The Super Bowl champions continue to load up


Stephon Gilmore photo courtesy of the Buffalo Bills

The rich get richer.

The New England Patriots won their fifth Lombardi Trophy in February and in March signed the best free agent in the marketplace. So say the listeners and readers of the Talk of Fame Network.

In our weekly poll, we asked our followers to vote on the best free-agent signing this offseason and provided eight attractive options. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the prize jewel of the New England offseason, won with 22 percent of the vote.

Green Bay tight end Martellus Bennett was next at 18 percent, followed by Jacksonville cornerback A.J. Bouye at 15 percent, Philadelphia wide receiver Alshon Jeffery at 14 percent and Cleveland guard Kevin Zeitler at 12 percent. Washington wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, Los Angeles offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth and Chicago quarterback Mike Glennon all received single-digit support.

Of the 13 most expensive free agents to change teams thus far this offseason, only three of them had ever been to a Pro Bowl and only one went as recently as 2016 – Gilmore. He was the 10th overall pick of the 2012 draft by Buffalo and a five-year starter. The Patriots lured him away with a five-year, $65-million contract, with $40 million of it guaranteed. He has only 14 interceptions in his career but five came last season, earning him that ticket to his first Pro Bowl.

The Talk of Fame Network hosts were split in this poll, with Ron Borges and Rick Gosselin voting for Bennett and Clark Judge voting for Pryor.

“The Redskins got younger and better at wide receiver with the addition of Terrelle Pryor, a guy who, in his first trial at receiver, gained over 1,000 yards with the Cleveland Browns,” Judge said. “ Repeat … the Cleveland Browns. Plus, it only cost Washington $6 million, a relatively cheap price for a young receiver who could develop into a star. He wasn’t the best free agent out there, but … at that price … who’s complaining?”

Bennett left the Patriots to sign with the Packers.

“The Packers need a tight end, and they got a good one in Martellus Bennett,” Borges said. “Sure he cost them $9 million, but it cost them a lot more trying to play without one who is a threat. He’s also cheaper than the cornerbacks so go with `value.’ That’s Martellus Bennett.”

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