NFL Free Agency: Initial Thoughts On The Scott Chandler Signing


Yesterday the New England Patriots signed tight end Scott Chandler, taking one of the top weapons away from their AFC East rivals, and adding another mismatch to Tom Brady‘s already lethal arsenal. The top priority this offseason is without a doubt upgrading a Patriot defense that has lost its two starting cornerbacks, but at the same time, making the offense even more dangerous is never a bad option.

Here are my initial thoughts on the signing:

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1. Mismatch City

When you have Rob Gronkowski, you will always have mismatches available, whether it is by targeting Gronk in 1-on-1 coverage, or going to others that have opportunities opened up to them because Gronk is being doubled. Now that you add Chandler’s 6’7 frame to the mix, defenses are going to have their hands full covering New England’s offensive weapons. He isn’t as good as Gronkowski, but he is too big for safeties, and can be too quick for linebackers as well, which places defensive coordinators in the cross-hairs.

2. Two TE Set

Back when Aaron Hernandez wasn’t a murderer, the Patriots dominated the opposition by going into a two tight end set, and making them choose how to defend it. If they go to a nickel defense, New England would pound them on the ground. If they countered with their base defense, the tight ends would eat the the linebackers alive. I think we are going to see a return to this offense in 2015, as Chandler and Gronk will be able to take advantage of linebackers and safeties much like Gronk and Hernandez did from 2010-12.

3. What To Do With Hooman

With Chandler in the fold, Michael Hoomanawanui‘s roster spot is in serious danger. If the Pats cut him, they will save $1.4 million in cap space, which they can use to upgrade other areas of the team, such as the defensive line and secondary. I love Hooman, and he has done everything asked of him in his time with the Patriots, but the tight end group is pretty crowded at this point. I think New England would be just fine with Tim Wright, Gronk, and Chandler going forward.