We are half-way though Week One of free agency. To me, the situation in at QB and receiver obscures our view of the rest. DEFENSE AND SPECIAL TEAMS As I look at the team, I see business as usual on the defense and special teams. Yes, we need help inside at DT and LB. To have such needs so early in the acquisition process isn't very unusual. And yes, as ALWAYS, we could use another stud pass rusher (almost every team could, so this too is "business as usual". OL and RB I see business as usual in the OL and RB. Of course, there are question marks on the OL. But, we have 5 starters, plus hopes for Froholdt and Cajuste. As usual, we will sign and draft potential starters. Sure, Cannon might be cut and replaced (with his cap money). Of course, we don't know who will be our best RB in 2020, but we have a good mix to compete, include a 2019 #2 pick. We don't know if Develin is coming back. We already have signed a backup/replacement [more business as usual]. ============== OBVIOUSLY, WE HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO IN THE PASSING GAME FB/Blocking TE My guess is that Vitale can be our FB if necessary. Also, if Develin is back, Vitale might serve as blocking TE, or at least as #3 TB/#6 OL. QB ??? Almost anything is possible TE ??? LeCosse is an OK #3 TE, competing with the #2 TE for reps. We still need a #1 TE and a #2 TE. WR ??? We need a #1 WR (a trade is the most likely effort, plus draftees for the future) Edelman could be the #2 if he wants to stay (if not we need to trade and draft a couple) Harry will be part of the mix. Sanu is likely to stay; he could be cut and his money used on a replacement (probably about equal) Bryd is OK as a Gunner upgrade. The bottom line is that we only need 5 WR if one is a returners. Otherwise 4 is plenty. [Check the production of #4's and #5's in the past if you want confirmation]. #1 WR ??? #2 WR Edelman and/or draftees #3/#4/#5 Sanu (or replacement with his cap money), Harry, Byrd, (Meyers), (Gunner) BOTTOM LINE NEEDS LB LB DT QB WR WR TE TE swing OT Is this worse than at this time in 2017? 2018? 2019? Is the situation worse enough to believe that the team will go from 12-4 to being non-competitive for the playoffs? I'm not buying. We have a month before the draft. I expect Belichick to add a half dozen players, many which will no be at all exciting. For example, we could re-sign Calhoun and Newhouse to compete in camp. I expect at least a DL, a LB, an OL and a WR. Significant trades are unpredictable. Such a trade might happen before, during, or after the draft. It seems very likely that we will need to trade for a WR and a TE.