New England Patriots Free Agency Grades: Jabaal Sheard Signing Top Notch


The second day of free agency is in the books, and I think New England Patriots fans are feeling a little better. Yes, Darrelle Revis is gone, but yesterday the Pats signed edge rusher Jabaal Sheard to a two year deal, and things are looking up for New England.

Signing Sheard hasn’t been the only move made by the Pats, as they have also signed wide receivers Brandon Gibson, and Kevin Dorsey, cornerback Chimdi Chekwa, and retained Chris White, Brian Tyms, Sealver Siliga, James Morris, and James Develin.

Let’s grade!

Jabaal Sheard

With Revis and Browner gone, the Patriots need a front seven that can get to the quarterback. They already have a good base in place, but adding Sheard will help get them on the track to becoming elite. Sheard was very productive in Cleveland, racking up 23 sacks in his time there, and I think he will bring a good presence on the edge to New England.

Whether it is spelling Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich, or coming in on third downs to create matchup nightmares, the Pats will really benefit from Sheard’s presence on this defense.

As for the contract, $11 million over two years is not bad at all, and he will prove to be worth it in his time here in Foxboro.

Grade: A

Brandon Gibson

Gibson isn’t going to break any records, but as a fourth option to compete in camp, I like this move by Bill Belichick. Gibson has proven that he can be productive when given the chance, and if he can beat out the likes of Tim Wright and Brian Tyms for the fourth spot in the offense, he will have a fine year as a Patriot.

His contract is for just over $800K, and it really is a low risk, high-reward move for New England.

Grade: B+

Chimdi Chekwa

Chekwa was brought in to be nothing more than a depth guy at corner, and he may contribute on special-teams. If he works hard, he may be able to play his way onto the roster come August.

Grade: B

Sealver Siliga

Retaining Siliga is actually pretty big, because with Vince Wilfork gone (for now), Siliga is the only big man left on the defensive line for the Pats. The trend nowadays is definitely explosive, penetrating tackles, but you still need guys that can clog up the run lanes, and that is what Siliga specializes in. The Patriots are going to be beefing up the front seven over the coming months, and keeping Siliga makes that job even easier.

Grade: A-

Chris White

Arguably the most unknown Patriot from last season. A core special teamer who doesn’t play much defense. He won’t make headlines, but he helps.

Grade: B

Kevin Dorsey

Another player that if he makes the roster, will likely play on special teams. Bill Belichick knows how to build depth, and Dorsey is that kind of guy.

Grade: B-

James Develin

One of, if not the best fullback in the NFL. When the Patriots want to go to a power running game, Develin helps pave some massive holes in the defense.

Grade: A

James Morris

This year’s Jonathan Casillas.

Grade: B+