The New England Patriots came up just short of their ultimate goal in 2017 as the team lost Super Bowl LII against the Philadelphia Eagles. In order to get back onto the top of the NFL mountain, the team – on and off the field personnel – will have to quickly turn the page to get into a position to field the best possible team in 2018; one that will be able to once again compete for the world championship.
A big part of creating such a team is mastering the upcoming free agency. And if judged by the list of free agents to be, New England's front office will be busy over the next few weeks. Also over the next few weeks, we will take a look at those free agents to find out who might or might not get re-signed; and who should be a part of the 2018 Patriots. Today, we'll continue with cornerback Johnson Bademosi.
#29 CB Johnson Bademosi
2018 opening day age: 28
2017 playing time: 18 games (16 regular season + 2 playoffs); 17.6% defensive snaps, 59.5% special teams snaps
2017 statistics: 20 defensive tackles; 1 pass defensed; 10 special teams tackles
2017 cap number: $1.3 million
In early September, the Patriots traded a sixth round draft pick to the Detroit Lions for Bademosi's services. The veteran would go on to appear in all but one of the team's games this season, serving mostly as a special teamer: All in all, the 27-year old played almost two thirds of New England's special teams snaps and as a gunner on kickoffs and punts registered 10 combined tackles – tied with Brandon King for the team lead.
Bademosi also saw playing time on defense, although not as regularly: He was used on defense in only six of his 18 games, primarily as an injury replacement in the middle of the season. When on the field, he allowed roughly three fourths of passes thrown his way to be completed but was usually competitive when it comes to limiting big plays. A notable exception, of course, is the Super Bowl when he gave up a key third down by whiffing on a tackle.
Despite the unfortunate ending, Bademosi did have a productive first season in New England both as a depth cornerback and a core special teamer. It would therefore not be a surprise to see the team bring him back on a modest deal, particularly with Malcolm Butler expected to leave via free agency and Jonathan Jones, Cyrus Jones and Nate Ebner all coming back from injured reserve.
Projection: Bademosi re-signs with the Patriots on a two-year contract worth a total of around $2.0 to $3.5 million.