Although it should be universally unfathomable to honestly believe a professional sports team would actually tank, many Patriots fans have convinced themselves the team is doing just that or, at the very least, should be. The logic escapes them, as their primary focus is on the 2024 NFL draft, where the belief is quarterback or bust with New England's first-round pick.
Fans may have moved on from the current season, but the coaches and players have not. There are still four games left to play, and even though the Patriots are essentially playing for draft position at this point, their determination to play hard and win games has not escaped them.
A few players have spoken about the idea of tanking since it has caught on like wildfire in New England. And, of course, they have all scoffed at the consideration, with the latest being Christian Barmore.
While speaking to reporters on Monday morning, the team's leading interior defender set the record straight with a direct message to the fans aboard the tank train.
Surely, he intended to end the speculation about whether or not they are, in fact, trying to or even okay with losing. However, Barmore is the third player to reiterate this point, yet some still believe otherwise.
Given the ramifications of winning more games this season, it makes sense why there is a desire to see the team lose. Winning more games will move them further down in the draft order, as they currently hold the second overall pick. It is the highest they will select since 1993, and since they need a complete roster makeover starting from the most important position on the team, the higher the pick, the better their chance of getting a franchise quarterback.
The problem with that is expecting an entire team of men whose job literally depends on their performance on the field to purposely play badly in order to benefit a team that may not even keep them around.
Expecting any of them to be okay with that is inconceivable. So even if it would be more beneficial for them to lose out the rest of the way, which they can still do without trying to tank, it's not going to happen.