After looking at whose contracts with the Patriots are ending, it’s time to take a look at some guys that they could bring in via free agency.
Darren Sproles – RB – Sproles seems like he has always been a perfect Belichick and Patriots running back. He can catch, he can run, he can turn short passes into big plays. He is the perfect replacement for Dion Lewis if he leaves like he says he will. They do not have a ton of salary cap to play with, and coming off a big injury at the age of 34 he could be a cheap replacement that could bring a big reward.
Jimmy Graham – TE – This is a long shot, and I think it would have to come at the expense of a big play receiver like Brandin Cooks, but Graham and Gronk could be the meanest 1-2 punch at tight end ever. They would score 100% of the time the reached the red zone with Graham there. It might be a stretch, but would be a cool signing.
Austin Sefarian-Jenkins – TE – A lower level and cheaper replacement, ASJ would also be a great second option at tight end and could have a future with the team at 25 years old. He has had a checkered past, but that is the kind of guy the Pats turn around and clean up. They also love taking guys from within the division and turning them into play-makers.
Austin Pasztor – OT – When it comes to offensive lineman they sign in free agency, you just kind of have to close your eyes and throw a dart at the board. Dante Scarnecchia is a genius at the position and always picks versatile guys. If Solder leaves, Pasztor can play both tackle positions, and they like to bring in versatile young players on the line for depth. He seems like he could be one of those players.
Beau Allen – DT – They like to take guys from teams after they get beat by them. With Alan Branch leaving, they’ll need to add some depth in the interior line. Beau Allen is able to stop the run and pass rush well, and would be a guy that cycles in with their many packages, and is a young guy with plenty of gas in the tank.
Connor Barwin – OLB/DE – A personal favorite, he kind of fits the mold for the Patriots pass rush that they need to address. At 31 he could be a short-term deal that could turn into something a little more long-term or make an impact as a one-year rental like Chris Long did. He would bring intensity and veteran savvy to a position that needs it.
Bryan Braman – OLB – A perfect fit as a Belichick player. He has mostly been a special teams player and has always made an impact rushing punters. Seems like a guy Bill would bring in to do exactly that as well as be a role player on the actual defense, and have a sneaky talent nobody knows about.
Preston Brown – ILB – The Pats have a knack for taking Bills players and turning them into pro bowlers, and this guy could be another. He also could not have talked up this team and how bad he wants to be a Patriot. ILB is a position that struggled a lot in defending the run, and what could help more than a guy that’s led the league in tackles?The Patriots have a long history of plucking Bills players and turning them into Patriot Powerhouses
Justin Bethel – CB – Just because Richard Sherman really seems like a pipe dream, they have to add some sort of corner. With Malcolm Butler as good as gone, and Aqib Talib officially traded to LA, Bethel seems like a good fit. A somewhat bigger corner, with a past of playing special teams, he has stepped up and become a respectable #2 corner. He seems to fit the Pats mold, and he isn’t named Kyle Arrington.Securing a cornerback is a key target for the Patriots off-season this year
– Jake Kobierski (@TheRealKobe83)