One of the writers has already gave his opinion on this whole Patriots situation and how they have nothing. He gave his solution, but this was even before Eric Decker retired today, leaving the Patriots with even less than before. While many expected that Decker wouldn’t even make the regular season roster, it still doesn’t help to lose a veteran player while Julian Edelman is suspended for the first four games of the season. Now with just one week of the preseason left, the Patriots are left with a depth chart that isn’t pretty to say the least.
Current Patriots Depth Chart:
At this point, it looks that Turner will not be making the roster, while Berrios could be on the practice squad and McCarron may be borderline at this moment. But subtracting Edelman from this makes it a pretty ugly depth chart, and the Patriots must look into adding something, all the way from the big names to the ones from left field. Again, I bring to attention how another writer discussed a possible return of WR Brandon LaFell, which could be possible but there may be an even bigger need than that. Let us dig in.
The Popular Choice: Free Agent WR Dez Bryant
Why: The man who puts up the X has been a free agent forever now, and while he has not been the same All-Pro that he once was, Dez can still bring plenty to the table in the terms of dominating in the red zone and being a more than capable receiver for this Patriot team. If you remember, at the age of 30, a receiver by the name of Randy Moss joined the Patriots after everyone thought he was done, and the same situation could happen here. Dez Bryant wants a prove it deal, and while he may not necessarily be the top option for them if he was to sign, but this may be the best place for him to prove it. A one-year deal may be perfect for both sides, or sound insane. Just remember, people thought Randy Moss couldn’t get it done here.
The Trade Targets: Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas and Lions WR Golden Tate
Why: One of these make a lot of sense, while the other may not mesh as well with the situation the Patriots have currently. The one that makes a lot of sense is Demaryius Thomas. Makes sense because Thomas continues to be a solid contributor in the NFL despite questionable QB play for the past few seasons since Peyton Manning. Since 2012, he hasn’t missed a single game and has recorded at least 80+ catches, a streak of five seasons with over 1,000 yards that ended last season, and three seasons of 10+ TDs in that span. With statistics of 83 catches, 949 yards, and 5 TDs last year with Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler, and Paxton Lynch, you can see that Thomas isn’t even close to being done. The Broncos drafted Courtland Sutton in the draft this past year, and they have been so impressed that moving on from Thomas wouldn’t sound as crazy as one would expect. This may seem a bit much, but this certainly would be the best move for New England.
However, the wrong choice would be Golden Tate. His type of play matches the likes of Edelman as a slot receiver who does a lot of screens and short routes. There have been rumors of Tate being available to the league and the Patriots being a possible home with a lot of former Patriot coaches and management. I won’t stress Golden Tate too much because this is a trade that would not be a real fit to the Patriots for the whole season.
The Other Free Agents: Jeremy Maclin, Brandon LaFell, Brandon Coleman
Why: Not much quality here, but guys that can fill in and take a roster spot, make a play or two down the line. Jeremy Maclin is not the same guy he was in Philadelphia or Kansas City, but he does still have the ability to get down field and make some plays. If you want to hear about LaFell, please feel free to head over to the other piece we had written here at WTF. And Brandon Coleman is a player who I do think has some potential after being with the Saints and never really being fully utilized. Coleman brings size like not many others, being 6’6, he could be a solid addition to the Patriots and maybe find his potential eventually here in New England.
The Solution: Patriots RB James White
Why: Yes, the solution is already employed by the New England Patriots. The Super Bowl LI hero has been one of the best passing backs in the NFL for a few seasons now and should see his role only grow with the problems at receiver. While Edelman is out, I feel that the use of White from the backfield and in the slot would be a smart use of what they already have. James White has always been a player that I have been a fan of, which is why the use of him more and more this season would really ease this offense, or at least be a temporary solution until Julian Edelman returns and any receiver they do sign at this point can take his time learning the playbook. White is the solution at least for now until Edelman comes back, then we may have to discuss even more on who they should go for unless they grab someone beforehand.
So what do you think? Do you think James White can be the solution? What receiver would you like to see the Patriots add prior to or during this season?
Let me know!
-Scott Edwards, Creator of WTF Sports Nation