Per usual, the Patriots haven’t made a huge splash in free agency. They’ve barely even jumped in a puddle for that matter. But they do this year to year and still the rings don’t lie. They still have to do something to at least add some depth to this team, and here are a few guys they might want to target.
Stephen Gostkowski and Ryan Allen – After such a good season it would just be wrong if they did not bring back their kicker and punter. Allen won the field position for the team in the Super Bowl and was such a key part in that victory. He has also consistently been a top punter in the league over the past few years and could be highly sought after by other teams. As for Gostkowski, even though he has lost a little bit of what he used to have, there are teams that are hurting for kickers. He could get scooped up very soon and the Patriots don’t want to end up being one of the teams with kicking problems.
Rishard Matthews – Everyone thinks they need that big time receiver to be a real number 1. What I think they really need is for someone to do exactly what Brandon LaFell did in 2014. They need a solid number 2 receiver, and that is exactly what Matthews has been throughout his whole career. He could add an extra speed aspect to the receiving corp and he is a very good route runner. He could produce that 70 catch, 800 yard, 5 TD season which is exactly what they need to compliment Edelman. Coming off a very down season he is exactly the guy you might expect the Pats to add this offseason
Isaiah Crowell – Something the Patriots really struggled with last season is converting in short yardage situations. Sony Michel is not a big enough back to pound through those holes, and they cannot always rely on Develin to get that yardage. Jeremy Hill was supposed to fill that role and tore his ACL last season. Crowell is coming off a down season and should be available at short money, which is exactly what the Pats look for.
Danny Shelton – The Pats already lost Malcolm Brown and Trey Flowers and are thin on the defensive line. They should bring Shelton back to be that plug in the middle that they have lacked since Vince Wilfork retired. It is a position that is no longer in high demand in the NFL so he should come at a reasonable price tag.
Shane Ray – Along with Danny Shelton, Ray would add some much needed pass rushing ability to a defensive line that has struggled without Trey Flowers in the past. Michael Bennett most likely won’t be able to play every snap like Flowers, so Ray would be that speed off the edge that they need in pass rushing situations. He is the perfect underachiever that the Pats could pick up and bring out his full potential.
-Jake Kobierski (@TheRealKobe83)