ESPN recently released their post-free agency power rankings. Where did the New England Patriots rank after their strong offseason?
After winning their fifth Super Bowl, the New England Patriots have had a great offseason. With winning a Super Bowl usually, comes a lot of tough roster decisions. However, the Patriots have addressed them all so far.
Coming into the offseason, the Patriots had a lot of important free agents on the defensive side of the ball. New England was able to re-signed Alan Branch, Dont’a Hightower, and Duron Harmon. The real shock came when they signed Stephon Gilmore to a massive deal. With Malcolm Butler being a free agent, the signing of Gilmore came as a big surprise to many.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Patriots knew that they were going to need to replace tight end, Martellus Bennett. With injuries to Rob Gronkowski throughout the season, Bennett was able to have a great season for New England. As the best tight end available in free agency, he was worth more on the open market than the Patriots were willing to pay. However, replacing him in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts for Dwayne Allen was certainly a good move.
Finally, the biggest move of the offseason for the Patriots might have been the acquisition of Brandin Cooks from the New Orleans Saints. Adding Cooks gives the Patriots a very talented wide receiver to go along with their already good receiving corps.
"Did the Super Bowl LI champions really need to trade for 23-year-old receiver Brandin Cooks? Probably not. But Cooks brings a big-play ability that hasn’t been seen in New England in a while. Cooks has seven career 40-plus yard touchdowns. The Patriots have nine total in that time."
As the defending champions, keeping the Patriots in first after their strong offseason is certainly the right move. Even though the Patriots are still in first in the power rankings, they still have two pieces that could be moved this offseason.
Both Butler and Jimmy Garoppolo have been talked about in trade rumors, and we could see something happen with them in the upcoming NFL Draft. For now, the Patriots are still the team to beat heading into next season.