Patriots: 3 sneaky moves Pats should make in free agency

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Cardinals LB Haason Reddick (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

2. Sign Haason Reddick

Haason Reddick would be just what the doctor ordered for the Patriots’ defense.

The Patriots’ defense took a massive step backwards this past season compared to 2019, when they made a case to be one of the most dominant units of the Belichick era. While there were extenuating circumstances that contributed to their regression (like player opt outs), it quickly became apparent that their personnel simply wasn’t good enough.

You could argue that New England’s most glaring deficiency was their lack of pass rush. Because of that, we wouldn’t be opposed to making multiple changes to the front seven. With regard to the outside linebacker position, Haason Reddick comes to mind as a potential solution, as he would provide a blend of speed and strength off the edge that the Patriots have sorely missed for a few years now.

Reddick enjoyed a career year with the Cardinals in 2020, and what made his campaign so impressive was that he did so largely without superstar Chandler Jones, who had season-ending biceps surgery after just five games. For the year, Reddick compiled 63 tackles (15 for loss), 12.5 sacks, 16 QB hits, six forced fumbles and four passes defended.

The 2017 first-rounder isn’t as dominant against the run, but his prowess as a pass rusher — he earned an elite 82.6 grade from Pro Football Focus this year– should be enough to convince the Patriots to pursue him in free agency. He might not have the name appeal of some of the other edge defenders, but Reddick could prove to be just as valuable for the Patriots.