Potential Patriots-Brian Hartline


With free agency getting ready to start, I thought it would be a fun idea to start thinking about players that could end up in a Patriots’ uniform at some point this year. The first person I want to get started with is Dolphins’ WR Brian Hartline.

Hartline is still under contract through the 2017 season, but he saw his role diminish last year and ended up being replaced by rookie WR Jarvis Landry. If the Dolphins decide to cut him it would probably be after June 1st. Cutting Hartline after that date would save the Dolphins almost $6 in cap space and only give them a $1.4 million in dead money. This idea of Hartline being cut isn’t that far of a stretch. Hartline is in the middle of a ridiculous 5-year, $30 million contract. He’s just not worth that. Hartline could restructure his contract, but the odds of him just getting cut are also really high. Especially since the Dolphins have buyers’ remorse with Mike Wallace and his inflated contract.

Hartline only had 39 catches on the year, and he only amassed 474 yards and 2 TDs, however, the Patriots be interested in him for a couple of reasons. Think back to when Wes Welker played for the Dolphins, Welker wasn’t that impressive against the Patriots, but he played pretty solidly and he play consistently. Aside from this year, Hartline has hurt the Patriots in the past. He’s a chains-moving kind of guy, like Welker was. However, Hartline is bigger than Welker is. Hartline stands at 6’2, which would make him the one of the taller receivers the Patriots would have. The fact that he’s played so well against New England before, and would probably come relatively cheap, makes him a great candidate to be in a Patriots’ uniform.

Another reason we could see Hartline playing for the Patriots is because the Patriots receiving core might also be in flux. Let’s face it, the Patriots just can’t develop receivers. Dobson will probably get cut this off season and Josh Boyce isn’t anything special. We also don’t know what’s going to happen with Amendola. Danny isn’t worth his contract to be the 3rd receiver option and he would have to restructure heavily to stay with the team. This off season also marks the first time that cutting him would save the Patriots some money. Let’s say Amendola and Dobson are gone, I think the Patriots would take a look at Hartline if he becomes available, I would. Aside from this year he’s been pretty consistent, and who knows, maybe he’s just one QB away from being the next Wes Welker. I guess we’ll just have to look forward and see what happens after June 1st.