Patriots: Which players should stay and which should go?
Chris Hogan should GO
The purpose of this exercise is to evaluate players as objectively as Bill Belichick would. That’s why it’s crucial not to let emotions or subjective feelings get in the way of hard truths when it comes to the Patriots’ roster, many of whom are considered fan favorites and even bonafide legends in the New England area now.
Hogan is a perfect example. Fans won’t soon forget his spectacular one-handed catch in the AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs this season. And in case anyone’s forgotten his epic performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers two years ago in that AFC Championship Game, here’s a reminder of what he did that day: nine catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns.
The ex-Buffalo Bill has done everything Belichick and the Patriots have asked of him since coming over before the 2016 season. Still, it might not be enough to justify keeping the unrestricted free agent around for another year… at least not at his current price tag of around $4 million a year.
Hogan is a similar player to Danny Amendola, who left New England last offseason after five productive years. While Amendola repeatedly came up clutch in the postseason in some of the biggest moments and situations, he never really factored in to the team’s success or failures during the regular season.
Hogan has largely been more available and healthy during the year than Amendola ever was, but he shares that same knack of disappearing for lengthy stretches of time, leading some fans and analysts to wonder just how valuable he actually is to the offense.
New England’s receiver situation is as murky and undefined as ever – particularly after everyone not named Julian Edelman vanished during Super Bowl 53 – but the team showed this season how capable they are of winning games with a hodgepodge group of revolving players at the position. The Patriots can move on from Hogan if he wants anything more than what he’s currently making, and won’t miss a beat without him.