It’s June, and most of us NFL fans are getting pretty bored. Training camp is still more than a month away, and the New England Patriots OTAs just aren’t enough to keep us going for very long. So let’s take a look at some of the remaining free agents on board in a quick piece and get some discussion rolling.
The Patriots recently worked out former New Orleans Saints defensive tackle bust Sedrick Ellis, who is a chronic underachiever but still has plenty of talent. I feel like the Pats are going to sign one more defensive tackle, and it’s likely going to be a veteran free agent. They haven’t shown interest in Richard Seymour, though, but he is receiving interest from two other contenders in the Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos. However, they did work out both Ellis and former Buffalo Bills DT Spencer Johnson, who has also received basically no interest in free agency. Of those two DTs, Johnson is the more steady player, while Ellis has more talent and could possibly be molded into an effective contributor at the position by the Patriots.
Neil Hornsby’s “Neil’s NFL Daily” is just an awesome piece on the Pro Football Focus, and he took a look at Sedrick Ellis today. Hornsby admitted that Ellis has been a bust, but he also said that Ellis has not been a “liability” either for the Saints. He points to some PFF grading numbers, but the real interesting note is that Hornsby praised Ellis’s pass rushing ability. The Patriots goal this offseason at DT has seemingly been to upgrade the pass rush there, and Armond Armstead and Tommy Kelly have done just that. While Ellis is inconsistent, the Pats could still pull some pass rushing talent out from him, and that’s worth it to me if the Pats feel like they want to add more pass rush at DT. What do you guys think?
Rotoworld has become a must-read site for NFL fans (not just fantasy football players), and Evan Silva had another awesome feature article on the site. He took a look at the best ten available free agents, and there are some interesting players to note. I’ll try to only focus on the ones with Patriots ties, and I’ll even check in on Brandon Lloyd.
John Abraham is Silva’s top-rated remaining free agent- and for good reason. Abraham has showed little signs of decline, but the issue is that he has a huge asking price. He’s going to make more money than Dwight Freeney got from the San Diego Chargers, and that’s because Abraham is a better player. But he wants far too much money and is rubbing suitors like the Broncos, Miami Dolphins, and Falcons the wrong way. Abraham wants the lion’s share of the playing time, too, and that’s something I don’t think the Patriots are going to want to give. He can play with that kind of workload, but the Pats might rather give that time to the young guys they have.
On his list, Silva wrote teams that have shown interest in players, and the two players that Pats have shown interest in among these free agents are the top two. While the Pats still have a chance (albeit very slim) of signing Abraham, I highly doubt they get Eric Winston. They really don’t need an offensive tackle at this point, and they were merely kicking the tires on Winston, who is also looking for more than teams are willing to give.
Where is Lloyd? Seventh. Who has shown interest in him? The New York Jets, and Silva states that it is possible that the Baltimore Ravens showed interest in him. If the price is right, the Jets should sign Lloyd. He’s not coming back to New England after last season, and the Patriots definitely seem to want to go younger at the wide receiver position.
Richard Seymour was ranked one spot before Lloyd, and the Pats have not shown interest in him; I highly doubt they will. It’s possible for sure, but I don’t think it is likely. Brandon Moore finds himself ranked eighth on Silva’s list, and he is one of the best guards in the NFL. However, teams, for some odd reason, don’t view the solid starter as, well, even a starter. Moore deserves to find work, and Silva has highlighted the Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears, and Dallas Cowboys has teams interested. Could Moore sign with the Dolphins and flip teams in the AFC East? We’ll see. All I know is, somebody needs to sign Moore, because this guy is a darn good guard.
Can I be honest with you? I think they just sign Ellis (or another DT) and nobody else. They will pass on Abraham’s wanted paycheck, they don’t need another offensive lineman, and they have enough depth at wide receiver- they just need a guy like Aaron Dobson to break out. Be sure to have your say in the comments section.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.