Tony Romo makes a big prediction about the 2021 Patriots

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Henry McKenna
·1 min read
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Tony Romo doesn’t see Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots sitting at the middle of the NFL for long.

Even after a 7-9 season when New England missed the playoffs, Romo made an optimistic prediction about what next for Belichick and the Patriots.

“The AFC is going to be loaded,” Romo said on CBS just after the end of the AFC Championship Game on Sunday night. “I’m telling you, New England is going to be back in this thing. I have a feeling Belichick, with that much salary cap, they’ll find a way to come back in this thing.”

With the Patriots seeing Tom Brady depart this offseason — along with a handful of talented players and coaches in recent years — New England struggled throughout the 2020 season. Quarterback Cam Newton filled in admirably, but was unable to elevate a poor supporting cast on offense. Belichick, meanwhile, had similar problems on defense, with young players who didn’t look ready for their sizable roles.

As Romo (who has a wild history of predicting things accurately) noted, the Patriots have roughly $60 million in cap space, a number that could grow if New England decides to cut a few veterans for financial purpose (or restructure their contracts). That number may not seem large, but it comes in an offseason where the cap is likely to decrease, which will put a large portion of the NFL into a financially awful situation. That should give the Patriots leverage as they try to assemble a talented roster for 2021. It helps, too, that New England has the 15th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Romo may be onto something.