Most of these players are just a pipe dream but here are 5 players I would love to see in a Patriots’ uniform next year.
Here comes my favorite time of year. Man I love the NFL offseason. Who doesn’t love putting a team together? Looking at the draft and free agents and trying to figure out how to make your team better without giving up too much, the offseason is a time of planning and scheming which I love to watch.
Plus I love teams that think they're suddenly important for going out and signing a big name free agent prize, and then seeing that player ultimately tank and their money goes to waste. Last years’ award for biggest offseason failure goes to the Miami Dolphins in their signing of Mike Wallace and to the Baltimore Ravens for signing Joe Flacco to a record breaking contract, only to be reminded he is a mediocre quarterback. Ah, I love dumb decisions. But enough about those lame teams.
The Patriots obviously were so close to the Super Bowl this year and there are only a few holes that need to be plugged up for them to be back in a position to seriously contend for a Super Bowl.
I have five players in mind who I think, if the Patriots were able to get all of them, would push the Patriots to the forefront of Super Bowl favorites going into next season. Now these guys aren’t necessarily realistic targets for the Patriots (though some are), but rather players that the Patriots could get that would make an immediate impact. Realistic free agent targets will be later, don’t worry. This is my pipe dream.
Let’s start with number 5…
5. Scott Chandler- Tight End
I start the list with a player that actually could be on the Patriots radar. Chandler is a big athletic tight end with good hand and is a great blocker. With the injury history of Gronk, the Patriots need to get a good backup tight end and Chandler can be that guy.
Realistically, Chandler is one of the better tight ends projected to hit free agency so his price tag could be pushed up out of the Patriots price range because of that. But still, he would be a terrific option as the 2 TE especially if it takes Gronk a while to come back from his ACL.
4. Eric Decker- Wide Receiver
Another possible target for the Patriots, Decker is everything the Patriots are lacking in the receiver division. The Patriots need a big, strong receiver to stretch the field and that is exactly what Decker is. He ended the season with 87 catches, 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns.
He will require a fair amount of cash, assuming he does make it to free agency. But still I would love to see Decker in a Pats unifier next year. Especially since it would be a nice F U right back to those annoying Broncos.
3. T.J. Ward- Strong Safety
Now we start getting into my stretches.
Ward is one of the best strong safeties in the league right now and is known for laying the wood. In fact he was the guy who took out Gronk’s knees and ended our Super Bowl hopes and dreams, so let’s take this moment to hate him.
Ok moment over. The Patriots are set at free safety with Devin McCourty playing very well and paired with Ward, that could form a formable backfield. Sadly, the Patriots don’t have much cap space and much will be spent on resigning Talib.
2. Jared Allen- Defensive End
The Patriots were seriously lacking a pass rush in the AFC champ game and Allen can be that third down rusher the Patriots have been looking for. He racked up 11.5 sacks this season and doesn’t seem to be losing much of a step with age. Plus the guy is a crazy dude who I would love to see in a Pats’ jersey, mainly because I want that 69. Do you think he picked that on purpose? I’m never really sure…
Plus, how could I not want this guy on the team!
1. Andre Johnson- Wide Receiver
And here is the biggest pipe dream of them all.
Johnson isn’t a free agent, but I think at the right price the Texans would be willing to trade him. It would cost the Patriots a fair amount (I’m thinking like a 2nd, 3rd and maybe next year 3rd) but if it can be done, it 100% should be done.
Even at 32 years old, and the horribleness that was the Houston Texans, Johnson still had 109 catches, 1,407 yard and 5 touchdowns. Imagine Brady throwing the ball to Andre Johnson! God that would be beautiful. He would quickly fix the Patriots ‘X’ receiver problem.
Now why would the Texans be interested in trading Johnson in the first place?
Johnson had a sideline meltdown, in which he stormed off the field during a game. He yelled at Schaub, he yelled at Kubiak. Since the Texans are rebuilding and reloading, it could be in their best interest to get rid of Johnson if he has a problem with subpar play.
Basically, if there is the slightest inclining that Johnson is available, the Patriots should drop everything they’ve got and go get him.