Patriots: 3 best free agent fits still remaining for NE
By Jerry Trotta
2. JuJu Smith-Schuster
JuJu Smith-Schuster could be just what the doctor ordered for the Patriots.
We’ve been adamant in asserting why the Patriots shouldn’t sign JuJu Smith-Schuster after his persistent social media antics this past season. However, that mostly boiled down to the Patriots pegging him as their be-all-end-all solution at wide receiver, and that is clearly no longer the case following the signings of Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor.
When you consider that Bourne and Agholor are still unproven commodities as far as possession-based wideouts are concerned, Smith-Schuster’s adeptness in the slot would be the ideal final piece of the Patriots’ renovation project on offense.
Also…the Jets are sniffing around. You know what that means.
The former Steelers star is as effective as any WR in the league in terms of finding pockets of space in the middle of the field and that would help bring out the best in Cam Newton, who really didn’t have any semblance of a security blanket in 2020.
And for those fans saying the Patriots don’t need any WR help, need we remind you that they’re actively shopping 2019 first-rounder N’Keal Harry and just released Marqise Lee this week? Not to mention that veteran Julian Edelman is no guarantee to return, seeing as though cutting him would save New England $3.5 million against the cap.
Smith-Schuster has been met with criticism over the last two seasons after he struggled to replicate the dominance he enjoyed working alongside Antonio Brown. However, the Steelers had a revolving door at QB in 2019 and he’s fresh off logging a respectable 97 catches for 831 yards and nine touchdowns while fighting for targets with Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool.
The latest buzz suggests the Patriots aren’t done bolstering their WR corps, and Smith-Schuster would really put the cherry on top of what has been an overhaul to their offensive personnel.