Agent Drew Rosenhaus explains why Patriots 'were hungry' in NFL free agency

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Nick Goss
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Agent Drew Rosenhaus explains why Patriots 'were hungry' in free agency originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots have been the most aggressive team in NFL free agency so far, and one person who's been directly involved in a lot of that action has been agent Drew Rosenhaus.

The Patriots have agreed to free agent contracts with three of Rosenhaus' clients this week -- tight end Jonnu Smith, defensive back Jalen Mills and defensive tackle Davon Godchaux. Earlier this month, the Patriots traded for left tackle Trent Brown from the Las Vegas Raiders, who's another Rosenhaus client.

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Rosenhaus has known Patriots head coach Bill Belichick a long time, and he recently joined "The Peter King Podcast" to shed some light on New England's mentality during a busy free agency period.

“They had the money out there, and they were hungry,” Rosenhaus told King. “I just got the sense that coach Belichick was hungry. I got the feeling that last year didn’t sit very well with them. I got the feeling they weren’t content missing the playoffs, and I got the sense that they were going to do a lot to improve their football team. They were able to do things that other teams couldn’t do.

“One thing about Belichick, besides being a great coach, he’s also, I think, an outstanding talent evaluator and a great NFL executive, so I think it’s scary to give an outstanding coach like that tons of cap room that most teams don’t have. I think the Patriots are going to be a very dangerous team this year.”

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The Patriots entered free agency with more salary cap than all but a couple teams, and they have used it to their advantage in a year where many other franchises have been parting ways with good players in order to get under the cap. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the 2021 salary cap decreasing from the 2020 number, which was a bad scenario for quite a few clubs.

“I think we all agree that Belichick is very good at taking advantage of opportunities, and he did this year," Rosenhaus said. "He knew there were a lot of teams that didn’t have cap room and wouldn’t have the ability to go out and add great football players, and he did the exact opposite — he went and did that. He went and improved his football team by leaps and bounds. I think everybody would agree this roster is incredibly improved from the one that they ended the season with.”

In addition to Rosenhaus' clients, the Patriots also have agreed to deals with free agent tight end Hunter Henry, outside linebacker Matthew Judon, wide receiver Nelson Agholor and wide receiver Kendrick Bourne.