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Patriots coach Jerod Mayo backpedals on 'burn some cash' comments: 'You don't have to spend all of it in one year'

New England Patriots coach Jerod Mayo made headlines shortly after being hired when he boasted the club was ready to “burn some cash” in free agency.

The first-year head coach walked back those comments in an interview with Karen Guregian of MassLive.

"You know, I kind of misspoke when I said 'burn some cash' but I was excited when you see those numbers," Mayo said. "But when you reflect on those numbers … you don't have to spend all of it in one year. ...

"This is going to be a process. So I don't want people to think, 'you got $60 million, $70 million, whatever, so let's get this guy, that guy, that guy' … it may work for a couple games, or maybe a season, but it won't work long term."

Mayo's initial comments came before the NFL set the salary cap at $255.4 million, higher than original projections. The Patriots currently have $87.8 million in cap space to play with, heading toward free agency.

We've seen countless times that big-time splurges in free agency don't always work out, and a more measured approach to team building, balanced with paying homegrown talent, is the best method for long-term success.

The Pats could use a chunk of their cap space to keep offensive tackle Mike Onwenu and/or safety Kyle Dugger in town. Director of scouting Eliot Wolf said earlier this week that the franchise tag was an option for either player -- which would take a chunk out of that cap space.

Wolf also said that the Patriots needed to "weaponize" their offense and add speed on D, so there are places to address in free agency for a team that won four games a year ago.

New England will be spending this offseason, just perhaps not as much as Mayo's initial comments might have suggested.

Free agency officially kicks off March 13 at 4 p.m. ET when the NFL's new league year begins.

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