The Patriots are set to bring in their first outside-the-organization free agent Monday when they host Bills wide receiver Josh Reed. Reed has played primarily the slot WR position in Buffalo but is flexible enough to line up in multiple positions, similar to what Jabar Gaffney did while he was in New England. Seeing that he has primarily been a slot receiver, he could play in Wes Welker’s spot until he returns to the line-up. The Patriots seem to go after players they are familiar with as opponents, like when they went after Wes Welker. With T.O. aboard, Reed had a down year last season, catching only 27 passes for 291 yards and one touchdown. However, he caught over 50 passes the previous two seasons, playing in an anemic offense. Perhaps playing in the Patriots’ offense will be the cure what ails him. I expect this deal to get done and Josh Reed will be a Patriot before he leaves Gillette Stadium Monday.
So what’s next for the Patriots?
The Pats will continue to try and re-sign some of their own free agents. The Pats are in continuous talks with Leigh Bodden, who has also received interest from Houston, Seattle, and Pittsburgh. If he signs elsewhere, that leaves a BIG hole in the secondary. Bodden should be the team’s top priority right now.
Jarvis Green is starting to garner interest from other teams and will start his free agent visits Monday. The Patriots remain in the mix for their defensive end and if they lose him, they have to fill the hole opposite Ty Warren. They could try and sign Dwan Edwards from Baltimore as well, though he has already been making the free agent rounds.
There hasn’t been been buzz around Kevin Faulk but I would imagine that the Patriots are atop his list.
There hasn’t been any news about the Patriots hosting any free agent linebackers, but there is one new name to consider. The Miami Dolphins released ILB Akin Ayodele to make room for Karlos Dansby, who they just signed to a $43 mill deal. Ayodele wasn’t really released for poor play, just that Dansby provided more big-play ability. Ayodele could be a solid starter next to Jerod Mayo if the Patriots choose to go that route. Gary Guyton is a good situational 3rd down player but as we saw last season, cannot really hold up against the run. The Pats don’t need Ayodele to be a big playmaker- that’s what Jerod Mayo is for (or is supposed to be for anyway). I haven’t heard any rumors on this front, but it’s something to keep an eye on.