Now this is an interesting one. The New England Patriots are possibly interested in one St. Louis Rams wide receiver in Danny Amendola as a replacement for Wes Welker (I doubt it will come to that), and now they might also be interested in Brandon Gibson. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said it, and now top NFL insider Ian Rappoport is too. Brandon Gibson is receiving a significant amount of interest, and that’s more interest than most people expected.
The 25-year-old Washington State product caught 51 passes for 691 yards and five touchdowns last season, and he has some good upside and intriguing playmaking ability. Although there are no reports linking Gibson to the Patriots, it is at least worth the speculation. In fact, the interesting thing about Gibson is that Rappoport tweeted (link above) that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Gibson ended up playing in the AFC East next year.
The Miami Dolphins pretty much have Brian Hartline locked up, and they are expected to go after a true No. 1 playmaker next to him to help out Ryan Tannehill. Greg Jennings is no longer the guy on the top of the Dolphins radar, as the team is now focused on Mike Wallace. The Buffalo Bills are also more interested in adding a true No. 1 guy, and Jennings seems to be the WR at the top of their list based on what I have been reading. The fact that the Bills decided to dump off David Nelson and Donald Jones (the release of the former was much more surprising than the latter) shows that they are going for a No. 1 guy or bust. As for the New York Jets, their cap issues will likely be a constraint.
So that leaves the New England Patriots as a logical option, and I think that Brandon Gibson could work out for them. Although the Patriots might be looking for more of a true No. 1 wideout as an upgrade over Brandon Lloyd (his $3 million option is coming soon), it is more than feasible for the Patriots to keep Lloyd and sign a cheaper playmaker like Gibson who has potential. He may be inconsistent, but all the Pats need is that playmaking ability to match with the consistency of guys like Lloyd and Wes Welker. I could also see the Pats signing Gibson, not picking up Lloyd’s option, and drafting another playmaker in the draft. That has less of a chance of happening, but I wouldn’t rule anything out.
At the very least, I think the Patriots should check out Gibson’s asking price and seriously kick around the idea of signing him.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.