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: Wide Receivers
Team Need: High
Returning players: Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell, Danny Amendola, Keshawn Martin, Chris Harper, Josh Boyce (IR), Aaron Dobson (IR)
Free Agents: Brian Tyms (RFA/IR), Brandon Gibson (UFA)
The Patriots are entering another year with uncertainty pertaining to their wide receiving core. There is Julian Edelman and question marks. Keshawn Martin signed an extension and will definitely be back in 2016, but what about everyone else?
Danny Amendola and Brandon LaFell are both slotted to return but Amendola will no doubt have to re-do his deal which is slotted to count $6.8 million against the salary cap. LaFell was never healthy and had a really bad year after a big 2014 season. He could find himself cut early this spring or if the team feels his poor season was due solely to his not being healthy, he could be back and be allowed to win back his job. LaFell is due to count $3.6 million against the cap in 2016.
Chris Harper flashed in training camp and preseason. Josh Boyce and Aaron Dobson could each find themselves out after injuries derailed their third season for the Pats. Brandon Gibson and Brian Tyms both seemed destined for the roster in 2015 before injuries cut short their seasons in camp.
The team needs some youth, size and speed on the outside. Not necessarily a deep threat, that everyone clamors for, since that isn’t their offense. But someone who can stretch the field horizontally as well as vertically and has the size to go up and grab those contested throws.
Up Next…some of the free agent wide receivers that can help the team:
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary
Tags: 2015 NFL Season 2015 Patriots Season 2016 free agents 2016 NFL off-season 2016 Patriots Roster 53 Man Roster Projection Bill Belichick Brandon LaFell Danny Amendola Josh McDaniels Julian Edelman New England Patriots NFL Patriots Patriots edge rushers Patriots wide receivers Pittsburgh Steelers Rob Gronkowski Tom Brady