GETTING PAID- It was inevitable that Trey Flowers was going to "get paid". There really wasn't any realistic opportunity for the Patriots to have kept Flowers long-term as once he got the chance to play, he was a playmaker. Any way you choose to analyze the contracts of defensive ends, Trey is in the top 5.
VERDICT- Belichick didn't "let" Trey Flowers go anywhere. Matt Patricia went after him hard with a 5 year $90 million deal with $56 million of that guaranteed. Had Patricia not gone after him, another team would have likely been in the same ballpark with that contract.
CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS- Some say Belichick shouldn't have traded Jimmy G and should have gotten rid of Brady. Some say he should have gotten rid of Jimmy earlier and gotten more than a 2nd round pick. Some say he should have kept both players.
VERDICT- Based on what we have seen from both Garoppolo and Brady in the seasons since the trade, there is no way to conclude that trading Garoppolo was the wrong move. Ten years from now, could we look back and change our minds? Anything is possible. But, from where we stand right now, you can't conclude that Belichick moved on too early.
BEING HONEST- Would it have been nice to see Brady retire as a Patriot? Absolutely. Did Belichick let him go too early in his career? I know he is awesome and probably better than many of quarterbacks who start in the NFL, but let's be honest, he's going to be 43 before the NFL season starts. Let's also be honest in that the Patriots are strapped for cap space this season. If they had signed Brady to the deal he deserved, the team would be increasing the probability of having several years reminiscent of the early 90's. I don't think anyone wants that. Therefore, as usual you have to trust in Belichick.
VERDICT- I guess if Brady wins two Super Bowls for Tampa Bay, signs another NFL contract and continues to win AND the Patriots suddenly become cellar dwellers, I'll have to walk this back. Belichick did not get rid of Brady too early.