The Patriots make it their business to always manipulate their roster regardless of how late in the season it may be (sorry Tiquan Underwood). Players go through New England all the time, and basically if the New England Patriots can’t make something out of you, no one can. Very few players have had success after leaving the Patriots, but when a player still shows that they have something to prove,sometimes they go back to the team. So, which players could be back with the New England Patriots?
This story has happened before, Deion Branch, Patriots’ Super Bowl MVP, left New England and signed an extensive contract with Seattle before returning to the Patriots at the end of his career. Branch didn’t come back to New England via free agency, the Patriots traded for him. The Patriots front office noticed that Branch still had something to give and they wanted it. Branch isn’t the only old face to return recently. Just this off season, after being allowed to walk in free agency last year, Patrick Chung is back in a Pat’s uniform. While we don’t know if he’ll even make the team, they still brought him back. So, is it crazy to think that this could happen to other players?
Wes Welker left New England last year, poached by Denver, or run out of New England, depending on the side you’re on. This year Welker could be cut before the season starts. Welker will count $8 million against the cap in Denver this year, and the Broncos already have 2 players that are younger and play the same position: Emmanuel Sanders and Julius Thomas. Sanders has signed a decent contract this off season and Thomas could be a star tight end in a year or so. If Welker is cut, could he be back in New England? I say no. As much as I loved Wes with the Patriots, he doesn’t have it anymore. His drop percent is going up, he’s coming off 2 concussions from last year, and every team he’s on that makes it to the Super Bowl loses (he’s 0-3). The Patriots have a log jam at receiver already, many of which also play the same position as Welker, and these players are a lot younger than him. Unless injury hits, Welker will probably stay out of a Pats’ uniform because of his age, recent injuries, and because he left many bridges burned in Foxboro.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, the Law Firm, might be on his way out of Cincinnati. The Bengals drafted Giovanni Bernard last year and drafted Jeremy Hill in this year’s draft. Green-Ellis is not as dynamic as the other 2 backs, and he’s not as young or as cheap. Bernard will get the majority of the carries, and Hill could take Law-Firm’s touches as the short yard guy. While the Bengals could use all 3, I doubt that Green-Ellis will make it out of preseason with the Bengals. He’s a 1-trick pony, whose only claim to fame was that he never fumbled (even that isn’t true anymore). The Patriots used him very effectively, and he could be the LaGarrette Blount of last year’s team. There’s no need for the Patriots to get someone like Michael Bush for short yardage when Law Firm already has an understanding of the playbook. If Ridley can’t handle the ball in preseason, and Vereen gets hurt again, the Patriots would have to rely on rookie James White and Brandon Bolden. I see Bolden getting cut and Green-Ellis coming back to New England as the short yard man.
Any other players you think we’ll see back in New England? Leave the comments below.