The first official day of free agency is in the books, and it was a typical day for the Patriots, and the rest of the NFL. Dumb teams overspent while smart teams sat back and let the dumb teams spend their future away. As usual, Pats fans were freaking out about the team’s lack of activity, but this is nothing new, and we know Bill Belichick’s strategy works.
For New England, the hottest topic has been who the team will try to sign at receiver. They were linked to Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Rishard Matthews, all of whom have, or will sign with other teams. I knew Jones and Sanu would likely command too much money, but I was disappointed Matthews elected to choose the Titans over the Pats. Matthews certainly wouldn’t have been a top option in this offense, but I think Tom Brady would have turned him into a very good weapon, and he would have a chance at winning a Super Bowl.
As for who is left? The Patriots have been interested in Anquan Boldin, but I honestly think the best option available is Brandon LaFell. I’m not sure how the team left things with LaFell, but I would support them bringing him back in. His foot is a concern, because if he can’t stay healthy, we are going to see more of what we saw from him last year, and that wasn’t good. But if he can stay healthy, I know he can win 1-on-1 matchups on the outside when teams dedicate extra defenders to Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski.
The other hot topic was who the team would target at the running back position. Chris Ivory was a potential option, but he signed with the Jags, and while nobody really thought Matt Forte would actually sign here, it kind of sucked that he went to the Jets. I personally either want LeGarrette Blount to return, or bring in someone like Alfred Morris to run the ball between the tackles on early downs. A lot of folks have talked about signing Bilal Powell, but I think we have more than enough third down backs on this roster, especially with Dion Lewis set to return from a knee injury.
I expect the Patriots to be a bit more active today, signing a second or third-tier wide receiver to a bargain “prove it” contract. They need depth at receiver, and while the options out there kind of stink, they still at least need to bring a body into camp.
We’ll see what happens.