As if the Patriots haven’t won free agency already, there are a few big free agent names still out there trying to find a team to sign. Most of the positions on the roster is filled, some positions on their roster are a bit weak. With roughly around $24 million in cap space, the Patriots have plenty of money to spend. The only problem is which free agent is the best fit for the “Belichick system”?
Here’s a list of big free agents that could fit the system:
LeGarrette Blount: Starting out with a Patriots, Blount has yet to be resigned by the team. After having arguably the best season of his career and the best season a Patriots RB has had in a while, it’s a head scratcher why he hasn’t been signed. It’s almost blows my mind that any team hasn’t signed him yet either. Blount has had some “off-field issues” in the past, the Patriots seemingly fixed that; but after his departure in 2014 to the Steelers, he got caught smoking marijuana with Le’Veon Bell and during a game he went to the locker room early because he knew the Steelers were gonna lose that game. This lead to the release of Blount and soon he was suspended by the NFL for the weed charges. Some teams think that they’re taking a risk because of his past and his attitude. Others may think it’s his age; he’s 30 years old and that’s a point in a running backs career where they have to start thinking of retirement/being a back-up running back. Blount is no doubt a big back who can do some damage; teams like the Giants, Lions, and Buccaneers have taken interest in him. There could be a chance he returns to New England; but if New England hasn’t reached out to Blount yet, that may be a sign they’re moving on from him.
Adrian Peterson: I know, I know; I wrote that the Patriots don’t need Peterson. He was interested in signing with the Seahawks, Raiders, and possibly going back to Minnesota at the time that article came out. But since then, look what’s happened; Seattle signed Lacy, Vikings signed Murray, and the Raiders are aggressively trying to get Marshawn Lynch out of retirement and asking the Seahawks to trade him. Peterson’s only options, really, are either Green Bay, New York (Giants), or New England. If anything I could see Peterson going to New York after the signings they’ve made this free agency. But I wouldn’t count out Peterson signing with the Patriots after the moves they’ve made too; only problem is we use running backs differently. Peterson may want a big role in an offense, the Patriots have always had a different game plan every week; passing the whole game one week, then running the ball the next week. If anything Peterson would get frustrated if he’s not used the way he normally would. That’s not to say that’s a bad thing for him either; he is 32 years old and has had many injuries over the course of his career, maybe he wants a team to not heavily rely on him. He also stated he’s not looking for a big contract, he wants a ring. So why not come to New England?
Colin Kaepernick: Hear me out for just a minute. Yes some, if not most, teams think he’s a distraction or he’s bad or “controversial”. I get it, you’re not a fan of him; some have good reasons, some may not. I’m not here to talk about politics, here to talk sports. But think about it; he’s young, he’s taken a team to the Super Bowl, he has a strong arm, and he’s a mobile QB. You’re telling me McDaniels wouldn’t have a field day with that? With Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract ending next season, you need to either sign him short term till Brady retires or trade him to a team like the Browns for picks for this years draft. If anything Belichick doesn’t like players who “cause drama” to themselves or their team. But you gotta look at the situation that can unfold next year; if Garoppolo leaves the Patriots and Kaepernick is with another team, you’ll have Jacoby Brissett who in my opinion didn’t “wow” me when he started. Kaepernick can flat out play, and with an OC like McDaniels and the mind of Belichick, he can really make an impact once Brady retires.
Jamaal Charles: The last two seasons Charles has gone down with some sort of season-ending injury. He just cannot stay healthy and some consider it a risk in signing him. But when healthy, he can really make an impact. From the 2012-2014 season, he’s had 1,000 rushing yard seasons and averaging 5.0 yard per carry. He’s just the back the Patriots could look for; explosive and fights for yards. One thing Patriots would have to worry about, again, is his injury history. Just like Gronk, the Patriots would have to be careful in using him and making sure he’s in top shape. If anything it would upgrade the run game; but like Peterson’s case it would be a different game plan every week plus you’d compete with Lewis and White for playing time.
Darrelle Revis: I’ve already touched on this before, but I’d thought I’d put him on the list for really one reason. It’s been reported that the only place Revis wants to play for are the Patriots. Though he doesn’t seem to be needed now, Butler’s situation on whether he gets traded to the Saints or not has left some people to believe the Patriots should keep Revis on their radar. Other than that, if Revis does end up coming to the Patriots with or without Butler, it would make sense. He won a Super Bowl with us, he’d be the 2nd/3rd corner on the depth chart depending on what happens with Butler, and he still has a few more years left to play in the NFL. Revis knows how we practice and how we play, a reunion could be fitting for the All-Pro corner.
There are more big free agents out there, but those are the positions that the Patriots need to address and would with the Belichick system. As the draft is upon us, don’t be surprised to see some Patriots start getting going again.