Patriots: 3 moves that should come next for New England

Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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The New England Patriots have really pushed the envelope this offseason in terms of bolstering their roster, which was one of the least-talented in the league last campaign.

Through the first few weeks of free agency, GM Bill Belichick has doled out close to $300 million in contracts, eclipsing more than what he spent over the last decade combined.

The spending spree has seen drastic improvements made to the defensive line, wide receiving corps, tight end position, secondary, and offensive line. These upgrades should have the Patriots poised to return to the playoffs next season, though there’s still plenty of time for them to add more reinforcements.

After all, free agency, though the available talent is dwindling with each passing week, is still ongoing, and the draft is officially less than a month away. For those who need a reminder, the compensatory pick distribution confirmed that the Patriots have 10 picks (!) at their disposal.

Taking that into account, there’s no telling what Belichick’s next string of moves will be. With all quiet on the transaction front of late, now seems like as good of a time as any to delve into a prediction of what moves should come next for New England.

What three moves should come next for the Patriots?

Free agent LB KJ Wright (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

3. Sign KJ Wright

The Patriots could bolster their linebacking corps by signing KJ Wright.

The linebacker position was a real weak spot for the Patriots last season, and opposing teams responded by targeting the middle of field in both passing and running situations.

The return of Dont’a Hightower, who opted out of 2020, will go a long way towards shoring up those issues, but the defense could still use another inside presence at linebacker given that he spent a year out of the league and turned 31 years old earlier this month.

Enter KJ Wright, who’d fit right into the Patriots’ wheelhouse in terms of handing out short-term contracts this offseason. The longtime Seahawks star will turn 32 by the start of next season, but given that he’s coming off one of the most productive campaigns of his career, we wouldn’t read too much into that.

For context, Wright, according to Pro Football Focus, logged the eighth-highest grade (75.3) among off-ball linebackers and was the only player at the position to generate double-digit totals in passes defended (10) and tackles for loss (11). He also tallied 86 combined tackles, two sacks, three QB hits, one interception and two fumble recoveries.

Having missed more than four games just once over his 10-year career, Wright is still as durable as any linebacker in the league. The former fourth-round pick has also played 89.5% of the defensive snaps over the last two seasons, further proving that he’s aging like fine wine.

The Patriots’ defense projects to make major strides in 2021, but if Belichick was serious about wanting to flaunt the league’s best unit, he would sign Wright to pair him alongside Hightower, whose combined experience and know-how would be invaluable in the middle of the field.

However, New England better act quickly, because the latest buzz indicates Wright, though he’s open to returning to Seattle, has identified the Dallas Cowboys as one of his preferred landing spots this offseason.