Coming and going in the NFL is inevitable but one franchise stands above the rest when it comes to contending over the last two decades. The Patriots continue to contend in the NFL and win Super Bowl’s largely due to managements ability to find players capable of fitting their game plan.
As questions continue to surround Peyton Manning’s playing days, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady remains one player you can bet on to perform at a high level. Brady’s consistency at quarterback coupled with the Patriots knack for always seemingly having the next man up on the roster has allowed the team to be a consistent threat since Brady took over in 2001. Even when Brady went down in Week 1 of the 2008 season the team had Matt Cassil on the roster ready to contribute. Once Brady was healthy for the 2009 season Cassil and an aging Mike Vrabel were sent to Kansas City for a second round pick which turned out to be defensive back Patrick Chung.
The Patriots narrowly defeated the Giants last weekend moving to 9-0 but lost star wide receiver Julian Edelman in the process. Edelman, as you may remember, was the player the Patriots used to replace Wes Welker. One option to replace Edelman will be Danny Amendola who has largely failed to live up to his expectations since joining the team but his size and skill set largely match that of Edelman. Veteran Keshawn Martin may also see increased playing time in Edelman’s role.
Another area in which the Patriots have shown this ability to always have a replacement on the roster is at running back. Just last year Jonas Grey happened to be on the Patriots roster. Gray ran for 201 yards in a week 10 win over the Indianapolis Colts last season and then was promptly returned back to the bench for LaGarrettte Blount who the Patriots picked up from Pittsburgh after Week 10. Blount previously had played for the team in 2013.
While the Patriots roster has used free agents to supplement valuable strikes in the draft, the Cowboys have continued to take risks in free agency.
Signing players with colorful pasts is nothing new for Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones. Since he took over the Cowboys there has been a long list of players with fragmented pasts added via free agency which includes the likes of Deion Sanders and Charles Hayley.
The current roster is no different. Reports have surfaced that Jones essentially bid against himself in landing free agent Greg Hardy. Since joining the Cowboys Hardy has been involved in a sideline confrontation, missed practices and of course had photos of his domestic abuse against a former girlfriend come to light.
Hardy is not the only current member of the Cowboys roster who has skeletons in his closet. Linebacker Rolando McClain had multiple incidents while a member of the Raiders. Twice in 2013 he was arrested, once for providing police with a fake name after being pulled over for tinted windows and another for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. McClain twice retired from the NFL before returning yet again to join the Cowboys.