Latest free agent signing dispels recent Patriots myth
A repeated narrative since Tom Brady departed the Patriots in 2020 has been that players in the NFL do not want to play for the team anymore.
Since the greatest of all time left New England, Bill Belichick has received even more scrutiny than before. The comparisons between him and Brady and the downplaying of what the head coach has accomplished have become exhausting. It has gone from the chatter from the haters to a far too common talking point when discussing the Patriots’ dynasty.
Something even more perplexing has been mixed within those conversations, however. Unsurprisingly, a new proclamation was made that caught on like wildfire.
Now that the Patriots are back to being a regular team without their star quarterback, the media and fans outside of New England have declared the Patriots a team players don’t want to play for.
Despite the best efforts of current and former Patriots players coming to the defense of their head coach and organization, their words are never believed nor listened to. But that may change after hearing what one of the latest free agent signings had to say during his first interview on Boston radio.
JuJu Smith-Schuster appeared on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Zolak & Bertrand” show on Tuesday and was asked why he chose to sign with New England, especially since the reigning Super Bowl Champion Chiefs had reportedly made an offer to keep him in Kansas City.
"“To be honest, it was (Bill) Belichick, man. The guy, you know — just the want and the need. And the position that I can fill there really, really caught my attention. And … feeling wanted in a place where I played against, a head coach I have a lot of respect for. And I just think that goes a long way.”"
Although this may not be convincing to those most in need of hearing it, Smith-Schuster’s reasoning dispels one of the biggest myths coming out of New England over the last few years.
It’s clear that Belichick has not lost his aura with players around the league, which is even more evident given that Smith-Schuster is just 26 years old. He was not in the league for much of the Patriots’ most successful years, yet he still wanted to play for the legendary Belichick.