Bill Belichick is the gold standard of talent evaluators, including acquisitions and contracts. Belichick, a no-nonsense coach, finds production from the least likely places. Whether it be a veteran or rookie, acquired through free agency, via trade, or the draft; Belichick’s reputation precedes him in getting the most out of his players.
Naturally, Belichick does have cap experts and contract negotiators that work in the best interest of the team. But it has been reported that Belichick’s persona on the field corresponds to his negotiating skills. If Bill wants you, contracts are the last thing he is worried about. Notoriously stingy when dealing with second and third contracts, he expects to find production to replace pending free agents with draft picks and veterans he brings in on team-friendly deals.
Thomas Dimitroff and company have chosen to invest in their players. Grady Jarrett and Julio Jones were the talk of the off-season. Jarrett was looking for a new contract entirely, and Jones was looking for an extension. Both were handed lucrative multi-year deals, along with the likes of Deion Jones. Regardless of their individual performances in the first two weeks, which were satisfactory, the three will be taking up a substantial chunk of the salary cap a few years down the road.
Signing or extending Jarrett, Deion Jones, Julio Jones, Jake Mattews, Desmond Trufant, among others might have Falcon fans feeling secure. But in reality, allocating the amount of cap the front office did on 5-6 players is disingenuous to the rest of the roster when the eye for talent is mediocre.
Thomas Dimitroff has an average track record through the draft and free agency. Drafting players like Deion Jones, Grady Jarrett, and Calvin Ridley has given Dimitroff the benefit of the doubt. But drafting other players like Duke Riley, Vic Beasley, and Jalen Collins raises questions.
Though some of these draft picks are still developing, it begs the question what the team’s composition would look like if the Falcons did not invest in players already within the organization. Bringing in free agents can be either detrimental or advantageous to a team’s chemistry. Predicting how the team would look and perform if the front office had decided to go another direction is nearly impossible.
Bill Belichick doesn’t have 8 Super Bowl rings because he sees the right talent. It is a combination of the meticulous assimilation of a roster with the talent and mental fortitude that Belichick’s system demands, coaching, and player leadership. Belichick’s teams are always more prepared than anyone they step on the field against. It isn’t even a question whether Belichick’s players know their assignments or not.
Atlanta was able to bounce back after a dismal performance in week one against the Vikings with a thrilling victory over the Eagles. Dan Quinn’s job is possibly on the line if he can’t get his troops in order and firing on all cylinders like they were much of the time in week two. And for that to happen, he needs his stars to be stars each time out there.
Against the Eagles, Julio Jones, Jake Mathews, and Mohamed Sanu combined for a perfectly orchestrated screen play that resulted in the game-winning touchdown. Grady Jarrett was once again the best defensive player on the field. Deion Jones, Ricardo Allen, and even Vic Beasly made timely plays. That is the formula for this team to win ball games and take control of the NFC South. Without their superstars showing up, this team does not have much of a chance on a week-to-week basis.