How the Patriots can solve their wide receiver problem
The New England Patriots need to fix their wide receiver problem heading into the 2023 season, and they should have some options to do so. Fixing the wide receiver room might be the biggest priority for the team in 2023, depending on who you ask.
The defense was fine but could use another cornerback, which should not be too difficult to do.
The offense may need two new tackles, but I think if Matt Patricia has less involvement with the offensive line, that unit may not be as worse off as some might think it is.
However, targeting a right tackle at some point would be wise. But perhaps the biggest issue and biggest reason why the Patriots’ offense was not as dynamic as they could have been is because the team simply did not have much of a threat at wide receiver.
Both Nelson Agholor and Jakobi Meyers are free agents at the end of the year, and Meyers is arguably the highest priority of any Pats’ free agent to re-sign. He’d give the room a high floor scenario with Tyquan Thornton and Kendrick Bourne.
Meyers is a nice 2, Bourne is a high quality 3, and Thornton’s role in the offense is still a bit unknown right now since he just came off his rookie year. If Thornton can take a big leap, perhaps we’re having a different conversation about this unit.
However, the Patriots need to operate as if they need another significant body at this position, and the free agent market does not look super promising. There are some quality names in Allen Lazard, DJ Chark, and Juju Smith-Schuster, but no one who I think would elevate the room like it needs to be.
On Tuesday afternoon, it was revealed that Cardinals’ wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins would likely be traded this coming offseason. In fact, was Bill Belichick already recruiting Hopkins when the two faced off several weeks ago?
Making this trade would also likely mean the Pats would need to give Hopkins a contract extension, and given their $50 million in cap space in 2023, that should not be an issue at all.
Another option could be Davante Adams from the Las Vegas Raiders. If the team does indeed trade Derek Carr, what incentive would Adams have to stay? He came to Vegas to play with Carr in the first place, and if he’s not there, why would Adams want to stay?
Brandin Cooks also recently said he did not want to be a part of a rebuilding process. The current Texan and former Patriot would add a strong element of speed and a ton of production to the room.
Could the Denver Broncos trade Courtland Sutton? With Jerry Jeudy establishing himself as the true WR1 in Denver, the Broncos could unload Sutton’s contract in a trade and help give themselves some breathing room for a future Jeudy extension in the 2024 offseason.
I do think the Patriots have some options to truly upgrade their receiver room to make the offense more dynamic.