Hackett: It's time for Bill Belichick to order the steak and lobster


My wife and I finally went out to dinner together for the first time since the virus hit a couple of weeks ago. We went to Davio’s after our pandemic-led dinning hiatus finally ended and man was it worth it. Just in case Coach Belichick is unaware, there’s a Davio’s right in Patriot Place and I highly recommend the experience.

Sometimes it feels good to splurge, and herein lies the message.

Coach Bill can eat whatever he wants, whenever he wants. Heck, I’d happily pay, but for ‘Dollar Bill’ as Cam Newton so aptly nicknamed his famously frugal coach on the Greg Hill Morning Show a few weeks ago, it’s officially time to put the coupons away.

Steak and lobster please and bring the dessert cart out too while you’re at it.

The Patriots stand at 2-3 heading into their Week 7 matchup against a seriously banged up San Francisco 49ers team that is seemingly ripe for the pickings. However, the reality is that the Patriots will need a lot to go right to defeat Kyle Shanahan’s defending NFC Champion 49ers, as depleted as they are. The reason is, that the Patriots are depleted themselves, missing key pieces on the offense that they desperately need to compete at a contending level. Pieces the Patriots roster have needed for far too long now.

If you are waiting for N’Keal Harry to emerge to a savior like level, or for Julian Edelman to dial back the clock, it’s not going to happen. This team needs help from outside of their roster and they need it now.

Time to crack the safe use some of those savings bonds Aunt Mildred gave a young Billy Belichick for college roughly 50 years ago. There’s probably a nice dividend on those babies by now, provided they haven’t expired.

If you’re a little slow on the uptake I want Belichick make some trades for high level offensive help by the Nov. 3 Trade Deadline. I’ve been patient and effusive in my praise of the best coach that’s ever walked the planet; often defending the sometimes indefensible ways and methods he uses to build his teams against the popular group think. The annual NFL Draft comes to mind. Along with the early stages of Free Agency.

This is well covered turf.

Typically, I find myself on Belichick’s side of the debate, slowly watching his team building puzzle turn into a portrait. I try hard not to let the early big name free agent misses or unconventional draft pick reaches rankle me too much, knowing that the final outcome will usually be highly competitive. To say the least.

This time however, I’m officially joining the mob. The Patriots offense needs playmakers stat and if Sunday’s junior varsity high school performance didn’t rattle your cage then you are too whipped on the Pats to know the difference.

This team needs help because this team actually could contend. Through four weeks I became convinced, winning two and hanging in against two of the best and most seasoned teams the league has to offer. Sunday’s game however uncovered all the warts.

So my take is this, stop trying to cover up the warts. Lance those things or better yet just get a brand new face.

Most NFL coaches are overmatched when facing Belichick, but I fear that even the dumbest of the dumb could devise a plan to make the Patriots wide receivers and tight ends disappear. Denver’s Vic Fangio would be Exhibit A.

With $22,958,923.00 in cap space, the Patriots have the ability to make a mighty big bang at the deadline. They have the means to do so and there are plenty of disgruntled, yet mega talented alpha wide receivers to make calls on.

Here are some new faces I would focus on:

Steak & Lobster options (Prices included):

Julio Jones, WR Atlanta Falcons. Current contract is three years - $66,000,000.

Yeah I know, it’s a lot of money and I’m not a Capologist but there are ways. The Pats have nearly $23 million available right now. Julio’s average annual salary is roughly $22 million. There I did it. As for the next two years that follow I honestly don’t care who they have to cut. Julio is that good and solves a lot of their problems on offense in one clean transaction. I’m bullish on Julio, bordering on obsessive. If there’s a will there’s a way and Belichick’s will should be unwavering for a talent like Jones. There’s no way Julio is happy with his current state in Atlanta. He’s gettable.

Odell Beckham, Jr. WR Cleveland Browns. Current contract is five years - $90,000,000.

Cleveland runs more than the Patriots do. Cleveland runs more than the 1976 – 1978 Patriots do. I’ve heard enough from Odell Beckham, Jr. over the last several years to know that cannot make him happy. Operation Human Shield is not the OBJ way. Catching bombs from Cam Newton is. The five year deal is menacing, but again the NFL cap is malleable at best and can be manipulated. The average annual salary is $18,000,000. Again, seemingly doable with the requisite creativity.

The Eggplant Parm (Market value):

Love that Rite Window commercial, love the eggplant parm. Solid option at any good restaurant and solid pass catchers for the Pats to target.

AJ Green, WR Cincinnati.

The paradigm for the Bengals has changed. Young quarterback and top pick in the NFL Draft Joe Burrow has a young dance partner, another rookie named Tee Higgins. Tyler Boyd is a great move-the-chains possession receiver and AJ Green is on the back nine. Yes he’s on the back nine but not yet washed. If you can’t make the steak and lobster options work, this is where Plan B starts for me.

Marvin Jones, WR Detroit Lions.

Jones can still do it. He also plays for the Lions. He also plays for Matt Patricia. No more need to be said. Gettable? Ah yeah.

Jamison Crowder, WR New York Jets.

See above note on Marvin Jones and put it on the highest test anabolic steroids known to man. The kind Ivan Drago got pumped into his shoulder while training in Rocky IV. Crowder plays for the Jets. Lions > Jets. He’s coached by Adam Gase... Regardless, Crowder can be gotten and is as good a possession receiver as there is in the game. I prefer the downfield targets listed above for the Patriots specific needs but Crowder would help and is a quality player trapped in a pathetic organization.

Family Restaurant Specials (Belichick’s eat half price on Tuesday’s):

Tuesday, November 3rd is the NFL Trade Deadline and Tuesday’s are half price all day on this menu. If the Steak and Lobster is sold out and the place with the good Eggplant Parm is still closed due to Covid-19, then Belichick can order here, but it needs to be a 2 for 1 special. Any combination of the following would help.

Kyle Rudolph, Tight End Minnesota:

Horribly underused in the passing game. Talented and rather untapped, Rudolph would flourish with Belichick and McDaniels. If you miss Gronk, this acquisition would help. Rudolph is a beast.

David Njoku, Tight End Cleveland:

His agent is openly shopping him. Njoku is a raw and beastly talent. Floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee. He’s big and fast, but somewhat a chunk of clay. He’s probably a better offseason acquisition, so the coaching staff could really immerse him into the system but any port in a storm and the Patriots have been in a Tight End storm for two years now.

John Ross, WR Cincinnati:

A forgotten man in the Bengals emerging offense. Here’s what not to forget, Ross ran a 4.22 40 at his combine. He can fly and the Pats could use him