Patriots: Ranking rumored wide receiver targets for New England
Have you heard? The New England Patriots need a No. 1 wide receiver. Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne are very good, but they’re not exactly in that upper echelon of top targets. N’Keal Harry is more than likely a bust in Foxborough and Nelson Agholor didn’t live up to the billing in 2021.
Where to begin? The good news is that there will be multiple options available for the Patriots when the new league year begins. The bad news, though, is that Bill Belichick needs to clear more cap space in order to afford what he’s looking for.
The release of Kyle Van Noy provided some flexibility, but there’s still only under $10 million to spend despite the Patriots’ need to fill gaps at a number of important positions. Plus, some of the big names out there will command more than $10 million per season (or at least in 2021), and the Pats can’t spend all their money in one place.
Be on the lookout for more releases and trades as Belichick tries to sort things out and refine his roster ahead of the pivotal 2022 campaign with Mac Jones under center for his sophomore season. The young man needs a playmaker to heave the ball up to, and it’s possible these four rumored targets can take on that role.
Ranking the 5 Patriots’ rumored wide receiver targets
4. Robby Anderson
We can get this section over with fairly quickly. Robby Anderson is not a No. 1 wide receiver — and if he is, he’s probably not the kind the Patriots are looking for — but he is a valuable asset to have in the passing game due to his ability to stretch the field and blow past opposing defensive backs.
After a career 2020 season (95 catches for 1,096 yards and 3 touchdowns), Anderson earned a big two-year, $29.5 million contract from the Carolina Panthers. Nice work by the 28-year-old to secure a sizable bag. But that’s another problem for the Pats. Anderson is set to have a $15.8 million cap hit for 2022, which is something New England can’t afford at the moment.
And even if they could, would they really sink that much money into a non-No. 1 option who profiles similarly to Agholor, who’s already on the roster with a $14.8 million cap hit of his own?
We’re just not really sure Belichick will surrender assets and take on that salary for a player who wouldn’t exactly change the complexion of his offense.