Another day of free agency, and another day in which the Patriots have added "value" free agents. In what could only be placed in the "low risk, high reward" category, the Patriots have announced the signing of free agent wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez, while Adam Schefter is reporting that the team has added DE/OLB Trevor Scott.
Gonzalez, as you probably know, was a first round pick of the Indianapolis Colts in the 2007 NFL Draft out of Ohio State. He looked like he was going to be a real productive player after his first two years in the league. In the 2008 season, Gonzalez recorded 57 receptions for 664 yards and four touchdowns.
However, Gonzalez has been significantly slowed by injuries over the past three years. In fact, since the start of the 2009 season, Gonzalez has played in just 11 games while recording five receptions for 67 yards (all in 2010).
At 6' and 193 lbs, the 27-year-old receiver is seen as a slot receiver. Still, considering his size and the way the Patriots use their receivers, I could see him playing a little on the outside.
Simply put: this is a low risk, high reward deal. If Gonzalez can't stay healthy or isn't the same player he was before the string of injuries, the Patriots can simply cut him during the preseason and move on. However, if he's the same player that the Colts had during the 2007 and 2008 season, the Patriots will have added another solid option that could pay huge dividends for Tom Brady and the Patriots' offense.
Similarly, the reported Trevor Scott deal also falls in the "low-risk, high-reward category." The 27-year-old pass rusher tore his ACL at the end of the 2010 season, then had an unproductive 2011 season as a result of his rehab. However, Scott recorded 57 tackles and 12 sacks his first two years in the league and considering his age, he definitely has the potential to become a solid player for the Patriots.
Worst-case scenario: he's either cut or serves as a special team / reserve. Best-case scenario: he returns to his sophomore form and becomes a plus-pass rusher for the Patriots.
When it comes to these two signings, there's no telling if these guys will ever get back to their previous production; there's a reason they're coming on the cheap. Nonetheless, these two players have the potential to become really solid additions, if they can overcome their respective issues. And lets not forget that it wasn't long ago that "low-risk, high-reward" signings such as Mike Vrabel, Roman Phifer, David Patten, and Tyrone Poole helped lead the Patriots to multiple Super Bowl titles.
For now, when it comes to Gonzalez and Scott, we'll just wait and see.