Over the past handful of months the Patriots and Red Sox offseasons have come and gone. The Patriots offseason so far looks relatively poor, while the Red Sox looks like they may have sneaked away with a surprising win. Here we take a look back at each team’s offseasons in 2019, meaning the most recent offseasons for the NBA and NHL and the second most recent for the NFL and MLB.
Coming off a Super Bowl victory, the Patriots were focused on trying to retain key members of the squad, or at the very least replace ones that left. Isaiah Wynn was solid enough at the tackle position, and Belichick knew this, so he let Trent Brown walk. But Trey Flowers was a significant loss, so the Patriots brought in Bennett via trade and Winovich in the draft to make up for Flowers’ impact.
This didn’t exactly go perfectly, as they traded away Bennett and didn’t allow Winovich much playtime, but the d-line held strong with Simon and Guy. And when Winovich did play, he was very impactful. Patterson was certainly a loss as he was a terrific returner, but Bolden was at least a solid kick returner last year.
Malcom Brown’s impact was suitably replaced by Adam Butler and Danny Shelton, but Rob Gronkowski’s hole still remains unfilled. That was the root of the Patriots offensive struggles last year, as their playcalling turned far too conservative without a big strong target at tight end. In fact, that is quite possibly the biggest reason why the Patriots weren’t contenders last year.
Jared Cook was a free agent, as well as Darren Waller, but the Patriots passed on signing both. Hell, they didn’t even draft a tight end. This is the one huge mistake Belichick made during the 2019 offseason, and the Patriots fell apart because of it. On the bright side, the Patriots got Jamie Collins for cheap and he clearly worked out. Also Jake Bailey turned into one of the best punters in the league, so the offseason had some bright spots. It certainly wasn’t the worst offseason in the world, especially with the Patriot’s usual lack of significant cap space holding them back.
Key Losses: Craig Kimbrel(Closer)
Key Acquisitions: –
The Red Sox dug themselves into a big payroll hole. It was done with the expectation that they would be contending for another World Series title. But the Red Sox severely disappointed and didn’t even make the playoffs. On the surface though, the Red Sox did everything right. They resigned Eovaldi and Sale, which when paired with Price and E-Rod looked like one of the best starting rotations in the league. But by the end of the season, Eovaldi and Sale’s contracts looked like a mistake, and getting rid of Price’s hefty contract became a priority.
The relievers weren’t terrible, and Workman became a great, cheap replacement for Kimbrel. Their offense was in the top three in the league, as well as in the top five for youngest. The season was a true tragedy, a mix of injuries and bad chemistry, that was not the fault of the offseason. In all honesty, the only issue with the offseason was paying Sale and Eovaldi too much. You can’t completely blame Dombrowski for that, as Sale and Eovaldi were playing like stars the season prior. He spent too much, but it would’ve been worth it if the team played to their expectations.
Losing three starters, two of them All-Stars, and one of the best backup point guards in the league would destroy most teams. But after the disappointing season prior, Ainge smartly decided to focus on a culture change. For starters, Hayward improved almost all the way back to his former self, and easily made up for the loss of Morris.
The backup point guard position has yet to recover from the loss of Rozier. Carsen Edwards was expected to be the perfect replacement, but hasn’t yet transitioned his game to the NBA, and the same goes for Langford and Waters. Brad Wanamaker isn’t terrible though, and he remains a consistent part of the Celtic bench this year.
The loss of Irving was expected to be a great one. While he was largely to blame for the poor locker room chemistry, losing him was still expected to be hard on the Celtics. This became solidified by most of the media once Horford jumped ship as well to the 76ers for a large payday. While the Celtics are a bit weak at the center position, Kanter and Theis have turned out to be solid replacements. Kanter can break out for a large scoring night at any point, and Theis has shown some impressive defense.
Walker, meanwhile, transitioned seamlessly into the Celtics starting lineup. He has become one of the team’s leaders, and arguably their best player as well. We knew he wouldn’t be as talented as Kyrie, but he has cemented himself as a strong leader and a perfect supplement for Kyrie. The Celtics had a smart offseason but could’ve and should’ve tried to sign a better big man than Kanter. While money may have been a problem, Vucevic would have been the final piece that the Celtics needed to become championship favorites. But Ainge did pretty well with what he had to work with, and the success of the Celtics this year proves that.
Key Acquisitions: –
The B’s stayed relatively silent in the offseason, knowing that they should just run the squad back after making the Stanley Cup finals the year prior. Luckily, this went better for the Bruins than it did for the Red Sox. They resigned all of their important restricted free agents, like McAvoy and Carlo, as well as also signing a few minor free agents.
They let two unrestricted centers go, and both have been pretty important for their respective teams. Acciari, who has spent the last four years on lower lines for the Bruins, has broken out this season. He has 27 points in 66 games this year, which is almost as many points as he had the last four years, 180 games, combined. Johansson struggled to make an impression when he was traded to the Bruins last season, so they didn’t resign him. But this year he has 30 points (sixth on the team) in 60 games for the Buffalo Sabers.
The Bruins couldn’t have known that they would’ve broken out this year, so their loss is not exactly their fault. The Bruins simply stayed put, knowing they had a squad that could compete. Even if they had some holes in their roster, they knew they could always make a couple of trade deadline deals, which they did. They got their young guys on multi-year deals and didn’t spend too much, which was exactly what they should’ve done.