The Patriots are set to enter the free agency phase of the 2016 off-season and we’ll explore some of the biggest needs of the team moving forward. And some of the names of their own free agents as well as some of their potential targets.
First up on the free agency positional list: Running Back
Team Need: High
Given the injuries to the offensive line and then losing both starters (Dion Lewis, LaGarrette Blount) to IR during the season doomed the Pats running game in 2015. Truth be told, they ran the ball very poorly overall for most of the season and it was a major reason for their failure in the AFC Championship Game. Play-action passing, a big staple of their offense was rendered moot, when they ran only 14 times, and were ineffective on all of them.
Returning players: Brandon Bolden, James White, Dion Lewis (IR), Tyler Gaffney (IR), Joey Iosefa
Free Agents: LaGarrette Blount, James Develin, Steven Jackson
The team really needs a big, physical running back that can grind out the yardage between the tackles, take the heat off of Tom Brady and the passing game and have the ability to put games away late.
Being in the Patriots offense, the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield as well as pass protection are things that are always important as well.
Here is a snapshot of the free agents that are available for New England when free agency begins on March 9:
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary
Tags: 2015 NFL Season 2015 Patriots Season 2016 NFL off-season 2016 Patriots Roster 53 Man Roster Projection Alfred Morris Bill Belichick Brandon Bolden Chris Ivory Dion Lewis James White LaGarrette Blount Lamar Miller Matt Forte Miami Dolphins New York Jets NFL Patriots Patriots running backs Pittsburgh Steelers Rob Gronkowski Tom Brady Tyler Gaffney