The Patriots have had a rough few days from the embarrassing loss to the Cowboys last Sunday. To make it all worse, it has now been reported that rookie Christian Gonzalez, who appeared on the path to compete for Defensive Rookie of the Year, will miss the rest of the season due to a torn labrum.
The defense also lost star pass rusher Matthew Judon, who left the week four game with what is now being reported as a torn biceps injury. Although he may have the opportunity to return this season once he recovers from surgery, as it's been said he will miss the next two months, it seems unlikely he will get back on the field this year, especially if the Patriots are not playing for post-season contention.
Bill Belichick addressed The Gonzalez news quickly since he traded a seventh-round pick for former New England cornerback J.C. Jackson on Wednesday morning. But overcoming the loss of Judon doesn't appear to be as simple.
There are some in-house options, like Josh Uche, who had a breakout season in 2022, or Keion White, who the Patriots drafted in the second round this year. But neither have been significant contributors yet this season, making it more plausible that Belichick may look outside the team for more help.
They may have gotten an intriguing option as of Wednesday morning with the news of linebacker Randy Gregory's release from the Denver Broncos.
The seven-year veteran spent most of his career with the Cowboys before signing with the Broncos in 2022. He received a massive payday earlier this year, but as Sean Payton continues to change the team as the new head coach, it appears Gregory was not part of the long-term plans.
Although he hasn't played a significant role on the field the same way that Judon has, Gregory has been a disruptive player to quarterbacks for years. His infamous performance against Mac Jones in 2021, where he totaled two sacks, two QB hits, and a forced fumble, proved he could be a nightmare to opposing offenses. Perhaps he could do that within the Patriots defense this season.
Since he will be a free agent, New England may have the opportunity to sign him to a cheaper deal. The problem they'll have is that he may be looking to join a team with better Super Bowl odds, which they are not close to being.
Regardless, Belichick should at least contact Gregory's agent and explore the idea of adding him.