New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick known for his Sphinx-like demeanor in press conferences, spoke Monday with words that shook through the NFL.
“We sold out,” Belichick told radio station WEEI Radio, “and won three Super Bowls, played in a fourth, and played in an AFC championship game. This year we had less to work with. It’s not an excuse, it’s just a fact.
The comments came a day after the Pats notched their fifth loss in seven games and was a follow-up to some remarks he offered over the weekend in an interview with former Pats offensive coordinator, Charlies Weis, on Sirius XM.
“We were pretty heavily invested in our team in the past few years,” Belichick told his one-time assistant coach, “From a salary cap standpoint, we didn’t have much flexibility at all.
Belichick also told Weis that the team lost some players who decided to opt out of their contracts and pursue free agency. The longtime rulers of the AFC East also lost eight players who opted out of playing this season due to coronavirus concerns. “So we lost some players there that would normally have been giving us a significant amount of playing time,” said Belichick.
Speaking to the creation of this year’s less than stellar team, Belichick said, “Look, we paid Cam Newton $1 million. I mean it’s obvious we didn’t have any money. It’s nobody’s fault.”
The Patriots have lost four straight games for the first time since 2000, and they will look to get back to winning ways when they face the Jets in New York next week. The Jets and Pats are longtime rivals and both are seeing hard times. The Jets are winless in eight tries and have the worst ranked offense in the NFL.