The NFL Draft is officially in the books and the New England Patriots, by all accounts, enjoyed a fantastic three-day period of drafting.
While fans should be incredibly satisfied with the incoming draft class, they were likely greatly enthused for the Patriots to make some noise in the undrafted free agent cycle, too.
After all, the front office has feasted in this department over the years.
When it comes to finding diamonds in the rough, the Patriots are arguably as prolific as any team in the NFL. Yeah, about that…
This time around, they’ve shockingly decided against making any moves.
As of Monday morning, approximately 30 hours after the draft’s final selection, the Patriots have yet to ink a deal with an undrafted free agent, making them the only team in the league to have yet to agree to terms with at least one player.
Why haven’t the Patriots signed any undrafted free agents yet?
What’s even more crazy than the Patriots not signing any UDFAs yet? The other 31 teams, according to Pats Pulpit, have averaged about seven signings thus far. While this might trigger some fans’ alarms, there’s actually some justification behind the team’s lack of urgency.
For starters, there wasn’t exactly an overabundance of talent in the 2021 UDFA class. Not only that, but New England has an incredibly deep roster and addressed most of their needs — including linebacker, safety, offensive tackle and receiver — with their final four picks.
You also have to consider the Patriots’ financial restrictions after they doled out close to $300 million in free agency. They simply might not be in a position to hand out expensive signing bonus’ to win a bidding war with another team for a certain player.
And finally, it’s possible New England could be biding their time. After all, teams will be able to hold their own rookie minicamps this month. League rules permit them to invite undrafted free agents to these minicamps for tryouts and de facto GM Bill Belichick was adamant about wanting to be involved in the UDFA process in his post-draft presser.
While the Patriots can only bring in a maximum of five players, it’d be surprising if they didn’t exploit this loophole, evaluate whomever they invite and make a decision from there.
When you consider all the impact players Belichick and Co. have found in the UDFA cycle — including center David Andrews, to cornerbacks JC Jackson, Malcolm Butler and JC Jackson and special team standouts Brandon Bolden and Brandon King — expect the Patriots to be active in inviting rookie free agents to their minicamps in the coming weeks.