7 Free Agents the New England Patriots Should Consider

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    7 Free Agents the New England Patriots Should Consider

     

     

    COMMENTARY | The New England Patriots should take a good hard look at what is left in free agency. Though the bulk of activity is long gone, there are still some quality players on the market.

     

    In order of likelihood (from the least likely to most likely) here's a list of guys the Patriots may have some interest in signing:

     

     

    Ray Edwards, DE (ATL Falcons) - Edwards is on this list strictly because his talent is so intriguing. It wasn't that long ago that Edwards was widely considered one of the best up-and-coming edge rushers in the game. But after some injury concerns and a pair of disappointing seasons with the Falcons, his hype has all but fizzled out.

     

     This would be a typical low-risk/high-reward signing for the Patriots. Character concerns aside, if things panned out, having another young, lengthy, and explosive defensive end with plenty of NFLexperience opposite Chandler Jones would be an incredible addition. 

     

     

    Amobi Okoye, DT (Chicago Bears) - With Tommy Kelly most likely starting next to Vince Wilfork, the top of the Patriots' depth chart at defensive tackle looks as strong as it has in a long time. While there are some high hopes for CFL import Armond Armstead as well, he's still an unknown at this point. The Patriots may want to bring in another veteran to shore things up. 

     

    Okoye is an athletic defensive tackle who could potentially be a big presence as an interior rusher in passing situations, but he could also start in a pinch given his experience. If they could get the dollars right, this former first-round pick could be a huge addition at this point in free agency.

     

     

    Brandon Moore, G (New York Jets) - The Patriots are returning all five starters on their offensive line from a season ago--a unit that was one of the best in the NFL.

    However, their depth is a little thin, particularly at the guard spot. As Reiss and Yates pointed out , after playing primarily at tackle in his first two seasons, Marcus Cannon seems to be working exclusively at guard in absence of an injured Dan Connolly. However, a veteran presence could go a long way, especially with top backup Donald Thomas signing with the Colts this offseason.

     

     Moore has a been a good guard in this league for a long time, and you can bet that Bill Belichickknows all about this former Jet. At the back end of his career, don't be surprised if Moore joined a division rival for cheap dollars, with the hope of finally getting a ring before retirement.

     

     

     

    Dallas Clark, TE (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - With Rob Gronkowski's recovery from back and forearm surgery putting his availability for the start of the season in jeopardy and legal issues surrounding Aaron Hernandez with regard to a homicide investigation, the Patriots may be looking for some help at tight end.

     

    The Patriots may want to see what they have in a healthy Jake Ballard and rookie Zach Sudfeld (who was an OTA/minicamp standout according to Mike Reiss and Field Yates of ESPNBoston), but Dallas Clark--a proven veteran who was once considered the best in the game--may be an affordable insurance policy.

     

     

    Vonta Leach, FB (Baltimore Ravens) - With Wes Welker gone and the availability of the TEs in question, the Patriots may rely on the ground game a lot more in 2013.

     

    Looking it's best since the Corey Dillon days, the Patriots running game had a resurrection last season, led by Stevan Ridley's breakout sophomore year (1,263 rushing yards, 12 touchdowns).

    Leach is probably the best fullback in the league and he is just sitting out there waiting for a job.

     

    Imagine what Ridley could do with Leach plowing a path for him?

    The only down side of signing Leach would be cutting someone else--likely a running back--to make room for him on the roster. The Patriots have a lot of talent at RB behind Ridley (Shane Vereen, LaGarrette Blount, Leon Washington, Brandon Bolden) so it'd be tough to cut one of them. Bolden looks like he'd be the most likely to go, though.

     

     

     

    John Abraham, DE (Atlanta Falcons) - Abraham has been linked to the Patriots in free agency since the get-go, and for good reason. Though he's 35 years old, Abraham is still playing some real good football, coming fresh off a ten-sack season in 2012. 

    At this point in his career Abraham would probably be most effective in a pass-rushing specialist role, though if need be, he could step in as a starter. It's unclear if Abraham is waiting for the right dollar amount or some kind of playing-time commitment, but if the two sides could meet in the middle, Abraham could push the Pats' defense over the top.

     

     

     

    Israel Idonje, DE (Chicago Bears) - If things don't get done with Abraham, Idonje would be a solid--and less expensive--addition. He's been productive as a pass rusher over the last few years (7.5 sacks in 2012, 5 in 2011, 8 in 2010) and is effective against the run. At 6'6'', 270 lbs, he also has some versatility with the ability to play 4-3 end, 4-3 defensive tackle and even 3-4 defensive end. 

    He wouldn't be asked to start, but the Pats could use a seasoned vet to provide some leadership to a rather young group of ends. It would be surprising if Idonje was looking for top dollar, so if the Pats want him, they could probably get him.

     

     

     

     

    James DiMaio is a Yahoo! contributor who also covers the NFL and the New England Patriots forBleacher Report.

     

    Follow James on Twitter @JamesDiMaio or visit his profile .

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    Just reposting to see what you guys thought!

     

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from dreighver. Show dreighver's posts

    Re: 7 Free Agents the New England Patriots Should Consider

    Great list. One of the better, well-thought out articles I've seen. 

    Thanks for posting!

    _________________

    Let's go Pats!

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Muzwell. Show Muzwell's posts

    Re: 7 Free Agents the New England Patriots Should Consider

    If only allowed one, I'd take Leach. He's still playing at a high level and given all the uncertainty in the passing game right now, they may need to lean on the run game more than usual, especially in the early going.

    Otherwise, Okoye only because DT is a bigger need than DE at this point.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from MordecaiBloodmoon. Show MordecaiBloodmoon's posts

    Re: 7 Free Agents the New England Patriots Should Consider


    I would love Leach.  Anyone he blocks for has a career year!!!  We might need that from the running game this year.

     

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from TFB12. Show TFB12's posts

    Re: 7 Free Agents the New England Patriots Should Consider

    Great post csylvia79!

    I would really like them to take a good hard look again at Dallas Clark.  He was in to visit the Pats last season before he signed with the Bucs.  Wonder what they seen or didn't see in him then?  Maybe it was as simple as feeling like there wasn't much of a need for him last season as there is this season.  Great locker room guy, played all 16 games last season.  34 years old and receptions have declined but I think he could be a really good add here this season.

     

    I would really like to see them bring in Leach also.  I think he would be fantastic leading the way for Ridley, especially be a big plus down at goal line and short yardage.  Who would you cut at RB if you brought him in?

     

    ---------------------------------------------

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  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from 49Patriots. Show 49Patriots's posts

    Re: 7 Free Agents the New England Patriots Should Consider

    Idonojie and Abraham, rest are scrubs. Especially washed up Dallas Clark. Might as well give Sudfeld a shot in.camp.

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from TFB12. Show TFB12's posts

    Re: 7 Free Agents the New England Patriots Should Consider

    In response to 49Patriots' comment:

    Idonojie and Abraham, rest are scrubs. Especially washed up Dallas Clark. Might as well give Sudfeld a shot in.camp.




    Oh, they are giving Sudfeld a shot, he has a great chance of making the team, especially now.  But he is a rook, I think it would be great to bring in an experienced vet like Clark.  Certainly would help Sudfeld develop and there is instant leadership and experience to the team.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Muzwell. Show Muzwell's posts

    Re: 7 Free Agents the New England Patriots Should Consider

    In response to 49Patriots' comment:

    Idonojie and Abraham, rest are scrubs. Especially washed up Dallas Clark. Might as well give Sudfeld a shot in.camp.



    Not sure how you call Leach a scrub? He's about as good as there is in the game. His position may not be a fit considering they haven't used a true FB in years, but he's a good player.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from sportsbozo1. Show sportsbozo1's posts

    Re: 7 Free Agents the New England Patriots Should Consider

    We don't need anymore TE's. Got Ballard, Fells,Ford,Hooman,Sudfeld, and who knows how many guys will come thru the doors come the start of camp. :Plus Gronk will return eventually! Hopefully noone else gets into hot water with the police.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Section136. Show Section136's posts

    Re: 7 Free Agents the New England Patriots Should Consider

    In response to TFB12's comment:

    Great post csylvia79!

    I would really like them to take a good hard look again at Dallas Clark.  He was in to visit the Pats last season before he signed with the Bucs.  Wonder what they seen or didn't see in him then?  Maybe it was as simple as feeling like there wasn't much of a need for him last season as there is this season.  Great locker room guy, played all 16 games last season.  34 years old and receptions have declined but I think he could be a really good add here this season.

     

    I would really like to see them bring in Leach also.  I think he would be fantastic leading the way for Ridley, especially be a big plus down at goal line and short yardage.  Who would you cut at RB if you brought him in?

     

    ---------------------------------------------

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    +1

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from mthurl. Show mthurl's posts

    Re: 7 Free Agents the New England Patriots Should Consider

    I was surprised to read that Clark had 47 receptions last year - he just turned 34. I'm sure this guy will be another one of our low risk, high reward signings that haven't worked out for us lately. We're going to need someone with NFL pass catching experience for the offense...can't go into the season with a rookie tight end, a tight end that hasn't played in two years and two rookie receivers.

    This thing with Hernandez from a pure football perspective...he gets hurt a lot, he's coming off shoulder surgery...he was going to miss time next year again (guaranteed). I seriously think this guy's career was not going to be as illustrious as people thought. Not saying I wanted him to run out and murder some innocent guy, embarrass the team, and be compared to Ray Lewis, but in the long run this might actually work out for the best....we can get out of his contract and spend that money on a decent human being that may actually stay healthy.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from 49Patriots. Show 49Patriots's posts

    Re: 7 Free Agents the New England Patriots Should Consider

    In response to TFB12's comment:

    In response to 49Patriots' comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

    Idonojie and Abraham, rest are scrubs. Especially washed up Dallas Clark. Might as well give Sudfeld a shot in.camp.

     




    Oh, they are giving Sudfeld a shot, he has a great chance of making the team, especially now.  But he is a rook, I think it would be great to bring in an experienced vet like Clark.  Certainly would help Sudfeld develop and there is instant leadership and experience to the team.

     

    [/QUOTE]


    When Gronk was a rookie, by the second game of the regular season he was already a threat and had acclimated himself into the offense. I'm not saying Sudfeld is Gronk since I think Gronk has the potential to be the best TE ever, but give a rook a chance. Tom Brady, with a bunch of kids to throw to, will figure out who can do what and who he can trust. Tommy threw for 3500+ in 2006 with scrubs and Ben Watson, an aging RB and an aging defense and took them to the AFCCG. Let him work with the kids, if thinks don't look too good in camp, I'm sure McD would ask BB to bring in some age.

     

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from 49Patriots. Show 49Patriots's posts

    Re: 7 Free Agents the New England Patriots Should Consider

    In response to Muzwell's comment:

    In response to 49Patriots' comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

    Idonojie and Abraham, rest are scrubs. Especially washed up Dallas Clark. Might as well give Sudfeld a shot in.camp.

     



    Not sure how you call Leach a scrub? He's about as good as there is in the game. His position may not be a fit considering they haven't used a true FB in years, but he's a good player.

     

    [/QUOTE]


    Can he catch, run routes out of the back and flank out to the slot? Because that sounds like a scrub of a FB by NE standards.

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from TFB12. Show TFB12's posts

    Re: 7 Free Agents the New England Patriots Should Consider

    If they want Leach they better go out and get him pretty quickly!

     

    Looks like the Ravens are keeping a close eye on him...

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/06/23/vonta-leach-could-still-end-up-with-the-ravens/

     

    And the Giants are considering upping their offer to him.....

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/06/23/giants-consider-upping-their-offer-to-vonta-leach/

     

    ---------------------------------------------

    check out my Patriots photoshops @ patsfanfotoshop.tumblr.com for some good laughs.


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  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from 42AND46. Show 42AND46's posts

    Re: 7 Free Agents the New England Patriots Should Consider

    In response to 49Patriots's comment:

    In response to TFB12's comment:

     

    In response to 49Patriots' comment:

     

     

    Idonojie and Abraham, rest are scrubs. Especially washed up Dallas Clark. Might as well give Sudfeld a shot in.camp.

     

     




    Oh, they are giving Sudfeld a shot, he has a great chance of making the team, especially now.  But he is a rook, I think it would be great to bring in an experienced vet like Clark.  Certainly would help Sudfeld develop and there is instant leadership and experience to the team.

     

     




     

    When Gronk was a rookie, by the second game of the regular season he was already a threat and had acclimated himself into the offense. I'm not saying Sudfeld is Gronk since I think Gronk has the potential to be the best TE ever, but give a rook a chance. Tom Brady, with a bunch of kids to throw to, will figure out who can do what and who he can trust. Tommy threw for 3500+ in 2006 with scrubs and Ben Watson, an aging RB and an aging defense and took them to the AFCCG. Let him work with the kids, if thinks don't look too good in camp, I'm sure McD would ask BB to bring in some age.

     




    maybe you use the term "scrub' a bit too much or too liberally?

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from 49Patriots. Show 49Patriots's posts

    Re: 7 Free Agents the New England Patriots Should Consider

    In response to 42AND46's comment:

    In response to 49Patriots's comment:

    [QUOTE]

     

    In response to TFB12's comment:

     

    In response to 49Patriots' comment:

     

     

    Idonojie and Abraham, rest are scrubs. Especially washed up Dallas Clark. Might as well give Sudfeld a shot in.camp.

     

     




    Oh, they are giving Sudfeld a shot, he has a great chance of making the team, especially now.  But he is a rook, I think it would be great to bring in an experienced vet like Clark.  Certainly would help Sudfeld develop and there is instant leadership and experience to the team.

     

     




     

    When Gronk was a rookie, by the second game of the regular season he was already a threat and had acclimated himself into the offense. I'm not saying Sudfeld is Gronk since I think Gronk has the potential to be the best TE ever, but give a rook a chance. Tom Brady, with a bunch of kids to throw to, will figure out who can do what and who he can trust. Tommy threw for 3500+ in 2006 with scrubs and Ben Watson, an aging RB and an aging defense and took them to the AFCCG. Let him work with the kids, if thinks don't look too good in camp, I'm sure McD would ask BB to bring in some age.

     

     




    maybe you use the term "scrub' a bit too much or too liberally?

     

    [/QUOTE]


    You only care because Leach is linked to the Giants. Unless you're arguing with me over the 2006 batch of WRs, that is...

     

     

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from 42AND46. Show 42AND46's posts

    Re: 7 Free Agents the New England Patriots Should Consider

    In response to 49Patriots's comment:

    In response to 42AND46's comment:

     

    In response to 49Patriots's comment:

     

     

    In response to TFB12's comment:

     

    In response to 49Patriots' comment:

     

     

    Idonojie and Abraham, rest are scrubs. Especially washed up Dallas Clark. Might as well give Sudfeld a shot in.camp.

     

     




    Oh, they are giving Sudfeld a shot, he has a great chance of making the team, especially now.  But he is a rook, I think it would be great to bring in an experienced vet like Clark.  Certainly would help Sudfeld develop and there is instant leadership and experience to the team.

     

     




     

    When Gronk was a rookie, by the second game of the regular season he was already a threat and had acclimated himself into the offense. I'm not saying Sudfeld is Gronk since I think Gronk has the potential to be the best TE ever, but give a rook a chance. Tom Brady, with a bunch of kids to throw to, will figure out who can do what and who he can trust. Tommy threw for 3500+ in 2006 with scrubs and Ben Watson, an aging RB and an aging defense and took them to the AFCCG. Let him work with the kids, if thinks don't look too good in camp, I'm sure McD would ask BB to bring in some age.

     

     

     




    maybe you use the term "scrub' a bit too much or too liberally?

     

     




    You only care because Leach is linked to the Giants. Unless you're arguing with me over the 2006 batch of WRs, that is...

     

     

     



    wrong-got nothing to do with leach -u just seem to use that term a little too freely

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from TeddyBruski54. Show TeddyBruski54's posts

    Re: 7 Free Agents the New England Patriots Should Consider

     I think we need to add a TE from Free agency, I'm not satisfied with what we have. I like Ballard but he's coming off an injury and if he gets hurt we're in trouble. Here's a list of cheap TE's that could come in and compete during training camp: Dallas Clark, Travis Beckum, Kevin Boss, Chris Cooley, Anthony McCoy, Randy McMicheal, Leonard Pope and X-Pat David Thomas.

     

    “I'm a football player by trade. That's what I do, ... So I did everything I could to make myself a football player again.”

     
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