The New England Patriots won Super Bowl LI just over a month ago, but Bill Belichick has already made a number of moves that may have made the team even more dangerous in 2017.
The Patriots pulled off a favorable trade with the New Orleans Saints to land star wide receiver Brandin Cooks, added arguably the top free-agent cornerback in Stephon Gilmore and replaced tight end Martellus Bennett with Dwayne Allen -- all without parting ways with coveted backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
On Monday’s episode of "Undisputed," Greg Jennings, Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless reacted to the Patriots’ moves, and Jennings said that the Pats could be gearing up for an undefeated season.
Greg Jennings: The Patriots weather the offseason better than any other club
“There’s no question about it. When you come off a season, you’re 14-2, you lose two games -- one of them being without your quarterback, your guy in Tom Brady -- and then you add these pieces? When I look at this team, they can lose anyone and it never seems to impact their team moving forward.
We make a big deal about when teams can’t hold on to their marquee guys, or guys that make a huge impact in them winning or losing ballgames. This is the one team that you can’t say that with."
Bob DonnanBob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Greg Jennings: Cooks gives Tom Brady a weapon he hasn't had in years
"With them acquiring a Cooks that -- in my opinion -- is one of the better young receivers in this game that we don’t really talk about often because he’s down in New Orleans and they haven’t been on the radar as far as games on television and us being able to see him play.
"He adds another element to this team that is, quite frankly, not even needed. He’s so explosive, he can stretch the field. I wonder … does anybody even have a chance in the AFC with this team?
"Shannon, you know this, games have to be played every Sunday. But when you have Belichick and you have Brady, and now you add a [Cooks] … it’s going to be interesting to see if they’re trying to go 16-0 and run the table again this year.”
Mark J. RebilasMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Shannon Sharpe: The Patriots would have been the best in the AFC anyway
“The thing was, for me, even if they had made no moves they were still the best team in the AFC. Because basically they were bringing all their pieces back with Tom Brady. So as long as you got Tom Brady, at worst case scenario you’re going to be number two.
"The thing about the Patriots is that they got a value. You get to play for them at their price. Because Tom Brady has really always accepted less than market value. So how can someone else, no matter whoyou are or what you’ve accomplished, get market value when we’ve never paid it to him?
"Now, they keep tearing his contracts up and giving him $25 million in signing [bonuses], one-year deal where is base salary is $1 million. But the way they do it, the way they’ve built their ball club -- you have to just admire them. Because they’re going to put themselves in position, and as long as you’ve got Tom Brady, you don’t have to go plunge into free agency.
"But there will be a time, it’s going to be very interesting to see, when they no longer have this young man -- he’s going to be an old man, he’s about to be 40 -- how they handle free agency moving forward once he’s no longer there.”
Greg M. CooperGreg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Skip Bayless: The race for the AFC Championship is already over
“[Tom Brady] does not care, he would have gone to battle with exactly what he had last year because he always goes to battle with that.
"Coach Belichick has played this offseason like he’s trying to win his first Super Bowl instead of his sixth back-to-back. I’ve never seen anything like it before. Does Tom Brady have any input into this? Absolutely none. But all of a sudden, for the first time since 2007, for the first time in 10 years, Tom Brady actually has a home-run threat that he can throw to. He hasn’t had anything like this since Randy Moss.
"And what happened in 2007? They broke every record. They should have gone 19-0 that year, and maybe we’re looking at 16-0 this time. Its starting to shape up that way, because the AFC’s over. Everybody else is playing for the right to lose at Foxborough in the AFC Championship game. "
Kirby LeeKirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Shannon: Cooks will have to adjust to playing in cold weather
"The only thing that concerns me, Greg, is that the bulk of Cooks’ touchdowns have come in a controlled environment. They come in a dome [in New Orleans], they come in Atlanta. He hasn’t played a lot of cold-weather games playing in Tampa, playing in Carolina, playing indoors.
"Now this is what we know: Come late October going forward, it’s going to be cold. You play the Jets, you play Buffalo outside. It’s going to be cold."
Mark J. RebilasMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Greg Jennings: Bill Belichick is always a step ahead of the rest of the NFL
“That plays a role, but I don’t think it changes him as a player. This is what’s impressive to me: I think Belichick understands what he has in Tom Brady. He understands that, ‘You know what, before he starts to dwindle, I’m going to put pieces around him and add value around him to where he doesn’t have to do as much as we have needed him to do in times past.’
"Which is brilliant. He’s always a forward-thinker. He’s always out in front of the 8-ball and never behind the 8-ball, and teams are always trying to catch up.
"This is why this team is talked about every year in late January, early February, because the decisions that are made moving up to the season and the decisions that are made during the season -- whether it be off the field, on the field, in-game adjustments, [Belichick] is the best at doing it. This is why this team is such a threat."