It's been a bit quiet around here at Foxboro Blog. I've been spending my time getting things ready for the new Bloguin platform that's about to drop any day now. As a result, I haven't had much time to wax analytical about the Patriots, despite of all the rumors swirling. However, today's big news is too big to pass on. The Patriots already had the best offensive player in the league on their roster, and now they have the best defensive player as well. Revis Island has come to New England!
Today was a long day, waking up to the news that the Denver Broncos had signed away Aqib Talib with a massively ridiculous contract. As much as the Broncos will one day regret shelling out a six-year deal with the most guaranteed money ever to a corner to the oft-injured Talib, there was no denying that the Broncos had gotten stronger, while the Patriots were weakened. Coming a year removed from the Welker-to-Denver deal only made things sting worse. Then we heard that Denver was adding T.J. Ward and DeMarcus Ware as well. The Broncos were certainly making a ton of noise.
All we got from the Patriots was crickets.
Still, deep down, I just knew that Bill Belichick wasn't going to sit on his hands this time around. Despite the fiscal responsibility displayed year in and year out by the Patriots, there was one way they could counter Denver's move and turn it into a positive. We just had to wait until 4pm when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers officially cut Darrelle Revis loose. A few hours later, our patient waiting was rewarded.
Make no bones about it, the New England defense just got much better today. As good as Talib was at times last year, he was not Revis. And while you can never fully predict these things, the odds are that Darrelle will be active in more games that Aqib next season if you go by their respective histories.
As for Denver, they certainly upgraded as well, but not as much as everyone seems to think. Just like Revis replaced an already stellar player in Talib, Talib replaced a solid Rogers-Cromartie in Denver. DeMarcus Ware is only a marginal upgrade if the Broncos end up losing Shaun Phillips in free-agency. Champ Bailey also left a big hole to fill, and who knows how well Chris Harris will recover from his ACL tear, if he does return to Denver. Eric Decker appears to likely be on his way out as well. While the fireworks may be going off in Denver today, this big-name, big-money moves hardly turned the Broncos into an unstoppable contender. And if anything, they almost guarantee that the Broncos window will be slammed shut after 2014 when the bill comes due. It's now or never for Denver.
With Darrelle Revis added to a team that will be getting Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo, Tommy Kelly, Sebastian Vollmer, and Big Rob Gronkowski back from injury in 2014, "Never" may just be what's in store for John Elway, Peyton Manning, and the Denver Broncos.