3 free agency do-overs for the New England Patriots in the 2023 offseason

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills
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The New England Patriots have had a good offseason, but could it have been better? Let's do three free agency "do-overs" for their 2023 free agency period. I do think the Patriots had a solid offseason overall, but it was far from perfect. They are a better team than they were when the 2022 season ended, and the biggest reason for that was them dumping Matt Patricia for a legitimate offensive coordinator in Bill O'Brien.

They also made some nice additions in free agency, but as of right now, it does not appear to be enough to contend in what is now a very loaded AFC East that features Aaron Rodgers, Josh Allen, and a star-studded Miami Dolphins' roster.

If the Patriots had three free agency do-overs, who should they have signed instead?

3 free agency do-overs for the New England Patriots in the 2023 offseason
1. Patriots should have signed Jawaan Taylor or Mike McGlinchey instead of Riley Reiff

Since there does still appear to be questions at left tackle, the Patriots could have at least shut the door on their right tackle situation going forward by signing one of Jawaan Taylor or Mike McGlinchey in free agency. The Patriots, namely Bill Belichick, surely did not want to invest the tens of millions it would have taken to sign either player, but quality offensive line play in the NFL should not have a price.

They signed an aging Riley Reiff. Reiff is a serviceable tackle who has played both sides, but he's nowhere near as good as Taylor or McGlinchey, who signed with the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos, respectively. They honestly could have signed one of them and used a draft pick on a left tackle, which would have helped out their financial situation a bit, as they wouldn't have to invest heavy dollars into both tackle spots.

But, on the other side of the coin, the Patriots aren't paying anyone much of anything along the offensive line, so them not making a significant investment in the position was a bit odd to see.

2. Patriots should have signed WR DJ Chark

I most definitely advocated for the Patriots to sign DJ Chark, who is a former Pro Bowler and former 1,000 yard wide receiver with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He's still just 26 years old and would have presented a much higher ceiling than JuJu Smith-Schuster, who got a small bag from the Patriots.

Chark is also a much more athletic receiver than JuJu. He's 6'4" and has 4.3 speed, which is what we like to call a freak of nature. Chark has had some troubles staying healthy, so that's why I didn't say "instead of..." The Patriots could have signed Chark AND Smith-Schuster if they were truly serious about fixing the WR room.

Chark is going to have a really strong year for the Carolina Panthers, his new team, and it's shame as he could have been a Patriot.

3. Patriots should have signed Dalton Schultz instead of Mike Gesicki

Mike Gesicki fell out of favor with the Miami Dolphins in 2022 and was left to hit the free agent market, where he found a home with the Patriots on a one-year deal. Dalton Schultz was not re-signed by the Dallas Cowboys and also found a new home, with the Houston Texans.

Both Schultz and Gesicki have been productive receiving tight ends over their respective careers, but Schultz has been the more consistent target over the last few years, so I think he would have presented a slight upgrade over Gesicki, who likely wanted to sign with the Patriots to try and stick it to his old team.

Schultz has averaged 70 receptions, 708 yards and six touchdowns the last three years over a 17-game season.

Gesicki has averaged 55 receptions, 640 yards and five touchdowns over the last three years over a 17-game season. Schultz is also the younger player, so it's clear that he would have been the better option for the team than Gesicki. I do think Gesicki is a fine tight end and do anticipate him bouncing back a bit in the offense, but Schultz should have been the play here.