Patriots: Recently released Broncos defender could be great fit for New England
By Jerry Trotta
The New England Patriots are currently scheming how to use their $68.78 million in projected cap space this offseason.
In most circumstances, having a multitude of positions to address would be nearly impossible for most teams, but the Patriots’ strategy of not spending any money last summer puts them in a great position to be a big player this time around.
When it comes to the defensive side of the ball, the Patriots could use reinforcements…well, everywhere.
Specifically, at linebacker, the defensive line and potentially cornerback depending on if they finally decide to part ways with Stephon Gilmore.
Fortunately for them, a viable solution for one of those positions was just recently made available following a surprise roster transaction.
In an effort to clear up cap space, the Broncos released versatile defensive lineman Jurrell Casey on Thursday, opening the door for any team to swoop in and sign him.
Former Broncos defender Jurrell Casey would be a great fit with the Patriots.
In a vacuum, Casey’s veteran presence would be just what the doctor ordered for the Patriots and their young front seven. The 31-year-old was limited to just three games in 2020 due to a season-ending bicep tear, but assuming he’s fully recovered (or close to it), we really see no reason why New England wouldn’t at least pitch him an offer.
Casey was acquired by Denver from Tennessee last offseason in exchange for just a seventh-round pick, so chances are the Patriots wouldn’t have to move heaven and earth to bring him aboard, which is wild to think about considering that he was named a Pro Bowler from 2015-2019.
This was also the first time Casey missed more than two games in one season in his 10-year career, so it’s not like the Patriots would have to entertain that as a potential pitfall if they do end up interested in him. And based on the numbers the USC product has posted throughout his career, we really can’t think of a reason why they wouldn’t be interested.
Over his last two full campaigns, the former third-round pick produced 106 tackles, 12 sacks, 21 QB hits, 49 pressures (!) and three forced fumbles. Those are incredible numbers for a guy who is moved all over the defensive line.
When you consider that the Patriots need help at both positions — especially since impending free agent Adam Butler, who would like to return to Foxbrough, is projected to have plenty of teams vying for his services — they should absolutely make a run at signing Casey.
It’s duly noted that there will be bigger names on the open market (like JJ Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Justin Houston), but considering that Casey could likely be acquired for significantly less really makes him a perfect fit for the Patriots, who are notorious for saving money when the opportunity presents itself.