The New England Patriots may have pulled off a trade for DeVante Parker to get Mac Jones a new starting wide receiver, but they haven’t exactly knocked it out of the park so far in the offseason. Their inactivity has seen big names like JC Jackson leave in free agency.
After a draft that many around the league criticized for reaching on players like Cole Strange and Tyquan Thornton, New England was left with some big holes at critical positions. With the AFC getting stronger around them every day, New England’s chances of making it to the playoffs are fading fast.
New England could salvage a solid grade if they go back to the free agent market and add one or more standout veteran contributors. In a conference as stacked as the AFC, the Patriots can’t afford to watch so many big names fly off the board and join other competitors.
If that’s part of the plan, they should prioritize these three veterans that are still available on the open market. If one of these three ends up taking the plunge and signing a deal with New England, they could serve as the difference-maker that helps them rise above many of their equally-talented rivals.
3 former star players Patriots could still sign
3. CB Kyle Fuller
Fuller’s status as a ballhawk has eroded over the last two years, as a bumpy final season in Chicago and a so-so year in Denver helped him record just one interception in 26 games. Fuller needs a crash course in cornerback play from one of the best DB developers in the game.
While the Patriots did use two draft picks on cornerbacks in Houston’s Marcus Jones and Arizona State’s Jack Jones, neither of them will stick on the outside. Fuller is a bigger body who has proven he can generate turnovers at this level with regularity. Print the jerseys already!
Kyle Fuller could cause turnovers for the New England Patriots
The most significant benefit that New England is missing with Jackson not in the lineup is the fact that he can change the course of a game with a timely turnover. Fuller is not on Jackson’s level, but his All-Pro history suggests that he could be more productive in that area than either of New England’s rookies.
Before the last two seasons, Fuller amassed 18 picks during his first five campaigns. Still just 30 years old, he has plenty of gas left in the tank. If New England doesn’t sign him, they could be stuck with a pair of inexperienced rookies and Jalen MIlls as their main line of defense.