NFL Free Agency: Initial Thoughts On Patriots Signing Travaris Cadet


Yesterday the New England Patriots signed free agent running back Travaris Cadet to help replace Shane Vereen, who bolted for the Giants earlier this offseason. Cadet will likely be fighting with a few other backs for the “change of pace” role, which is vital to the success of Tom Brady‘s offense.

Here are a few thoughts on the signing:

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1. Cheap Option

I was among those that wanted the “flashy” pick of Reggie Bush to replace Vereen, but when you look at the grand scheme of things, going with the cheaper Cadet is probably the right option. Over the years the Patriots have had to replace a number of third down backs, and while conventional thinking led you to believe they would to get harder and harder to replace, the Pats easily did it without spending a ton of money. Cadet has a lot of burst and explosion, and I think he will be productive in 2015.

2. Depth Chart

Now, even though this is the “big” signing at running back, there is no guarantee Cadet will be the man to take the third down role. The Patriots have James White, Tyler Gaffney, and even Brandon Bolden all currently on the depth chart, and they will all be fighting to earn the top passing back spot. Right now I’d lean towards Cadet because of his experience and proven success on the field, but in the dog days of July and August, you never know what is going to happen at Patriots training camp.

3. Pass Protection

I haven’t looked closely at the tape yet, but if Cadet wants playing time in New England, he better understand the concept of pass protection. Tom Brady is the franchise, and the number one priority at all times is protecting him. When crazed defensive lineman come blazing in off the edge unblocked, Cadet better be ready to pick him up, otherwise he will be benched for the longest amount of time imaginable. Seriously.