No. 4: Letting Ty Law walk after the 2005 season
The man who scored a pick-six as part of the first Super Bowl title, Law was the first Michigan man to gain notoriety during the Patriots dynasty. Not only that, his play against Peyton Manning, making the future Hall of Famer look like his draft mate Ryan Leaf, was spectacular. The worst part is that Law ended up playing for the New York Jets.
Ten picks with the Jets in 2005 and a Pro Bowl berth. It wasn’t until Darelle Revis came and joined the bunch that New England had a reputable cornerback to help them get over the hump. Then came Stephon Gilmore, and the rest is history. Still, losing Law hurt big time. He could have helped them win three in a row instead of New England losing to Denver and Jake Plummer.
No. 3: Letting Asante Samuel walk after Super Bowl XLII
Ugh, had he just caught the ball or had the G-men not held Jarvis Green on the miracle “Helmet Catch,” those wouldn’t be a topic of discussion. Also, it’s probably likely that Asante Samuel would not have such cold and bitter feelings toward Bill Belichick. The reality is that the Patriots’ decision to let Samuel go when he was as good a cornerback as anyone in the league, was a mistake.
Samuel went on to have productive years with the Eagles and the Falcons, showcasing a glaring hole in the cornerback room for the Patriots, which probably explains the decade-long drought they faced from Super Bowl 39 to Super Bowl 49. If only we could replay history and change that one moment in time. Just that one, and let everything else fall in place, maybe things would have gone for the better.