We’ve all been waiting for the Patriots to make some sort of big move. As they still haven’t, there are some roster moves they made. It will be interesting what they will do going forward, with only a little under 3 million left in cap space. They are going to have to make some pay cuts or full on roster cuts if they are going to make any more moves.
Jonathan Jones, CB – Jones is a guy I have been a huge fan of since he has been here. He is probably the fastest guy on the team and he makes an impact all over the field. He has made some incredible special teams plays, and has been able to hang with some of the best slot receivers in the league. I think it would be in their best interest to bring him back long term, but another year will be helpful.
Phillip Dorsett, WR – Dorsett is the only of many free agent receivers that were brought back. At the moment he looks like the #2 guy going into the season, which he showed plenty of promise last season. Dorsett will be very useful if Josh Gordon can’t play and they don’t find another compliment to Edelman. He will see an increased role and play an important part of the offense.
John Simon, DE – Pass rusher is somewhere that they have lost a lot of talent at already. Simon was brought in mid season and did not see a ton of playing time. He was kind of an under the radar pickup because his production had been down recently. He showed tons of promise in Houston and when put in the right spot, should thrive in this defense. He could be the perfect guy to fill the void Rob Ninkovich left.
Jason McCourty, CB – This might be one of the more risky players they brought back. As great as he was, and the heroic play from the Super Bowl is fresh in everyone’s mind, he was very inconsistent. There were plenty of times he struggled to hang with faster, younger receivers. He is only going to continue to get older, so as long as he doesn’t completely lose a step he should be fine, but definitely not a sure thing.
Ryan Allen, P – Thank god Allen was brought back. Ryan Allen was a huge part of winning the field position battle in the Super Bowl, and he has been very consistent over the past few years. Allen is a very important part of the strong special teams this team is always known for.
Free Agent Signings:
Brandon Bolden, RB – It was too fitting that Bolden was the first free agent the Patriots signed. Just a year removed from the Patriots system, and a year after he ripped the Patriots to shreds in Miami, hes back. It would be very surprising if he were to play any sort of role on the offense, but he will go right back to where he left off on the punt team. They continue their special teams trend with this signing.
Maurice Harris, WR – Harris was great for the Redskins for about 12 minutes when they were depleted at the wide receiver position. He ripped up the Falcons with 10 catches for 124 yards in a huge breakout performance. It is clear he has the ability to create separation from defenders and make things happen. It will be interesting to see how fast he might fill a role in this offense.
Terrence Brooks, S – Brooks is someone I don’t know a whole lot about, but who looks that deeply into backup Jets safeties. Only Bill Belichick would. He has only started one game in his career, and also has 3 career interceptions. He might see something in this guy to be McCourty’s replacement in the future, or maybe he is just another special teams fill in.
Mike Pennel, DT – Another backup Jets defensive player that nobody has heard of, we all know defensive line is now a depleted position. He’s a big run stuffer in the middle and could be a replacement for Malcolm Brown. I would still like to see Danny Shelton back, but Pennel will fill some depth at the position for sure.
Matt LaCosse, TE – LaCosse filled in at tight end for the Broncos at the end of last season when they had many injuries at the position. He was a solid fill in, but nothing too eye popping. He might be a good possible replacement for Dwayne Allen, who never served for much more than a blocking tight end. Maybe Jacob Hollister will step up as the compliment to Gronk as a receiving tight end.
Bruce Ellington, WR – Ellington has been an underachiever throughout his career. He has been given chances as a slot receiver and seems like he can never stay healthy. He actually is missing a part of one of his hamstrings. Time will tell if he can stay healthy and earn a roster spot, but he most likely won’t be much more than what Keshawn Martin was a few years ago.
Michael Bennett, DE – The biggest move the Pats have made to this point is the trade for Michael Bennett. They got the 3 time pro bowler for almost nothing, and even got picks back in the trade. Bennett will most likely fill the void left behind by Trey Flowers as the premier pass rusher on the team. I would not expect him to be the every down player Flowers has been, but he will be so important in getting pressure on the QB on big 3rd downs. Hopefully he will be able to behave in New England, but either way he will be a fun addition to the team.
-Jake Kobierski (@TheRealKobe83)