This summer has been one of the roughest ever offseason periods for the Patriots and their loyal fan base. But despite all of the negatives, a number of good things have happened. A solid draft headlined by LB Jamie Collins, WRs Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce and CB Logan Ryan all seem like they could contribute something this season. The Patriots were also able to bring back and sign a number of key players. Some players who could provide some solid production but didn’t make this list include: DT Tommy Kelly, WR Donald Jones and CFL prospects Jason Vega and Armond Armstead, re-singing TE Michael Hoomanawanui, CB Kyle Arrington and WR Julian Edelman. With that being said, let’s look into my Five Best Offseason Moves for the New England Patriots.
5. Tim Tebow- … I’m just kidding.
5. Re-Signing OT Sebastian Vollmer- With Seabass coming back, the Patriots managed to keep their entire offensive line intact, which is important if running back Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen want to go anywhere this year. Vollmer is among the league’s very best right tackles and offensive tackles in general. With so much change occurring to the rest of the offense, it’s nice to see that the o-line stayed the same.
4. Signing Danny Amendola- The next man up is the biggest offensive addition for the Patriots, and expected number one receiver for Tom Brady, Danny Amendola. Amendola was the pegged replacement for the departed Wes Welker, and he’s going to be potentially thrown into spotlight. He will most likely slide into the number one receiver slot, and will need to develop good chemistry with Tom Brady quickly. Amendola is a very good possession receiver, and while he may not be Wes Welker, the good news that Patriots fans will be happy to hear is that over his career he hardly ever drops the ball.
3. Signing S Adrian Wilson- Adrian Wilson is the first of two big signings that came in the secondary this offseason. Wilson came over from the poor Arizona Cardinals, so he should enjoy playing for a winning team in the Patriots. What Wilson brings is some much-needed toughness in the secondary; summed up simply, he likes to hit people. He’s also just a very smart and savvy veteran that should look very good next to Devin McCourty and help him transition to safety even better in his first full season as one. He wasn’t the most sexy signing, but at the price and talent level, he’s going to be a heck of an addition to growing defense.
2. Re-Signing CB Aqib Talib- The second of two big secondary signings is Aqib Talib. Talib came over before the trade deadline last year from the Buccaneers, and immediately made a huge impact on a soft Patriots secondary. Before this the Patriots had no true “Shutdown Corner” and while Talib is by no means a superstar, he gave the Patriots the ability to match up one-on-one on the outside with some of the best receivers in the AFC. Had the Patriots lost Talib for nothing to free agency, it would’ve been two huge steps back, as Talib would’ve essentially been a half a year rental. Instead he’s going to be lining up against the opposing team’s best receivers, and be part of a much improved secondary all around.
1. Releasing TE Aaron Hernandez- This was easily the best move the Patriots made all offseason, getting rid of Aaron Hernandez. As we all know now, Hernandez is in some seriously hot water with murder charges after the death of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. It only took the Patriots a few days after it became clear that Hernandez wasn’t going to be playing football anytime soon, to release him. But this is so much more than Hernandez’s impact on Patriots football. The impact is far deeper than this, as it’s a huge blemish on the entire organization. Some people say that the Patriots should have at least tried to stick with Hernandez through this, show loyalty to him; this could not be more wrong. Hernandez took the Patriots trust in him as a player, and threw it away with his involvement in gang related activity. He may have been a great football player, but getting rid of him has at least relieved some of the pressure on the Patriots, and now they can move on without him.
So those are my Five Best Offseason Move for the New England Patriots, tell me what you guys think! Felt as if someone got snubbed from the list? Or someone is too high or low on the list? Let me know down in the comments with your thoughts.
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