Patriots Free Agent Targets
Unlike last year, the Patriots enter free agency with limited cap space. They are making some moves to free up some additional space but it appears they won’t be making a splash this year, rather signing some mid-tier free agents and even doing a little bargain basement shopping. The Patriots have cartainly had their fair share of success acquiring mid-tier free agents over the years so there is still a very good chance they can improve the team this offseason. Here are twelve players I think would be realistic and excellent additions to the Patriots roster:
Allen Robinson, WR: This move might take some salary cap maneuvering by the Patriots but it would be worth it. He’s a true #1 receiver and exactly what the Patriots need. They reportedly had interest in him last offseason before he got franchise tagged. He would be a huge signing if they can pull it off. It’s probably unrealistic that they can land Robinson but he should be someone they do whatever it takes to sign.
Foye Oluokun, LB: Great tackling linebacker who is very good against the run. Sneaky good speed too. Durable three down linebacker that is coming into his prime and fits the Patriots system. Patriots need to rebuild the LB group and Oluokun would be a good place to start.
Darious Williams, CB: Physical aggressive corner that’s been good the last two seasons but hasn’t really had his breakout season. Can play man and zone coverage but is better in zone which the Patriots might be playing more of in 2022. Overshadowed by Ramsey in LA but a really good corner. The Patriots are likely losing JC Jackson and Williams would be a solid and cheaper replacement.
Christian Kirk, WR: Explosive slot receiver that hasn’t exactly lived up to his potential in Arizona. I think the New England offense could bring the most out of Kirk. Has always been a number 3 receiver in Arizona but has potential to be more.
Kyzir White, LB: White came into his own with the Chargers last year and could be the perfect fit for a rebuilding Patriots LB group. He has speed, he’s a leader on defense, he’s versatile. I think his best years are still to come and he would be a great fit in New England.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR: Talented player who’s value is way down. If you can use him right and get the most out of him, he can be a very productive player. Likely looking for a short term prove it contract, which would be ideal for the Patriots. Physical receiver that blocks well which is something the Patriots love.
Sebastian Joseph-Day, DL: Joseph-Day is a dominant run stopping defensive lineman which the Patriots could really use. Rotational player in LA that could become a full-time player in New England. Lot of upside here.
Charvarius Ward, CB: Physical corner that can play in both man and zone coverage. Was sneaky good in KC to the point were he might have actually priced himself out of New England but if I’m the Patriots I take a run at him.
Uchenna Nwosu, LB: Solid starting outside linebacker that fits best in a 3-4 scheme. Can rush the passer and drop in coverage, extremely versatile. Is getting better by the year, should be a force, wherever he ends up, in 2022.
Ronnie Harrison, S: Excellent tackler, plays the run extremely well. Would fit in the Patriots 3 safety defense, playing that Pat Chung role. Will add depth at Safety if McCourty doesn't return.
Donte Jackson, CB: Was solid in Carolina but the Panthers drafting Jaycee Horn eighth overall last year and traded for Gilmore signaling the end for Jackson in Carolina. Coming off an injury but is a very good corner in zone coverage, has good speed and is excellent against the run. His stock might be down a bit which makes him a prime target for the Patriots.
Trent Brown, OT: Only Patriots player on my list. The Patriots are clearly the best fit for Brown, his best years have all been in New England. He is still a very good tackle and the Patriots were better when he was active and playing at a high level.
As far as other Patriots that are up for free agency, I’d be interested in bringing back James White and Matthew Slater because of their roles and what they will cost but that’s really it. I think we can all agree that JC Jackson is as good as gone and I’m fine with that. I also think it’s time to move on from Dont’a Hightower and Devin McCourty. If they choice to re-sign one of them on a cheap, one year deal I won’t be mad but they really need to move on from the old guys and continue to get younger.