The New England Patriots failed to make the playoffs in 2020, making an already crazy year seem out of this world. However, the Patriots aren’t too many pieces away from being right back in the postseason, especially with Bill Belichick at the helm.
The fact that the Patriots also have the second most cap space this offseason behind the Indianapolis Colts certainly helps their case. The Patriots will be able to engage in some bidding wars to help land the players they want to mold their team around.
Although the Patriots didn’t have the year they were expecting, they do have some promising talent to build around. JC Jackson managed to snag nine interceptions on the season and the team will also have Stephon Gilmore coming back as well. The Patriots also stayed in a lot of games due to the great coaching by Belichick and he will be returning for another year in 2021.
If the Patriots simply added some more talent on the roster, the sky is the limit for this team. Obviously, it’s never easy replacing a quarterback who led a team to six Super Bowl victories and nine Super Bowl appearances, but Cam Newton did a decent job of it.
The Patriots seem unlikely to bring Newton back, so who knows what they’ll end up doing at the quarterback position. Here’s a look at four free agents the Patriots should consider signing and beefing up their team for a big bounce back season in 2021.
Richard Sherman, Cornerback
Richard Sherman and the New England Patriots would make passing on them virtually impossible. Stephon Gilmore is a former Defensive Player of the Year and JC Jackson will certainly be mentioned for the award this season after snagging nine interceptions, but it never hurts to beef up your secondary.
Sherman is at the stage in his career where he wants to compete for another Super Bowl and going to an established team like the Patriots would match his no-nonsense mentality and could help get the team back into the playoffs.
Sherman missed a large portion of the 2020 season with various injuries, but by signing in New England they could use him in a lesser role and still be just as effective.
Hunter Henry, Tight End
The Patriots need a tight end, that much is a no brainer. But, Hunter Henry is the best one available on the market and they should get him at any cost.
If the Patriots want to be able to improve offensively, they will need to add some weapons to their arsenal. The leading tight end for the Patriots in 2020 sat on injured reserve for most of the season and had just 14 receptions. Those numbers are absolutely embarrassing.
Henry had more receptions in 2020 than all the Patriots tight ends had combined and his great blocking would help spring open the running game more as well.
Tight end could be the biggest need for the Patriots this offseason and they need to pay Henry whatever he wants to get to New England. If they pass on a tight end this offseason, it will be hard to believe the Patriots will do any better than they did this season.
Andy Dalton, Quarterback
The Patriots likely will not bring back Cam Newton this offseason, which means they will be in the market for a new guy to take the reigns. I can’t think of a better fit for the Patriots than Andy Dalton, who seems to match the exact scheme of what Bill Belichick wants in a quarterback.
Don’t be surprised if the Patriots do what they need to do to draft one of the stud quarterbacks coming out of the 2021 NFL Draft, but they will still want a veteran signal caller to help him develop. Guys like Trey Lance and Justin Fields don’t seem impossible for the Patriots to obtain and they could develop their next franchise signal caller behind a very reliable Andy Dalton.
Dalton spent the 2020 season in Dallas and played in a relief role with the Cowboys while Dak Prescott was injured. His numbers weren’t the best, but in his defense Dallas was a bit of a dumpster fire from the get go. If Dalton can sign with a stable organization like the Patriots, the sky is the limit for his potential growth.
Allen Robinson, Wide Receiver
The Patriots need some more reliable targets to throw to as well. That is arguably their biggest concern heading into the offseason. We already talked about how much of an impact adding Hunter Henry would be, but if you couple him with a wide receiver like Allen Robinson, this offense would be back to normal in no time.
Robinson has been unhappy in Chicago for a while now, mostly with the coaching staff. Matt Nagy always seem to make calls that wind up costing the Bears wins and his decision making is very questionable. Robinson has very much separated himself from the team in as many ways possible and will certainly look to sign elsewhere this offseason.
The Patriots have plenty of cap space to give Robinson what he desires and his presence in the offense would not go unnoticed. Bringing in Allen Robinson would be a match made in heaven.