There has been a lot of talk on this board of specific players the Patriots should go after in free agency. What I'm wondering is, what areas of needs MUST the Patriots address by signing veteran free agents? These would be positions where a rookie, even a first round pick, could not be expected to step in and fill the void. I would argue that the answer is ILB and WR. Both of these positions are missing a starter, and lack depth as well. At ILB, we should have Bruschi back next year at one position. He is getting old and is certainly not the playmaker he once was, but I think he is still solid against the run and, of course, a team leader. However, there is a gaping hole at the other ILB position. The only options on the team right now appear to be Eric Alexander or Barry Gardner, and I doubt either of those guys can hack it as an every down starter. As for wide receiver, the lack of a potent down-field threat, or a playmaking threat, at that position severely handicapped our offense last year, IMO. Caldwell had a much better year than many expected, but I don't like him in the starting lineup. Jabar Gaffney has more promise and, after a monster post-season, is almost certainly qualified to be a starter. So that leaves the need for AT LEAST a viable downfield threat, though I would argue that they should be a starter as well. Perhaps a rookie ILB could be effective, but it certainly seems as though the position requires a degree of football knowledge that can only be obtained through years of experience at the NFL level. As for wide receiver, we all know that rookie wide receivers rarely contribute much. That is why I think that ILB and WR absolutely must be addressed through free agency (or perhaps a trade). Thoughts? Comments?