the New England Patriots are tanking for Trevor Lawrence.
Whenever something happens to the New England Patriots — whether it’s good or bad — we can count on football fans everywhere trying to spin the narrative and claim Bill Belichick is up to no good and is constantly working behind the scenes to get a leg up by whatever means necessary.
But it’s fair to say we’ve reached a new level of that this week when the Pats got bad news in the form of six players opting out of the 2020 NFL season due to COVID-19 concerns. That prompted dopes from all corners of the web to suggest this was a grand scheme to tank for Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, with even Adam Schefter insinuating Belichick was … up to something, manipulating the whole thing. OK, guy.
Even one of the Patriots who opted out had no choice but to address how dumb this conspiracy theory truly is.
On what planet are the Patriots tanking for the No. 1 overall pick? Even with the opt outs, they’re still the favorites to win the AFC East! All of the tank talk officially died when Belichick went out and signed Cam Newton.
Sure, losing guys like Patrick Chung, Marcus Cannon and Dont’a Hightower is a big blow, but Belichick has made a living dealing with such disadvantages.
Not to mention, the Patriots have good secondary and linebacker depth, so they won’t necessarily have an impossible task at hand trying to replace Chung and Hightower.
We guess one could really dig deep into a pretzel and suggest Belichick didn’t want to make the tank appear so obvious, but he didn’t see the global pandemic coming. Many thought the NFL season was in the clear a few months, back given there was ample time to figure things out and halt the spread/develop a vaccine or treatment.
To suggest he opted to hold onto guys like Julian Edelman, Stephon Gilmore, Mohamed Sanu and Joe Thuney (instead of trading them to acquire draft capital and then tank) in order to disguise some deep state tank is lunacy at its finest. If you’re going come up with a conspiracy, at least back it up and provide some substance, because this isn’t it.
We don’t think there’s much else to elaborate upon. The Patriots are not the same team they were for the last two decades, but they certainly aren’t even close to the bottom of the NFL’s barrel, even with these opt outs and offseason losses.