Jan 12, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Brandon LaFell (11) runs after making a catch during the third quarter against the San Francisco 49ers during the 2013 NFC divisional playoff football game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Will Brandon LaFell Move to the New England Patriots?

LaFell Visting the Patriots

The New England Patriots haven’t been as active as fans would like to see them at the start of 2014 free agency. In fact, the Patriots actually lost one key players, Aqib Talib, and find themselves at odds with Julian Edelman‘s contract.

Talib signed a 6-year, $57 million deal with the Denver Broncos, while Edelman was reportedly offered a three-year deal that didn’t live up to his expectations based on an NFL.com video discussion.

However, following Edelman’s free agency declaration, the Pats have lined up a visit today with Brandon LaFell, according to NFL insider Adam Schefter.

What would this signing entail for the Patriots?

LaFell is a big-bodied receiver at 6’2”, 210 pounds, and he could bring a sort of deep threat capability that the Patriots would like to possess.

However, from an experience and proven skill standpoint, he’s not a big improvement over Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson.

Last season, he didn’t match Edelman’s numbers. NFL.com statistics show that LaFell posted 49 receptions for 627 yards and five touchdowns in 2013 with Cam Newton leading the charge. Edelman tallied 105 receptions for 1,056 yards.

The difference between the two, though, is the fact that Edelman’s average yards per catch was about two yards  lower. Edelman boasted a 10.7 yard average, as LaFell notched a 12.8 yard average.

Still, Steve Smith and Greg Olsen led the Carolina Panthers in overall yards, so LaFell was by no means Carolina’s top receiver.

That doesn’t mean LaFell can’t contribute to the Patriots. With Tom Brady at quarterback, any receiver becoming a Patriot will have the opportunity to thrive on offense.

The Patriots, nevertheless, need a replacement for Edelman. LaFell is not the clear cut answer.

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Tags: 2014 NFL Free Agency Brandon LaFell New England Patriots

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