The New England Patriots set the league ablaze within the first few hours of free agency because they did something that the Bill Belichick regime never does: they spent money!!!

To put it in perspective: Robert Kraft bought the Patriots entire team for $172 million in 1994. The Patriots have given out $162.5 million in guaranteed money this offseason. They signed Cam Newton, Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, Matt Judon, Jalen Mills, Kyle Van Noy, Deatrich Wise, David Andrews, and traded for Trent Brown. When Tom Brady was in New England the biggest offseason move Belichick would make was if he decided to give Tom a crisp handshake or a pat on the back.

This tidal wave of moves resulted in the Patriots’ social media team Tweeting out a photo of Belichick’s dog, Nike, from the NFL Draft last April, to make it look like he was actually the evil mastermind behind it all.

Photo: New England Patriots

Now, there’s no telling if this massive amount of spending will actually be considered good spending, but if we know anything about the greatest head coach in NFL history, Nike is probably the smartest, well-trained dog with an IQ higher than the Chicago Bears’ front office.

In contrast to Nike, the Tweet reminded me of a meme that was frequently used in the early 2010s: The “I Have No Idea What I’m Doing” Dog. Some teams’ offseason moves were much more comparable to this dog rather than Nike.

Without further ado, these are the teams who had no idea what they were doing through the first cycle of free agency.

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Notable players added/re-signed: WR John Brown, DE Yannick Ngakoue, RB Kenyan Drake, DE Solomon Thomas, G Richie Incognito
  • Lost: C Rodney Hudson, WR Nelson Agholor, WR Tyrell Williams, G Gabe Jackson, T Trent Brown

Despite being very undeserving, the Raiders were extended an olive branch that only four teams in the entire NFL were blessed with: Russell Wilson listed them in his desired trade destination spots. We’re three years into the Jon Gruden era in which they’re 19-29 with no playoff appearances and several meltdowns to end the year after getting off to promising starts. If you have the opportunity to go get Russell Wilson, you offer the entire team and lifetime tickets to the Blue Man Group in order to get him and keep him happy.

Except they did the EXACT opposite! Wilson wants out of Seattle because his offensive line has him taking a beating every week, so, naturally, Vegas got rid of their entire o-line except for Richie Incognito, the guy who had a bullying report filed against him in Miami. Then, they went out and overpaid a running back, a position they were already set at with Josh Jacobs, and signed Yannick Ngakoue to an expensive contract after he’s been passed around from team to team the past two years.

I have no idea what the Raiders want to be at this point. Where do they go from here? Are we just going to go through another year of pretending Jon Gruden doesn’t hate his quarterback? It’s a good thing his contract with the team is over in *checks notes* seven years.

Chicago Bears

  • Notable players added/re-signed: QB Andy Dalton, WR Allen Robinson
  • Lost: CB Kyle Fuller

The Bears were also on Wilson’s trade list, and, to their credit, they reportedly made Seattle an offer! The problem was that they don’t have the resources to go after a Super Bowl-winning quarterback; they reportedly offered three first-rounders, a third-rounder, Akiem Hicks, and Kyle Fuller, which isn’t cheap by any means, but they’re picking 20th in the draft, which leaves Seattle no way to usher in a rookie quarterback replacement for Wilson.

Hours later, the Bears announced they had signed Andy Dalton as the starting quarterback. To put it lightly, Andy Dalton isn’t quite Russell Wilson.

While he may be an upgrade from Mitch Trubisky or Nick Foles, as a franchise, Dalton is already set up for failure from a PR standpoint because he isn’t Russell Wilson. It’s an embarrassing saga from a front-office perspective because now the fan base feels duped. 

Then, because of their 9-year-old accountant in charge of their cap space, they were forced to release Kyle Fuller, a first-team all-pro cornerback. If you release someone and they’re claimed within 30 minutes by someone else afterward, you might have released the wrong guy.

If the fans get anything positive out of this shortcoming, it’s that if Dalton fails in any way, they’ll probably get a new head coach and GM next season as Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy are sitting on infernal hot seats at this point.

Houston Texans

  • Notable players added/re-signed: RB Mark Ingram, QB Tyrod Taylor, WR Andre Roberts, C Justin Britt, LB Christian Kirksey, CB Vernon Hargreaves III, CB Desmond King, RB Phillip Lindsay
  • Lost: DE JJ Watt, C Nick Martin, RB Duke Johnson, Respect

The Texans simply have to be here as arguably the worst-run franchise in the league currently. It’s clear they have no idea what to do with the Deshaun Watson Mexican-standoff situation, so they’re just signing low-level names to fill out the roster to be able to field a team with their limited amount of money and no significant draft picks. JJ Watt, the HERO of the city and the team, was mercifully released at his request because even he couldn’t take it anymore, and many of the fans responded with, “yeah, good for JJ.”

When your fan base has turned on you, it’s not a good sign. They’re going to be almost an entirely different team next year with a worse team than last season that went 4-12 WITH Deshaun Watson and JJ, so the 2022 Texans are already on the clock…

Baltimore Ravens

  • Notable players added/re-signed: CB Davontae Harris, G Kevin Zeitler, LB Tyus Bowser, DT Derek Wolfe
  • Lost: RB Mark Ingram, LB Matt Judon

Let me be clear: I actually really like the moves the Ravens have made thus far in free agency, and they’re one of the smartest organizations in sports- that’s why they’ve been competitive in the AFC North year after year. However, they’ve been getting clowned this offseason in the wide receiver market; giving Lamar Jackson some weapons to throw to was what everyone had their eyes on with a loaded wide receiver group.

Analysts all over the sports landscape were saying things like, “man, surely the Ravens will add a receiving threat this offseason and make a big leap next year. They need to since their offense took a step back last season.

…And now they’ve got nothing to show for it but Sammy Watkins and have egg on their face from various reports. 

Golladay went to the Giants, Corey Davis went to the Jets, and then it came out that both Juju Smith-Schuster and T.Y. Hilton both got offers to play in Baltimore, but signed for LESS money to stay in their previous locations. Lamar has got to be sick to his stomach at whatever sales pitch they gave out.

Unless they make a big splash with the draft, he might have to carry the ball every down next year.

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