Like years past, Bill Belichick made some controversial cuts over the summer.
With a shaky secondary flooded with youth and inexperience, the man in the hoodie opted to release former first-round pick Brandon Meriweather and the steady, yet unspectacular James Sanders.
Both players were quickly signed by the Bears and Falcons, respectively.
Jarrad Page, who was acquired from the Chiefs, was not re-signed and was scooped up by the Eagles.
Meanwhile, the Patriots went with a rotation of special teamers Josh Barrett and Sergio Brown next to the ascending Pat Chung.
The results were not impressive early on, but with James Ihedigbo drawing the start against the Jets, the Patriots allowed a season-low 158 passing yards.
So how have the castoffs performed?
Meriweather has started for the Bears and been essentially the same player as he was for four years in New England: an inconsistently frustrating starter.
Playing on Monday Night Football against Detroit, Meriweather was exposed as both a run and pass defender.
Calvin Johnson burned the Miami alum for a 73-yard touchdown, and running back Jahvid Best, another first-round pick, torched Meriweather in the open field on his 88-yard TD run.
Sanders, who was an underappreciated cog when Rodney Harrison retired, has only registered nine tackles and two passes defended. He has yet to record a sack, forced fumble or an interception. The Fresno State product has been part of a porous secondary that’s surrendered 294.2 passing yards per game.
The last guy on the totem pole, Page, has played so poorly for the thoroughly disappointing Eagles that he has been demoted from the starting lineup.
While the Patriots certainly haven’t played consistently well on defense, no one should be missing Meriweather, Sanders or Page.
The Hoodie seems to have gotten this one right.