Recently Pro Football Focus named the dream signing for the New England Patriots this offseason. Who did they say would be a great fit in New England.
With the offseason here, NFL free agency will surely be wild like always. Usually, the New England Patriots are somewhat quiet in free agency, as they rarely make big splash signings.
However, last offseason, the Patriots made a lot of noise when they signed Stephon Gilmore to a monster contract. It was one of the biggest deals that the Patriots have ever handed out to a free agent that wasn’t one of their own, and it certainly paid off.
Despite some learning curves early in the season, Gilmore bounced back and had one of the best seasons of any player on the Patriots. However, not to the fault of Gilmore, the defense in New England did come up short against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Now, the Patriots will be looking to help in their defense this offseason, as they have needs at linebacker, cornerback, and could also use a pass-rusher. Recently, Pro Football Focus named the dream splash signing for the Patriots. They chose linebacker Avery Williamson of the Tennessee Titans. Here’s what they had to say about the potential of Williamson coming to New England.
"New England’s inability to stop the run and their linebackers failing to come off blocks hurt the Patriots all season. Williamson earned the sixth-highest run-defense grade among linebackers with an elite grade of 90.1, while no New England linebacker managed to record a run-defense grade higher than 44.0."
For the Patriots, Williamson would certainly be a home run signing. The Patriots’ run defense was clearly not the same as it was in 2016, as Alan Branch was a non-factor for most of the season in the middle, and Dont’a Hightower was lost for the season early on.
The addition of Williamson would also allow the Patriots to use Hightower as a pass-rusher more often. Hightower has had a lot of success rushing off the edge in his career, and adding a run-stopper like Williamson could solve two problems the Patriots have on defense.
As of now, the Patriots don’t have a ton of cap space. However, that can certainly change before free agency starts. Adding a linebacker is certainly a priority for the Patriots, and Williamson would be an excellent addition to the defense. At just 26-years-old, Williamson could become a core piece of the Patriots’ defense for years to come.