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Is Bill Belichick the brain behind Patriots’ opt-outs? An NFL exec thinks so

In April, after the patriots refused to select a quarterback in the NFL Draft 2020 and well before signing free agent Cam Newton for a one-year deal, we discussed the ludicrous but technically impossible scenario that New England was to land Clemson star Trevor Lawrence in 2021.

Now it’s time to tackle another wild Patriots theory, that coach and quasi-general manager Bill Belichick is somehow behind so many New England players who are opting out of the 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

MORE: How Patriots Can Replace Opt-Out Players

As of Tuesday morning, six Patriots players – including household names such as Dont’a Hightower, Marcus Cannon, Brandon Bolden and Patrick Chung – had decided not to play the 2020 season under the opt-out conditions set by the NFL and NFL on Friday. -players Association. That was by far the most of one team in the NFL, causing at least one NFL manager to raise an eyebrow.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter shared the details of a text message conversation he had with the unnamed NFL exec on Twitter. The person apparently thinks Belichick is “the master mind” of the New England opt-out. Pressed to explain why Belichick would do such a thing, the director replied, “I don’t know! That’s why he is who he is! “

OK. Let’s pretend that this anonymous director is on to something, and that Belichick somehow convinces his players to opt out as part of a complicated plan to improve New England’s salary cap and / or design position .

Actually, never mind. Let’s not. Because it’s a bit much to suggest that even the most notable NFL impostor would use a deadly pandemic in a long game effort to potentially give a resume that makes him the greatest football coach of all time for many.

That status is relevant because it is the reason many are not ready to write off the Patriots in 2020 even though they lost Tom Brady on free duty and have a handful of defensive 2019 startups, including those who are opting out of the 2020 season.

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For example, to land New England Lawrence it would probably have to finish the 2020 season with the NFL’s worst record. That’s not going to happen, because the takeover of Newton alone suggests that Belichick is not on the idea of ​​refueling.

And as long as Belichick tries to win, even in a season that may be his most challenging in 21 years with the Patriots, he will win enough.

The opt-out losses of Chung, Hightower, Bolden, Cannon, Danny Vitale and Najee Toran, although of different significance, do not change that.

SN’s Vinnie Iyer writes: For most teams, losing key starters so close to the season would cause major turmoil. However, the patriots are better prepared than most teams because of their constant search for specific role players who can ‘do their job’. “

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