New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Potential Free Agent Players or Current Patriots that could replace Stevan Ridley

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The Patriots will most likely lose Ridley to another team once free agency begins, so lets talk potential replacements for him. He might stay with the team, but hey lets just guess at who else could play RB for New England.

LeGarrette Blount is the starter and he will be going forward, but he can’t handle the load himself with no help from another tough runner on the team. Who will the other guy be, it was Stevan Ridley last year, but this year he suffered a torn ACL against the Bills in week 5. He probably won’t return to New England, so let’s break down who can be a power back to replace him.

First off, it’s not going to be Adrian Peterson or DeMarco Murray. No shot because they are way too expensive. I’ll be talking the way more realistic guys that could be a Patriot in 2015.

Potential Ridely replacements:

RB Jonas Gray: I will start will the current guys on the roster. 2nd year guy Jonas Gray could take over for Ridley and depending on how much the team believes in him will decide if he plays next year or not. He had one monster game last year when he ran all over the Colts and another solid game against the Chargers but after the Colts game for some odd reason the Pats didn’t use him much. He wasn’t given a chance once Blount came on the team, so it’s a real mystery if he can do it or not, for 16 games, but if the Pats believe in him, then they won’t go the free agency route because they will already have their guy and he’s a much cheaper option than anybody else. I believe Gray is good and will be good, but going forward we will see if he will get his chance.

Chances he replaces Ridley: High.

RB Tyler Gaffney: The team picked him up last off-season by claiming him off waivers when the Panthers let him go because of a torn meniscus. He was a workhorse back at Stanford, which means he can carry the ball a lot for New England and he’s a short yardage back who always falls forward. He’s tough to tackle and he has the ideal size for running back. The biggest concern is he doesn’t always hit the hole with speed and can hesitant. He’s powerful, though with good speed and depending on how he performs during training camp and pre-season will determine how much time he will play. He’s the kind of player that can be great or bad with no in between.

Chances he replaces Ridley: Low.

RB Mark Ingram: Let’s go to free agency now. Mark Ingram had a very good year with the Saints and will test the open market. I’m banking on Ingram landing back with the Saints, but New England had interest in him coming out of the draft, so will they show interest now that he’s a free agent? He will be cheaper than most with his kind of name but he won’t be that cheap. He might be out of range, but boy he would be a huge pickup for the Pats. He’s a pure power back and will churn out the yards. He had 964 yards rushing with 9 touchdowns last season. He could replace Ridley but the money will be a problem.

Chances he replaces Ridley: Low.

RB Knowshon Moreno: Interesting, isn’t it? He ran all over the Patriots last year and he looked like he could have a good season until injuries got in the way.  The Pats love taking a guy who killed them in games from that team and since he probably won’t return to Miami there’s a chance New England grabs him. He could successfully replace Ridley IF he can stay healthy. I can actually see this happen, especially if the money is right.

Chances he replaces Ridley: High.

RB Darren McFadden: The Pats love taking players who haven’t lived up to potential, but shown flashes of greatness or troubled players and turning them into stars. McFadden has shown flashes of greatness, but hasn’t reached his potential with the Raiders. He could be a cheaper option, with great potential the Pats may take.

Chances he replaces Ridley: Medium.

RB Trent Richardson: If the Colts part ways with him, which is looking likely, he’s another guy with great potential that hasn’t come close to reaching it that the Pats may want to try and turn into a superstar. He would be a low risk, high reward kind-of player they just love getting.

Chances he replaces Ridley: Low.

RB Frank Gore: I can’t see the 49ers really letting him go, but if they do where he lands will be exciting to see. He will go to a team that wants to win now instead of later because of his age. He still has some gas left in the tank, but not much and will be done in a few more years. He’s not a long term option but he’s a great “right now option.” I really don’t think the Pats will take him but he would make an impact if they do.

Chances he replaces Ridley: Low.

There’s the list of players either already on the Patriots team or in Free Agency that the Patriots could get to replace Ridley. 

I didn’t break down every free agent RB or big time free agent RB because I don’t think they will be a Patriot either. The fact is, the Pats don’t have much money to bring in a really good free agent RB. They have to redo Revis contract and work things out with McCourty and that’s who their money will be tied up with and rightfully so. They can live without another RB but they can’t live without their star secondary players. I don’t think the Patriots will be big in free agency outside of resigning their own guys.

Most likely they will look to the draft for a RB if they feel they need another one. If that’s the case, Gurley, Yeldon, and David Johnson are the likely candidates. But, I will get into the likely hood of which RB they will draft, if they go that way later on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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