PFF: Bill Belichick’s 2021 spending spree netted 2 of the NFL’s best contracts

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The New England Patriots’ 2021 spending spree was supposed to bring about two things. First, the free-agency class was an effort to accelerate — or completely avoid — a rebuild in New England. Second, the big-money acquisitions were an effort to take advantage of a depressed market, with the cap dropping for the first time since 2006.

Just like any free agency class, the 2021 group has been a mixed bag. But the team should be pleased with two deals, in particular. Receiver Kendrick Bourne and EDGE Matt Judon appeared on Pro Football Focus’ list for the “top 32 NFL contracts ahead of the 2022 season.” Bourne was the 17th-best contract in the NFL. Judon was the 20th best. Those two players are providing excellent value for their teams.

With Bourne, the Patriots signed him to a three-year deal worth $15 million and they have $9.75 million in cash remaining on the final two years of his deal. With Judon, New England inked him to a $54.5 million, four-year deal that will pay him out $34.5 million in the remaining three years.

The Patriots have a handful of mediocre talents at receiver, from Nelson Agholor (another one of the Patriots’ 2021 free-agency signings) to DeVante Parker to Jakobi Meyers. But Bourne is one of the best bargains when considering he’s capable of elevating into a WR1 position for 2022.

Judon may just be the team’s most important and most talented defender after the departure of cornerback J.C. Jackson in free agency. Judon had some struggles with run defense and productivity in the pass-rush as the season wound down, but he still finished with 60 tackles and 12.5 sacks, an enormously impressive sum in his first year on the defense.

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