Patriots: Free agent wide receiver class proves Bill Belichick cannot screw this up
By Jerry Trotta
Though the majority of rumors surrounding the New England Patriots in the early stages of the offseason have revolved around their search for a quarterback, it shouldn’t distract from the importance of their other personnel shortcomings.
As things stand, the Patriots are projected to have close to $60 million in cap space to spend this offseason, which should be more than enough when it comes to making marquee additions at both defensive end and wide receiver — their consensus biggest needs aside from quarterback.
Luckily for the Patriots, they will literally have their pick of the litter at the wideout position. After all, analysts widely regard it as the deepest class in several years and when you look look at the names on the list you’ll understand why. In fact, it all but proves that de facto GM Bill Belichick can’t possibly screw this up.
The Patriots need to get their hands on one of the top free agent wide receivers this offseason.
We would obviously steer clear of some of those names, like AJ Green, TY Hilton, Sammy Watkins and Nelson Agholor, though the latter enjoyed a sneakily-productive season with the Raiders this year following his drop-plagued tenure with Eagles.
As far as the rest are concerned, however, we would gladly take any one of them on the Patriots next season. If they were to avoid splashing big money on one of the guys near the top of the list, we wouldn’t be opposed to signing two of Corey Davis, Marvin Jones, Curtis Samuel, and (maybe) Will Fuller, all of whom clearly won’t go for as much money as the other household names.
While that would give the Patriots much-needed depth at the position, it also wouldn’t equip them with a clearcut No. 1 wideout, which they’ve severely lacked over the last few seasons. With that in mind, the responsible choice here would be to sign any one of Chris Godwin, Allen Robinson and Kenny Golladay by any means necessary.
Who knows, maybe there would be enough money left over to make another cheap addition to help out with depth, especially if Julian Edelman is released this offseason. That might not tickle everyone’s fancy, but Dede Westbrook or Zach Pascal would be compelling options next to 2020 breakout star Jakobi Meyers and struggling 2019 first-round pick N’Keal Harry.
If you’ve noticed, we failed to mention JuJu Smith-Schuster as a potential solution for the Patriots, but his social media antics this year were enough to convince us that Belichick would never settle for a player who still has a ways to go in the maturity department.
We’ve touched on pretty much every avenue the Patriots can explore, and fans would be hard-pressed to be against any of them. Whether they choose to sign one of the more expensive options or emphasize depth by making multiple additions, the bottom line is that Belichick would defy historical odds by making a mess out of this flattering situation.