Long-term rebuilding would not be a wise move for the Patriots

Long-term rebuilds become just that, long-term.
Super Bowl LIII - New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams
Super Bowl LIII - New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams / Al Bello/GettyImages

Debate rages before the NFL Draft on April 25-27 about who the Patriots should select. Should it be the quarterback, the left tackle, the wide receiver, or whoever?

These are good questions that don't have easy answers. You need 'em all is the right answer. So where does that leave our New England Patriots, who need just about everything on offense?

Before answering that question, we should look at two alternative strategies. One is that you take your time and first rebuild the basics, like the O-line, the wideouts, the tight ends, and the running backs, etc., and get the quarterback later. But is it a sound strategy?

The other option is to throw all of that long-term business out the window and realize that there is no long-term in the NFL or any other sports league. There is only this offseason and this upcoming season. That's all there is. Let's explore why the latter viewpoint makes the most sense.

Long-term rebuilds become perennial rebuilds

Teams that adopt the long approach will fail. They try to systematically and methodically construct a team built to win whatever they can. Convincing? No.

Take a look at those perennial rebuilders in the NFL, such as the hapless New York Jets, the Detroit Lions, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Arizona Cardinals, etc.

These are never-ending re-builders. One regime comes in and rebuilds. Then, when it fails, they start all over again in a continuing cycle of rebuild, fail, start over. The Jets haven't seen a Lombardi trophy since it wasn't even called the Lombardi back in 1969. They and many others remain losing franchises for the most part (although the Jets did sign Aaron Rodgers, an admittedly superior approach) that never win much of anything.

So this goes back to the baseline strategy that every team, including the New England Patriots, should adopt every year. That is, there is no other season to play for than this one upcoming season, and all transactions, e.g., free agency, and the draft, need to be directed solely on this season, 2024. There is an excellent example of this right in front of Patriot Nation.

The 2001 New England Patriots are the archetypal example of play to win now

The 2000 New England Patriots in the first season under new Head Coach/GM Bill Belichick stunk. They were a dreadful team with a decent quarterback who made too many mistakes. The prospectus wasn't very good in 2001 either, as they were on their way to their second loss in three games when an injury changed everything.

That was when Tom Brady took the reins, and neither he nor the team looked back for 20 years. There are lessons therein that should be expressed. The first should be an obvious one: the quarterback makes all the difference in the world.

If you have a good one who's prone to mistakes, e.g., interceptions at the worst times, you'll be OK. You may even get to a Super Bowl, but the chances of winning a championship are slim. He's the key to the whole business. The emergence of even the young version of Tom Brady, who protected the ball, made all the high-percentage throws, and, especially, didn't lose games, sent the Pats on the way to raising the Lombardi.

That position is the key. Period. You get that guy first. And you get a guy who protects the ball brilliantly. The guy in 2024 who does that is Jayden Daniels of LSU, but that's another story. It all starts and ends with the QB. That means, if you're the Patriots, you forget foolish plans to methodically build, year after year, blah after blah. You just take the QB with that top pick.

Secondarily, you make all other moves to build up your roster with the best players (not depth ones) you can get who have the talent to win now, not in two or three years. All the long-term plans in the world can be torpedoed by injury, contract disputes, whatever. That's why there is only one season, this upcoming one.

That's it, the simple formula that makes sense for this upcoming draft and all other Patriots personnel moves. You get the QB who protects the ball, you play for this year only, and you try to win now with the very best players you can sign, trade for, or draft.

As in 2001, you just never know when the ingredients can coalesce if you have that quarterback, and somehow, some way, he wins you a championship. You just never know. But it all starts and will end (if it's in some success, or, as in 2001 a championship) with the quarterback. There is no doubt whatsoever about that or, as in 2001,

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