The Patriots have been busy this week making moves to bolster their needs on both sides of the football, and so far Bill Belichick has seemingly used New England’s draft picks to gamble on players who are proven instead of guys who have yet to play a down of football in the NFL.
After sending their first-round and third-round pick to New Orleans on Friday to acquire dynamic receiver Brandin Cooks, along with sending their second-round pick to Carolina to acquire defensive end Kony Ealy, the Patriots now find themselves in a situation where they’ll be spectators through the first 71 selections until they make their first with the 72nd 3rd-round pick they acquired from the Panthers.
As Mike Reiss of ESPN pointed out on Saturday morning, the Patriots now have seven selections in the draft, none of which will take place in the first two rounds. One question will be which pick they’ll be able to make in the 4th round, with the NFL set to strip New England of a selection due to DeflateGate. The only unknown will be whether or not it will be the higher of the two (the 118th) or the one they already had from the Seahawks at 132nd overall.
Here’s their current list:
3a) (72nd, from Carolina)
4) (118th, from New Orleans or 132nd selection from Seattle)
6) (200th, from Indianapolis)
Knowing what we’ve seen in the past, the Patriots are likely far from done considering the fact they’re still sitting with nearly $50 million in cap space just one week into free agency. Now it’s just a matter of whether or not they’ll try and replenish any of their early round selections.
There remains conflicting reports regarding Jimmy Garoppolo and a potential trade for New England’s coveted backup quarterback. Rumors out of Cleveland are that they remain a potential landing spot for his services depending on the Patriots asking price, while Mike Reiss and Adam Schefter remain adamant that he’s not going anywhere. Moving Garoppolo would clearly get New England back into round one, but it remains to be seen if the Patriots will be able to get an offer that’s too good to turn down in order for that to happen.
Meanwhile, Malcolm Butler’s situation remains one to keep an eye on after seeing how much things have seemed to deteriorate between the two sides. If Butler forces their hand, he’ll also be a player who will recover one of those selections, but with newly-signed cornerback Stephon Gilmore now in the mix, having Butler in the fold heading into 2017 would obviously be ideal. If they can get something done beyond that, even better.
Either way, it’s been quite a week with what’s transpired and with the remaining cap space and other remaining needs, they’re certainly far from done. Now the only question is going to be what moves Bill Belichick and the front office can come up with next, which should make for an interesting couple of months as they continue putting together the cast of the 2017 version of this football team.
Posted Under: 2017 Free Agency