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New England Patriots in Line for Increased Roles in 2015

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The Patriots made a bold decision at the start of free agency, but one that they had to make in order to be able to stay competitive.

They decided early to pass on All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis, who went back to New York. His $20-million contract option gave the Jets an opportunity they didn’t feel they could pass up.

It cost them $70 million over five seasons (with $39 million fully guaranteed) to do it, but Revis was lured back to his NFL roots, fortifying the Jets while dealing their fiercest rival a devastating blow.

Losing Revis though will give a chance for a player to step up for the Patriots, and right now players in line for that are pickups Chimdi Chekwa, Bradley Fletcher and Robert McClain.

Those three are in line to be able to make plays, and along with losing Revis at one corner, they also lost fellow CB Brandon Browner, allowing him to leave the Patriots for the New Orleans Saints.

While those three CB’s mentioned above will have an impact on the position, don’t be so quick to rule out the team looking around to make a deal or also draft a CB early in the May 2015 NFL Draft.

The team is also looking to add more to their pass rush. They went out in free agency and grabbed former Cleveland Brown edge rusher Jabaal Sheard, a player that has shown potential, but needs to show more to make a big impact for the Patriots.

“Coming from a not-so-good program to a great Patriots program that’s been winning and doing well, I’m just really excited,” Sheard said last Friday in a conference call with the New England media.

“I want to win in the league. I want to be part of a great organization. That was a big part of me signing.”

Yes it’s true that Sheard’s sack totals dropped when the Browns switched from a 4-3 to a 3-4 in 2013, but he’s hoping that with a better team and a better system with good players around him, he will get back to the first two years of his career when he put up 15.5 sacks.

“I envision that they have some great plans for me,” Sheard said.

“Just knowing the system they run, I’ve been around three different systems in my last three years. I’m ready for whatever. I’m always ready to embrace something new and something different. I’m up for the challenge, whatever it is.”

The Patriots are not done wheeling and dealing, but for now they need to continue to look at the corner spot, as well as putting more pressure on the QB’s.

They are hoping the moves they have made thus far will help with that.

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