The 2021 season ended on a low note for the New England Patriots. They were blown out in their Wild Card matchup against their AFC East rivals, the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo put together a perfect game against the Patriots, as they had seven offensive drives and scored a touchdown on each one.
That is an incredible feat for the Bills offense, especially coming against a Bill Belichick-led defense. After that performance, you can be sure that the defense will be something New England looks to address in the offseason.
The Patriots could use some help on the backend of that side of the ball. Figuring out what to do with J.C. Jackson is atop their to-do list. Jackson is an unrestricted free agent and the team could use the franchise tag to keep him in town.
Jackson has turned into one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL and is a key cog in their defensive game plan. Keeping him in town is important, but even if they can retain him, they could still use some reinforcements in the secondary.
Over at PFF, some free agency predictions were made. They selected one free agent that each team should pursue this offseason and they think the Patriots should attack the secondary. The free-agent PFF selected for New England to pursue is veteran cornerback, Patrick Peterson.
Peterson was a premier cornerback throughout his career with the Arizona Cardinals. Going on 32-years old, he has lost a step, but he logged a healthy number of snaps with the Minnesota Vikings this season, being on the field for 884 of them.
While his coverage grade of 61 wasn’t great, as it was the second-lowest of his career outside his rookie season, he would be an intriguing target for New England. His willingness to play some safety is something that could be attractive to Belichick, as he is always looking for versatile players to fill out the roster.
The Patriots had a team position grade of 74.3 at cornerback, which was fourth in the NFL. Adding a seasoned veteran like Patrick Peterson to that mix, even if his grade was a little lower, would be helpful as there is a lot of youth on that depth chart.