Fitzy: Hey Bill Belichick, it's time for a Cam-paign donation

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It’s fitting that Sunday night’s game was played in Seattle, home of the new NHL franchise The Kraken, because that was a Clash of the Titans [takes a bow / also ducks].

You know the story - Russell Wilson, Mr. Unlimited, was just that against the Pats; 5 TD passes, seemingly unstoppable, dropping dimes all over the field against a top-flight secondary. Opposite him, Cam Newton, Superman, who proved he is back to MVP form, and then some. An instant classic! An unbelievable gridiron battle that went down to the wire! But an unreal last-second goal line stop by the Seahawks the difference, a play choice that left many wondering if asking more of Newton was the right call. When you see the result of the final play, like Magic Johnson analyzed for us so brilliantly the answer is obvious. But what really jumps off the screen after a disappointing final play is the need to make some additions and make them soon.

Those not given to overreactions and negative hyperbole (so, not most of New England) can see a game like Pats/Hawks and snatch positives from the jaws of defeat. “It took that effort from DangeRuss to beat the Pats? They’re great!” And yes, that whole “when a loss is a win” theory holds up here, this shocking sensation some know as optimism seems to be the takeaway. To me, two games is enough sample size to see this Patriots team is good. Flawed, but dynamic. Evolving, yet explosive. A work in progress, but thoroughly competitive. And while the future may be bright, the present has playoff potential written all over it. Why wait and not make the most of what you’re getting from Cam, and Edelman...especially before one or both of them breaks in half from overuse?

That’s why I say (emphatic candidate voice) Trader Bill, lover of of every NFL bargain ever, it’s time to go shopping, make some deals and contribute to the Cam-paign of this surprisingly good Patriots team!

(The crowd cheers, the band plays.)

Don’t freak out or call The Hot Take Police or order a wellness check, at least not yet. This is not a dispatch from Knee Jerk City nor a critical indictment of the effort and ability of the players on the field. By and large this roster has performed to if not beyond expectation. This is a vote of confidence in the future of  current players...a request to bolster depleted ranks left thin by free agency, opt-outs and the injury bug...a hope to prevent the players who are balling out from burning out. This team is good, and many believe this Cam-paign could be special. And while everyone seems to be giving max effort and playing with increased urgency, it’s really been about #1. Just how important has Cam Newton been to this team thus far?

Newton is legitmately playing at an MVP level (hyperlink - https://twitter.com/PFF_Patriots/status/1308115341214613504?s=20), and he’s doing so as a one-man band. Something that’s likely not sustainable (Drink!) over a sixteen game season. Imagine what he can do if Bill opens his dusty coin purse and gets Cam another top-flight receiver? His top target to date has been, to no one’s surprise, Julian Edelman, who’s putting up career numbers, at age 34, in his 12th season.

This usage for Edelman is also likely not sustainable (Drink! Sorry...) especially given he’s coming off a year where his playtime and injuries had him resembling an Operation game board. The emergence of Damiere Byrd vs. the Seahawks and the continued growth of N’Keal Harry (thanks to encouragement from big bro Cam) are very encouraging for the offense. Reinforcements should be on the way soon in the forms of receiver and camp star Gunner Olszewski (IR), rookie tight end Dalton Keene and redshirt second year running back Damien Harris (IR). Tight end and running back haven’t been flashpoints for the offense thus far. Perhaps the game is still a bit fast for Devin Asiasi. It’s doubtful Sony Michel will swap his lead-filled tap dance shoes for Matrix-style elusiveness anytime soon. Thus the addition of one more playmaker on offense would make the jobs being done by Cam, the backs, tight ends and receivers more manageable. Might even help the defense (more on them in a few). Add an extra layer of explosiveness and potentially big-play ability (if I have to chug a beer every time someone says “Deep Threat Julian Edelman” the rest of the season I won’t go though a tall boy 4-pack). Here are a couple of potential Cam-paign contributors the Pats could pursue (not named Allen Robinson or OBJ).

MARVIN JONES, WR, Detroit Lions - Let’s be real; the Lions are a grease fire in a dumpster by the side of the road (and I’m being kind). Old friend Matt Patricia is probably not long for the Motor City sidelines (9-25 and blowing leads will do that to ya). Nor is his #2 receiver, Jones, in the final year of his deal. He’s an upper-echelon talent, good hands, ability to work the whole field, and he’s making the same amount Sanu was scheduled to. The fear of sending a second-round pick someplace for a receiver who used to play in Cincinnati is understandable (The Sanu Clause), but Jones represents the right talent in the wrong situation who would be a great fit, immediately helping The Cam-paign for the right price.

ZACH ERTZ, TE, Philadelphia Eagles - Ertz is an elite tight end who somehow seems to be falling out of favor for a younger, cheaper option, 3rd year TE Dallas Goeddert, in Philly. The Eagles are 0-2, and if they quickly feel they should address needs elsewhere and lock Goeddert up long-term then the sure handed Ertz could find a nice home in New England. Plus he owes us for SB 52. He’d be an immediate upgrade, draw cover to the middle and help free things up outside, mentor to the young TEs and give Cam the closest thing to Greg Olsen possible. Talk about a Cam-paign stimulus!

WILL FULLER, WR, Houston Texans - Nobody makes a head-scratcher of a trade better than old pal Billy O’Brien. After dealing DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona this offseason, Fuller, an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, became the #1 receiver. He’s got crazy vertical speed, but also hamstrings made of sour gummy strings. To which I ask...why would Billy O want that kind of headache on a team in transition, especially if Fuller might walk at year’s end? Send him to New England! Let him stretch the field and catch long touchdowns in The Cam-paign! Let his talent be our trouble. Trust us, Bill O, it’s the right move.

JULIO JONES, WR, Atlanta Falcons - The Falcons stink. They’re the Detroit Lions dumpster fire hooked up to a gas line. They can’t hold a lead with a hand full of Krazy Glue. Their defense is the worst in the league. And Jones, arguably one of the best receivers of the pst twenty years, is going to waste there while Calvin Ridley gets all the touchdowns. Jones is the least likely of all options, given his resume, price tag and franchise value in the ATL. But this is NFL 2020 and winning the Cam-paign requires big dreaming. Like giving Newton the best target he’d ever thrown to, and a competitive team for Jones. Would you not send a 1st to the Falcons for Jones? They can both begin their rebuild and kinda pay Belichick back after the lopsided Sanu deal.

For those who believe the offense is trending in the right direction, players developing in this scheme ahead of schedule, and that defense is the area of need (like my colleague Rich Keefe), I’ve assembled a few names on the defensive front seven who, though carrying a hefty price tag, could step in and make an immediate impact in The Cam-paign.

MYLES JACK, LB, Jacksonville Jaguars - The Jags, knee-deep in the middle of a gut renovation, traded away many key components to a defense that seemed on track to be a force for years to come. And then, well...yeah. Pats happen. Anyway, Jack, a versatile linebacker with speed and power to spare, recently signed a hefty extension. Perhaps he’d rather go someplace on the rise as opposed to the rebuild. The Cam-paign just might be the best chance for him to advance in the playoffs in Foxboro after that controversial call in the 2017 AFC Championship, too.

CAMERON WAKE, DE, Free Agent - Wake recently couldn’t come to terms with the Denver Broncos, who called after All-Pro linebacker Von Miller went down for the season (and Denver is THE 2020 cautionary tale as to how quickly a few injuries can derail your postseason dreams). This shows the 38 year old still has some gas in the gridiron tank. Wake was always a force in Brady’s face for years on Miami. Perhaps if he’s to give it one last go he’d have some interest in joining The Cam-paign and seeing how the other half wins

WHITNEY MERCILUS, DL, Houston Texans - A classic “Belichick respects the player because the player often excels against Belichick” type of deal. Mercilus, not Captain Crossfit, aka JJ Watt, has been the one who’s given the Pats fits in recent contests. The OLD/DE can get upfield quickly, but does come with a Texas beef rib-sized salary (thanks to a new 4 year deal). The Texans are 0-2 to start the season, but their losses were to the 2 best teams in the AFC. This trade might be a reach, but if the Pats want the Cam-paign to survive then they may need get a little crazy (I sorta quoted Seal...sorry).

LEONARD WILLIAMS, DL, New York Giants - By far the most cost prohibitive of the bunch, Williams is an unrestricted free agent after 2020, carrying a mighty $16 million salary. Though Williams has never reached the heights of Seymour, perhaps a move to a team coached by the man who drafted and developed Seymour would be welcome. Plus, Williams plays for the Giants, who were going nowhere this season before their best player went down with a torn ACL. The G-Men are coached by former Pats ST coach, and hardo supreme, Joe Judge. Who better to deal with and get intel from than a former coach? A big body to lock up the D-Line would be a welcome Cam-paign recruit indeed.

Lastly, it’s safe to say the Pats could use an upgrade at kicker. Belichick said Monday Nick Folk “is our kicker”. Terrific! I’m sure he was the plan all along, and taking a kicker in the 5th round in need of tattoo removal and a sports psychologist who’s now on the practice squad. If only there were a better option in free agency. There was a better option on their practice squad last year; Younghoe Koo. He’s now a staple with the Falcons, great on FGs, onside kicks, you name it. Maybe if the Pats call about Julio they can see if ... never mind.

We’re but two weeks into the 2020 season, but it’s as clear as Andy Reid’s faceshield these Pats have potential. The potential to make the postseason, make some postseason noise, and make their coach look like a genius for the QB he brought to town. The Pats have played better than expected to date. The schedule doesn’t get any easier. Asking QB1 and Highway 11 to do it all themselves is as ridiculous as Newton playing for a $1.05 million salary. You already got the deal of the century, Bill. Don’t wait for midseason! The Bye is Week 6! The Chiefs are looming two weeks away. This team is worth it, and nobody knows that better than you. That’s why I implore, (vintage Ronald Reagan voice) Mr. Belichick, trade for one of these players and help win this Cam-paign!

(Waves to crowd. Ducks again.)