Patriots: Remaining free agents New England must avoid

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Thanks to a free agent spending spree that included dishing out well over $200 million and a tremendous showing in the draft (based on initial takeaways), the New England Patriots seem poised to return to the playoffs next season.

At this stage of the offseason, the Patriots’ roster is mostly set for 2021.

Despite that, the front office is still looking for ways to further strengthen it, and nothing proved that more than their latest string of signings, which included Brian Hoyer and two offensive linemen.

Those moves should lock up the quarterback and OL depth charts for next season, which got us thinking: could the Patriots justify bolstering other areas of the roster? After all, Bill Belichick clearly isn’t keen on laboring through another losing season.

The Pats currently have $14.97 million remaining in cap space, meaning they have more than enough flexibility to make more signings. There are also some quality players still braving the free agent waters. Don’t those ingredients just foreshadow more moves to be made?

Absolutely, but New England shouldn’t add players for the sake of doing so. In fact there’s a handful of available players we would advise them to steer clear of.

The Patriots should avoid these remaining free agents.

Patriots

Free agent WR Dede Westbrook (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

3. Dede Westbrook

Despite making it a point of emphasis to overhaul their pass-catching arsenal, the Patriots still have one of the least inspiring wide receiving corps in the NFL.

While they lack a big-bodied wideout who can establish a presence on the perimeter and in the red zone (N’Keal Harry should be that guy) New England has ample possession-based receivers, including Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne and Jakobi Meyers.

The Patriots might feel obligated to add another wideout to equip Cam Newton with another dynamic playmaker, but signing Dede Westbrook would be redundant. For as polished and sure-handed as the former fourth-round pick is, he could struggle to carve out a role on the offense after signing this late in the offseason.

Dede Westbrook isn’t the answer at wide receiver for the Patriots.

Though the former Jaguars star enjoyed solid seasons in 2018 and 2019 — when he recorded a combined 132 catches for 1,337 yards and eight touchdowns — he’s coming off a torn ACL suffered in October.

Westbrook should be a full go for training camp, but the Patriots should let another team (that actually needs help in the slot) take a chance on him.

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