By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — For much of the last 21 years, Bill Belichick has had the reputation for being a bit frugal when it comes to spending on the Patriots roster. Emphasis on had.

Since Monday afternoon, when the NFL’s legal tampering period began, Belichick has plugged several major holes on the New England roster. In doing so, he’s shelled out $137.5 million in guaranteed money to free agents. It’s unlike anything we’ve seen during his tenure in New England, as he rebuilds the Patriots after a disappointing 7-9 season.

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And free-spending to the tune of $137.5 million isn’t something that happens all too often in the NFL, either. It’s the second-most any team has ever spent in the free-agent signing period, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Unfortunately, looking at Schefter’s breakdown of other big offseason spenders doesn’t paint a very great picture for the Patriots. The Miami Dolphins spent $147.2 million on free agents last offseason, and didn’t even make the playoffs. The same goes for the 2019 New York Jets, who spent $131.4 million in free agency, and the 2018 New York Jets, who spent $100.5 million.

At least there are a few Wild Card Round losses on Schefter’s list:

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With free agency not officially opening until Wednesday afternoon until 4 p.m., Belichick has an opportunity to put the Patriots on top of that list. Hopefully, come February, they have a lot better results to put in that right column on the list.

CBSBoston.com Staff