After Saturday's big free agent signing of Brandon Lloyd, most Patriots fans likely went to bed thinking the Patriots had already done most of their damage when it came to free agency 2012. Well, it turns out, the Patriots weren't even close to done.
This Monday, the Patriots made three more solid signings that should prove to make the Patriots one of the most competitive and deepest teams in the NFL in 2012. Yes, three more moves. I would assume that I'm not the only one whose head is spinning. Lets recap the days moves:
Signed Tight End Daniels Fells to a three year deal. Fells will be coming to New England on a three-year contract. At 6'4", 252 lbs, the 28 year old Fells is the type of tight end that can do a little bit of anything for a team. He's shown in the past that he can be a receiver, but is also a reliable back-up. He should be a nice insurance policy for Rob Gronkowski, and should allow Aaron Hernandez to play more in his natural "flex" role.
Signed Wide Receiver Donte Stallworth to a one year deal. While Stallworth likely isn't the same guy who was part of New England's record breaking 2007 offense, he certainly has the potential to be an impact with the Patriots. I could potentially envision him being a #3 or #4 receiver on the depth chart who primarily serves as a deep-threat specialist. Of course, he could just as easily not make the 53 man roster. However, looking at his recent tweets, Stallworth seems like a guy who is motivated to prove his doubters wrong and make his second stint with the Patriots worthwhile.
Signed Offensive Lineman Robert Gallery to a one year deal. The Patriots have reportedly been interested in Gallery ever since he was the 2nd overall pick of the Raiders in the 2004 NFL Draft. He was drafted as a tackle, and while that never exactly panned out, Gallery went on to become a pretty successful left guard for the Raiders and last year for the Seahawks. While Gallery, barring any injuries or unexpected retirements (ex. Brian Waters), likely won't start for the Patriots, he is a solid depth pick-up for the offensive line. I expect him to be a top back-up at both guard positions, as well as at right tackle. With Gallery in the fold, the Patriots instantly have one of the deepest lines in the entire NFL.
While the Patriots still need to work on re-signing of few of their own players (BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Mark Anderson, and Andre Carter), they have done an excellent job at creating very competitive depth over the course of the first week of free agency. I'd expect the Patriots to make a couple of salary cap moves over the coming days, but for now, this Patriots team is significantly better than the one from just a week ago.