The only thing coronavirus hasn’t put to a screeching halt is NFL Free Agency. The beginning happens to be right around the corner, so it’s really all we have left to look forward to. Players are getting cut left and right, and franchise tags are being tendered, so lets look into players the Patriots might be looking into.
Sanders has been linked to the Patriots for so many years now, at this point would it be too little too late? Last year he showed great flash once he was put in an offense he could thrive in with Kyle Shanahan. Josh McDaniels runs a very similar offense, and Sanders would be a great fit still even at 33. He would be the weapon Brady wants, or a reliable, veteran leader for a young QB to lean on. This might finally be the year to snatch him.
Anderson feels like he would be a good edition if Brady were to stay. It would give him a speedy deep threat option, and a weapon he has been begging for. Anderson has had some very up and down years, and next to Edelman, White and Sanu he would only have to be a 3rd option at best. Plus, you know how Bill loves turning Jets players into studs.
Ebron had somewhat of a down year, but the Patriots are so hungry for a tight end that my stomach is growling for them. Ebron seems to be the only tight end available that’s right smack in the middle of his prime, and as a read zone target with elite hops, he would be exactly what Brady needs to come back.
If Ebron doesn’t work out, Walker was just recently cut and would be a great alternative to bridge a gap until they find a TE in the draft. Walker still has some gas in the tank, and would be able to provide more than Ben Watson did last year. He’s played under a similar coaching style in Mike Vrabel, and would be a perfect addition to the Pats offense.
The Patriots need to sure up their offensive line, and they typically never go out and sign big name guys off the market. Compton has been a great journeyman that can move around the line at any spot but center. He would be great security if we lose Joe Thuney, and could compete with Ted Karras. He could also be a great backup for the constantly injured Isaiah Wynn, or struggling Marcus Cannon.
Reed is at the tail end of his career, but always felt like he fit the Pats mold to me. He is a gritty edge rusher that’s been around the block. He would be a great mentor for Chase Winovich, and a good filler to replace what Kyle Van Noy did. And you know Bill has a soft spot for guys that have played a lot of special teams…
Lynch feels like he fits the mold of linebackers that Belichick loves to bring in either via free agency or trade. Akeem Ayers, Barkevious Mingo, Kyle Van Noy, and the list goes on and on. Guys that had high ceilings that they were never able to reach in other organizations. Lynch has never eclipsed more than 6.5 sacks in a season, and hasn’t come close to that since being in Chicago. Lynch seems like a great fit as a beefy pass rusher to help this team that struggled getting to the QB.
The Pats definitely need some depth at linebacker. Jamie Collins and KVN might be on their way out, and Elandon Roberts proved he was a better fullback than linebacker. They need someone who can help in coverage, because Jamie Collins was that guy. Ryan would be a good option to help with that. He’s been mostly isolated to special teams, but seems like that athletic type linebacker that would work great in that role.
If the Patriots need to replace Devin McCourty this offseason, it is not going to be an easy pair of shoes to fill. Joseph feels like one of the best option out there aside from the draft. Joseph is a sideline to sideline safety, and is no stranger to run support. He posted 79 tackles in his second year in the league, and 1 pick every season. He may not be the leader D-Mac is, but he feels like one of the best athletic fits as a replacement.
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-Jake Kobierski (@TheRealKobe83)