New England Patriots > Patriots Blog > Patriots Commentary

Patriots Free Agency Outlook, Linebackers

Steve Balestrieri
5 years ago at 7:45 am ET
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary

Patriots Free Agency Outlook, LinebackersStew Milne - USA TODAY Sports

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.

Next up on the free agency positional list: Linebackers

Team Need: Medium

Returning players: Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Jonathan Freeny, Jon Bostic, Darius Fleming, Kevin Snyder

Free Agents: Dane Fletcher (IR), Dekoda Watson (UFA), Rufus Johnson (ERFA,IR)

The Patriots lost an iconic figure with the retirement of Jerod Mayo this week, and while it wasn’t entirely unsuspected it leaves the Patriots with a depth issue behind starters Hightower and Collins. Those two are arguably the best pair of linebackers in the league and the team’s immediate concern is locking them up long-term.

When each missed time last season, the team relied upon both Mayo and Freeny who was primarily known for his special teams play. With Mayo now retired, who will they look at to play some important snaps and keep Hightower and Collins fresh.

Bostic would seem a likely choice, he was a starter in Chicago before coming over last season but played primarily on STs. With a year in the system could his role increase? Surely, but at this point, I wouldn’t expect the team to be banking on his rise.

Fleming, Snyder along with Fletcher, Watson and Johnson if they return are strictly depth type players. Which leaves the Patriots in a position to fill an important slot before training camp begins in July. They could address this in the draft or via free agency.

Here are a few free agents that could be on their radar, beginning with a guy that they’ve targeted in the past.


Posted Under: Patriots Commentary
Tags: 2015 NFL Season 2015 Patriots 2016 free agents 2016 NFL off-season 2016 Patriots Roster 53 Man Roster Projection Bill Belichick Bruce Irvin Danny Trevathan Darius Fleming Dekoda Watson Dont'a Hightower Jamie Collins Jerod Mayo Jonathan Bostic Jonathan Freeney Kevin Snyder New England Patriots NFL Patriots Patriots linebackers Rob Gronkowski Rolando McClain Shea McClellin Tom Brady

Comments are closed.

  • More News Headlines:

    VIDEO: Third Bill Belichick Subway Commercial Released
    VIDEO: Third Bill Belichick Subway Commercial Released
    By: Robert Alvarez
    Check out the third Subway commercial featuring Bill Belichick.
    1 day ago
    ICYMI Best Of Social Media: Celebrating Stephon Gilmore On His Birthday
    ICYMI Best Of Social Media: Celebrating Stephon Gilmore On His Birthday
    By: Robert Alvarez
    Social media celebrates Stephon Gilmore's 30th birthday with highlights and well wishes.
    1 day ago
    New England Patriots News 9-20, AFC East Notes
    New England Patriots News 9-20, AFC East Notes
    By: Steve Balestrieri
    Good morning, here is your Sunday Patriots news 09-20 and AFC East notes this week.  It is good to have football back. It is the…
    1 day ago
    MORSE: Patriots at Seattle Pre-Game Report
    MORSE: Patriots at Seattle Pre-Game Report
    By: Mark Morse
    Let Wilson Cook!  That has been the mantra from Seahawks fans.  Russell Wilson is the only NFL passer to thrown for 30 TDs in each…
    2 days ago
    MORSE: Further Analysis on Patriots Game 1 as We Get Set For Seattle
    MORSE: Further Analysis on Patriots Game 1 as We Get Set For Seattle
    By: Mark Morse
    I know this is coming in a little later than most analysis, but I wanted a chance to review and watch the game again. 
    4 days ago
    Search For Links: - CLOSE
    For searches with multiple players
    add commas (Ex: "Bill Belichick, Devin McCourty")