Jerod Mayo admits to Patriots dealing with roadblock in signing free agents

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins
New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins / Mark Brown/GettyImages

Despite having more than a full wallet of cash to spend in free agency this year, Jerod Mayo did not live up to the hype he promised to deliver this offseason. After he made his desire to "burn some cash" on top-notch players, most Patriots fans were ready for an offseason unlike any seen in recent memory, which would be happening at the perfect time given their weak roster.

As free agency started, it became apparent that Bill Belichick's familiar approach, which has become a hallmark of the Patriots, was still in place in Foxboro. Whether this was a deliberate choice or a consequence of the numerous changes made this offseason, the lack of a new philosophy was undeniable.

The assumption has been the former because reports indicated the Patriots had only made a strong push for one top free agent, Calvin Ridley. However, Mayo seemed to squash that notion by revealing what he believes has been a roadblock to enticing players to sign with the team this year.

Jerod Mayo's honesty is refreshing but also concerning regarding the Patriots future

While speaking to reporters at the Annual League Meeting earlier this week, the new head coach was asked about previous comments made by him and de facto general manager Eliot Wolf, who emphasized his desire to "weaponize the offense" this offseason.

He spoke bluntly and admitted one hurdle they were unable to overcome was the lack of a franchise quarterback, which he believes deterred some of the free agents they pursued.

Given how critical a good quarterback is to a team, it's fair to assume players would prefer an established offense rather than one amid a rebuild.

Although Jacoby Brissett is a solid veteran, he's not the future of the position in New England, which provides uncertainty to players the Patriots inquire about signing.

Mayo continued providing more, what he called "clarity," on what has been labeled a lackluster free agency thus far, noting that money has not been an issue despite the concern from fans and members of the media.

He also shared that the Patriots were intentionally being picky about who they signed, with hopes of rebuilding the team through the draft and taking a good look at all the players who will inevitably be released before the start of the 2024 season.

Understandably, a more methodical approach is what the new regime deems to be the best way to navigate their first free agency. It's better to think about your decisions rather than throw money at any top player for the sake of simply doing so.

Yet, at the same time, Mayo set high expectations with his own comments. Perhaps it was his inexperience talking, and they were said out of pure excitement; it's hard to blame him for that.

But given the years of disappointment fans have dealt with surrounding the departures of countless talented players and the lack of urgency to sign appropriate game-changers during Belichick's tenure, it was probably best to say nothing at all.

Hopefully, there are still some good moves up their sleeve, and they'll hit the draft out of the park so we can long forget a disappointing free agency. Maybe that's wishful thinking, but there's got to be a silver lining somewhere.

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