So you’re beginning to worry about the Patriots…DON’T
Ahh yes, the mass exodus is here! There have been quite the amount of Patriots to leave this off-season including big names like Danny Amendola, Nate Solder, and Malcolm Butler. Even bigger names like Richard Sherman and Aqib Talib were rumored to be coming to New England but those pipe dreams were quickly dashed when Sherman signed with San Francisco and Talib signed with Los Angeles. However, we shouldn’t be overreacting to the lack of off-season signings by the Patriots. The Patriots haven’t had an off-season like this losing this many key players but let me explain to you why we need to stay calm.
Danny “Playoff” was a huge part of this offense especially in the playoffs and more so all this year when Edelman went down. However; we now have Jules back and you better believe he’s out to prove that he’s back and better than ever. So yes, Amendola is a big loss, but his departure isn’t catastrophic to the team. The one big loss that I’m concerned about is Nate Solder. He was easitly one of the top five run blockers in the NFL and made darn sure that Tom Brady’s blind side was protected. I have faith that the Pats can go out and get another left tackle but I hope he ends up comparable to Solder.
I’m not all that concerned with the loss of Dion Lewis, I’m really not. Yeah he was a nice player but Bill has time and time again found plenty of Dion Lewis’. Danny Woodhead, James White, Rex Burkhead, small shifty guys who can catch. He was an explosive player but he’s had an ACL surgery and fumble issues so I’m OK with letting him walk.
Another question I have is what to do with Brandin Cooks? It was thrown around that the Patriots might trade Cooks to clear some cap space, but since we missed the Sherman and Talib sweepstakes, are we “stuck” with Cooks now? As the year went on he did improve but many (including me) were less than impressed with his willingness to go up and get the ball. Don’t forget we still have Malcolm Mitchell and Kenny Britt too. Plenty of wide receivers to choose from after Jules comes back.
The Malcolm Butler situation is finally moving on. We all saw the writing on the wall that he wasn’t staying. Is he a huge loss? Absolutely. Can we overcome it? You betcha! We have Stephon Gilmore who was un-befreaking-lievable in the latter part of the year and playoffs. One player I’d love to see the Patriots draft to perhaps try to replace Butler is Isaac Yiadom from Boston College. He was THE shutdown corner for BC this year that ranked 24th in the country in passing defense. If the Patriots could get him, I wouldn’t worry one bit. He won’t be the next Malcolm Butler but it would certainly help that secondary. Where they really need to focus on is a pass rusher. The idea of Jadaveon Clowney coming to One Patriot Place has been thrown around and I’m all aboard that train. If the Patriots pull off that trade, we’re in for yet another Super Bowl run in my eyes.
The Patriots are still a Super Bowl favorite
Yes, the patriots are STILL one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl. We still have Bill as coach and Tom as our quarterback. If we still have them at the helm, than you bet that we’re still going to be a favorite. Even with the loss of Amendola of Lewis, we’ll still be a top offense that will score and score plenty. I have all the faith in the world in Bill to fix the defense and he’ll most likely doing it with players we don’t know. As Aaron Rodgers once said, R-E-L-A-X. They’ve lost big name players before and they ended up A-OK after it. Granted they’ve never had this many big names leave but as they say, winning cures everything. And you best believe that this team is still going to win and win a lot.
–Brian Berard (@RockyBerard)