The Patriots will have a few big name free agents to hit the market this season and they really need to make the move to move on from them.
Wes Welker, of course, will be the most talked about free agent of the Patriots. The past two seasons have shown that with Welker being the only threat at wide out, with the two tight ends is not enough to win the Superbowl, the offense seems to bog out in the playoffs, especially against a defense like the Ravens. The Patriots need a true number one wide receiver, and an deep threat, Welker is a slot wide receiver, he is a good one, but that is it. If the Patriots would get a deep threat and keep Welker, things would be better for the whole offense, and Welker would benefit from it as well. If Welker still wants a huge contract that could prevent the Patriots making their offense better then they need to let Welker go. Welker gets a lot of receptions with New England because New England throws a lot of short passes and their slot receiver is their number one guy, if Welker was in an supporting role, which is what he should be in, then the offense would not struggle so much in big games, against great defenses. The truth is, Welker can be replaced by New England because the Patriots have Tom Brady throwing the football. If Welker goes else where to a team who has the deep threats, Welker will not be catching as many passes as he does with the Patriots because he will not be their number one guy. If Welker wants too much money then New England needs to move on and after the drop pass in the Superbowl then the huge, embarrassing drop pass by Welker in another big game against the Ravens, with him leading the league in drops, I don’t think New England will be willing to give him the kind of money he wants. If the Patriots do, and keep the same offense they had this season, I do not believe they will win another Superbowl before Brady retires.
Danny Woodhead is a guy I’m confident the Patriots will sign back and they should. He will not be expensive, and with his talents, he will be a good keep. He is the 3rd RB, who makes a lot of positive yards and can play WR for the Patriots. Woodhead just gains yards and is an X-Factor for New England in a lot of games, and is like what Kevin Faulk use to be for the Patriots. He is good, ole, reliable, Danny Woodhead. I think it is a safe bet to say he will be a Patriot next season.
Julian Edelman should not be resigned back to the Patriots. I know he will be cheap to sign back but I just don’t think it will be worth it, and the money could be used elsewhere. I thought Edelman was having a break out season in the receiving game when he was on the field, which was not much. Edelman had one injury problem after another and the last thing the Patriots need is another injury prone player. He was hurt versus the Ravens with an hand injury, concussion versus the jets, and finally an foot injury that ended his season. Edelman would be an excellent pick up for the Eagles with the new offense they will be running but for the Patriots, they will ask the question, does his talent over come his injuries? I say no.
Deion Branch should not be back. He can be a back up WR to sign if the Patriots deal with injuries at that position, or sign him for a day so he can retire a Patriot, but he adds no value to the New England Patriots. Let him go to make room for whomever, and if injuries pile on then bring him back, but there is no way he should be a Patriot to start the season.
Aqib Talib should be back with the Patriots. The Patriots had a very good defensive plan against the Ravens offense when Talib was in the game. He shut down Boldin, and Dennard was doing good against Smith with safety help but when Talib went out, it changed everything. The effect Talib had on the defense was very evident when he left the game. He is a very good cover corner and New England needs him back. The injuries are a worry but his talent speaks for itself, and he needs to be brought back for the Patriots. Talib and Dennard make a good duo, but New England will need to bring in quailty backups, of course.
In no shape or form should Kyle Arrington be back. Most of Patriots nation do not like him, I don’t like him, as a player, of course. He is not a good corner, he gets beat all the time, he doesn’t have the size, and is not a physical player. Arrington has been an Patriot long enough and should finally be let go of. He isn’t a good back up to even have on the Patriots team.
Patrick Chung should be let go of. He barely sees the field as is, and when he is on the field, he doesn’t do much, in the way of helping the Patriots. Chung is money space the Patriots need, they need to admit they missed on drafting him and in my opinion, just start over again in the Strong Safety spot. I think the Patriots should release Steven Gregory as well because he is horrible in coverage. The Patriots need a strong safety who can tackle and have cover skills as well, because the Ravens used the lack of cover skills against Gregory in the game and it was ugly. Time for New England to clean up the players and add players who have cover skills, no matter their position, unless their on the defensive line.
Trevor Scott would be a nice, cheap player to sign back to the roster. He is a quality back up, he isn’t great by any means, he doesn’t get consistent enough pass rush, but for the right price, he makes a good backup for the team. He adds some kind of depth to the team.
Michael Hoomanawanui the tight with the great name should be sign back. He is good in the blocking department, and can catch a little. He isn’t bad at all and adds a good quality third option on the tight end depth chart. The Patriots need that as Rob Gronkowski has a hard time getting through the playoffs unharmed. Gronkowski next season doesn’t need to do everything he did this season. Gronkowski needs rest through out the season, the Patriots need to think about games, toward the end of the season, to save him, rest him and don’t use him on extra points either. Homanawanui is an excellent blocker, he can do that part.
Sebastian Vollmer should be back. New England’s offensive line, it seems like every season gets hit with the injury bug. They can’t afford to let to many get away from them, especially quality ones like Vollmer.
Let this stir in your mind. The Patriots had a shot at WR Anquan Boldin when he was an free agent, but the Ravens paid him and got him, and he became worth every penny of it the contract. The Patriots need to let go of some of their “system” players and get quality good players, pay them the money to get their skill sets.